Visa Requirements And Immigration Policies in Indonesia

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We are explaining the visa requirements in Indonesia, the grounds for obtaining a temporary residence permit and the list of required documents, as well as the conditions for extending the status. Please read the useful information for those who want to become legalized in Indonesia.

Foreigners in Indonesia

The largest island nation in the world - Indonesia - is located in Southeast Asia and is washed by the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. The country officially includes 17,804 islands, and about 6 thousand of them are inhabited. The largest of them are New Guinea, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sumatra, Sulawesi (Celebes) and Java, where the capital-city Jakarta is located.

The country border on Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. It is a member of the WTO, ASEAN and APEC.

In the end of 2021 the Indonesian economy was on the 15-th place in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and ranked 122-nd in terms of GDP per capita.

The economy of the country is mostly based on oil production and refining and services, and to a lesser extent on industry and agriculture.

Income from vacationers supports no more than 7% of the local economy. The largest number of tourists was recorded in 2019 - 16.11 million. The figures only decreased later on due to the pandemic and the worldwide restrictions.

The population, according to the official results of the 2020 census, is 270.2 million people. About 0.1% of the total population are immigrants - 355.5 thousand people.

These are mainly citizens of East and Southeast Asia, in particular China, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

Visa Requirements in Indonesia

Free Short Visit

The visa exemption allows the citizens of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan visiting Indonesia for tourism purposes and arriving at one of the major airports or seaports to access Indonesia without a visa. The main condition is that the duration of the trip should not exceed 30 days.

Please note!

The free stamp on arrival can only be provided at the airports of Jakarta (Soekarno-Hatta International Airport), Medan (Kualanamu International Airport), Surabaya (Juanda International Airport), Batam (Hang Nadim International Airport ) and Bali (Denpasar International Airport), and also at the seaports of Sri Bintan, Sekupang Port, Batam Center Point - International Ferry Terminal and Tanjung Uban port.

To pass the passport control you need to provide:

  • international passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Indonesia,
  • return ticket or tickets to a third country,
  • hotel booking/reservation,
  • proof of the available funds to stay in the country.

It is impossible to extend this type of visa free stay in the country, as well as to convert your stamp into a different type of visa. If necessary, you may leave Indonesia for a couple of days to one of the neighboring states and return through one of the designated airports and seaports in Indonesia, and thus receive 30 visa-free days once again.

The holder of this type of visa is not allowed to be engaged in any commercial or voluntary activities in the country.

Based on the Presidential Decree of the Republic of Indonesia No. 21/2016, citizens of 169 countries and territories do not require visa to enter Indonesia. Please view the full list here.

Visa Upon Arrival

If the intended period of stay is more than 30 days - one to two months, you need to get a visa on arrival. 

To obtain a visa, you should provide the following documents:

  • international passport with two blank pages and a validity period of more than six months;
  • return travel ticket (paid or booked).
  • It is also advisable to provide medical insurance with the coverage amount of at least $25,000, a completed migration card, and a hotel reservation confirmation.

The cost of the visa is $35 (for children under nine years old – free of charge). The payment is made directly at the counter. The tourist visa on arrival is issued for a period of 30 days and is renewable once for 30 more days in all immigration offices (Kantor Imigrasi) at the place of your stay in Indonesia.

Single Entry visit visa or Social Culture visa (index 211)

If you plan to spend up to six months in Indonesia, then it is better to apply for a Single Entry visit visa or Social Culture visa.

This is a category of visa that will require a letter of sponsorship.

You may apply for this type of visa if the purpose of the trip is tourism, visit of the relatives, social and cultural events, business meetings, non-commercial participation in international exhibitions, lectures and seminars, etc.

It should be issued in advance at an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia in your home-country.

The required documents:

  • Completed visa Application form -  filled in printed Latin letters when visiting the embassy
  • Two colored pasport size photographs 40×60 mm
  • Original passport valid at least for 6 months upon the date of arrival in Indonesia
  • A copy of the international passport - the first page and the page with a stamp on entry into the country in which the visa is issued
  • The proof of round-trip tickets booking
  • Hotel reservation or house rental agreement in Indonesia - if the purpose of the trip is tourism
  • Bank statement confirming the availability of funds (minimum $2,000), as well as a certificate from the employer indicating the amount of the applicant’s monthly salary
  • Letter of Invitation or Letter of Guarantee from a Sponsor - an inviting person or an official company with Indonesian registration - for a private visit

The average application lead time now stands at five days. The cost of the visa is $50.

The visa is issued for 60 days and may be extended four times for 30 days. Visa can be extended only at the place of the sponsor’s residency registration. 

Thus, a foreigner is provided  with a total of 180 days (approximately six months) of stay in Indonesia. Then you need to leave the country and re-enter.

Keep in mind that this type of visa does not allow you to work in Indonesia.

Business Visa (index 212)

This type of visa is issued for business trips to Indonesia. Namely - for negotiating, concluding contracts, searching for partners or suppliers, organizing exports, controlling investment projects, buying land or real estate.

Business visa does not give you the right to act as an employer or employee in Indonesia.

A business visa can be a single entry visa for six months and a multiple-entry visa for one year. Multiple-entry business visa enables you to stay in Indonesia for 12 months, and to leave the country an unlimited number of times during the year period. The only restriction is any single stay in Indonesia must not exceed 60 days, i.e. every 60 days you should leave the country to be able to enter back. No special documents are needed to leave.

You can apply for a business visa only at the Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia in your home-country. The visa fee is $115.

To get business visa you need a letter of invitation from an Indonesian sponsoring company and a special permit  - TELEX.

TELEX has to be requested in advance for a specific Consulate or Embassy of Indonesia and must be approved by the Head Office of Immigration Service of Indonesia in Jakarta.

TELEX has to be requested in advance for a specific Consulate or Embassy of Indonesia and must be approved by the Head Office of Immigration Service of Indonesia in Jakarta.

Visa for Property Owners

The owner of real estate in Indonesia does not receive any visa privileges. The same applies to obtaining a residence permit.

Also read: Indonesia to Issue Five-year Visas to Digital Nomads

A complete list of Indonesian diplomatic missions can be found here.

Residence Permit in Indonesia

Visa and immigration matters are regulated by the Law of The Republic of Indonesia № 6 of 2011 on Immigration

Reasons for obtaining a residence permit

If a foreigner is going to stay in the country for a long period of time, then one cannot do without obtaining a residence permit. Indonesia issues the following types of KITAS long term visas (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas), or "temporary residence permits":

  • Investor KITAS;
  • Work KITAS
  • Student KITAS;
  • Family KITAS;
  • Retirement KITAS

Investor KITAS (index 313/314)

This type of visa is issued to foreigners who invest in a company registered in Indonesia and wish to manage it on the position of CEO. But there are some important requirements.

  • The company should be incorporated as a foreign investment limited liability company (abbreviated as PT PMA) -  а legal entity with foreign capital.
  • The authorized capital should be at least IDR 10 billion (about $690 thousand), and at least 25% of the authorized capital must be paid.
  • The investor, who is a shareholder and director of the company is required to have invested a minimum of IDR 1 billion ($70,000).

An investor who does not hold a position with PMA but owns more than IDR 1.125 billion ($78 thousand) in personal shares is also eligible to apply for investor KITAS.

The residence permit is issued for one (index 313) or two (index 314) years. It all depends on the validity of the applicant's passport. If the passport is valid for a period of at least 32 months, a two-year status will be granted.

At the same time, the investor is free to travel from and to Indonesia for the period of KITAS validity. You can extend your stay on this visa for up to six years. An application to change the status from  temporary residence permit to permanent residence is submitted to the Investment Coordinating Board (Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal, BKPM). The recommendation will be issued within three days after receiving all the necessary documents.

The procedure for processing and issuing investor visas is regulated by the Presidential Decree No. 20/2018 and the Resolution of the  Investment Coordinating Board No. 5/2019.

Work KITAS ( index 312)

If a foreigner plans to work for hire in Indonesia and obtain a residence permit on this basis, then it is necessary to find an official employer, get a working permit and apply for a work visa. And all this should be done before arriving in the country.

KITAS index 312 visa is issued only for a specific employer and for work in a specific position indicated in the application. At the same time, the employer must be really interested in the specialist, since it is the employer who must obtain the approval from the Ministry of Human Resources and a working permit (IMTA) for the foreign employee.

Then the emplouer submits an application for a work visa for a foreigner (VITAS) to the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board. And the board, in turn, sends a letter of recommendation to the Indonesian Immigration Department. Then the applicant is eligible for applying for a visa.

The visa gives the right to enter the country, issue ITAS - a temporary residence permit for a period from six months to one year, depending on what is provided in the employment contract, and then receive a KITAS index 312 card.

After five years, foreigners can apply for a permanent residence permit (Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap, KITAP).

Student KITAS, (index 316)

A student visa is provided for those who study in Indonesia. Foreign students to who are accepted by Indonesian Educational Institutes or have enrolled into an educational program are issued with a Student KITAS (Limited Stay Permit).

Student KITAS requires a recommendation letter from the Ministry of Education of Indonesia.  Based on that recommendation the Approval TELEX is issued by Directorate General of Immigration in Jakarta. Then  the TELEX  is sent  to the Indonesian embassy or consulate in the country of the student’s residence. After that the applicants is eligible to apply for an entry visa - VITAS.

The applicant enters the country with the entry visa and then converts VITAS into ITAS (temporary residence permit) at the local Department of Immigration, issues MERP - multiple entry-exit permit, and receives a KITAS card (temporary residence permit).

The validity of the card is one year. It is extended automatically for the entire period of study.

Family KITAS (index 317/318)    

A Family KITAS visa is issued to foreigners whose spouse is an Indonesian citizen or is officially employed in the country, that is, has a valid work visa - KITAS index 312.

This visa can be obtained by foreigners married to Indonesian citizens or by spouses of  KITAS index 312 visa holders with working permits.

For those who are officially married to an Indonesian citizen, the visa is issued for one year with the possibility of an annual extension of up to five years. In this case, applicants can apply for KITAP (permanent residence permit) after 3 years of holding KITAS visa. 

For spouses of the working KITAS (index312) holders the visa is issues for the same period of validity as the KITAS of the working spouse. The employer acts as the visa sponsor, and the validity of the visa and the number of possible extensions will be the same as for the main holder of the working KITAS.

Please note!

A family KITAS visa does not allow to work in Indonesia.

Retirement KITAS ( index 319)

The Indonesian Retirement Visa is a temporary residence permit for persons aged 55 or older. If one of the spouses has not reached the age of 55, it is possible to apply for a dependent retirement visa for him, if there is an appropriate marriage certificate.

The following requirements apply to the applicant:

  • Proof of sufficient funds to sustain yourself, such as your bank account statements or proof of pension. You must have at least US$ 1,500 per month (a total of US$ 18,000 per year)
  • Active medical insurance for a period of 12 months;
  • Proof of residential property ownership or lease agreement.

The minimum value of the purchased property should be $35,000. If the accommodation is leased, the contract should be concluded for a period of at least a year, and the monthly rental payments should be $200–500, depending on the region of residence. In addition, the applicant should provide a letter of intent to hire a maid, housekeeper or a driver in Indonesia.

To apply for a retirement visa in Indonesia, you must hire an Indonesian retirement/travel agency to act as your sponsor. The agencies which can act as sponsors are appointed by the Tourism Department and the Directorate General of Immigration of Indonesia.

They have to submit the application on your behalf at the Indonesian immigration authorities since you are not allowed to apply yourself.

The visa process takes about a couple of months. The consular fee is $150. You will also need to pay the amount for sending confirmation TELEX from the sponsor and for issuing the permission to re-enter the country (MERP).

The issued by the consulate visa allows entering Indonesia. After that, the entry visa holder needs to contact the nearest immigration office within seven days to apply for a temporary residence permit (KITAS index 319).

The temporary residence permit is issued for 12 months with the possibility of annual extension of up to five years. After this period, foreign pensioners have the right to apply for permanent residence permit. It is valid for five years and can be renewed an unlimited number of times.

Please note!

Retirement KITAS visa (index 319) does not allow its holders to work or be engaged in business activities in Indonesia.

Documents for issuing a residence permit in Indonesia

The required documents are:

  • International passport valid for at least one and a half years from the date of submission of the documents
  • 18 color photos on a red background: 6 photos of sizes 20x30, 30x40 and 40x60 mm respectively
  • Filled questionnaire form and application for a visa permit
  • Insurance policy for 12 months

The list of additional documents depends on the purpose of the visit.

For a work visa - a diploma with a notarized translation into English, a license and statutory documents of the employing company, an invitation to work with description of employment, working conditions, contract duration, and a detailed resume describing work experience in English.

For a student visa - a diploma or certificate of education, copies of an Indonesian university license, a letter of recommendation, an invitation to study, a birth certificate, copies of passports and exit permits from both parents (for applicants under 18 years old).

For a family visa - a marriage certificate translated into English, documents establishing the degree of relationship, an internal passport with notarized copies of all pages translated into English.

For a retirement visa - a certificate of marital status, the results of a medical examination, and a  bank statement confirming financial solvency.

The Procedure for Obtaining a Residence Permit, Permanent Residence and Citizenship

Before obtaining a temporary residence permit (KITAS), it is necessary to apply for a visa that will allow to get a temporary residence permit - Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas (VITAS) and a temporary residence permit itself - Izin Tinggal Terbatas (ITAS).

VITAS is issued at the Indonesian embassy or consulate in the country of residence prior to travel. The visa is usually issued in one and a half or two months. The applicant enters the country with this type of visa. After that ITAS - a temporary residence permit, or residence permit -  is issued at the migration office at the place of residence. It is stamped into the foreigner's passport by the immigration authorities in Indonesia.

A foreigner must also issue a MERP - a multiple entry-exit permit - and receive a KITAS card. KITAS is a kind of identity card that shows that a foreigner has ITAS immigration status (even though it is temporary).

It is possible to apply for KITAS online at the official portal of the Indonesian Immigration General Authority. Once the online application has been submitted, the applicant will still need to visit the immigration office in person to pay the fee and affix the ITAS stamp to the passport.

The last step is to take the certificate of registration (STM) from the local police station, register with the local population office and obtain a temporary resident registration certificate (SKPPS).

Please view the fees for the applicants here.

How to Extend a Residence Permit

Indonesian KITAS is issued for a minimum of three months and a maximum of two years. The KITAS holder should begin to renew the status two months before the expiration date of its validity. The set of documents for renewal is similar to the one needed for obtaining the initial KITAS.

It is possible to apply for permanent residence permit after five years of living in the country under ITAS. In Indonesia, a permanent residence permit is called KITAP (Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap). Foreigners who are married to an Indonesian citizen will be able to apply for KITAP after two years. It is issued for five years with a possibility to renew the status an indefinite number of times.

Indonesian citizenship can be acquired:

  • by birth;
  • by origin;
  • persons married to an Indonesian citizen;
  • by naturalization.

In the latter case, foreigners who meet the following requirements can apply for a passport:

  • age over 21;
  • no criminal record;
  • available sufficient funds for yourself and your family;
  • good physical and mental health;
  • knowledge of the Indonesian language and the history of the country;
  • living in Indonesia for five years without leaving it, or ten years if you had to leave.

Please note!

The applicant should give up the first passport. The country does not allow dual citizenship.

Assistance in Obtaining a Residence Permit

The process of immigration to Indonesia is very complicated from the legal point of view: it requires the collection of a large number of documents, the search for a sponsor, the issuance of permits, etc. Therefore, we advise you to turn to professionals who will assess your chances of obtaining a residence permit, suggest the best options and accompany you at all stages.

What are the reasons for refusal to grant a residence permit

The application may be rejected if the foreigner:

  • has submitted forgery documents or has provided false information about himself;
  • does not meet immigration requirements, or has not  paid the  fees;
  • has a criminal record and other problems with the law;
  • is suspected of involvement in high treason against the Indonesian government or political activities that can harm the country;
  • suffers from a mental disorder or an infectious disease.

The Opportunities of Indonesian Residence Permit

Indonesian residence permit provides its owner with the following opportunities:

  • To travel around Indonesia
  • To own real estate anywhere in the country with your Indonesian spouse
  • To open a bank account
  • To be engaged in any legal activity, such as running a business, working or studying, but only with the appropriate visa status.

Quoting conditions of Prian.info materials

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