Work in Progress

AmCham holds update on work permit regulatory changes

By Tellisa Ramadhani
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

If there is one issue that unites expats and companies that employ expats it is the often confusing muddle of requirements and worries associated with obtaining a work permit or visitor visa in Indonesia. Sit down with any group of working foreigners here – including a great many AmCham members – and the conversation frequently falls to the travails associated with getting and renewing work permits.

In an effort to separate fact from fiction and ease at least some anxieties for members, AmCham Indonesia recently held a packed forum with experts focused on updates in regulations and outlining the known procedures.

The panelists at the May 9 discussion – Adi Pratikto of PwC, Stephen Warokka of law firm SSEK, and Henry Tambingon of EY – helped participants figure out the current state of play for this aspect of business life in Indonesia. The discussion was moderated by AmCham board member Darrell Johnson of SSEK.

The panelists walked the participants through the procedures and requirements to obtain a work permit or other visas, as there also have been some changes in the permitted activities under a non-resident Visa on Arrival, Single Entry Visit Visa and a new Multiple Entry Visit Visa, which may or may not be available.

For all three visa types, the activities that have changed are:

  • Holding business discussions (previously “conducting business discussions, such as sale and purchase of goods and the supervision of the quality of goods and services”)
  • Providing talks and participate in seminars (previously “to provide talks or to join seminars that are not commercial in the field of culture, social or government after receiving approval from related institution”)
  • Participation in international exhibitions (previously “to join international exhibitions that are not commercial”).

The single entry visa, for example, has more permitted activities under its umbrella now, although exactly which activities are OK is still a source of confusion. The discussion used the experience of the panelists and the audience to share information. The existence of a five-year multiple-entry visitor visa came as a surprise to most in the audience, although we are assured that it exists. 

The panel also went through the specific requirements associated with an employer obtaining the necessary Expatriate Manpower Utilization (RPTKA) document that starts the process for receiving a work permit and, ultimately, a temporary stay permit, or KITAS. As of February 20, 2017, the RPTKA can be printed out by employers directly through their online account, so they no longer have to obtain it at the Ministry itself.

As a measure of the subject’s importance to members, the audience was eager to ask questions and discuss scenarios they have confronted. It seemed that the discussion could have continued well into the afternoon, although the panelists had to get back to work sorting out visa questions during their day jobs. 

It was a fruitful discussion and certainly raised many questions, especially as there are many uncertainties and policy changes. If your company has further questions contact PwC, SSEK, or EY


Usage of the AmCham Indonesia website states your compliance of our Terms of Use