As a country which has been influenced by colonisation for many centuries, foreigners have left an impact on Indonesia for many years. Therefore, many Indonesian citizens today have mixed feelings with regard to foreigners who have made plans to live and work in the country. While some locals are open to the addition of foreigners to Indonesia’s workforce, several others fear that these immigrants are ‘stealing their jobs’.
The number of foreign workers who are currently working in Indonesia has gradually been increasing. The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) reported that there are 104,230 foreign workers currently in Indonesia. However, although this number has been increasing, it is much less than what one might assume. When this figure is compared to that of the country’s total workforce of over 127 million individuals, the proportion of foreign workers in Indonesia can be seen to be one of the world’s lowest at just 0.075% of the workforce.
Certain foreigners may have some advantages in Indonesian industries. This is especially true of skilled foreign workers. Foreigners who are highly skilled and knowledgeable will be able to teach their skills to and share their knowledge with Indonesian workers.
Process of hiring Foreigners in Indonesia
Indonesia has strict regulations that which are to be followed by any company which intends to hire any foreigners. A foreign company based in Indonesia, also known as a PT PMA, is not allowed to hire foreigners without obtaining a special permission letter from the Ministry of Labour and Immigration as well as other important documents signed by several government authorities under the Ministry.
Any hired foreigners in Indonesia must have a valid work permit. Work permits in Indonesia are commonly referred to as KITAS; however, this is not entirely accurate because KITAS is merely the card that proves that one has a non-permanent residence in Indonesia.
Work Permits for Shareholders, Commissioners, and Directors
The rules pertaining to work permits meant for shareholders, commissioners, and directors differ from the standard ones. This is because shareholders, commissioners, and directors are considered to be people serving in senior positions. Therefore, such people are able to receive a work permit as soon as the company in question has been officially registered. This is especially important for companies that do not have any immediate plans to hire any local directors. Furthermore, although at least one of the directors needs to have an Indonesian tax card (NPWP), foreigners who have a valid work permit are eligible for one.
In Indonesia, commissioners and directors do not need to be shareholders of the company. Therefore, company owners who need to hire foreign experts for the company as soon as possible should make them directors or commissioners of the company as soon as possible.
Work Permits for Foreign Experts
According to the laws of Indonesia, a foreign expert can be hired if there is no local person available to fill the position. Therefore, business owners should only plan to hire foreigners to fill roles that require forms of knowledge and expertise which are rare in Indonesia.