Differences between Work and Business Visas in Indonesia


Work and Business Visas in Indonesia: Understanding the Main Differences

There are several types of visa to work and do business in Indonesia based on applicant’s intended use. As a result, it is highly recommended for you to understand the type of visa that is appropriate for you according to your needs and requirements.

You should also take note that Indonesia has recently passed a new Law No. 6 in 2011 on immigration and international agreement, with more visa options available. Detailed information can be obtained from Indonesian Immigration website. In this article, we will provide some insights to let you decide which visa type will be your best fit.

Differences of Work Visa and Business Visas

With a much clearer and more transparent Indonesian visa system, many foreigners are still confused between a work visa and business visa in Indonesia. Let us unfold their differences for you.

Work Visa in Indonesia

Most commonly known as KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas) by the local, this work visa is familiar to expats who are working and doing business in Indonesia on a full-time basis with Indonesian residence. KITAS allows its holder to reside in Indonesia for up to five years, and has to be renewed annually.

You can obtain a KITAS work visa through sponsorship when you are a foreigner employed by Indonesian companies, or you are married to an Indonesian citizen. During the time of your KITAS application process, you will go through a thorough background check from the Indonesian Immigration. At the same time, companies who are hiring you must prove why that why you, as a foreign worker or a business partner, should work for them.

Business Visa in Indonesia

A business visa allows you and other foreigners to visit Indonesia and do business activities in Indonesia without being employed. Business activities that you can do with a business visa include attending a business meeting, giving lectures, and attending a seminar. Without the employment, it also means that business visa does not allow you to take up any activities in exchange for monetary compensation.

While it is relatively easier to obtain a business visa than a work visa in Indonesia, a company registered in Indonesia will still need to offer you a sponsor letter for business visa approval. Foreigners are allowed to stay in Indonesia for a maximum of 60 days per visit. Once you would like to stay 60 days or less, single entry business visa is a good choice. However, if you plan to come to Indonesia several times during 1 year, a multiple entry business visa, that is valid for 12 months and allows you to stay maximum 60 days per visit, is what you should choose.

It is worth noting that do not try to overstay in Indonesia with a visit visa or tourist visa, as serious imprisonment and fine will be imposed upon foreigners who do not obey the Immigration Law in Indonesia.

Differences and Advantages in a Nutshell

  • A KITAS work visa allows a foreigner to be employed in Indonesia, while business visa does not.
  • The business visa process is less complicated and requires fewer documents, with 5 - 7 working days, while KITAS work visa needs at least 2 months.
  • The business visa application is only submitted to Indonesian Immigration, while KITAS work visa application must be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) prior.
  • With KITAS work visa, foreigners do not have to deal with the Indonesian Immigration on a monthly basis compared to business visa.
  • A business visa is less expensive to apply, and more convenient for foreigners visiting Indonesia for business activities for a short period of time.

How Can Cekindo Help You?

Are you thinking of working and moving to Indonesia? Cekindo provides comprehensive solutions for your different types of visa application needs. Contact us now.

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