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International Immigration Summary – Indonesia

Written By Maryke Wylde
Tue, Nov 29, 2016
Maryke Wylde

Navigating through Indonesian bureaucracy can be a confusing process. There is a lack of consistent implementation and transparency in the visa and work permit process. There are often lengthy processing times and employers are subject to scrutiny in maintaining compliance with Indonesian legal requirements.

Photo by Thomas Depenbusch

Working in Indonesia
Work permits are issued by Regional Offices of the Ministry of Manpower. The Ministry of Manpower lists all professional positions in Indonesia that are open to foreign nationals. Unemployment is an ongoing problem in Indonesia so many positions are safeguarded for locals. Indonesian companies that hire foreigners are expected to provide professional training for local employees in the area of expertise the foreign worker provides. The government monitors this job training. The company providing employment must apply for and obtain a work permit for the new foreign employee. The first step is for the company to obtain the work permit (IMTA) – they can then submit an application for a limited stay visa (VITAS) on behalf of the new foreign employee. The length of the work permit depends on the nature of the work – between 12 months and three years in most cases. Work permits are tied to the specific job being performed, so if you lose your job you will also lose your work permit.

Visiting Indonesia
Depending on your passport there are a couple of options to enter Indonesia as a tourist or visitor.

Visa exemption – free visa stamp, valid for 30 days with no extension possible, list of countries here.

If you hold a passport from Libya you have to obtain a visa on arrival.

If you are from any other country not listed above you have to apply for a visa prior to arrival through an Indonesian embassy or consulate.

Studying in Indonesia
You’ll need a social/cultural visa to study in Indonesia. You should apply for this at an Indonesian embassy or consulate in your home country after you’ve gained acceptance at an Indonesian university and in plenty of time before the start of your course. The social/cultural visa enables you to stay in Indonesia for 60 days but will be extended, as your university will act as your sponsor. You’ll need to pay a small fee to apply for this visa. You should check the Indonesian Embassy website of your home country for exact information on what documents you’ll need, but generally you should provide:
•  Your passport, which should be valid for at least another six months after your date of entry to Indonesia;
•  Two recent passport-sized color photographs of yourself;
•  Your completed visa application form;
•  Proof that you have enough money to support yourself in Indonesia;
•  A certificate showing you’re in good health;
•  Your letter of acceptance from an Indonesian university;
•  Evidence that all the necessary fees have been paid in advance, or proof of a scholarship if you have one.

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