Your Guide to KITAS/ITAS: The Limited Stay Permit in Indonesia

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ITAS/KITAS s a limited stay permit issued to foreign citizens in Indonesia. It can be for work, investment, retirement, education, research, religious or repatriation purposes. 
The actual name of the permit is ITAS (Izin Tinggal Terbatas), which translates as Limited Stay Permit. The ITAS holder receives an electronic document of their ITAS, which they can print themselves on an A4 sheet.
KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas) is the card indicating the presence of ITAS.
ITAS/KITAS is valid from six months to one year.

Types and Validity of ITAS

  • Foreign Investors: Owners of PMA companies.
  • Foreign Professionals or Experts: Most expats have this type of ITAS. They must possess skills that Indonesians do not have, hence they are called tenaga ahli (experts).
  • Foreign Researchers: Typically with the approval of an Indonesian university.
  • Dependents: Spouses or children (under 18) sponsored by the foreign ITAS holder or an Indonesian citizen.
  • Religious Clergy: Foreign priests, imams, etc.
  • Retired Foreign Nationals: aged 55 and over.
  • Former Indonesian Citizens: Returning to Indonesia for repatriation to regain their citizenship.
The validity of an ITAS depends on its type. For example:
Retirement KITAS: Valid for one year.
Work KITAS: Valid for six months to one year.
Foreign Investor: Valid for two years.
All types of ITAS can be extended upon expiration for up to five years.
All types require Indonesian sponsorship.

Sponsorship for Work ITAS

Foreigners wishing to work in Indonesia must first secure employment and to obtain a work permit.
Company sponsorship is mandatory for an expatriate to obtain a work permit or visa. This sponsorship must be secured before the visa and work permit can be processed.
A work ITAS can be sponsored by an Indonesian company or organization registered in Indonesia, including but not limited to a government or private institution, a foreign company, or a representative office.
Sponsoring companies are legally responsible for visa applicants, and must pay ay applicable fees and fines if the respective applicants are unable to do so.
Note that while it is accurate to refer to a "work KITAS" if your purpose of stay in Indonesia is for work, it is not a "work visa." A separate work permit called IMTA (Ijin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing), which is the responsibility of your employer, is required for a foreigner to legally work in Indonesia.
Your future place of employment must first obtain IMTA to confirm your position and place of work in the sponsoring company in Indonesia. On the basis of IMTA, the allowed duration of your work ITAS is then determined (which can be either 6 months or 12 months). 

How to Obtain a Work ITAS/KITAS

Step 1: RPTK (Foreign Manpower Employment Plan)
If a company wants to hire a foreigner, they must submit a plan for the placement of foreign workers known as RPTKA - Rencana Penemptan Tenaga Kerja Asing. The RPTKA must be submitted to the Department of Manpower if the employer company is a domestic company or to Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) if the company is a foreign investment company.
Small Indonesian companies registered as CVs are not permitted to hire expatriates. Medium-sized companies can hire a maximum of two expatriates. Large companies face no limits on the number of expatriates they can hire, as long as they maintain a "1 expatriate: 1 local expert as a partner" ratio.
Note that only foreign investment companies (PMA) can hire foreign directors. Permits for these positions are initially issued for three years and can be extended directly before expiration.
RPTKAs for other positions are typically issued for one year and can be renewed annually, usually up to a fixed number of years.
Processing an RPTKA typically takes 7-10 working days or 4 working days after an approved "Skype Expose" - a meeting between a company representative and the Ministry of Manpower.
Required Documents for RPTKA:
- A detailed letter explaining the reasons for hiring an expatriate and the specific positions they will hold.
- RPTKA application form.
- Deed of Establishment for the company, Ministry's approval, and amendment.
- Company's paid-up capital of at least IDR 1,000,000,000.
- Standard company documents: Business License (Izin Usaha), Taxpayer Identification Number (NPWP), Company Registration (TDP), and Trading Business License (SIUP) or Permanent Business License (IUT) for PT PMAs.
- Organizational structure of the company.
- A recommendation letter from the relevant ministry (e.g., education, transportation, oil and gas, mining industry), if applicable.
- Training and professional development plan for the Indonesian counterpart of a foreign employee.
- Wajib Lapor Ketenagakerjaan (WLK), an annual report indicating the number of expatriates and local employees.
The application is submitted online to the Department of Manpower's office in Jakarta, which then provides an online queue number (barcode). The date for submitting the physical application will be then determined by the Department of Manpower.
Note that staffing plans are only approved for one year. The Ministry of Manpower approves a specific number of positions for foreigners. If a company wants to hire an additional foreigner, it must apply to the Ministry of Manpower, revise its staffing plan, and wait for approval, which can take several months.
Step 2: Notification/Confirmation Letter of Work Permit Duration
After submitting the RPTKA, the potential foreign employee must apply for a confirmation letter of the work permit duration and a payment code request. This confirmation letter will be issued within 3-7 working days.
Step 3: Payment of the Skill and Expertise Development Fund Tax (DPKK)
After receiving the confirmation letter, the DPKK tax must be paid within 3 days. Companies hiring foreigners must pay $1,200 USD per year for each expatriate employee. This tax is allocated towards training Indonesian citizens and is administered by the Ministry of Manpower.
Step 4: Online IMTA Issuance
Once the RPTKA has been granted, the employing company is required to submit an application for a work permit for foreign workers, known as IMTA (Izin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing).
IMTA is the only legal permit allowing a company to employ a foreigner.
To obtain IMTA, the hiring company must submit the following documents:
- Proof of education relevant to the position.
- Competency certificate or proof of at least five years of work experience.
To be employed in positions other than directorial roles, foreigners must demonstrate their expertise. Indonesian government regulations restrict foreign employment to individuals deemed "experts" who can contribute to national development. Given Indonesia's high unemployment rate among citizens, it's crucial to show that the expertise of the foreign worker is not readily available among Indonesian nationals.
- Statement agreeing to transfer knowledge to an Indonesian colleague.
- Copy of the employment contract for the Indonesian colleague.
- Taxpayer identification number (NPWP) if the expatriate will work for more than six months.
- Insurance policy issued by an Indonesian insurance company.
- Social security policy for work over six months.
- Receipt of DPKK payment.
- Copy of approval of the RPTKA.
- Copy of the expatriate's passport showing age.
- Two color photographs of the expatriate sized 4x6 cm.
- Recommendation letter from the relevant ministry, if applicable.
Note that directors and commissioners are exempt from the first four requirements.
Step 5: Electronic Visa - VITAS
The VITAS eVisa allows entry into Indonesia and is issued before an ITAS (or KITAS). Upon arrival, it is stamped in the foreigner's passport by immigration authorities.
To apply for VITAS, submit and application at
There is a daily quota for visa applications, so if the quota is reached, you will need to apply the next day.
Once submitted, the approximate processing time is 5-7 days.
Step 6: Conversion of VITAS to KITAS
Upon arrival to Indonesia, the foreign job applicant has 30 days to convert the VITAS visa to a work KITAS. During this process, they cannot leave Indonesia.
Processing time is about 8 working days.
Thhe KITAS comes together with MERP that grants unlimited re-entry to Indonesia.
Step 7: Reporting Document to the Police (Surat Tanda Melapor, STM). Instructions on how to obtain a police report are here.
Step 8: Certificate of Domicile (Surat Keterangan Tempat Tinggal, SKTT). Instructions on how to obtain SKTT are here.

Requirements for Dependent Family Members

Dependent family members (spouse/children) must wait for the issuance of a visa with index 312 for the working spouse before the company can apply for family accompanying visas (index 317).
To apply for these visas, the following documents from the working spouse must be presented:
  • Electronic visa
  • E-Itas & MERP (multiple-entry and exit permit)
  • Reporting document (Surat Tanda Melapor, STM)
  • Residence certificate (Surat Keterangan Tempat Tinggal, SKTT)

Potential Penalties for Work KITAS Holders

Deportation of foreigners for work permit misuse is not uncommon and often occurs when individuals hold positions different from those specified in their permits. For instance, if your permit designates you as a Production Director but your business card lists you as a Managing Director. Another issue arises if the workplace address on your IMTA differs from your actual workplace location. Mismatched job titles and workplace addresses can lead to IMTA cancellation and deportation, so ensure alignment between your business card information and permit details.
It's important to note that the IMTA is issued to the company, not the foreign worker. If a worker loses their job, they cannot seek employment elsewhere without obtaining a new IMTA, even if the previous one is still valid.
Furthermore, a foreigner's work permit does not confer the right to work to their spouse. Dependent spouses must secure their own sponsor and IMTA for employment in Indonesia.

Working in Indonesia without a Work Permit (IMTA)

Severe penalties apply for working without a proper visa and work permit, including up to 5 years in prison and fines up to 500 million IDR.

Exit Permit Only (EPO) for KITAS holders

An ITAS holder must apply for an Exit Permit Only (EPO) when switching between jobs, leaving their current employment, or changing their type of KITAS.

Converting KITAS to KITAP

The requirements for converting a KITAS to a KITAP can vary depending on the type of KITAP being applied for. Here are some key points:
Spouse of an Indonesian Citizen: If you are married to an Indonesian citizen and hold a KITAS, you can apply for a KITAP after being married for two years.
Work KITAS Holders: If you hold a Work KITAS, you are eligible to apply for a KITAP after having consecutively held and renewed the KITAS four times (i.e., after approximately four years).

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