Indonesia’s history goes back to over one million years ago when the first man of Java was discovered. A relatively young nation, Indonesia gained independence from the Dutch in 1945 after enduring over 300 years of colonisation by the Dutch and the Portuguese, and was briefly controlled by the Spanish, English and the Japanese. Before the colonial era, Indonesia boasted great kingdoms with various religious influences that shaped each era’s empire. Trade and commerce brought various merchants and tradesmen from China, the Middle East, India and other parts of Southeast Asia who would come to settle in Indonesia and spread their cultural beliefs, religion and languages to different parts of the region, greatly influencing the development and growth of the country.

Indonesia is a democratic country that is rich in natural resources and land, with over 18,000 islands scattered around the archipelago. One notable characteristic of Indonesia is its multicultural society that boasts hundreds of languages and cultures across the country. Indonesia is truly a unique country that has grown tremendously as a nation and has become an important player in the global landscape. 


In order to receive a work permit in Indonesia, foreign citizens must adhere to the rules set out by the Ministry of Manpower. In 2015, a new procedure was created for foreign citizens to obtain a work permit from The Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BPKM). In this guide, we will explain how this new procedure works and how you can obtain a work permit according to the new rules.

There are 4 main elements of the procedure:

 1.    RPTKA (Plan of Foreign Manpower Use)

In order to obtain the RPTKA from the BKPM, your employer must submit a document that outlines employment details. The RPTKA decides the length of time a foreign citizen may work in Indonesia, with 5 years being the longest and 1 month for an emergency situation. This process takes approximately 7 working days.

 2.    VITAS

 After the RPTKA has been approved, a Temporary Living Visa (VITAS) can be obtained. The VITAS requires a letter from your sponsor (your employer), sponsor information, a photocopy of your passport, proof of living expenses, and a recommendation letter from a government body that is relevant to your industry. Once approved, the Department of Immigration will send a letter of notice regarding the approval of the Visa.

 3.    IMTA

After receiving the VITAS, the application for the IMTA can now be started. This document is required by the Ministry of Manpower to authorise a certain number of foreign citizens that can be hired by the company. The longest period a foreign citizen will be given an IMTA is 1 year, with the possibility of an extension after expiry. The IMTA allows you to legally work in Indonesia. The length of time it takes to get the IMTA is approximately 7 working days.

 4.    KITAS

Holders of the VITAS can obtain a temporary living permit called a Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas (KITAS/ ITAS) upon arrival. If you are planning on exiting and re-entering Indonesia within the period of valid stay, you can obtain a single/multiple exit and re-entry permit (MRP) from the Directorate General of Immigration. It is advisable that your sponsor/employer submits this request in order for the authorisation process to be faster. 


You will need your KITAS as an identification card during your stay in Indonesia, so keep it handy. The entire process of obtaining all the documents and permits takes approximately 60 working days to complete, taking into account the waiting time for approval.



If you have family, friends or acquaintances visiting you in Indonesia, they might be able to enter the country and stay for 30 days without a visa depending on their citizenship. There are a total of 169 countries that qualify, which you can check in the list below. It is important to note visa-free visits are only for 30 days and cannot be extended or converted to another kind of permit. Make sure that your guest plans ahead if they might stay for over 30 days and obtain a visa on arrival, otherwise they will receive a penalty of IDR 300,000 per day for overstaying. Another important thing to note is that the passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of arrival, so ensure that all passports are up to date. At immigration, you will receive a stamp for any Visa you get, regardless of the type, so make sure that you receive the correct stamp.


Countries that qualify for 30 day visa free entry: