Indonesia, an attractive business locale in Southeast Asia, is a popular destination for expatriates and tourists. However, those planning to relocate to Indonesia for work, business, or other reasons must comply with certain immigration requirements, including obtaining a residence permit. Whether you're a digital nomad, a retiree, or an entrepreneur looking to relocate to this Southeast Asian gem, you'll find invaluable information to make your move as smooth as possible. In this article we will cover the ins and outs of obtaining an Indonesia residence permit, the types of visas available, including the KITAS and KITAP
Overview of Residence Permits in Indonesia
Residence permits in Indonesia come in two main types: Temporary and Permanent. The type of permit required depends on the purpose and duration of your stay in Indonesia.
Temporary Residence Permit (KITAS)
The Temporary Residence Permit, known as KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas), is issued to foreigners intending to stay in Indonesia for specific purposes. Typically, it is valid for one year and can be extended annually. Please see the table below for common types of KITAS.
Permanent Residence Permit (KITAP)
The Permanent Residence Permit, known as KITAP (Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap), is granted to foreigners who have lived in Indonesia with a KITAS for several consecutive years. This permit allows the holder to stay in Indonesia for an unlimited period and offers similar benefits to Indonesian citizens. The Permanent Stay Permit, or KITAP, is the ultimate goal for many expats residing in Indonesia.
This permit, unlike the various types of KITAS which are temporary and require annual renewal, grants the holder the right to stay in Indonesia on a permanent basis. KITAP can be applied for after the holder has maintained a KITAS for a certain period - typically, three consecutive years for those with a work or family KITAS, or after four consecutive years for those with a retirement KITAS. Students are generally not eligible for KITAP.
The application for KITAP requires the sponsorship of an Indonesian entity (company or spouse), proof of a stable income or financial independence, and an endorsement of good conduct among other documents. The KITAP is valid for five years and is extendable indefinitely, offering much greater stability and certainty compared to the KITAS.
While the KITAP still doesn't grant the right to work unless the holder has a valid work permit, it does allow for more freedom and flexibility in other areas of life in Indonesia, such as the ability to apply for credit or a driver's license.
Applying for a Temporary Residence Permit (KITAS)
The application process for a KITAS involves several steps and varies depending on its type.
- Secure Sponsorship: To apply for a KITAS, you need a sponsor. The sponsor is typically your employer if you're applying for a Work Visa KITAS. For a Family Visa KITAS, your spouse or the primary KITAS holder can sponsor your application.
- Obtain a VITAS: Before receiving a KITAS, you must first obtain a VITAS (Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas), a Limited Stay Permit Visa. This is granted by the Indonesian Embassy/Consulate with the approval of the Indonesian Immigration Department before you travel to Indonesia.
- Acquire an ITAS: On arrival in Indonesia, you will receive an ITAS (Izin Tinggal Terbatas), a Temporary Stay Permit, stamped in your passport by the Indonesian Immigration Offices.
- Receive your KITAS: Finally, the Indonesian Immigration will issue you a KITAS, an ID card indicating your ITAS immigration status.
The documents required for a KITAS vary depending on its type. However, some common documents include:
- Your valid passport and its copy
- Proof of funds
- Two passport-size colored pictures
- Additional documents specific to the type of KITAS you are applying for (e.g., CVs, work experience certificates, and company-related documents for Work Visa KITAS, and ID Card, Family Card, and Bank Statement of the Indonesian spouse for Family Visa KITAS).
Applying for a Permanent Residence Permit (KITAP)
After holding a KITAS for a minimum of five consecutive years, you become eligible for a KITAP.
- Secure Sponsorship: Similar to a KITAS, you need a sponsor for a KITAP application.
- Submit the Required Documents: Depending on your specific situation and the request of the Immigration officers, you may need to submit various documents, including the KITAP renewal application form, a letter from your sponsor, your valid passport, and any other documents related to your immigration status.
- Pay the Renewal Fee: You must pay a renewal fee when extending your KITAS to a KITAP.
Living and Working in Indonesia with a KITAS or KITAP
In essence, the journey towards obtaining your Indonesian residence permit is much more than a bureaucratic process—it's the passport to your next chapter of boundless exploration and growth. Indonesia, with its vibrant landscapes and warm, welcoming culture, is the perfect place for digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and anyone desiring to unplug from the familiar. The island of Bali, in particular, whispers a promise of tranquil beaches, lush rice terraces, and a thriving, innovative community ready to inspire and be inspired.
Obtaining a residence permit is a crucial step for anyone planning to live or work in Indonesia. By understanding the different types of permits and their application processes, you can better prepare for a smooth transition to life in this vibrant Southeast Asian country. Remember to seek professional advice if you're unsure about any aspect of the process, and always keep yourself updated with the latest immigration regulations and policies.