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How To Acquire Expatriate Work Permit

Having encouraged  to have better regulation  in managing expatriates in Indonesia and simplifying the process of Expatriate Work Permit, the Indonesian Government issued Manpower Regulation No. 16 of 2015 (“New Expatriate Permit”). Compared to the previous regulation, the New Expatriate Permit has several additional provisions which are slightly different with the previous expatriate Permit. Therefore, it is important for any employers and expatriates to understand the new process.

Expatriate Work Permit has been issued by the Ministry of Manpower (“MoM”), then the Expatriate Work Permit will be a requirement for the expatriate to get living permits  in Indonesia from the Directorate of Immigration Ministry of Law and Human Rights (“Directorate of Immigration”). Before we are going to the step to for acquiring Expatriate Work Permit, it is important to highlight two important matters, which are:

A. Eligible Expatriates

The New Expatriate Permit regulates that every Expatriate who want work in Indonesia must meet the following eligibility:

  1. Has an education background that is suitable and related with requirements of the position which will be filled by the expatriate;
  2. Has the required competency, which is proven by relevant competency certificates or at least 5 years of working experiences in the related position, unless hired as Commissioner and/or Director;
  3. Has an Indonesian Tax Identification Card (NPWP/Nomor Pokok Wajib Pajak) after 6 (six) months of working;
  4. Has an insurance policy from an insurance institution established under Indonesian law;
  5. Has proof of joining the national security program (BPJS Kesehatan dan Ketenagakerjaan) after 6 (six) months of working; and
  6. Willing to make a statement to transfer his/her knowledge to his/her Indonesian worker companion (ensure that the education background of the companion is suitable with the position which will be filled by the expatriate).

B. Nature of Works

At least 3 (three) nature of works that can be by done by Expatriates in Indonesia, in which for every nature has different validation of the Expatriate Work Permit,  as follows:

Nature of Works Validation and Sustainability Description of Works
Sustainable Work 6 months


a)    Expatriates who will work in service, trading and consulting companies;

b)    expatriates who will do machinery installation and maintenance with education at high school or vocational school level.

1 year (renewable) commissioners, Directors and other Managerial Level
Temporary Works


1 month

(non renewable)

a) Providing guidance, counselling, and training to implement  the innovation of industrial technology with the purpose of  enhancing the quality and design of industrial products as well as in foreign cooperation for Indonesia;

b) Giving a lecture or speech;

c) Attending a meeting which be held in the head office or representative office in Indonesia;

d) Conducting an audit, production quality control, or any inspections at the branch of the company in Indonesia.

6 month

(non renewable)

a) Making a commercial movie and has obtained the specific licenses from authorized official;

b) One-time work (project with a clearly defined period of activity); and

c) Works that related to machine installation, electricity, after sales services, or testing market in Indonesia.

Emergency Works 1 month

(non renewable)

Any works that related to natural disaster, force majeur, machine or production tools damage


The following are the steps required to be taken for the arrangement and the documents that must be prepared in order to acquire an Expatriate Work Permit, which are as follows:

A. Foreign Worker Utilization Plan (RPTKA/Rencana Penggunaan Tenaga Kerja Asing)

RPTKA is a plan that describes the use of expatriates in certain positions created by the employer of such workers. The RPTKA must in accordance with the nature of works as mentioned above because this document is a legal basis for the issuance of Expatriate Work Permit (IMTA).

Further, in several field of works, a technical recommendation is needed, for instance: an employer who wants to hire an expatriate for Oil and Gas Industries should have a recommendation from Directorate of Oil and Gas Ministry of Energy and Human Resource first.

B. Presentation or Expose before the Ministry of Manpower

After completing the RPTKA, the employers must have  an interview before the Ministry of Manpower that will be conducted by Skype. If the employers cannot use the Skype, then they must have the interview in the Ministry of Manpower office directly.

C. Skill and Development Fund Payment

All expatriates working in Indonesia are required to pay the Skill and Development Fund in amount of US$1200/year (US$100/month).  The Skill and Development Fund also applies for every foreign commissioners and directors in Indonesian company even if they are not living in Indonesia.

D. Expatriate Work Permit (IMTA)

After completing the RPTKA, Expose, and the Skill and Development Fund payment, the Ministry of Manpower will issue the Expatriate Work Permit, a written permit to hire an expatriate. The period of IMTA is in accordance with the nature of works above mentioned

Once IMTA is acquired, the employer may use the services of the foreign worker. However, the employers should make sure that their expatriates are holding living permits from Directorate of Immigration, as follows:

Limited Stay Visa (VITAS)

In the event that VITAS for a foreign worker to work in Indonesia is approved by the Directorate General of Immigration than the Directorate General of Immigration issues a notification letter about the granting of visa approval. Then the expatriate must come to the Embassy of Indonesia in country of origin for completing the final application forms.Limited Stay Permit Card (KITAS) & Multiple Entry and Re-Entry Permit

After obtaining VITAS, the MoHLR will issue the KITAS that can be obtained in the regional office of Directorate of Immigration. Following KITAS, Multiple Entry and Re-Entry Permit will be issued, this documents gives rights for the Expatriates to leave and re-enter Indonesia with the same limited stay permit.


SMART Legal Consulting has extensive experience in helping employers to ensure that their hired expatriates acquire work permits in order to work in Indonesia, and to maintain such permits to be updated so that they do not lose their validity.

If you need immediate assistance, please contact SMART Help Desk at:


H: +62821-1234-1235

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