Labor and Employment Law in Indonesia – Foreign Workers

Legal Updates
Labor and Employment Law in Indonesia – Foreign Workers
10 December 2019

By Fahrul S. Yusuf

Pursuant to Indonesian Minister of Manpower (MOM) Regulation No. 10/2018, regard­ing procedures for the utilization of foreign manpower, employers intending to employ expatriates must have a manpower utilization plan (RPTKA).

The RPTKA is a plan to employ expatriate manpower in certain positions for a certain period of time that is approved by the MOM. An RPTKA approved by the MOM serves as a work permit for expatriates.

However, an approved RPTKA does not automatically grant employers the right to employ expatriates. Employers must also obtain a document called a notification from the MOM that basically approves the employment of expatriates in Indonesia. A notification also serves as the basis to obtain a limited-stay visa (VITAS) or a limited-stay permit (ITAS).

Employing expatriates without first fulfilling the above require­ments would subject the company to administrative sanctions in the form of postponement of service, temporary suspension of the work permit application, revocation of notification or other sanctions in accordance with the prevailing laws and regulations.

Limited-Stay Visa (VITAS)

According to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (MOLHR) Regulation No. 24/2016, dated 19 October 2016, regarding technical procedures for applying for and granting visitor visas and VITAS, a VITAS is intended for foreign citizens who intend to reside in Indonesia for a limited period of time.

The VITAS is issued to foreign citizens for working (working VITAS) or non-working (non-working VITAS) purposes. A working visa covers activities related to:

  • work as an expert;
  • work on board a vessel, floating device or installation operating in Indonesian waters, territorial seas, continental shelf or exclusive economic zone;
  • activities related to the holder\'s profession for which he or she receives money;
  • making commercial films, as authorized by the relevant institution;
  • supervising the quality or production of goods;
  • conducting an audit or inspection of the company\'s branch in Indonesia;
  • after-sales service;
  • installing or repairing machinery;
  • conducting temporary construction work;
  • conducting art, music or sports shows;
  • playing in a professional sports activity;
  • work related to the provision of medical treatment or medical activities; and
  • the activities of an expatriate worker during his or her probation period.

A non-working VITAS is for:

  • conducting foreign investment;
  • participating in scientific training and research;
  • attending an educational institution;
  • family reunions;
  • former Indonesian citizens planning a permanent return to Indonesia; and
  • extended stays of up to two years by foreign tourists above the age of 55.

Pursuant to MOLHR Regulation No. 24/2016, a non-working VITAS can be issued for two years, one year, six months, 90 days or 30 days. A two-year non-working VITAS can only be given to the following types of foreigners:

  • investors;
  • students; or
  • experts who work in an international organization under the auspices of the United Nations.

Since July 11, 2018, the application and issuance of working VITAS has referred to MOLHR Regulation No. 16/2018, regarding procedures for granting visas and stay permits for expatriate manpower. Based on MOLHR Regulation No. 16/2018, the validity period for a working VITAS depends on the employment period stated in the employment contract, but shall not exceed two years.

Once a foreign citizen arrives in Indonesia with a non-working VITAS, he or she must report to the immigration office within seven days to process his or her limited-stay permit (ITAS). Expatriates who enter Indonesia with a working VITAS process their ITAS directly at the airport upon arrival.

There is no visa available for employees transferring from one corporate entity in one jurisdiction to a related entity in another jurisdiction.

Reproduced with permission of Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in Lexology Getting the Deal Through - Labour & Employment 2019 (Published: June 2019). For further information, please visit

This publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance on the material contained herein is at the user\'s own risk. You should contact a lawyer in your jurisdiction if you require legal advice. All SSEK publications are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of SSEK.

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