Applying for Indonesian Residency

Information about the residency application process in Indonesia with information on sponsors and visas...


A sponsor is a requirement for all residency visas. Visas can be obtained through sponsorship in the following ways:

  • From an Indonesian citizen who is a sponsor
  • From a company owned and operated by Indonesians
  • From an Indonesian institution, public or private
  • From foreign-owned companies with a licence to operate in Indonesia

In the case of an Indonesian citizen who is a sponsor, it is the Indonesian sponsor who asks for a residency visa for a foreigner. The sponsor usually has to submit the required documents, with or without the sponsored party.

Sponsors have full legal responsibility for the actions of the sponsored party. For example, if a foreigner commits a crime, the sponsor could be held liable for at least some if not all of the damages if a foreigner cannot pay damages. It is important that foreigners understand the legal responsibilities that Indonesian citizens have as sponsors, and also ensure that sponsors are aware of these responsibilities.

Sponsoring an Indonesian spouse

Foreigners who marry Indonesian citizens cannot automatically live in Indonesia. They are still required to apply for a residency visa, with the Indonesian spouse acting as sponsor.

At first, a foreign spouse is given a KITAS visa. After two extensions, a KITAS visa holder is eligible for a KITAP visa.

Obtaining a Kunjungan Sosial Budaya Visa (VKSB) or Social-Cultural Visa

A personal sponsor must write a Sponsorship Letter for a foreigner to get a VKSB Visa.

The sponsorship letter:

  • Must be written and signed by the sponsor and affixed with a notary stamp or with the official stamp of the sponsoring organisation or business
  • Must address the specific Indonesian Embassy, Consulate, or Immigration Office that a foreigner will go to for the VKSB Visa application
  • Should be faxed from the sponsor to the foreigner in their home country

The foreigner then applies for a VKSB Visa at an Indonesian Consulate. The visa is issued in three to five working days. If an agent is paid, it can be issued in 24 hours. There is a fee for this visa.

Work permit procedure

An Indonesian business must first get authorisation to hire expatriate personnel. The company applies for and is granted a work permit (Ijin Mempekerjakan Tenega Kerja Asing or Permission to Employ a Foreign Worker - IMTA). The IMTA is in the new employee's name, but is issued to and held by the company itself.

The company then applies for a foreigner's work permit and visa prior to employment, and is responsible for filling out and submitting all the required paperwork.

Then the company applies for a VITAS visa (Limited Stay Visa for Foreign Workers) on behalf of the employee. The employee goes to the Indonesian Consulate in their home country and has their passport stamped. The VITAS visa is a temporary visa, and only allows a foreign worker and family to enter Indonesia legally. They then must go to the local Office of Immigration within three working days to have their VITAS visa changed to a KITAS visa.