Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy in terms of GDP. It presents a multitude of opportunities from local and multinational companies and various industry sectors. The country’s natural wonders, interesting culture, and low cost of living are added bonuses, too. No wonder foreign nationals are finding job opportunities in this tropical country.

If you’re planning to start a career in Indonesia, you must be familiar with their immigration regulations. This article looks at the types of Indonesian work visas you need, their requirements, and their corresponding application process.

Do I need a work visa in Indonesia?

Any foreign national coming to Indonesia for an extended period requires a special type of authorization. The following categories are allowed with certain conditions:

  • Holders of a stay permit in Indonesia (KITAS)
  • Holders of official visas for official ministerial visits
  • Holders of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) business travel card
  • Aircrew
  • Foreign nationals with special permits from relevant Indonesian ministries

If you’re coming to Indonesia for long-term work purposes, you need a temporary stay permit called the KITAS. This is a frequently issued visa for foreign workers under a contract with an employer in Indonesia.

If you only have a short-term business affair, then you don’t need a work visa. You may instead apply for a single entry or multiple-entry business visa, depending on your activity.

What are the requirements to apply for a work visa in Indonesia?

There are several types of KITAS in Indonesia, which are the following:

  • A working visa KITAS
  • An Investor KITAS
  • A dependent visa KITAS for spouse and children
  • A retirement visa KITAS for retirees

The equivalent of a work visa in Indonesia is the work visa KITAS (or simply work KITAS) and will be the focus of this article. It is often accompanied by a work permit or the Foreign Worker Utilization Plan approval (Pengesahan RPTKA).

The work KITAS is valid from six to twelve months, but you can extend it every twelve months to reach a maximum of five years.

All applicants seeking a working visa KITAS should provide the following requirements:

  • Indonesian VITAS application form
  • Travel document or passport with at least three (3) blank pages and six (6) months expiration date upon your arrival in Indonesia
  • One colored passport-sized photo
  • Contract of employment showing job description and allowable salary in Indonesia
  • Reference letter from employer mentioning the purpose of visit and length of stay
  • Proof of life insurance, travel, or medical insurance for your entire stay in Indonesia
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Copy of your highest degree of education
  • Proof of your work experience related to the position you’re applying for

These requirements must be legalized by the relevant authority. Furthermore, any document not in Indonesian or English must be accompanied by translations.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Steps on Applying for a Work Visa in Indonesia

Visa application in Indonesia takes a lot of back and forth between agencies, so it is best you start six (6) months before the date of your planned arrival.

To receive a work KITAS, you must first obtain a work permit, VITAS, and ITAS. These terms are explained below:

  • A work permit is an authorization for paid employment applied for by your employer in Indonesia, and a prerequisite for a VITAS
  • VITAS (Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas) is a stay permit visa granted by the Indonesian Immigration Department
  • ITAS is the immigration status materialized as a stamp on your passport
  • KITAS is the physical card provided when ITAS is granted

In other words, you apply for these authorizations in the order above to successfully enter Indonesia for work.

Provided that you already found an employer in Indonesia, you can proceed with the following steps:

1. Your employer applies for an Expatriate Placement Plan

The Indonesian government regulates foreign labor, so your employer must apply for an “Expatriate Placement Plan” or RPTKA (Rencana Penempatan Tenaga Kerja Asing) from the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower. This means they have to prove that there are no Indonesian citizens qualified and available for a particular job.

If the Ministry of Manpower approves this petition, your employer will proceed to apply for a Indonesian work visa on your behalf.

2. Obtain an Indonesian work permit

A work permit or the “Permission to Employ Foreign Workers” or IMTA (Ijin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing) is also sent to the same ministry. At this stage, you provide your employer with the necessary documents showing your eligibility for the job. This includes your work and education history, a copy of your passport, and other pertinent documents.

Indonesian work permit applications are done online by your employer and will take around five (5) days to process. Once it is approved, your employer will receive an authorization document stipulating that you are allowed to work in Indonesia.

3. Apply for a VITAS

With an Indonesian work permit added to your set of documents, the next step is to apply for a VITAS (or a temporary stay permit). This step comprises two phases – the first one initiated by your employer, while the other part you continue in your country of residence.

First, your employer will submit the VITAS application to the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). This can be done in Indonesia’s online visa application platform. The process also takes five (5) working days, and when successful, the BKPM will issue a Recommendation Letter to the Immigration Department of Indonesia.

Next, you must personally apply for a VITAS at the Indonesian diplomatic mission nearest you. Bring all your documents, especially the work permit and the recommendation letter of the BKPM. You can search for a foreign mission here.

4. Travel to Indonesia

Once your VITAS is approved, you can arrange your travel to Indonesia. The Immigration Department will stamp your passport with the ITAS, meaning you can legally live and work in the country. ITAS is valid for one year but can be extended.

5. Apply for your KITAS

Within a few days of your arrival in Indonesia, visit the immigration office to collect your KITAS. It is a physical card to show the authorities you have the right to live and work.

You must also register with the local municipality’s police department and population office to obtain a Police Report Letter (STM) and a Certificate of Registration for Temporary Resident (SKPPS), respectively.


I hope that this article on How to Get an Indonesia Work Visa was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!