New Work Permit Regulations in Indonesia


To work legally in Indonesia, you must have a work permit (IMTA). Based on the work permit (IMTA), the Indonesian Immigration will issue your limited stay permit (VITAS) and the limited stay permit card (KITAS).

In this article, I should explain what it will take to obtain a work permit (IMTA), what can be expected during the process of getting one, and other necessary details.

The information I am going to share will be based on two legal instruments: the Work Permit Regulation (No. 16/2015) and its October 2015 update (No. 35/2015).

We will keep visible here the details which the newer regulation has changed. Many agents are unaware of these changes, and may provide you with incorrect information.

Should you need further assistance on securing your work permit in Indonesia, feel free to contact us!

How is a work permit (IMTA) different from a business visa?

A business visa is used for business trips, such as short courses, seminars, trainings, and meetings. A work permit is used for you to work full-time and receive salary in the country that issues the permit.

If you are a Director/Commissioner in an Indonesian-registered company and plan to stay in Indonesia, you need to get a work permit (IMTA). This is even if you do not receive a salary from your position as a Director/Commissioner.

If you are a Director/Commissioner (in an Indonesian-registered company) who live outside Indonesia, yet frequently visit Indonesia under a business visa, you will need to secure a work permit (IMTA) as well.

This is often confusing for foreign investors — but it is better to follow the law and secure your work permit (IMTA) than to have the Immigration Office found you breaking the Immigration law. Indeed, the punishment for this can be harsh: up to 500 million IDR and 5 years of imprisonment.

What are the general requirements of obtaining a work permit (IMTA)?

From Article 36, Government Regulation No. 35, Year 2015:

  • An educational background related to the position you are going to assume in Indonesia;
  • A certificate of competence, or 5 years working experience related to the position (a letter of reference is sometimes required);
  • Proof of health/life insurance for your whole stay in Indonesia.

The general requirements do not specify any age limitation. Taking this into account, you can be eligible for a work permit (IMTA) at basically any age — even as young as 21 years old — provided that you already possess at least 5 years of work experience.

Requirements for artists (impresarios), or for foreign workers assuming an urgent or temporary position, may differ. More specific rules may also apply depending on your respective industry.

If you work in the Oil and Gas Industry, for example, you are required by  Regulation no. 31, year 2013 from the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to be of 30-55 years of age.

This age restriction need not apply if you occupy the highest-level position in your company, such as Director or Chief of the Representative Office; or the position of a Commissioner. It also does not apply if you possess “a very specific expertise crucial to your company/institution”.

Can I obtain a work permit (IMTA) regardless of my position in the company?

As a foreign national, you cannot pursue a professional endeavor in the following sectors:

  • Human Resources department
  • Legal department
  • Health, safety, and environment affairs
  • Supply chain management
  • Quality control and inspection

(ESDM Regulation no. 31, Year 2013, Article 4)

Generally speaking, if you work outside of the mentioned sectors, you are eligible to apply for a work permit (IMTA).

How long will my work permit (IMTA) last?

The answer to this question will depend on your type of industry.

If you are a foreign expert from a service, trading, or consulting company, you will be granted a 6-month (as opposed to the previous 1 year) work permit recommendation.

The same rule applies for foreign workers in sectors related to machinery installation and maintenance, whose education is at high school or vocational level.

Commissioners, directors, and foreign staff at the managerial level and Chief of Representative Offfice will still be eligible for a 12-month work permit.

Can you give me the general picture on the process of securing a work permit (IMTA), KITAS and my Civil Registration in Indonesia?

Before you obtain your work permit (IMTA), you would walk through the process of getting these documents:

1. Foreign Manpower Employment Plan approval (RPTKA) A document approving your company’s proposal to use foreign manpower — issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower
2. Pre-IMTA/Pre-working permit This process replaces the TA-01 procedure for working visa. During this process, you will be notified about how long you can stay in Indonesia for your work.
3. Payment of the monthly development funds to the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower (DKP-TKA) The amount your company should pay will be based on your length of stay (as you will be notified in the previous procedure). The charge for the DKP-TKA is at USD 100/month and needs to be relieved all in advance. E.g: USD 600 for a 6-month working period and USD 1,200 for a 12-month working period
4. Working permit (IMTA) You can now legally work in Indonesia
5. Limited stay permit (VITAS) Your IMTA will be the basis of the Indonesian Immigration to issue you the Limited stay permit/ VITAS. The validity of your VITAS will adjust to the maximum duration of stay granted for your position; and will be calculated from the day you enter Indonesia. VITAS approval is processed at the immigration in Indonesia and the VITAS itself will be issued abroad by an Indonesian embassy of your choice
6. Limited stay permit card (KITAS) As soon as you enter Indonesia with a VITAS, it has to be converted to a KITAS, valid for as long as your VITAS is. During this process you will also have to go to the Immigration office to record your biometric data
7.MERP / Multiple Entry and Re-Entry Permit With this document, you can exit and re-enter Indonesia with the same limited stay permit. It is valid as long as your KITAS is
8. Civil registration Family card, temporary residential card, various documents required for living in Indonesia

In Indosight, the entire process typically takes 6 weeks and is handled entirely by our consultants.

Extending your work permit (IMTA), limited stay permit card (KITAS), and Civil Registration documents

The process of extending your work permit, KITAS, and Civil Registration documents is almost similar to that of getting the new ones. For extension, however, you will not need need to exit Indonesia and obtain another limited stay permit (VITAS). This exemption is only applicable for the holders of a 12-month work permit (IMTA) and limited stay permit card (KITAS).

You cannot extend a 6-month IMTA and KITAS. If you are a holder of these documents, before their expiration you will need to do a re-newal process, and in advance of the renewal, you will need to exit Indonesia as a part of an Exit Permit Only procedure.

Due to the fast-changing nature of Indonesian government regulations, we suggest you to start preparing for your extension at least 2 months before the expiration date of your IMTA, KITAS and Civil Registration documents.

New work permit regulations in Indonesia

In October 2015, the Indonesian government issued an update to its Work Permit Regulation. What are the changes brought by the newer regulation?

To make it easier to track the changes, we will write down in this section the conditions laid out by the older Working Permit Regulation. Details that are obsolete are written in strikethrough — updates according to the newer regulation are then added below.

1. A more relaxed local-to-foreigner hiring ratio

In order for a company to hire a foreign worker, it needs to hire at least 10 Indonesian citizens. Commissioners and directors are excluded from this ratio.

The newer regulation amended this clause. As of current, only 1 Indonesian co-worker should be appointed for every foreign worker hired by the company. The co-worker position should of course be related to the foreigner’s title.

If your position is either a director, commissioner, anggota pembina yayasan, anggota pengurus yayasan, or anggota pengawas yayasan, your company does not have to appoint an Indonesian co-worker as your partner.

Same goes if you are a foreign artist, or a foreign worker assuming an urgent or temporary position in your company.

2. Non-resident commissioners and directors are no longer required to have a work permit

Despite not staying or residing in Indonesia, a commissioner or director of an Indonesian-based company will need to apply for an IMTA. This means they will also have to pay the annual US$1200 DPKK fee like expats in Indonesia

This clause is now removed. Non-resident commissioners and directors are no longer required to obtain an IMTA to conduct their business in Indonesia.

3. Companies hiring foreign experts are now required to pass an interview at the Ministry of Manpower

All companies hiring foreign experts are now required to pass an interview at the Ministry of Manpower to get the RPTKA issued. This should put an end to the common use of “agents” acting as “ghost employers”.

Be careful with “agents” claiming they can get you a work permit without actually employing you. They are either not aware of the new regulations or merely attempt to rip you off.

You are not required to undertake this interview/expose process if you are a Director or Commissioner at your company.

4. Added limitations for companies in service, trading, and consulting industries

If the companies in these sectors want to hire foreign nationals for managerial roles, Ministry of Manpower will look at their suitability for the job – such as qualifications and work experience.

Since there are no formally required qualifications set by the law, judgments will be made by the official handling your respective case.

Companies in these sectors are also only allowed to hire foreign nationals at advisory roles. Some examples include marketing advisor, quality control advisor, research and development advisor, market research advisor, etc. While these roles are allowed, it is not guaranteed that every application pertaining to these roles will succeed. The Ministry of Manpower should decide whether a foreign expert, rather than her local counterpart, must really assume the position.

You no longer need a temporary work permit to attend meetings and give trainings in Indonesia

Previous Work Permit Regulation (16/2015) stated that for the purpose of attending meetings, giving speeches, trainings, and one-time job assignments, a foreigner is required to have temporary work permit. This is no longer the case. As already stated above, you may now conduct these activities in Indonesia under a business visa. In the newer regulation, this article has been removed.

What will happen if I fail to secure my work permit (IMTA)?

The Indonesian government is serious about implementing the rules on hiring foreign workers. The punishment for a breach of the Working Permit Regulation can be costly and severe. Misusing your residence permit, for example, is a criminal act punishable by up to 5 years in prison.(Immigration Law, Article 122).

To avoid unfortunate circumstances, you should extend your temporary stay and work permits on time. Tardiness will result in these documents losing their validity — you will be asked to re-apply, this time following the new government regulations. Start your extension process at least 2 months before the end of your temporary stay permit card (KITAS) and work permit (IMTA)’s validity term.

Indosight handles dozens of work permits and visas every month. Use our services to ensure your work permit application is done correctly and always up to date.

Click here to get your work permit process started.


Market entry services in Indonesia

Indosight provides legal and payroll services to companies entering and expanding in Indonesia. Get in touch with our consultants regarding our company registration, payroll, compliance or visa services.

The information provided will remain confidential to Indosight and will only be used to schedule and prepare for the meeting.

49 thoughts on “New Work Permit Regulations in Indonesia

  1. Mangara Sidabutar


    I am HR Lead Indonesia for Orica. I am now having some things to do regarding the work permit in Indonesia. I need to discuss it further with you, and seek the info whether you are the right one to help us.

    Please let me know how we can have a chat further.


  2. Tom Jarvis

    Thanks for this article, very clear and useful advice. We will be sharing with our clients, most of whom work in Bali. Also reminds me to start my renewal process on time!

    • Indosight

      Yes you can. However the duration of the work permit might be different – in your example Quality control manager would be considered as an expert and would receive work permit for only 6 months instead of a year.

  3. Stephen Hartley

    Can a foreign shareholder of a pt pma company be a normal employee of that company; rather than a director ( I.E General Manager or Quality Control Adviser for example)

  4. John Fenton

    Good article; you ought to provide a post to facebook link so we can post it there. There is an active FB group of expats who would benefit from this article.

    • marlissa

      Hi Fenton,

      Sure that is not a problem, you can copy our link or let us know which group should be benefited from this post and we can contact the admin 🙂

  5. Mrs Shalu

    Do you provide compay registration services as well, TDP, IUT, SIUP, Genpensi, and Inkindo licenses.
    If yes, then please send us the quotation and time line to setup a local (51%) PT company with 49% foreign share holding. Alos let us know what is the maximum foreign share holding allowed for:
    1. Project managment consulting for Power sector including solar and conventional power segments
    2. Project managment consulting for petrochemicals and refineries
    3. Project managment consulting for upstream oil & gas services.
    Note that Project managment also includes little bit of enginering as well.

    • marlissa

      Thanks Mrs Shalu,

      I have sent you an email for further assistant.

    • marlissa

      Hi Raj,

      A SKYPE interview is part of the verification process before MOM issueing the RPTKA.

      The interview is not required for Foreign Director and Foreign Commissioner tittle.
      However, for all other tittles are required.

      I have sent you email for further information.

  6. Thomas

    The KITAS process takes approximately 6 weeks. Before applying for a work permit, I want to see if the new recruit is really suitable for the job. In the past we could use a B 457 which was valid for 60 days, allowed work, so we could test the new employee and had time with the extension to apply for KITAS. How does it now work?

    • marlissa

      Thanks for your comment Thomas!
      I have sent you an email of the visa choice during foreign workers probation time.


  7. Florence

    Dear Marlissa,
    Thanks for the update on the new regulations since Oct, very useful as it’s getting confusing for everyone…
    I would like to know if you are aware about the Skype process for the pre-IMTA? Is this step mandatory? Any other way to apply?
    Thanks a lot

    • marlissa

      Dear Florence,

      Our pleasure!

      A SKYPE interview is part of the verification process before MOM issueing the RPTKA.

      The interview is not required for Foreign Director and Foreign Commissioner tittle.
      However, for all other tittles are required.

      I have sent you email for further information.

  8. Tony Ward

    I am a foreign national with an Indonesian spouse living in Indonesia. We have been married for 9 years and I have just received a spouse kitas and merp valid for 12 months. From previous work in Indonesia I also have an NPWP and bank account. I would like to convert my kitas to kitap to enable me to work in Indonesia as a consultant. My spouse (wife) has a PT company who would contract out my services within Indonesia. Can I convert the kitas to kitap immediately?

    • marlissa

      Hi Tony!

      You are eligible for a KITAP if you already have a spouse’s sponsored KITAS as long as you have been married for more than 2 years.

      I have sent you more details to your email. Hope it helps!

  9. Chong

    Hi, is there any compensation that employers has to pay
    in employing an expat ?

    • marlissa

      Hi Chong,

      I have sent you an email for further information, hope it helps!

  10. Danny Haw

    If a foreign set up a coffee shop in indonesia. What is the procedure for registration of business and how to pay tax?

    Please advise. Thank you.

    • marlissa

      Hi Danny,

      I sent you an email for further assistance on this.


  11. Sukhramsingh

    I want apply for kitash visa. So what should i do . Can i meet u in u r office

    • marlissa

      Sure Sukhram!

      Will be happy too, I sent you an email for confirming the meeting time 🙂

  12. Jon

    I have been asked to provide insurance for my application, is this medical insurance from indonesia?

    What is it requesting?

    • marlissa

      Hi Jon,

      It can be either Medical or Life insurance, if this is your first working permit application, you can use insurance from any private companies (either abroad or from Indonesia).

      If you need our assistance to proceed your application, let us know!

  13. Jan

    Can one Work Permit Cover all the area in Indonesia ? It is just a application Fees?

    • marlissa


      The location for works should be appeared in your working permit/IMTA.
      If it is mentioned only 1 city, you are allowed only to work in the mentioned city.

      Hope this helps!

    • marlissa

      Hi Jan,

      I sent you an email 🙂

  14. Vaidheeswaran Kannan

    We are an Indian company into Auto parts production.We are working with an Indonesian Partner to whom we have supplied machines Free of Cost.We plan to support our Indonesian partner with a resident engineer in Indonesia for a period of 6 months to 1 year.Also, this resident engineer will be rotated every 2 months from India.We are not a PT PMA company or have a representative office in Indonesia.Can we station our resident engineer on Business Visa(Single entry for 60 days ) or should we get Work permit ? The Resident Engineer will not be paid by the Indonesian partner, but he will paid salary for him in India.In Indonesia, he will be paid a daily allowance for his stay, food, travel etc.

    • marlissa

      Hi Valdheeswaran,

      I sent you an email for further information!

  15. Rana


    I want to know how many days it takes for approval of telax visa. I am waiting for more than one month still not received telax visa. Need advice what should I do now?


    • marlissa

      Hi Rana!
      After you have obtained an IMTA/Working permit, your telex will be issued max 5 working days after submission.

      If you need assistance in speeding up the process, let us know! We’ll be happy to help.

  16. Resat

    dear Marlissa,
    we have a legal human resource company with licence, working in hotel and spa business mainly. our offices are in Dubai, Mumbai, USA, Turkey, Russia, Kirghistan
    i decided to make a KKPA in Jakarta after inspecting your info.
    Now my problem is how to get KITAS. because i do not want go to my home country every time to get Indonesia visa, since i will be in different countries due to my business. i am Turkish citizen.

    and what will be the monthly expenses including staff, official office rent, taxes, and may be another..

    thank you for your prompt reply

    • marlissa

      Hi Resat,

      I have sent you an email for further information.


  17. kay

    Dear Marlissa,

    Our foreign partners would like to open some businesses here but we really dont know what to do as far as the regulation and perhaps you could give advise on the most efficient way as afterall they have local parners here.
    1. How is the regulation in buying property or lease them here for foreign investors?
    2. Wed like to do some small businesses in many different types, what are the requirement to build CV and PT with foreign investors? (including the options)I think we need to get TDP, NPWP ..?

    If you do this service how much would be your quote of course

    Thanks so much..appreciate your help

    • marlissa

      Hi Kay,

      Thanks for your comment!
      I sent you email for further information.

  18. Wayne Groeneveld

    I am planning on starting a salon business in Bali and wanted some clarification around the requirements for permits. It will be a registered business and I will be a Director. Although i won’t be living in Bali full time I do intended to spend approximately 3 weeks there every 2-3 months to ensure it runs smoothly. I will not be an employee or draw a wage/salary, will have a dedicated Balinese manager and employ a further 6 local staff. Do I need either/both an IMTA and KITAS to undertake what I have planned.

    • marlissa

      Hi Wayne,

      Just emailed you regarding your inquiry.

  19. Sudheesh

    Hi ,
    I would like to ask you on Rep office . We are planning to open a rep office in jakarta . One agent told me as per new regulation i can open only KP3A is it right ?
    Also is there any regulation for expiry of rep office registration ?

    • marlissa

      Hi Sudheesh,

      I have sent you email for further information!

  20. Ben


    From my understand I am now eligible to apply for KITAP as i have been married with my wife for longer than 2 years. I would like to know, besides having a 5 year visa instead of having a 1 year visa, what other benefits does it have? Also, i have been told that it is not possible for Expats to be Directors or General Mangers of PT companies only PMA companies, is this true? If it is, i think more than half of the Expats in Indonesia are breaking the law. Sounds incorrect to me!

    • marlissa

      Hi Ben,

      You are eligible for a KITAP right away shall your marriage is more than 2 years.
      KITAP is a very hassle free as you do not need to register to immigration every year and after holding 5 years KITAP, you are eligible for the permanent one (means that the stay permit for indefinite time – almost like being an Indonesian citizen!)

      Foreigners can be Diretor of both 100% domestic owned Company (local PT) with at least Medium Size or Foreign owned company (PT PMA).
      The Job tittle which is restricted for foreigner is as Commissioner of the Company (Manpower regulation no. 16 year 2015 jo 35 Year 2015) and furthermore other positions may be prohibited as regulated by Ministry of Manpower decree.

      For more details, feel free to contact me at marlissa at indosight dot com !

  21. cheryll


    Im cheryll id just to ask if your working here in indonesia you need a kitas and also imta?You must have these two to work legally in indonesia ?which come first will be issued the kitas and then after imta will follow?
    thank you!

    • marlissa

      Hi Cheryll,

      To work legally in Indonesia, you would need to have an IMTA.
      While accompanying IMTA, is a KITAS (Stay permit) – you would only need the KITAS if you plan to reside in Indonesia.

      E.g many of the foreign workers work in Oil and Gas company for a temporary period (1 or 2 month), they do not use a KITAS, but a transit visa – however they do have IMTA(s).

      Hope this explains!
      I sent you an email for further information.

  22. Komal

    Hi Marlissa,

    Hope you are very well.

    I am an HR practitioner/professional with over 9 years of experience in multinational companies. Following my husband’s move as a result of finding a job in Jakarta, i am moving with him. In the article above, i read HR jobs come with a regulation. What i really wanted to ask was to see if still i can pursue my career in HR in Jakarta as i just don’t intend to waste the experience i gave gained over so many years just like that so much so that currently I am working as Corporate Lead – Comp & Ben, Pakistan and Middle East. Is there any option for me in Consultancy etc that i can pursue in Human Resource, HR there.

    I would really appreciate your help!


    • marlissa

      Hi Komal!

      As regulated by Regulation regarding Manpower, foreigners are not allow to hold a position in an HR-Related field in a Company.
      However, as a solution you can open a Representative office (which e.g can represent your own HR consulting company) which allowing you to be the Chief Representative Office and get a working permit from the Rep Office.

      I have sent you more details on the RO to your email.


  23. Nena

    Hi there

    Is having a KITAS the pre-requirement to applying for a KITAP despite been married to an Indonesian citizen for over 2 years? Or can one apply for KITAP immediately once the length of marriage is met. ?

    Also does a KITAP have a work permit attached to it to allow you to be self sufficient in obtaining work?

    Thank you!

  24. EMMA

    please am 24 years but someone told me I can’t go indo for business visa. is there any rule to this at all?

    • Angeline Taniwan

      Dear Emma,

      If i may know, what passport are you holding now?
      It is all depending on which passport you hold. For example, some countries like North Korea and Pakistan are on the list of ‘under consideration’ upon entering Indonesia.

      As for the business visa itself, below are the specific rules and regulations that apply to the two types of Indonesian business visas available in our country :

      Single Entry Business Visa
      Maximum length of stay is 60 days with any extensions can be applied for and obtained in Indonesia from the Immigration Authorities.

      Multiple Entry Business Visa
      This visa is valid for up to 12 months, and is issued upon authorization of the Immigration Office in Indonesia.

      If you need help with your business visa application or want to know more about obtaining a business visa in Indonesia, please drop us an email.

      Angeline Taniwan

  25. Julie


    Can you please explain exactly what a director and commissioner can do on a Kitas for Pt PMA. ( Fully foreign owned) I don’t seem to be able to find any written information and no one I have spoken to really seems to know. Eg If I am the foreign director (living mostly in Indonesia) of a small bar/restaurant can I do a stock take, can I train kitchen staff in a new recipe, can I clear a table etc. prior to PMA I had a Finance manager Kitas, my partner had a marketing manager Kitas (6 months) Can I for example do the accounts. Very difficult to get this information. Thank you

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