Indonesia Work Permit

Working in Indonesia is rather different from going on a vacation to Indonesia. In order to be capable to adjust to life in Indonesia, you have to be flexible and adaptable, and you need really like the culture and the people.

Jobs in Indonesia require more than the Indonesia work permit - they need careful preparation. You have to be willing to take Indonesia as it is with all of its difficulties, contradictions and challenges. Issues that in all possibility did not even cross your mind when you began the Indonesia job search will confront you.

You should not take too lightly the impact the Indonesia work permit can have on the result of your adventure! Think, for example, you can experience the unfamiliar immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, unusual job selection trends and weird management culture.

Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your trip, you may need an entry visa, residence permit and/or work permit.

Indonesia treats drug offences severely. The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15 g of heroin, 30 g of morphine, 30 g of cocaine, 500 g of cannabis, 200 g of cannabis resin and 1.2 kg of opium. Possession of these quantities is all that is needed for you to be convicted

Most visits to Indonesia are trouble-free but you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas.
You should exercise a high level of security awareness due to violence and a deteriorating security situation. High levels of criminal activity, as well as demonstrations, protests and occasional illegal roadblocks, remain a concern throughout the country.
In recent years, the Indonesian authorities have carried out a number of investigations and operations against drug-related crimes and terrorist networks. Monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages.
Ensure that your travel documents and visas are current, valid and secured in a safe place. Always carry a photocopy of your travel documents in lieu of the originals (passport, valid visa and work permit). Travellers have been detained for questioning for not having their passports with them.
Maintain a low profile, vary times and routes of travel, and exercise caution while driving. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety.


All foreign nationals need a valid passport to enter Indonesia. Foreign nationals without a valid passport will not be allowed entry into Indonesia and will be returned to the country of departure.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival and you must have a valid return ticket. The immigration officer at the port of entry may ask the passenger to produce any necessary documents (such as hotel reservation and proof of finance).

Your passport should have adequate unused pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure.

You cannot apply for an Indonesian work permit on your own. It is up to your future employer to obtain one for you

Working Visa

It is important to obtain in advance the correct visa that gives you the right to work in Indonesia. Foreign job seekers must find an employer willing to apply for the correct work permit and working visa to the immigration authorities on their behalf well in advance of the job’s starting date.

It is very difficult for foreigners to stay in Indonesia for work purposes due to very strict immigration and visa requirements. The process is complicated and can be very long. In practice, Indonesia only issues work permits to highly qualified personnel, executives, researchers, trainees and workers in fields where there is a labour shortage in Indonesia.

To qualify for a work permit you must possess:

  • An educational background related to the position you are applying
  • 5 years of working experience related to the position
  • Proof of health/life insurance for your whole stay in Indonesia

Documents required

The foreign employee must provide the following:

  • Passport with at least 18 months left before expiration
  • Curriculum Vitae in either English or Indonesian, signed by the worker
  • A separate list of job references and work experience
  • Copy of most recent diplomas and degrees
  • Photographs - all on a red background:
  • 16 color photographs: 4x6cm
  • 5 color photographs: 2x3cm
  • 4 color photographs: 3x4cm

Before a company can hire foreigners, they need to obtain a Special Work Permit (IMTA). Such a document authorizes a company to employ a foreigner. The Indonesian government has a policy of prioritizing local applicants. You can only obtain a work permit if the employer can prove that a foreign national is needed to fill up the position.

Then the company on your behalf can submit an application for a Limited Stay Visa (VITAS). First, your future employer will need to obtain approval for your application from the Ministry of Manpower. The Ministry of Manpower at that time will send a letter of recommendation to the General Directorate of Immigration in Jakarta. At this point, after your application approval, your nearest Indonesian representation where you reside could issue a Limited Stay Visa (VITAS).

Limited Stay Visa Fees:

  • Visa Approval Telex to Indonesia Embassy/Consulates - Rp.100.000
  • Limited Stay Visa:
  • 6 months - USD 55
  • 1 year - USD 105
  • 2 years - USD 180

For further information about the Indonesia work permit, contact the Indonesian embassy or consulate where you reside

Once you have arrived in Indonesia, you have seven days to report to the regional immigration office with your passport and embarkation card in order to get yourself fingerprinted and exchange your visa for a Limited Stay Permit Card (KITAS). It usually takes about two weeks to issue this card. The original KITAS permit is valid for one year and you can renew it annually for up to five years. After five years, you can apply for a Permanent Stay Permit Card (KITAP).

Along with your KITAS card, you will also receive a Foreigner’s Control and Supervision Book (POA). This book tracks any changes in your immigration status, such as change of address, job, marital status, etc. Any dependents that move with you to Indonesia will also receive a KITAS card and a POA book. Additionally, within 30 days of receiving your KITAS permit, you must register at the local police.

When you receive your KITAS card, you can apply for your Expatriate Work Permit (IKTA). To receive it, first, you must pay the Skill and Development Fund (DPKK) fee. Companies employing expatriates must pay an annual fee of USD 1200. The Manpower Ministry uses this fund for the training of Indonesians.

Proof of payment of the Skill and Development Fund (DPKK) and your company’s Special Work Permit(IMTA) should be submitted by your employer with your Expatriate Work Permit (IKTA) application to the Manpower Ministry. Once you receive the Expatriate Work Permit (IKTA), you are legally permitted to work in Indonesia.

Other Indonesia Work Permit Info

If your Indonesia cover letter and Indonesia CV or Indonesia resume are ready, email them to the prospective employers selected during the Indonesia job search.

When you receive an invitation to the Indonesia job interview, you may apply for an Indonesia visa and work permit. Then prepare yourself for a job interview and take a look at the Indonesian dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in being hired.

Check the job interview dos & don'ts and other job search skills pages. Find out why people are not hired for available jobs.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your Indonesia Work Permit!