If you want to live or work in Indonesia, you will need something called a KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas), which is a Residence Permit Card for a temporary or limited stay. It allows the holder to stay in Indonesia for a period of up to 12 months, but which can be extended if need be.
You will receive a KITAS when you apply for a work visa, retirement visa, spouse/family visa, and other long-term visas for Indonesia.
Because this is a residence permit, not a tourist visa, a large part of the application process takes place from within Indonesia, so you need a sponsor (such as your employer) to help you with the application.
Types of Indonesian Residence Permits
Before you receive a KITAS in Indonesia, you have to get a VITAS and an ITAS. Although the terms are very similar and confusing, there is a simple logical difference between them:
- VITAS stands for Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas, which means Temporary/Limited Stay Permit Visa. The VITAS is what you will receive from the Indonesian Embassy/Consulate with the approval of the Indonesian Immigration Department before you even travel to Indonesia.
- ITAS stands for Izin Tinggal Terbatas, which means Temporary Stay Permit. So, it is the immigration status itself. The Indonesian Immigration Offices stamp your passport every year to show that you have a temporary stay residence status.
- KITAS is the Temporary Stay Permit Card, which you will receive only after the Indonesian Immigration gives you an ITAS. So, it is just a sort of ID card that shows you have ITAS (temporary) immigration status.
Types of KITAS in Indonesia
There are different types of KITAS based on the reason why you want to live in Indonesia. The most common KITAS types are:
- Work Visa KITAS.
- Family Visa KITAS.
- Retirement Visa KITAS.
- Student Visa KITAS.
Work Visa KITAS
The Work Visa KITAS is issued to foreign nationals who want to work for an Indonesian company or organization. For a work KITAS, your employer has to obtain a work permit (IMTA) for you from the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower.
You will then receive a KITAS based on the duration of your work contract.
Misconception: Some people think that a KITAS is a work visa. It is not. You can have a KITAS but not be allowed to work (such as Retirement or Dependent KITAS). A foreigner is only allowed to work in Indonesia after they’ve received a work permit (IMTA).
Family Visa KITAS
This type of KITAS is issued to the dependent family members (spouse and/or children under 18 years of age) of main KITAS holders. So, if your spouse has a Work KITAS, then they can sponsor your KITAS application.
It is also issued to the foreign spouses of Indonesian citizens.
If you have a family or spouse KITAS, you are not allowed to work. For that, you have to be sponsored by an Indonesian company, who has to obtain a work permit (IMTA) on your behalf.
The Retirement KITAS is issued to foreign nationals who are over the age of 55 and want to retire in Indonesia. To get a Retirement KITAS, you have to be able to present proof you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself during your stay without working, because not allowed to take up employment.
However, not everyone is eligible to get an Indonesian Retirement KITAS.
Student Visa KITAS
The Student Visa KITAS is issued to international students who want to pursue their studies in an Indonesian educational institution. It is valid for a year and has to be renewed for the duration of your studies.
It does not allow the holder to work.
Documents Required for a KITAS in Indonesia
The documents you need in order to obtain a KITAS differ depending on the type of Indonesian visa/KITAS you need. They include:
- Your valid passport and a coloured copy of your passport.
- Proof of financial solvency
- Two passport-size coloured pictures
- For Work KITAS:
- A coloured copy of your CV (resume). It must have the company’s stamp and a signature by a company director over the stamp.
- A copy of the RPTKA
- A coloured copy of your university certificate/s or the highest level of educational degree.
- A certificate of work experience (at least five years) that’s connected to the job
- Proof of an insurance policy issued by an Indonesian insurance company
- Documents from your company, such as: NPWP tax identification number, Business licence (SIUP), Capital Registration Licence (SPPMA) from the BKPM, etc.
- For Spouse/Family KITAS:
- ID Card (KTP) and Family Card (Kartu Keluarga) of the Indonesian spouse
- Birth certificate (Akta Lahir) of Indonesian spouse
- Bank Statement of the Indonesian spouse
- Birth certificate/s for dependent children if applicable
- For Retirement KITAS:
- Statements from Pension Fund or bank statements, showing financial solvency
- Proof of living accommodation in Indonesia
- A statement you intend to hire an Indonesian domestic worker or driver
- A statement you do not intend to work while in Indonesia
- For Student KITAS:
- Copy of the Letter of Acceptance from the educational institution
- Your academic reports
- Proof of financial responsibility from your parents, legal guardians, or a sponsor during your studies
- Any other documents that may be requested by the Immigration Department.
Please note: This is not a complete list of the required documents since they change depending on your specific situation and the request of the Immigration officers. This list is only supposed to serve as a guideline.
How to Apply for a KITAS?
You have to apply for a KITAS within 30 days of entering Indonesia using a VITAS. The VITAS is the entry visa for Indonesia which you have to apply for at an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia near you.
The Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration has an online facility which accepts ITAS/KITAS applications.
How to Apply for KITAS Online?
To apply for a KITAS online, you have to visit this website, which is the official website of the Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration. Select the option “Temporary Stay Permit” and follow the instructions thereafter. You will need your VITAS Authorization Number.
After you submit your online KITAS application, you still have to go to the Immigration Offices in person to make the fee payment and receive the ITAS Stamp on your passport.
Next, you have to get the Police Report Letter (STM) from the local police department and register with the local municipality’s population office and receive your Certificate of Registration for Temporary Resident (SKPPS).
KITAS Application Processing Time
A ork KITAS application tends to be longer due to the amount of required paperwork and different application processes, such as applying for the work permit. It usually takes six weeks to ten weeks. A spouse-sponsored KITAS on the other hands is usually processed within a month, whereas a retirement KITAS takes about 10 business days from the submission of the application.
While the KITAS application itself does not take long, it is the entire process to receive a KITAS which can take several weeks, depending on what type of KITAS you are applying for.
What is the Duration of a KITAS for Indonesia?
An Indonesian KITAS is issued for a minimum of three months (for temporary work) and up to two years. The duration of your KITAS usually depends on the nature of your work as well as your work contract.
Can You Extend an Indonesian KITAS?
Yes, you can. You can extend a KITAS by going to the offices of the Directorate General of Immigration before the KITAS expires and requesting an extension. You will need to present several documents, as related to your immigration status, such as:
- The completed KITAS renewal application form
- Letter from your sponsor or guarantor
- Your valid passport
- RPTKA from the Ministry of Manpower if you are renewing your work KITAS
- Copy of marriage certificate, a letter from the spouse, ID card of your spouse, etc., if you are renewing a Spouse KITAS
- Birth certificate, marriage certificate for the dependents of the main KITAS holder
- Any other documents that the immigration officers require you to submit
You also have to pay a renewal fee.
Once you have renewed your KITAS continuously for 2-4 years, then you become eligible for a KITAP, which is a permanent residence permit.
KITAS issued for three months are usually not eligible for renewal since they are issued for temporary work.
The Indonesian KITAP is a permanent stay permit for foreigners who have already lived in Indonesia with a temporary stay KITAS for a few years. The KITAP is issued for a period of five years, which you can renew as needed.
When you become eligible for permanent residence depends on your KITAS type. Spouses of Indonesian citizens can receive a KITAP after two years of living in Indonesia consecutively, whereas retirees and international workers can only apply for a KITAP after four years.
Once you are eligible for an Indonesian KITAP, you get benefits similar to those of Indonesian citizens such as opening a bank account, getting a loan, and getting a five-year driving license.
Can I Work With an Indonesian KITAS?
You can only work in Indonesia if you have a work permit in addition to your KITAS. Student, Retirement, and Family KITAS don’t allow the holder to work.
You must have a sponsor (employer) in Indonesia who applies for your work permit before you can apply for a work KITAS. Foreigners who do not possess a work permit are not allowed to take up any form of gainful employment in Indonesia.