The KITAP: A blessing in disguise and the final gateway to Indonesia
There is much to say and much being said about the KITAP (Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap), the Permanent Stay Permit for foreigners living in Indonesia. It is relatively unknown, but mostly misunderstood and/or misinterpreted. This article tries to clear the air around this permit which, after all hurdles are taken, is actually your license to enjoying remarkable Indonesia permanently.
The Indonesian Immigration Law no. 6 of 2011 rules the KITAP in a few paragraphs only, where it explains who (no. 54) and when you qualify (no. 60), how long it is valid (no. 59) and who is given a right to work (no. 61). But how long does it take to get it, what are the benefits, and what does it cost? Over the years the questions and answers regarding the KITAP have lead to a quite complete view of this phenomenon.
Who qualifies for a KITAP?
– The Expat (spouse) who is married to an Indonesian national
– The Investor or main shareholder of Indonesian companies (PT. PMA)
– The Top Employees of a company, in general the Directors and Commissioners
– The Retiree (55+), who wants to stay and get really old in Indonesia
– The Former Indonesian Citizen, who wants to regain his old citizenship
When do they qualify for the KITAP?
The spouse as soon as the marriage has passed two years and after getting the KITAS first!
Investors, top employees and retirees after they obtained a KITAS for three consecutive years.
The former Indonesian qualifies immediately.
How long is a KITAP valid?
The period is five years and if the status of the expat doesn’t change, it will automatically be extended after those five years and one only need to apply again. (Note: In the event the marriage has lasted ten years, the KITAP continues for life, even when divorced after ten years!)
Do you have the right to work?
Based on article 61 of the Immigration Law, only the spouse sponsored KITAP holder has the right to work and this is clearly stipulated. The law wants the Expat to be able to earn a living for his family.
• The Expat can choose to work as a sole entrepreneur (and avoid the hassle and dazzle of the IMTA, the work permit) or decide to work for a company as an employee and obtain that IMTA. In such cases the company will become the sponsor for just the work permit only, while the Indonesian spouse will remain the sponsor for the (KITAP).
What about the Expat director married to an Indonesian national?
If this Expat is being appointed as a director of a company he automatically has the right to work and doesn’t need article 61. The deed or Articles of Association, mentioning his position, is enough to get him a work permit.
• If one can choose between the company or the spouse as a sponsor of the KITAP, the spouse is preferred; in cases of employment issues you might lose the IMTA, but you keep the KITAP.
How do you get the KITAP?
I. If you are eligible, by first gathering all required documents/attachments (see below). This is already causing a major hurdle since many documents appear not to be valid anymore or even not available yet. Many government institutions need to be visited to obtain the right documents.
II. The second step is the actual submission of the KITAP application and attachments with Immigration and visit the three levels of Immigration Local (Kanim), Regional (Kanwil) and National (Dirjen) on the way.
III. The KITAP process demands a third step. One must obtain a local police registration (STM) and an ID card (SKTT) with the local City Hall.
Which documents are needed?
Lots of them! In general the following paperwork is needed:
• If the spouse acts as the sponsor:
2) Kitas card
3) Current Civil registrations (STM, SKTT)
4) Marriage documents (certificate, books, registrations)
5) ID of Indonesian spouse
6) Family card of the spouse
7) Letter of Domicile (LOD)
8) Sponsor and request letters
9) Request letter for change KITAS to KITAP
10) Application form
(Note: In the event there is no spouse sponsored KITAS yet, this needs to be obtained first)
• If the company acts as sponsor (for the Investor, Director or Commissioner):
2) KITASs, IMTAs, SKTT of last three years
3) Deed and Ministerial Approval
4) Tax ID
5) Tax ID and KTP of Indonesian HR manager
6) Business registration
7) Business License
8) Yearly report of employees (WLK)
9) Companies Foreign Workers Employment Plan (RPTKA)
10) DPKK funds payment proof (the yearly US$1,200)
11) Work permit (IMTA)
How long does it take?
If all the required documents are submitted, only 8 to 12 weeks for a standard case. A standard case is a case where all required documents (see above!) are available. It is actually an almost automatic and smooth process if all attachments needed are present.
What are the benefits of the KITAP?
• A five-year valid stay permit
• A two-year valid MERP (the travel permit)
• An Indonesian ID (KTP, 5 years valid)
• An Indonesian driver’s license (SIM, 5 years valid)
• Obtain bank accounts, credit cards and even loans
• Get local prices, when booking a 4-5 star hotel
How much does it cost?
To give an indication for the whole KITAP process for a standard case:
I. Rp.40.500,000 based on a marriage, former citizenship or for a retiree
II. Rp.45.000,000 based on a company sponsorship.
These prices include all government dues and agency fees. For various formalities agencies carry all different prices. Depending on the availability of the documents needed, to be able to submit an application that will be approved, the price can be increased.
The information given above is based on the experience of having completed hundreds of successful KITAP applications.