To work legally in Indonesia, you previously needed to have a work permit (IMTA), which is now replaced with a notification from the Ministry of Manpower. Based on that, the Indonesian Immigration will issue your limited stay permit (VITAS) and the Electronic limited stay permit (ITAS).
This article demonstrates the new process of obtaining a work permit in Indonesia. As well as what should you expect during the process of getting one.
The information I am going to share is based on the following legal instruments: the Work Permit Regulation (No. 16/2015) and its October 2015 update (No. 35/2015), as well as the latest Presidential Regulation (No. 20/2018) for The Use of Foreign Worker.
Note that the details that change with new regulations remain visible in this article. Many agents are unaware of these updates. Thus, they may provide you with incorrect information. Should you need further help on securing your work permit in Indonesia, contact us.
General Requirements for Obtaining a Work Permit in Indonesia
The work permit regulation states what you as a candidate need to get a work permit in Indonesia. The general requirements are:
An education related to the position you are going to take up in Indonesia
A certificate of competence, or five years working experience related to the position
Proof of health/life insurance for your whole stay in Indonesia
Work Permit Age Requirements
The general requirements do not specify any age limitation. Taking this into account, you are basically eligible for a work permit at any age given that you already have at least five years of relevant work experience.
They are different for artists (impresarios), as well as for foreign workers assuming an urgent or temporary position. More specific rules apply depending on your industry.
Working in the oil and gas industry, for example, you must be between 30-55 years of age. As regulated by the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources law (No. 31/2013).
The age restriction does not apply for the highest-level position in your company, such as:
Chief of the representative office
Positions requiring a very specific expertise, crucial to your company/institution
Positions a Foreign National in Indonesia Can Hold
Foreign national can hold a work permit and meanwhile carry any titles that are not restricted. Note that a foreign national cannot hold any position related to Human Resources as well as in the legal and medical industries.
How Long is My Work Permit Valid for?
The work permit validity now depends on the employment agreement between you and the company that hires you. Note that previously you could only get a six to twelve months work permit in Indonesia.
The Process of Getting a Work Permit in Indonesia
Note that Indonesia adopted a new Work Permit Regulation effective per 11th of July 2018. The key highlights that have changed in the processing of your permit are:
Working IMTA is now being replaced with a notification, which is valid for as long as the employment agreement
Employment agreement should follow the format regulated in the new regulations
The director and/or commissioner, who are also the shareholders of the company, do not need to proceed for RPTKA
In conclusion, the new information coming from these changes allows a much faster processing of work permits in Indonesia. The process flow of your work permit in Ministry of Manpower and immigration is as follows:
Furthermore, the table below emphasizes on how the process has changed by comparing the steps that needed to be taken according to the old and now as per the new regulation:
|Step||Old Process (before July 2018)||New Process (starting from July 11, 2018)|
|1. RPTKA – Foreign Manpower Employment Plan approval allows your company to use foreign manpower.||RPTKA is required for all companies applying for the working permit approval, regardless the positions.||A director and/or a commissioner who are also the shareholders of the company do not need to proceed for RPTKA.|
|2. Pre-IMTA/Pre-working permit – decision from Ministry of Manpower on how long you may stay for work based on an interview.||The processing of pre-IMTA replaced the TA-01 procedure for working visa.||Pre-IMTA is replaced with a notification.|
|3. DKP-TKA Payment – fee of the monthly development funds to the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower.||The amount your company should pay comes from the decision during Pre-IMTA. |
The charge for the DKP-TKA is at $US 100/month and paying in advance is a must.
E.g. $US 600 for a six month working period and $US 1,200 for a twelve month working period.
|Two steps are combined for a faster process: |
|4. Working permit (IMTA) – allows you to legally work in Indonesia.||Receiving IMTA.||Receiving VITAS – Due to the simultaneous processing of earlier steps you will already receive VITAS.|
|5. Conversion from TELEX.||TELEX/ VITAS approval||Biometrics appointment in Indonesia (fingerprints, photo etc.).|
|6. Limited stay permit (VITAS) – your IMTA will be the basis of the Indonesian Immigration to issue the Limited stay permit/ VITAS. |
The validity of your VITAS will adjust to the maximum duration of stay granted for your position.
|VITAS.||Online ITAS (Stay Permit) is issued.|
|7. Limited stay permit (ITAS)||Biometrics appointment in Indonesia (fingerprints, photo etc.).||Processing Civil Registration documents.|
|8. Civil registration – family card, temporary residential card, various documents required for living in Indonesia.||Processing civil registration documents.||–|
By using Straits Partners’s service, the entire process takes around three weeks until you get your VITAS.
Extending Your Permits
Since the new regulation allows you to get a working permit for as long as your employment contract (with the maximum of two years limitation), you will only need to pay your second-year DKP-TKA. The bill for this will be sent by Ministry of Manpower just a month before your notification expires.
While those who apply for a working permit that is valid for less than two years may submit for a new permit application or extension at least two months before the expiration date.
Latest Changes to the Work Permit Regulation
1. Local-to-foreigner Hiring Ratio
You only need to appoint one Indonesian coworker for every foreign worker. The coworker position must also be relevant to the foreigner’s title. Although, your company does not have to appoint an Indonesian coworker as a partner if your position is either a:
Founder of a foundation (Anggota pembina yayasan)
Member of a management of a foundation (Anggota pengurus yayasan)
Supervisor of a foundation (Anggota pengawas yayasan)
Also, the same goes if you are a foreign artist or a foreign worker, assuming an urgent or temporary position in your company.
2. Non-resident Commissioners and Directors Don’t Need a Work Permit
Foreign commissioners and directors needed a work permit (IMTA) in the past. This was whether they stayed or resided in Indonesia or not. This, however, is old information and the clause has been removed. Thus, foreigners on these positions can now conduct business in Indonesia without an IMTA, as long as they are not Indonesian residents.
3. Employers Must Provide Indonesian Language Courses
An employer must now provide an Indonesian language training to their foreign employees. The current regulation does not mention whether the employer needs to prove having provided the language lessons to their foreign staff. Neither does it say if or how the foreigner worker’s language skills are going to be tested. We will update this article as soon as more information is provided.
4. Requirement to Join Indonesia’s National Insurance System (BPJS) After Working permit
All foreign workers with over six months employment in Indonesia must join the governmental BPJS programme.
5. More Positions are Granted Having a Double Title
A double title, meaning holding two positions within the same company, which was previously allowed only for a director and a commissioner, is now allowed for more positions (e.g. in the field of education, digital economy, oil and gas).
You No Longer Need A Temporary Work Permit to Attend Meetings and Give Trainings in Indonesia
As per the old Work Permit Regulation (No. 16/2015), foreigner needed the temporary work permit for:
One-time job assignments
As said, you may now conduct these activities in Indonesia under a business visa.
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