If you’ve ever searched online for information about work permits in Indonesia, chances are you already know that you will need a work permit to work in Indonesia. However, the Immigration Law in Indonesia is prompt to change. So as a trusted Indonesia visa agent, our advice is to make sure the regulations are up-to-date from time to time.
This article will provide a comprehensive overview on the work permit in Indonesia, and help both companies and individuals, such as potential employees and freelancers, to understand the requirements and process.
A lot of people confuse the term KITAS/ITAS (Izin Tinggal Terbatas) with Indonesia work permits. KITAS/ITAS refers to the stay permit, whereas the work permit is known as RPTKA Approval (Pengesahan Rencana Penggunaan Tenaga Kerja Asing or the Foreign Worker Utilization Plan)一a document detailing the specific task, job titles, and the length of the employment of a foreign worker.
In March 2021, the Indonesian Government issued The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Regulation No. 8/2021 that revoked MOM Regulations No. 10/2018 concerning The Employment of Foreign Workers. The recent regulation stipulates that RPTKA approval now serves as the basis for the authority to grant a limited stay visa (VITAS). Once you have received a VITAS, the immigration in Indonesia will issue your limited stay permit (KITAS/ITAS).
Many people do not know the difference between a work permit and a business visa in Indonesia. Whether you’re an aspiring architect, attending a business conference overseas, or a company sending staff abroad for a project, knowing which of the two visas is required can be very tricky.
Two common types of visa for doing business in Indonesia are the business visa and the work permit, and the following are the fundamental differences between the two:
According to Article 3 of MOM Regulation No. 8/2021, employers who are eligible to hire foreign workers include:
Under MOM Reg. 8/2021, a self proprietorship company, known as CV, is not allowed to employ foreign workers.
To obtain the RPTKA Approval, the eligible employers must submit a set of documents that contain the detail information of the employer’s identity, reasons for hiring foreign workers, the detail of the position that foreign workers will undertake within the organization structure, the number of foreign workers being employed and their contract length, and so on.
Once submitted, MOM will review all the documents and conduct a feasibility study and issue the RPTKA Approval.
The MOM Regulations No.8 2021 also laid out the general requirements for foreign workers to obtain work permits in Indonesia. According to the regulation, the requirements are as follows:
Note that there are certain job positions that are prohibited for foreign workers. According to the Minister of Manpower Decree No. 349/2019, foreigners are not eligible to work and obtain a work permit for the following positions:
The process of securing a work permit in Indonesia can be tedious and patience is the key. We will walk you through the general process as written below:
The RPTKA Approval is no longer required for foreign directors and commissioners with a certain ownership of shares in the company.
The RPTKA Approval is also exempted for foreigners who are engaged in diplomatic and consular activities, hired by a local employer for emergency activities, as well as vocational activities for Indonesian tech-based startups.
However, it is also worth noting that this exemption for startups only lasts for three months, after which the company must apply for the RPTKA Approval.
The validity of work permits in Indonesia ranges from one month to twelve months. The validation date depends on the type of industry you are working in. In addition, it also depends on the type of sponsor company’s RPTKA. Different work permits with their respective validity are as follows:
This permit is valid for 1 month. Urgent jobs and jobs that need immediate actions usually use this kind of permit, as it is designed to avoid any potential detrimental consequences for the sponsoring company or society as a whole.
With a validity of 2 to 6 months, a temporary work permit is applicable for foreigners in industries such as trading, services, and consulting. It also applies to foreign workers or laborers in sectors such as maintenance and installation of machinery.
Also known as a normal work permit, it is valid for 7 to 12 months for expats at higher management levels such as managers, directors, and commissioners.
According to Article 44 of MOM Regulation No.8/2021, foreign workers’ employers must submit an annual report to the government that contains the detailed information about foreign workers’ utilization, education and job training for foreign workers’ assistants as well as transfer of technology and skill to the local counterpart.
It should also be noted that the Ministry of Manpower Regulation No. 8/2021 requires employers to facilitate foreign workers to learn the Indonesian Language.
Foreign workers’ employers should pay attention to this, as the regulation stipulates the specific format for this report. Assistance from an Indonesia visa agent and legal expert such as Cekindo can simplify this process and help you avoid unnecessary complications in the future.
With the confusion between a work permit and a work visa, some foreigners or investors might make the wrong call. Specifically for directors or board members of a company in Indonesia, you must get a work permit to stay for a significant amount of time.
Whether intentionally or unintentionally — not securing your work permit means you are breaking the immigration law in Indonesia.
The employers who fail to comply with Indonesian work permit policy are looking at IDR 36 billion fine.
Foreign workers who stay and work in Indonesia without a work permit are subject to IDR 500 billion fine and may also face 5 years of imprisonment, according to the Indonesian immigration law.
To avoid these situations, always consult with an Indonesia visa agent for details and the latest version of the immigration law.
The process of getting a work permit in Indonesia can be complicated by unforeseen issues. Cekindo’s team of global specialists can easily review any situation and help make the whole process easier. Contact us today.