Do I need a visa to go to Indonesia? : Cost, Timeline and Process

While most foreigners visit Indonesia to explore its paradise beaches, exotic culture and tasty cuisine, some fall in love with the country and decide to stay.

In order to reside in Indonesia legally, long-term, it’s worth doing a bit of homework beforehand and research the types of employment opportunities available to non-Indonesians. However, one must bear in mind that – as a country that prioritises the local workforce through protectionist immigration policies – finding positions open to foreigners may be quite challenging and time-consuming.

In fact, it is not uncommon for foreigners to opt for a different route to stay long-term in Indonesia: setting up a business in the country, hoping to invest in Indonesia’s most sought after business opportunities and make a good living out of it.

The different types of visas for Indonesia explained

Free Visa on Arrival (Bebas Visa Kunjungan)

Typically this visa is issued for leisure and tourism reasons, as well as attending work meetings held in Indonesia or as a stop between journeys. This visa is free of charge and not extendable.

Visit Visa on Arrival (Visa Kunjungan Saat Kedatangan)

The Visit Visa on Arrival can be used for tourism, social, cultural, training purposes, attending seminars, export of goods, business meetings or for short employment in the journalism and entertainment fields. This specific visa is valid for 30 days from date of entry into Indonesia and can be extended once for an additional 30 days.

Single Visit Visa (Visa Kunjungan Satu Kali Perjalanan)

Just as for the Visit Visa on Arrival, the Single Visit Visa can be used for tourism, social, cultural, training purposes, attending seminars, export of goods, business meetings or for short employment in the journalism and entertainment fields. The Single Visit Visa for Indonesia is issued by local Indonesian Embassies/Consulates, shall be used within 90 days from the date of issue and is valid for 60 days upon the date of arrival in Indonesia. The Indonesian Single Visit Visa can be extended for a maximum of 4 times, extra 30 days each time.

Multiple Visit Visa (Visa Kunjungan Beberapa Kali Perjalanan)

The Indonesian Multiple Visit Visa is valid for 5 years with a maximum of 60 days each visit, not extendable and can be applied for at local Indonesian Embassies/Consulates. Please note that a guarantor letter is needed for this visa, where the guarantor needs to be an Indonesian national or Indonesian organisation. The Indonesian Multiple Visit Visa is commonly used by individuals with family or business ties to Indonesia.

It is worth mentioning that – although most application for the above visas are quite straightforward – there may be cases of rejected applications. The main reasons for a rejected Indonesian visas include:

  • The applicant cannot meet/provide proof of the required minimum funds for his stay (USD 1,500) into their bank account
  • The applicant poses a threat to national or international security
  • The applicant does not possess an onward or return ticket
  • The applicant has been blacklisted or denied entry into Indonesia before
  • The applicant’s passport validity is less than 6 months.

Indonesia work permit visa

Work Visa for Temporary Stay (VITAS)

VITAS can be valid for 30 – 90 days, 6 months, one or two years depending on the applicant’s category. As per standard rule in most countries, foreigners wishing to start employment in Indonesia cannot apply for a work visa on their own. The Indonesian company is indeed responsible for the foreign employee’s work visa application by checking and providing the required documentation to the Ministry of Manpower and subsequently to the General Directorate of Immigration, which will approve or reject the application. Firstly, the sponsor company needs to submit a Validity of Foreign Worker Placement Plan (RPTKA), which is based on the applicant’s employment contract and expires after a year or two. The next step is the ITAS, a temporary work permit that allows expatriates in Indonesia to legally work in the country and achieve permanent residence after three years. After the ITAS has been approved, the processing time for the Indonesian work visa is 3-10 working days. Please not that an application for both VITAS and ITAS can be made at the same time.