Work Permit for Bali – what you need to know
It is essential to know that when you wish to work in Bali, you will need a work permit. It means you have to be sponsored by the company you are going to work for. The company will have to APPLY for a KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Sementara) = Temporary Stay Permit Card.
Most people speak of KITAS when they think of the work permit. But actually, the work permit is called IMTA (used to be called IKTA), and the KITAS is actually the limited stay permit card. When somebody asks you about KITAS, they will most likely refer to the work permit. The KITAS can be valid for either six months or 12 months and needs to be renewed. Previously a KITAS was valid for 12 months, but this has changed for a specific type of jobs.
Allowed to stay but not to work
There are many foreigners in Bali, and several are working as tourist guides, dive teachers, English teachers, real estate agents, cooks etc without having a work permit. It is an illegal practice. They usually get a social or business visas (allows you to stay on Bali but neither will enable you to work) that they extend a few times, leaving to Singapore for a day or two and then coming back.
This practice will slowly but surely not work for much longer as Indonesia, and particularly the immigration in Bali has become stricter with checking travel documents of people who come to Bali often and leave for a couple of days to Singapore or KL to return as tourists again. There is a special task force in Bali with the sole purpose of finding illegal foreign workers. Often they receive alerts from other people.
The rules are quite strict, and if you are caught working illegally, you will get deported straight away – and pay a nice fine. Sometimes you can pay a certain substantial amount to avoid the hassle and humiliation of a deportation, but still, immigration officers will make sure you leave the country. However, paying for a more graceful way out is also becoming more difficult. The government of Indonesia wants to make sure that foreigners only hold jobs for which there are no available Indonesian employees.
The idea behind this whole process is that Indonesia wants to accept only people with higher qualification to work here. Applying as a waiter or even assistant manager is not going to work. One reason being, that this person should not “steal” a job from a local person, and second, that hopefully, the Indonesians will learn something valuable. That there is some transfer of knowledge.
- Therefore a company that wants to hire a foreigner will have to prove or argue their case, that they need a foreigner to do the job. And in many cases this is possible.
- There are indeed many expatriates living and working in Bali legally, particularly in the 4 to 5 star hotels. And there is a straightforward procedure for that.
- The process takes 2-3 months and costs ca. 900 – 1400 US$ depending if you get the 6 or 12 month permit since it includes the work permit tax (DPKK) of 100 US$/month which has to be paid beforehand.
- The company must be a legal business entity that is allowed to hire a foreigner. Not any local company will do for that purpose, it depends on their capital for example. A private person who runs a dive shop will not be able to get a KITAS / IMTA for you.
- An additional cost which has to be paid is the income tax. A company cannot pay you only 200 US$ in salary and pay you the rest in cash under the table to avoid those taxes.
- Indonesia is tightening the rules for KITAS and IMTA, the government wants to ensure that foreigners pass on their knowledge to the local people and require a certain basic level of the Indonesian language to be spoken The gateway for getting a work permit in Indonesia is to find the company that will employ you and has all the legal documents to do so.
What you need to get a KITAS / working permit
Working in Indonesia, particularly in Bali can be a dream comes true. But, although the process is quite clear, it is not always as quick and easy as many would like it to be.
Before you start the process, make note of the below:
- During the processing of the KITAS applicants are not allowed to work
- Limited age for applicants is 25 until 50 years old
- Processing of the KITAS can only start when all documents are complete
- Minimal capital or value of the sponsor company is IDR 1 billion – per person. Family members of the worker will also need a KITAS.
- Color Scan of Passport ( should include data pages & all pages with a stamp ) with validity of at least 18 months
- Color Scan of Curriculum Vitae stamped by the company and signed by the director on a materei 6000 stamp
- Color Scan of university certificate / or highest education degree in English or Bahasa Indonesia, stamped by the company and signed by the director on a materei 6000 stamp
- Work Certificate of minimal 5 years
- Health insurance
- Photo size 3x4cm, 4x6cm each size 4pcs with a red background
Documents required from the sponsor company
In addition to the above documents, your sponsor company will need to provide a lot of documents. Once the documents are complete, the company’s HR department or an agent will start the application process. The company will have to pay between 1000 and 1200US$ to get a KITAS
- KTP (Indonesian ID Card) of the director who is responsible for processing the KITAS (domicile in Bali)
- KTP of a local employee working for the same company
- NPWP (Company Tax Registration Number)
- SIUP (Trade license /Business License),⇒ for local PT
- IUT (SPPMA from BKPM )⇒ for PT.PMA
- TDP (Company’s Registration Letter
- Wajib Lapor (Copy of the report to the department of labour)
- SKTU ( Company’s Letter of Domicile )
- SITU & HO (letter of approval for place of business & permits)
- Akta Notaris ( Deed of Establishment )
- Legalization of Deed Establishment ( Akta Notaris ) by the Department of Justice
- Blank Letterhead of the company ( 5 pcs )
- Company Stamp
It will take around two months for all of the above documents to be processed. As soon as this process has been completed, your agent or company’s HR will ask you to go to the Indonesian embassy in your country or preferably Singapore to apply for the work visa officially. The law states that you have to apply from outside of Indonesia.
KITAS Types and why to get one
There are four types of KITAS
1. Work Visa KITAS (index 312)
Standard KITAs and the one that is related to your work permit (IKTA).
2. Family visa KITAS (index 317/318)
Accompanying family members will also need a visa. It means that if for example your wife and two children join you, the company will have to apply for 4 KITAS
Documents required for Family KITAS ( spouse & children)
a. Colour Scan of Passport ( should include data pages & all pages with a stamp )
b. Certificate of Marriage (in English or Bahasa Indonesia)
c. Certificate of Birth (in English or Bahasa Indonesia)
d. Photo size 3x4cm, 4x6cm each size 4pcs with red background
3. KITAS for students (index 316)
4. Retirement Visa KITAS (index 319)
Why to get a KITAS?
First and foremost, without it, you won’t get a work permit. Plus there are several additional perks when holding a KITAS. Often you get discounts in restaurants, or attraction parks (mainly in Jakarta or Bali). Hospitals also usually have lower price-lists for KITAS holders.
You need a KITAS to apply for your Indonesian driving license. If you want to enrol your kids into an international school, they also usually check whether the child has a KITAS or not.
In some cases, after holding a KITAS for five years, one could apply for a KITAP which allows you to stay for five years with unlimited extensions.
* The above information is deemed accurate at the time of publication but can change without notice. Please check with your embassy or agent.Visa and Immigration Overview
Visa & Permits for Indonesia and Bali
Visa on ArrivalHow to get it (30days)
Visa on Arrival ExtensionHow to extend it (30 days)
Social & Tourist Visa B-211How to get it (60days)
Social & Tourist Visa ExtensionHow to extend it (30days)
Sponsor Letter (e.g. for social visa)How to get it
Multiple Entry VisaHow to get it (1year)
Multiple Business VisaHow to get it (1year)
Work Permit / KitasHow to get it (1year)
Retirement Visa (Lansia, Pensiun)How to get it
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