KITAS – Getting a Working Permit for Indonesia

You’ve probably done a fair amount of research on how to get a working permit for yourself or for a future employee in Indonesia by now. Our video introduces the application process for anyone starting work for a company in Indonesia.

Using a service like this will surely make life easier and to make the process clearer to you, this article explains how to go about getting KITAS for businesses.

Approval for hiring foreign citizens

For a company to be able to hire foreign citizens, it needs to get a license to do so. Foreigner manpower utilization plan (1) is therefore where any company needs to start and is the first point on the table below. Owners of foreign limited liability companies (PT PMA) are eligible for KITAS and follow the same procedure as expat workers.

After approval for the plan, a recommendation letter (2) has to be presented to the same authority – the Ministry of Manpower. Here you state the reason why you have to bring in foreign manpower and what efforts you have made to find employees from the local workforce. Be convincing!

Getting to Indonesia

To enter the country and be able to proceed with the rest of the procedures you need a semi-permanent visa (3). This will be sent to an Indonesian embassy of choice for pickup. The applicant can now travel to Indonesia and proceed with the rest of the documents. However, keep in mind that the visa has an expiration date of two months since being issued. No visa – no entry.

PS. Even if you are already in Indonesia the semi-permanent visa has to be applied for and picked up abroad. So yes, as annoying as it sounds you have to leave the country to pick up your visa.

In Indonesia

When the applicant comes to Indonesia, KITAS (4) as well as the Blue Book (5) can be applied for. After which it is possible (after getting such a permit) to again travel outside the country. Doing it beforehand will again mean restarting the application process.

Indonesia official
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With the next two steps, the sponsor company or service has to register and get a certificate (6 and 7) for the employee’s presence in Indonesia. This is done at the local police office.

Now the local ID card called KIP (8) can be attained followed by the Certificate of Residence Registration (9). These are for local identification and proving that the location you declared to be living at is really your address.

With the last two steps a person gets the right to legally work in the country. IMTA (10) and expatriate report to manpower (11) are documents declaring your place of work, the period you can work there and, again, that you are really in Indonesia.

KITAS checklist

This is the list of the documents that you need in order to obtain KITAS:

KITAS checklist

You will most likely be able to launch a successful application on your own but even after spending a lot of time with the procedures rejection is a far more likely if you go at it alone. Get someone who has already gone through the process to help you out or use professional services.

Indosight can help you with all of this. From going through your applications virtually guaranteeing success 99% of the time (1% is the ‘Indonesian’ factor) to doing all the legwork to the various government departments. Write to us about your situation for feedback and help.

KITAS important

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Important to remember

As you can see, filing the documentation needed for getting KITAS is somewhat of a long process and overall can take around a month. While filling out the forms keep in mind that you have to view it from the official’s point of view.

You have to be careful with what you put down as your job title for example. As laws in Indonesia try to make foreign companies hire locals for as many jobs as possible you cannot be simply a ’sales manager’. A job title like that will likely result in the rejection of your KITAS application.


Firstly, in order to even apply for a KITAS visa to Indonesia, your need to check your passport. It must be valid for:

  • 12 months to apply for a 6 months KITAS
  • 18 months for a 12 months KITAS
  • 30 months for a 24 months KITAS

We recommend that you get separate passports for your kids if you have any. They can travel with your passport if they are listed in it, but it will avoid any problems if they have to travel separately.

Also, it has proven to be a good idea to get the maximum extension for your passport before you leave your country. It can be a huge hassle to the sponsor company to go through the entire process again if the passport expires too soon.


There are not many how-to articles we can conclude by saying that the described process is a simple one. KITAS is no different from a lot of others. There are numerous deadlines and conditions to fulfill and going through the application procedure by yourself can throw you back a few steps.


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.

7 thoughts on “KITAS – Getting a Working Permit for Indonesia

  1. Anonymous

    This is an informative video. I think there is one piece of info however, that’s not correct. Permanent residency is only available to those foreigners who are directors of a PMA, not just any person who has a KITAS.

    • Aivar Hiio

      Thanks for the feedback!
      Glad you found the video useful.
      You are correct that not just anyone can get permanent residence but you do not need to be a director. It just has to be a senior level job.
      We have made sure that this information is up on Youtube and on the application page page for KITAS. Just to be sure we will put the information in subtitles of the video, too.
      Thanks again!

      • Anonymous

        Oh, thanks for that clarification. So, what is defined as senior level? Do you have to be a shareholder or a komisaris?

        • Aivar Hiio

          We just did some fact checking. Senior level means that you are either a commissioner (komisaris) or a director and the person has to be on the deed of the company.
          Hope this helps!

          • GregBenson

            My experience suggests that you do not need to be a director, commissioner or shareholder to obtain a kitas. Whilst it’s easier to obtain a kitas as a PT PMA board member, you can obtain a kitas in a “technical” role, it’s just more difficult to do in that your company needs to do a little more convincing with its manpower plan and the approving ministry body.

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