How To Get a Stay Permit In Indonesia – Indonesia is a potential market for foreigners to develop their career or to start a new chapter of their lives in this amazing tropical-sunny country.  Currently, many foreign companies are establishing their businesses or expanding their investments in Indonesia. Based on Indonesia’s company and investment law, foreign direct investment requires such company to establish their own company physically within Indonesia’s jurisdiction or performing a joint venture as a part of risk management.

Either way, there are plenty potential positions available for foreigners to apply in. Foreigners may also apply to locally-owned companies. The ability to communicate in English in a business context is a big plus in Indonesia. However, if you can speak in other languages too, you will gain a better position in a well-established business entity. And do not forget to ensure that you will also learn the Indonesian language. In case, someday you lost somewhere and found no one that able to understand what the meaning of ‘left’ or ‘right’ is in English, and you will find the way.

In all the civilized countries, the existence of law has become the most important matter to ensure not only justice but also the stability of the country itself. Such view is also applied in business as the core of every countries economy. Employment matters have always been one of the most interesting issue happens in every day of our modern life. As the world’s technology in transportation and communication experiencing a rapid upturn, the business extending itself into a global market. Your plan on establishing yourself in such global market for a better chance, a better career by finding for yourself a better position in Indonesia is already a smart and excellent start!

Our firm, Elson, will provide you with general perspectives and knowledge of how the process of hiring or employing a foreign worker is.

First, you should ensure that you have all of the legal documents needed to apply by a company in Indonesia. Such documents are including your passport and other identification available, academic certificates or other documents requested by the company you are applying to. The documents aforementioned are required for the company in registring you as a foreign worker to the Ministry of Manpower of Republic of Indonesia. This will be the initial step before you can apply for a KITAS or a Limited Stay Permit.

There are several regulations which regulate any business establishment in Indonesia’s territory in employing a foreign worker. The most important governmental legal products regulating such matters are Indonesia’s employment law and the immigration law. The understanding of such regulations is crucial and extremely important for you to avoid any violation or friction and to protect yourself from any plausible legal conflicts in the future.

So, make sure that you understood the process and be able to provide all things required to complete the process. As a worker, you also required a Limited Stay Permit which is commonly called as KITAS, beside your working permit.

How Long It Will Take and The Procedure to Get Your KITAS



The procedure of applying for a Limited Stay Permit or KITAS are as follows:

  1. Application in obtaining a Limited Stay Permit or KITAS required to be submitted directly by the foreigner or his/her guarantor to the immigration office that possesses the authority in such jurisdiction where the foreigner domiciled in Indonesia.
  1. For a foreign worker whom the sole purpose is to work in Indonesia as an expert, the application requires to be submitted by filling an application, and you also need to enclose several requirements, such as:
  2. Letter of guarantee, signed by a guarantor;
  3. Passport, valid within 18 months;
  4. Letter of domicile; and
  5. Letter of Recommendation from an institution and/or from related governmental office (if needed).
  6. The application required to be submitted within a period of maximum 30 (thirty) days since the arrival date and have a sign stamp in passport from immigration office in the airport. Please be noticed, once you do not process the application in such period or exceed, you will be fined in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.
  7. Then, the Immigration office will examine all the requirements.
  8. Once the examination of the requirements stated completely fulfilled, and the photograph has been taken, the Immigration office will issue the Limited Stay Permit or KITAS within 4 (four) working days.

Limited Stay Permit or KITAS will be valid for the maximum period of 1 (one) year and can be extended. Such extension aforementioned also has the maximum validity, which is 1 (one) year period, with a provision that the total Limited Stay Permit or KITAS is no more than 6 (six) years.

The article is giving you the first glimpse through the authority of the ministerial office of Indonesia to process your application for a Limited Stay Permit or KITAS. It also explains the criteria of the applicant and the duration of stay. But, you need to understand that besides all the legal facts which has been well presented by the article, the process itself is a little more complicated than that.

Employer’s Obligations and Requirements Related to KITAS



Indonesia Manpower Law Number 13 of 2003, Chapter VIII – Provision on Employing a Foreign Worker, Article 42, explains:

(1)       Any employer of a foreign worker is required to possess written license from the Minister or appointed official.

(2)       An individual employer (non-business establishment) is prohibited to employ a foreign worker.

(3)       The obligation to possess such license aforementioned in paragraph (1), shall not apply foreign government’s representative office employing foreign workers as a diplomatic officer and consular.

(4)       A foreign worker can be employed only in Indonesia within a certain period and position.

(5)       The provisions regarding such period and position aforementioned in paragraph (4) shall be stipulated by a ministerial decree.

(6)       The foreign worker, aforementioned in paragraph (4), having their working period expiring and can not be extended can be replaced by another foreign worker.

Moreover, Article 43 of the same regulation, explains:

(1)       An Employer of a foreign worker is required to possess a proposition of employment of foreign worker legalized by the minister or appointed official.

(2)       Such proposition of employment of foreign worker aforementioned in paragraph (1) should at least containing information of:

  1. The reasoning for employing a foreign worker;
  2. Job title and/or position entitled to the foreign worker in the company’s organizational structure;
  3. Duration of employment;
  4. The appointed Indonesian worker as an assistant for the employed foreign worker.

(3)       The provision in paragraph (1) is not applicable to any governmental institutions, international organizations or foreign government’s representative offices.

(4)       The provision regarding legalization procedure for a proposition of employment of foreign worker will be regulated by a ministerial decree.

Through this article, we can understand that a business entity established under Indonesian law are allowed to employ a foreign worker only when they can provide a good reasoning, a certain position and a specific duration of employment. An Indonesian assistant required by the statute is another unique point of the employment law. The article also explains how an exemption does exist under certain circumstances.

Article 44 of the Manpower Law, explains:

(1)       The employer of a foreign worker is obligated to obey the existing provision regarding job title and standard competency.

(2)       Such provision aforementioned in paragraph (1) will be regulated by a ministerial decree.

Article 45, explains:

(1)       The employer of a foreign worker is required to:

  1. Appoint an Indonesian working as an assistant for the foreign worker for transfer of technology and skills from such foreign worker aforementioned; and
  2. Performing a job training and education for Indonesian worker, as it is aforementioned in the letter a, paragraph (1), based on the job title of such foreign worker.

(2)       The provision, aforementioned in paragraph (1) is not applicable for a foreign worker whom job title is a Director and/or a Commissioner.

Article 45 is an affirmation of the privilege of being The Leader of the Company.


Article 46, explains:

(1)       A Foreign worker cannot be allowed to occupy a position in human resources and/or certain position within the company.

(2)       Such certain position aforementioned in paragraph (1) will be regulated by a ministerial decree.

This part of the law is one limitation that strictly applied in any business sector in Indonesia. If you are a skilled human resources officer, we are sorry to inform you that it is not possible for you to stand on the top ladder, or any ladder with a sign ‘human resources department’.

Article 47, explains:

(1)       The employer is obligated to provide compensation for any foreign worker it employs.

(2)       The obligation to provide compensation aforementioned in paragraph (1) is not applicable to governmental institutions, foreign government’s representative offices, international organizations, social institutions, religious institutions, and certain positions in educational institutions.

(3)       The provision regarding certain positions in educational institutions aforementioned in paragraph (2) will be regulated by a ministerial decree.

(4)       The provision regarding the scale of compensation and its application will be regulated by the government’s regulation.

Article 48, explains:

The employer of a foreign worker is obligated to return the foreign worker to their origin country after the working relation expire.

Article 49, explains:

The provision regarding the employment of foreign worker and the implementation of education and job training for the assisting worker will be regulated by Presidential Decree.

Those are the legal basis of Indonesia Manpower Law. The articles are specifically addressed to any company that is planning on employing foreigners. It is also important to be understood by any foreigners that are planning to except any position offered by a company in Indonesia.

 Your company is considered by the law, not only as an employer but also as your guarantor and will be responsible personally for your well-being during your employment period. Its position as a guarantor is related to one of the requirements for applying for a Limited Stay Permit or KITAS, which is a letter of guarantee from a guarantor.

From a Visit Permit to a Limited Stay Permit (KITAS)


Is it possible?? Well, yes, it is!

Government Regulation Number 31 of 2013 concerning Regulation of the Implementation of Law Number 6 of 2011 concerning the Immigration explains that a change of status from a visit permit to a limited stay permit or KITAS is possible, under circumstances on which the applicant of KITAS are:

  1. Investing a certain amount of capital;
  2. Working as an expert;
  3. Working as a religious worker;
  4. Attending an education or training;
  5. Conducting scientific research;
  6. Reuniting with an Indonesian spouse;
  7. Reuniting with spouse holding a Limited Stay Permit or Permanent Stay Permit;
  8. Reuniting with Indonesian parents for foreign children who relates as families to Indonesian parents
  9. Reuniting with parents holding a Limited Stay Permit or Permanent Stay Permit for a child under the age of 18 years old and has not been married;
  10. Based on such consideration towards the public decency and/or the reason of humanity on the discretion the General Director of Immigration;
  11. Regaining his/hers Indonesia’s Citizenship under the Indonesian law;
  12. Foreign elderly tourist.

The fact that you need to understand is that even if the possibility to change the status of you visit permit to limited stay permit or KITAS do exist, it does not mean that all of the criteria explained above has the same legal consequences.

If you are applying for a change of status to reunite with a spouse or parents, then you need to understand that the Limited Stay Permit or KITAS you will obtain is not a working KITAS. So, under such circumstances, you are not allowed to perform any activities in any business establishments that generate income during your stay in Indonesia.

Permanent Stay Permit or KITAP

Indonesia’s Law and Human Rights Ministerial Regulation No.43 of 2015 (The change of status from Limited Visit Permit Status to Limited Stay Permit and change of status from Limited Stay Permit to Permanent Stay Permit) explains that the proposal for such change of status from Limited Stay Permit to Permanent Stay Permit requires the applicant/foreign worker to fill in an application and enclosing several documents required, such as:

  1. Letter of reference of the applicant’s domicile, issued by the Citizen Documentation Service;
  2. Valid Passport;
  3. Limited Stay Permit or KITAS;
  4. Letter of guarantee signed by a guarantor;
  5. Guarantor’s identification card and family card;
  6. Guarantor’s Limited Stay Permit or KITAS, or Permanent Stay Permit or KITAP, in case that guarantor is a person with a foreign nationality;
  7. Letter of Recommendation from an institution and/or from related governmental office.
  8. The statement of integration, except for a child under 18 years old and has not been married; and
  9. The letter of general power of attorney with the adequate stamp, under the circumstances that an attorney will submit the proposal


In addition to such aforementioned requirements, the foreign worker is also required to enclose: 

  1. Foreign Worker Employing Permit from the governmental institution which authorized in employment matters.
  2. Limited Stay Permit or KITAS which shows that the person proposing for a Permanent Stay Permit has been living successively for more than three years within Indonesia’s territory; and
  3. The applicant’s position within a company as the highest ranked management or a chief representative of a foreign company operating within Indonesia’s territory.

Those are the legal standings on foreign worker employment procedures and requirements from the perspectives of Indonesia’s manpower and immigration law. They are not simple matters to understand and to perform because of to be able to complete all the procedures to obtain your KITAS successfully; you need to understand the legal and administrative system and culture in Indonesia. But, this is exactly what Elson stands for!

Elson‘s existence is mainly to help foreigners to get a better understanding of Indonesian law and regulation. We will provide you with the best legal service and assist you in solving your legal matters regarding your employment plans or your plans for employing a foreign worker. We will present you the answer to your questions in the most detailed form, but also understandable.

Our firm, Elson, is consists of well experienced, well educated, and outstanding legal professionals who committed to providing the best legal services for our clients. We are trustworthy and proficient. We are here to clear your way out of any obstacles that might exist, in any size, in any amount of them.

If a prominent Indonesian Legal Firm is your choice in supporting your carrier, expanding your investments or business establishment with an effective cost, please contact us, Elson, at our corporate email: or on our landline:  +62822 1000 9872