KITAS (Indonesia Work Permit): A Complete Guide in 2021

Here’s all you need to know about how to get a KITAS.

Any foreign citizen who wants to stay or work in Indonesia for extended amounts of time will need to apply for a KITAS. In this article, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about it.

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What is a KITAS?

A KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas) is an Indonesian work permit that allows foreign nationals to work or stay in Indonesia legally for up to 12 months. It’s also commonly referred to as a limited stay permit, work permit, or work visa.

What are the different types of KITAS?

There are three main types of KITAS or limited stay permit in Indonesia, depending on the activities that you want to do. These are:

  • A working visa KITAS or work permit for workers,
  • An investor KITAS
  • A dependent visa KITAS for spouses and children, and
  • A retirement visa KITAS for retirees.

This article will mostly discuss a working visa or work permit since it’s the most common form of KITAS that foreign workers usually use.

What do I need to get a work permit?

To get a working KITAS, you’ll need a sponsorship from a company or an organization registered in Indonesia. These companies can include:

  • An Indonesian-owned company (PT PMDN),
  • A foreign-owned company (PT PMA),
  • A representative office, or
  • A foundation.

Thereafter, to receive a KITAS, you have to first obtain a VITAS (Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas) and ITAS (Izin Tinggal Terbatas) all together, then your working visa KITAS.

To further understand the difference between these three, we have broken it down below:

  • VITAS is the Temporary/Limited Stay Permit Visa, which the Indonesian embassy will give you when you have received approval to enter the country. The approval comes from the Indonesian Immigration Department.
  • ITAS is the immigration status that allows the immigration offices to stamp your passport.
  • KITAS is a white card that you will receive once ITAS has been presented. (Note: you can hold a KITAS without the authorization to work)

In short, secure employment, apply for the visas in the order above, and you’re all set!

How long does a work permit last?

The validity of a single period of KITAS or work permit in Indonesia range from six to twelve months.

However, you can extend your KITAS every twelve months for up to five times, adding up to five years in total. Moreover, the length of your permit will depend on your position in your company, specifically:

  • Directors, commissioners, and people stated in the company incorporation documents will have a twelve-month KITAS.

  • People ranked as managers and below will usually have a six-month KITAS. However, managers can also get up to twelve months if they have over five years of relevant work experience or can fulfill the documents required.

Be reminded that overstaying your visa can result in serious penalties. To avoid a jail time maximum of 5 years and a maximum fine of 500,000,000 IDR (~USD 34,000), do take note of the following when reapplying.

  1. Submit the extension of your Limited Stay Permit at least 2 months before the expiry date
  2. Extend your Limited Stay Permit according to the location or work area of the immigration office
  3. Ensure that the number of years (in total) of extension does not exceed five years

To avoid any delays and mistakes, we advise having a consultation with us at Greenhouse when you reapply your KITAS.

How can I get a work permit in Indonesia?

Since Indonesia’s government is relatively strict about the number of foreign workers, getting a KITAS can be complicated. Specifically, you’ll have to go back and forth with a lot of different government agencies, like the Ministry of Manpower and Investment Coordinating Board.

In general, the steps to get a work visa are:

STEP ONEApply for a Limited Stay Visa (VITAS or Telex visa) and a Limited Stay Permit (ITAS) to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board.
STEP TWOReceive a notification from the Ministry of Manpower that gives you a work permit.
STEP THREEGet government approval for your Expatriate Placement Plan (RPTKA) that allows your company to hire foreign employees.
STEP FOURConvert your VITAS into a KITAS upon your arrival in Indonesia with Multiple Exit Re-Permit (MERP)..
STEP FIVEGet a Police Report Letter (STM) from the local police department.
STEP SIXRegister with the local municipality's population office to get a Certificate of Registration for Temporary Resident (SKPPS).
STEP SEVENSubmit an Expatriate Remittance Report to the Ministry of Manpower.

What if I only need to have meetings or short-term work?

If you only plan to have a few meetings or short-term business affairs in Indonesia, then you don’t need a KITAS. Instead, your best option would be to get a business visa.

A business visa has more straightforward requirements than a KITAS. However, it only allows you to stay for a maximum of 60 days per visit, with the option to extend. Moreover, it also doesn’t let you get a regular income in Indonesia.

There are two main types of business visa available for workers:

  • Single entry, which allows you to have a single visit into Indonesia, and
  • Multiple entry, which will enable you to have multiple visits into Indonesia for up to one year.

Do tourists need to get a KITAS?

No, most tourists won’t need a work permit. For most countries in the world, the Indonesian government offers a 30-day free tourist visa in addition to a visa on arrival.

Only foreign citizens who plan to work for an extended period in Indonesia will need to get a KITAS.

e-KITAS: Electronic visa application

Right now in 2021, e-KITAS applications are encouraged to be done online through the Indonesian government’s new Online Single Submission (OSS) system.

To avoid any complications online, ensure that you have the relevant documents before submitting them. Online applications usually take 5 to 7 days, then the e-KITAS will be emailed to you or your sponsor.

Given the current global pandemic situation, you may also be required* to quarantine when you enter Indonesia.

*Subjected to changes

How should I start?

First, you need to have a company or organization willing to give you a job or sponsorship in Indonesia. Once you have that, then you can start your application process immediately.

But, as we said, the work permit application process needs a lot of back and forth between local government agencies. It can be hard to spare the time and resources to do that, especially if you’re still overseas or need to organize other things related to moving to Indonesia.

However, don’t worry; experienced professionals like Greenhouse can provide help on the ground to make sure you have a hassle-free means of getting your KITAS.


Alongside global efforts to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, some procedures may change according to the country’s situation. However, you can stay abreast of what’s happening on the ground with our service providers who will guide you through the process.

Want to expand your team with foreign employees in Indonesia? Greenhouse can connect you to pre-screened service providers to seamlessly apply for permits and visas for your team members in Indonesia. Learn more about our solutions.If you plan to start a company in Indonesia, we can connect you to on-site service providers or help match you with the right service provider for your needs.


This article is not intended to and does not constitute legal or tax advice, recommendations, mediation, or counseling under any circumstance. This webpage and your use thereof does not create an attorney-client relationship with Greenhouse or our service providers in Indonesia. The article solely represents the thoughts of the author and is neither endorsed by nor does it necessarily reflect Greenhouse’s belief. Greenhouse does not warrant or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information in the webpage. You should seek the advice of a competent attorney or accountant licensed to practice in your jurisdiction for advice on your particular problem.

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