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Immigration and The (Formalities) Agent, Living Apart Together

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A clean government, Immigration kicks off
It is official law and immediately implemented in the daily practice of immigration offices, on any level and through the whole of Indonesia. Therefore, the decision of the Director General of Immigration of 10 November 2016 (no. IMI-1933.PR.07.04), is a serious attempt to realize an immigration service that is clean, efficient, effective and non-discriminatory. It is a real support to the government efforts to eliminate illegal levies in all of its departments. The Indonesian government however has changed already over the past few years. The Director of Immigration now actually attempts to draw new attention to an already existing compliance wave. He focusses on four points.

1. P.A.S.T.I. (is the norm)

The Director stipulates that the Immigration Service should be carried out with ‘berkePASTian’, which is a new word in the Immigration dictionary. P.A.S.T.I. stands for Professional, Accountable, Synergy, Transparent and Innovative. All Immigration services should be done in the right time, with the right cost, under the right conditions, kept simple and straightforward and most of all free of illegal fees.

2. FIFO is the rule

The FIFO rule (First In First Out) is introduced, which means the handling of applications should be arranged – as much as possible – in line with a queue number. It is now officially prohibited (again) to discriminate the service by giving precedence, delay, accelerate reason levies and accept gifts, gifts in any form. No LIFO (Last in First Out) anymore for the more wealthy or for third parties; everybody is treated equally and all stand in the same line!

3. No third parties, is the ban (agents referred to the side line)

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A bit confusing is the rule that sets aside third parties, where the submission of the application for immigration services can -strict reading of the law – only be done by the sponsor of the expat. If the sponsor is a company only the staff member responsible for expats can apply. So, not even the expat himself can take care of the application and submit it; the sponsor needs to go! Immediately raising the question , can he will he?

To enforce the exit or direct involvement of third parties, the Director further decided that all operating licenses for services immigration people (among them agents) are revoked and declared invalid. Agents lost their license on the spot.

4. The social aspect, not to be forgotten

The government shows it social side by stating that persons with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant women and nursing mothers can be given a priority service, which makes one assuming if so many sponsors are actually in such need, that this fourth major change should be enforced by the new decision.

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New rules will shed a better light on government services, more transparent and probably cheaper. However, what will daily practice bring? Especially if expats (their sponsor!), simply lack the time and/or knowledge to take care of the paperwork and do the actual submission and queue up.

Will the sponsor be able to avoid to present wrong documents or incomplete files, causing longer counter time. As urgency processes are no longer possible, total handling time will increase significantly. Waiting time will be like in Jakarta traffic, unpredictable!

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Thus, not all is what it seems. The agents ban will appear to be deceptive. The agent is partly set aside, but will still play a major role both for government and expat. See the path for a legally safe and sound stay below. Need say no more.

Government at a good conduct and compliance track  
That the government is serious with becoming clear, clean and transparent was actually already signaled in 2014 (Government regulation number 47 of 2014) when a new official price list for services from the Ministry of Law and Human Right was published. This sets out the official prices services, its rates and revenues. Under section IV of said regulation all prices for Immigration services are listed. Below a few samples of the most common services and its official published price:
The prices for some common Immigration services

No Official Dues Amount
Passport
1 Passport with 48 pages for Indonesian citizen Rp. 300.000
2 E-Passport with 48 pages for Indonesian citizen Rp. 600.000
3 Passport with 24 pages for Indonesian citizen Rp. 100.000
4 E-Passport with 24 pages for Indonesian citizen Rp. 350.000
Visas
5 Visit Visa USD 50.00
6 Multiple Visit Visa (per year) USD 110.000
7 Visa On Arrival USD 35.00
8 Limited Stay Visa for 6 months USD 55.00
9 Limited Stay Visa for 1 year USD 105.00
10 Limited Stay Visa for 2 years USD 180.00
11 Limited Stay Visa on Arrival for 30 days Rp. 700.000
12 Telex Approval Visa to Indonesian Embassy abroad Rp. 100.000
13 Visit Visa on arrival extension Rp. 300.000
14 Visit Visa single entry   Extension Rp. 300.000
Stay- and travel permits
15 New and Extension KITAS for 6 months Rp. 650.000
16 New and Extension KITAS for 1 year Rp. 1.000.000
17 New and Extension KITAP for 5 years Rp. 3.700.000
18 KITAP Extension with Unlimited period Rp. 10.000.000
19 E-KITAP Extension with Unlimited period Rp. 10.200.000
20 Re-Entry Permit for 6 months Rp. 600.000
21 Re-Entry Permit for 1 year Rp. 1.000.000
22 Re-Entry Permit for 2 years Rp. 1.750.000
23 Overstay fine Rp. 300.000 per day

Note: these prices only occur when the expat / sponsor does everything himself.

For most expats these prices seem too good to be true, but they are. Therefore, one can save millions of rupiahs by indeed not using an agent. However, more than often the proverb ‘penny wise and pound foolish’ has proved to be correct. Don’t let these prices blind you and make you do it your own, if you have no experience dealing with formalities. However, if you are patient, adventurous and consistent, give it a go.

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No big changes in daily practice in the handling of the application!

Does the new law mean that you or your sponsor must do it all yourselves now? Is your agent useless? Can you kiss him goodbye? The answer to these questions is no! Most expats will still need/want the agent. Simply, because the processes for the visa and/or stay permit application don’t change. Getting your stay permit is not just the visit to an Immigration office. It has many more steps and needs an accurate preparation.

A complete Kitas/Kitap process – in most cases – includes the IMTA (work permit), the actual stay permit, the travel permit and the civil registrations. And where companies are involved, also the periodically renewable company documents. Obtaining these underlying documents, is actually the real problem for most expats. Most agents therefore assist the expat and the sponsor all the way and proof their expertise and value right there.

Again, it must be said and we repeat; you can do it all yourself if you are also accurate or even meticulous, because if you are not ………

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Incomplete applications, inaccurate uploading, wrong documents attached, passed validity dates, unaccepted passport, missing legalizations and more all lead to ……………….

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Below an overview of the journey to a legally safe and sound stay in Indonesia. Prepare yourself for a long battle or indulge yourself with an agent, relax and let him handle it all and only come to the respective government departments when you are called for.

The long path to a legally safe and sound stay in remarkable Indonesia

This overview shows all steps needed for an expat who has to go all the way from setting up a business, obtaining the work- and stay permit to the civil registrations. Whatever process, this overview covers most documents needed and steps to be taken and the government departments one needs to visit.

If one needs to set up a company

  1. Draft the purpose or goal of the company
  2. Discuss the availability of funds (minimum paid up capital USD.250,000.-for a PMA and IDR.1.000.000.000,-, for a PMDN if the company wants to hire expats)
  3. Discuss the negative list, that restrict ownership of shares for certain businesses fields when foreign direct investment is involved (PMA company)
  4. Get the approval of name by Ministry of Justice
  5. Collect passport and CV etc. of Shareholders
  6. Collect passport and CV etc. of Directors and Commissioners.
  7. Submit application for investment approval (IP) at BKPM (onlyfor PMA)
  8. Make a draft of the Articles of Association
  9. Go to a notary for the deed of establishment
  10. Await the Approval of Ministry of Justice regarding the deed (SK Kehakiman)
  11. Obtain the Letter of domicile (LOD) for the company at the local City Hall
  12. Arrange the tax registration letter and Tax Identification Card (NPWP)
  13. Take care of the business registration (TDP) at an urban service center
  14. Get the business license SIUP for your local company (PMDN) at an urban service center
  15. Get the business license IUT for your foreign investment company (PMA) with BKPM
  16. Arrange the BPJS employment insurance at the One Door Integrated Service Bureau, pay the premium upfront
  17. Arrange the BPJS health insurance at the One Door Integrated Service Bureau, pay the premium upfront
  18. Apply for the obligatory employment report (WLK) at the local employment bureau
  19. Apply for the obligatory company report (WLP) at the local employment bureau

(Note: every single application goes with forms to fill out and request letters to write!)

nobody says it is easy

nobody says it is easy

If one needs to hire expats and/or needs a work permit

20. Apply for the Companies Foreign Manpower Placement  Plan (RPTKA) at the Manpower department or a local   Manpower office

21. Apply for the special letters of recommendation from technical Ministries (e.g. Mining, Oil & Gas, Health, Education), for certain business fields only

22. Apply for the DPKK letter and submit the payment proof to Manpower of the upfront payment of the DPKK funds (USD.1,200 per year)

23. Apply for the actual work permit (IMTA) with the Manpower department or local Manpower office

If one needs a stay permit (Kitas)

24. Apply for the telex Approval at the Director General of Immigration Office

25. Pick up the limited stay visa (Vitas) at an Indonesian Embassy abroad

26. Convert the Vitas to a Kitas or get an extension at the local Immigration office

  • Arrange statements of domicile from local and regional community heads
  • Submit Immigration application form and sponsor letter
  • Present valid KTP and NPWP of sponsor
  • Attach letter of domicile (LOD), from local City Hall
  • Attach company and work permit documents
  • Pay government dues
  • Arrange the bio data session
  • Pick up the Kitas

27. Apply for the Re-Entry Permit (REP or Merp), now integrated and dealt with at the same time as the Kitas application

If one needs the civil registrations

28. Take care of the residence registration (STM), at a local police station

29. Arrange the temporary Identity card (SKTT) at the City hall

30. Arrange the report of presence (LK) of all documents required for foreigners at the regional Labor and Social Department

(Note: every single application go with forms to fill out and request letters to write!)
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Significance of the above.

Many steps, a number of visits to the respective government departments, lots of paperwork demanding accurate preparation to avoid extra work or worse a refusal. Are you up to it? Your agent can do it all. He will call you when you need to come yourself. Your presence is needed only for the submission, the bio data session and collection of your Kitas (visa) at Immigration offices.
If the new ruling is successful, other government departments will follow. But, ‘operation clean government’ can turn out to become an everlasting venture. It might bring (un-) expected developments (too long handling time, overworked government employees!) that lead to new changes! We will keep you posted!

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The Permit House commenced operations providing the KITAP and has expanded into a full authorized formalities agency, handling all visas, permits and other documentation required by expats to stay, live and work in Indonesia. The Company founders are expats and have endured the processes first hand.