Your Complete Guide to Getting a KITAS or Work Permit in Indonesia

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 get 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 is an Indonesian government permit that allows foreign nationals to work or stay in Indonesia legally. In Bahasa Indonesia, KITAS is short for Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas. 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 or work permit for workers,
  • A dependent visa for spouses and children, and
  • A retirement visa 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.


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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.

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.

What are the steps to get a work permit?

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 ONEGet government approval for your Foreign Manpower Utilization Plan (RPTKA) that allows your company to use foreign employees.
STEP TWOGet a notification from the Ministry of Manpower that gives you a work permit.
STEP THREEApply for a Limited Stay Visa (VITAS or Telex visa) and a Limited Stay Permit (ITAS) to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board.
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.

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.

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 extensions available if necessary. 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.

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.


Greenhouse empowers you to book business incorporation services and connect with market entry consultants in your target markets.

We’ll connect you with experienced consultants on the ground who can help answer your questions about doing business in Indonesia.


 

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