Simplified Indonesian Work Permit – How simple is it really?

Posted on February 1st, 2019 by Joanne N.

Applying for an work permit in Indonesia may not have been something you considered important when looking for your dream job in Bali. It might not even be the warm welcome you were expecting either, however having an  work permits in Indonesian is certainly an important consideration. It is also most certainly a constantly discussed topic, due to ever-changing Immigration procedures.

Whether you have just moved to Bali, or have lived here since the good ol’ days when a Nasi goreng only costed 5.000 Rupiah, Indonesian based expatriates are always on the lookout for ways to understand the process of work permits in a legal and cost-efficient manner.

With the Internet, comes easy access to information, but with this vast amount of information, there is also a minefield of conflicting opinions from forums and blogs, and self-proclaimed ‘ legal experts’.  With all this information, and ever-changing Immigration rules and procedures, it can be extremely frustrating to get a grip on the exact requirements  at the time.

Why The Constant Change in Regulations

In the hopes of encouraging foreign investment in 2019, President Joko Widodo announced through a Presidential Decree no. 20 Year 2018 that there will be a number of significant changes to simplify the process of work permits for Expatriate Hires, and Investors.


The Process

The hiring company is still required to apply for permits through the Ministry of Manpower in Jakarta by submitting the application via TKA-Online. If you are hiring your first foreign employee, you will need to register your account under the sponsor company’s name.


Step 1: Foreign Manpower Utilization Plan & Expose

The foreign applicant will need to submit a Foreign Manpower Utilization Plan (or RPTKA).

Once the documents are completed, the initial approval of the application takes 3 – 5 working days and will be followed by an Expose invitation via Skype.

The applicant will need to be represented by a managerial level Indonesian staff. The session generally lasts a few minutes and the interview will determine if the grounds for hiring are fulfilled.


Step 2: Notification & TELEX Approval

This step has seen the most changes. As of October 2018, there are no longer any issuance of work permits (IMTA).

Applicants only need to re-submit previous RPTKA documents include additional information of the Expatriate’s Indonesian assistant, details of the Embassy, the applicant’s temporary stay visa, and the port of entry of the applicant.

Once the complete documents are submitted within 7-10 working days, you will receive a notification for payment of foreign workers tax (US$100/per month). This will also include the Embassy fees and TELEX application fees.

Payment for the above is due within 24 hours.


Is the work permit in 2019 process any simpler?

In short, standard operational procedure times have been shortened.

As the new procedures involve communication from various Government Agencies and the system is still in its infancy, there are expected teething issues.

For those with prior experience in applying for Work Permits and Working Visas in Indonesia are may note that the biggest changes have been.

  1. the shift in collection of payment in work permit fees and visa fees. (Previous Embassy fees were collected by the Embassies abroad, whereas now, everything is paid within Indonesia.)
  2. Instead of applying for work permits through the Manpower Department and TELEX approvals from the Department of Immigration, the application is now simplified into one step where the two Government agencies will communicate to process your application.

Still overwhelmed by the new changes? The key is to plan ahead and contact CCI’s team of friendly visa consultants that will assist you in a worry-free visa application, as well as provide you with a timely reminder service for your next visa extension.

The focus of this blog is to discuss new work permit applications. For information on Investor KITAS follow this link: Applying for Investors KITAS – It’s benefits and application

Contact us for more information.

Posted in: Immigration & Labor Law Visa

2 thoughts on “Simplified Indonesian Work Permit – How simple is it really?

  1. So if we work in Indonesia for a local company and earn local currency we have to pay $25 US a week every week to be there? Doesnt sound right?

  2. Hi Trevor,

    If you are employed by a company, the company needs to pay a work permit tax of US$1200 a year, yes that works out to be US$25/weekly but it is paid up front.

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