Foreigners wishing to work in Indonesia require a Foreign Manpower Utilisation Plan (RPTKA) and work permit (IMTA), which are issued by the Ministry of Manpower, and a limited stay permit (ITAS) or permanent stay permit (ITAP). The RPTKA and IMTA cannot be sponsored by spouse and always must be sponsored by the company where the foreigner is working. The ITAS and ITAP can be either sponsored by the company or by the spouse, when the spouse is an Indonesian citizen. In this article we discuss whether the ITAS and ITAP sponsored by a spouse can be used for work purposes in Indonesia.
Limited Stay Permit (ITAS) Sponsored by Company
The majority of the foreign workers in Indonesia have their ITAS sponsored by an Indonesian company. Once all document requirements are fulfilled, the process is straightforward. Once the ITAS is issued, the job title of the foreigner will be stated under the header “Occupation” on the ITAS.
Limited Stay Permit (ITAS) Sponsored by Spouse
Foreigners who are married to an Indonesian spouse are eligible to obtain an ITAS sponsored by their spouse. According to the explanatory note of article 39 of the Immigration Law, there are two types of limited stay visa in Indonesia:
- Visa for Working; and
- Visa for Non-Working
The note further explains that a limited stay visa provided for family unification (e.g. in case the foreign worker stay permit is sponsored by spouse) falls under the type of a Non-Working Visa. This explanatory note is further regulated in Article 102 of Government Regulation number 31 of 2013, which confirms that family unification is a Non-Working Visa type.
On the contrary, Article 61 of the Immigration Law states that foreigners who are sponsored by their spouse are allowed to work in Indonesia. This is supported by Article 28 (9) c of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Regulation 27 of 2014, which states that a foreigner who is married to an Indonesian spouse and who intends to work in Indonesia by using his/her spouse as sponsor, needs to attach the Foreign Manpower Utilisation Plan (RPTKA).
In practice, when applying for a spousal stay permit, Immigration Officers will reject the RPTKA and IMTA as supporting documents for the ITAS application. The online immigration system does not support the upload of RPTKA and IMTA. As a result, when the ITAS is issued, it will state under the header “Occupation” that the foreigner has no occupation. To avoid problems with immigration during audits, foreigners should notify Immigration of their work status, and request an amendment of the “Occupation” header under the ITAS. Based on our experience however, spousal ITAS holders are not being questioned by Immigration on this issue. Several local immigration offices have also confirmed that they are aware of this issue and that they will not take any action against it.
Permanent Stay Permit (ITAP) Sponsored by Company
In order for a foreigner to obtain an ITAP sponsored by a company, the foreigner must fulfil strict requirements. A foreign worker can obtain an ITAP when at least one of the below requirements is met:
- The foreigner holds the position of president director in a Limited Liability Company (PT PMA) or holds the position of chief representative of a Foreign Representative Office. In addition, the foreigner has stayed for more than three years continuously in Indonesia;
- The foreigner holds the position of either director or commissioner in a Limited Liability Company (PT PMA) and has invested at least Rp1 billion in the company’s share capital. In addition, the foreigner has stayed for more than three years continuously in Indonesia; or
- The foreigner is a pure investor and does not hold a director or commissioner position in a Limited Liability Company (PT PMA). The minimum investment in the share capital of the company is Rp10 billion. In addition, the foreigner has stayed for more than three years continuously in Indonesia.
Not many foreigners apply for an ITAP sponsored by a company due to the stringent requirements set by the Indonesian government.
Permanent Stay Permit (ITAP) Sponsored by Spouse
Foreigners who are married to an Indonesian spouse can obtain an ITAP after two years of marriage. Similar to an ITAS sponsored by spouse, the ITAP will not state the occupation of the foreigner on the ITAP. Foreigners are therefore advised to notify Immigration of their work status. As the ITAP card does not mention any occupation, foreigners are not required to request an amendment of the ITAP card.
For more information, please contact PNB Immigration Law Firm at +62 21-22792254, or email us at