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If you're planning to actually move to the archipelago nation as a temporary resident, you will require a visa that is specific to your activities while in the country.

No matter what your mode of transport for entering Indonesia, you will need a visa that enables you to officially stay in the country for longer than the 60-day period that a Visit Visa allows.

Different categories of the Limited Stay Visa, otherwise known as a Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas (KITAS), are available for different types of travellers. A KITAS is valid for up two years at the cost of US$180 and can be extended for up to two years at a time to allow for a maximum stay of six years. This type of visa is suitable for foreigners who plan to stay in Indonesia for purposes such as work, investment, research, study, family reunification, or expatriation; and you can apply for this type of visa at your nearest Indonesian embassy or consulate. Alternatively, a guarantor based in Indonesia can apply to the Directorate General of Immigration in Jakarta on your behalf.

However you choose to proceed, it is advisable first to contact your nearest Indonesian embassy to find out further information about the latest requirements specific to the type of KITAS that you wish to obtain.

Limited Stay Visa for Work

Changes in government regulations have made it more difficult than before for foreigners to work in Indonesia. However, although processes can sometimes be challenging, the good news is that it is still possible. To work legally in Indonesia, you will first need to apply for a work permit (IMTA) and, once this has been approved and issued, the Indonesian immigration authorities will issue your Limited Stay Permit Card (KITAS). The IMTA allows you to work full-time and receive a salary in the country, as opposed to simply making business trips. The punishment for not having a permit can be harsh and can cost up to IDR500 million and five years of imprisonment, so be sure you are aware of all updated legalities and requirements.

Foreign nationals are not permitted to work in specific sectors in Indonesia (such as human resources, supply chain management or quality control) and, if you are allowed to work in the country, the duration of the work permit may vary depending on your industry.

To be eligible for a work permit, you will need to have appropriate qualifications and/or five years of work experience in a relevant role.

You will potentially be required to submit the following documents:

  • A completed application
  • A letter from a guarantor
  • A document approving your company’s proposal to use foreign manpower — issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your recent bank statements
  • Recent passport photos
  • Your CV and reference letters
  • Proof of comprehensive health and life insurance for your stay

For you to obtain a work permit, the company that is hiring you will need to submit documents, such as their tax number, business registration certificate, organisational structure, and your letter of appointment. All companies hiring foreign experts are also required to pass an interview at the Ministry of Manpower to obtain the relevant legal documents required for you to apply for a work permit.

Limited Stay Visa for Education

If you are planning to pursue a degree at one of the higher education institutions in Indonesia, then it is best to start the application process for your visa as soon as you receive your acceptance letter and can submit the following documents:

  • A copy of your passport that is valid for at least six months after the end of your course
  • A completed application
  • Recent passport photos
  • A copy of your return/onward airline tickets
  • The official acceptance letter from your host university, confirming the duration and nature of the course.
  • A letter addressed to your nearest Indonesian embassy, which has been written by your host university in Indonesia and confirms your need for a visa.
  • Receipts to show that all fees have been settled in advance. If you have received a scholarship or award, you will need to submit a confirmation letter of this.
  • A copy of your recent bank statements to show you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses.
  • A recommendation letter from the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Limited Stay Visa for Research

Foreign researchers are welcome to carry out research in Indonesia, so long as they obtain an official permit from the Indonesian authorities in advance.

If you plan to conduct research in the country, you can apply and upload all documents via the Indonesia Ministry of Research and Technology's online portal. After your application for a Foreign Research Permit (TKPIPA) has been reviewed and approved, you can collect your visa at your nearest Indonesian embassy. You can then travel to Indonesia, and the official permit will be issued to you once you have reported to the Secretariat of Foreign Research Permits in Jakarta after your arrival.

You should prepare to submit the following documents:

  • A copy of your passport that is valid for at least six months after the date of when you will complete your research in Indonesia.
  • A formal letter of request to do research in Indonesia, a copy of which should be addressed to the Indonesian embassy or consulate from which you plan to collect the visa before you travel.
  • A detailed copy of your research proposal, which should include your objectives, field research locations and methodology.
  • A copy of your CV, including a list of publications.
  • Three letters of recommendation — one from a senior researcher in your field, another from an academic official, and another from an Indonesian representative.
  • Letter(s) of acceptance from the relevant Indonesian academic institution and/or research centre.
  • A copy of your recent bank statements to prove you have sufficient funds to cover living expenses and any fees in Indonesia.
  • A medical certificate to prove you are in good physical and mental health.
  • Recent passport photographs.
  • A list of the equipment you plan to bring to Indonesia, with the value of the equipment stated in US dollars.

 Useful links:

Directorate General of Immigration
Foreign Research Permit – Online Application

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.