Indonesia: Indonesian Employment Law Update: Permits For Foreign Workers

Last Updated: 20 November 2018
Article by Joseph Hendrik
Most Read Contributor in Indonesia, August 2019

The Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights ("MOLHR") recently issued a regulation that sets out the procedures to obtain permits for foreign workers. MOLHR Regulation Number 16 of 2018 on the Procedures for the Issuance of Visas and Stay Permits for Foreign Workers ("MOLHR 16/2018") covers in detail a number of issues important for foreign workers in Indonesia.

Issuance of Limited Stay Visa

To work legally in Indonesia, every foreign worker (tenaga kerja asing or "TKA") must hold a Limited Stay Visa (Visa Tinggal Terbatas or "Vitas"). A Vitas is issued by immigration officials at Indonesian representative offices, i.e. Indonesian embassies or consulates, based on an application submitted by the relevant employer through the TKA online application system (, which is connected directly to the Immigration Management Information System ("SIMKIM"). If the Indonesian embassy or consulate where the prospective TKA applies does not have an immigration official, the Vitas will be issued by a government official at the embassy or consulate.

MOLHR 16/2018 stipulates the steps to acquire a Vitas, as follows:

  1. submit an application;
  2. review and assessment of Vitas applications for TKAs from "calling visa" countries, i.e. countrieswhose citizens wishing to enter Indonesia are required to have specific authorization from the Indonesian government prior to receiving a visa;
  3. pay the visa approval fee;
  4. background check on TKA applicant, including against a list of people subject to a travel ban;
  5. summons to the prospective TKA to appear for an interview at the Indonesian representative office;
  6. signing and delivery of the Vitas to the applicant.

The length of stay of the TKA will be in accordance with the length of time stated on the notification, i.e. the electronic announcement on the employment of the TKA verified and approved by the Ministry of Manpower, and shall be no longer than two years. A Vitas may also be issued upon the arrival of the prospective TKA in Indonesia, with a maximum stay of 30 days.

Issuance of Limited Stay Permit

Limited Stay Permits (Izin Tinggal Terbatas or "ITAS") shall be issued to prospective TKAs at Immigration Check Counters at airports, ports and Indonesian border checkpoints designated by the MOLHR. Officials will affix an entry sticker to the passport or identification document of the TKA. This sticker will contain information on the TKA and serves as an ITAS and Multiple Entry Permit. Officials may also issue an electronic ITAS through the collection of biometric data of the relevant TKA.

An ITAS has an original validity period of two years maximum and is renewable by an additional four years at most. The application for renewal must be submitted before the ITAS expiration date.

Concurrent Employers for TKA

A TKA may be concurrently employed by more than one employer, but a report must be submitted online. This report shall be made as follows:

  1. An official at the Directorate General of Immigration shall receive notification online from the Ministry of Manpower and will then process the permit for the concurrent employment;
  2. The Directorate General shall send the information electronically to the TKA and the TKA's employers through the SIMKIM system, and will ask the TKA to appear at the immigration office with a valid passport;
  3. An immigration official will collect the TKA's passport and issue a receipt;
  4. An immigration official will indicate the change of work in the event of concurrent positions in the form of additional notes on the electronic ITAS, including information on the additional employer and the new position of the TKA.

Concurrent positions shall be implemented when the TKA's new employer sends the electronic ITAS with notes and information on the new position of the TKA to the MOLHR or the appointed immigration official, without changing the original ITAS registry.

Please note that concurrent positions for TKA are permitted only for (i) non-shareholder directors or commissioners; or (ii) TKA in the education and vocational training sector, digital economic sector, and the oil and gas sector for cooperation contracts (kontrak kerjasama) (Article 8 of Minister of Manpower Regulation Number 10 of 2018 regarding Procedures for the Use of Foreign Manpower).

MOLHR 16/2018 came into effect on July 27, 2018.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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