INDONESIA: Further Details of Upcoming Regulations for Hiring Foreign Workers [UPDATED]

October 25, 2018

[UPDATE] At a meeting of the US-ASEAN Business Council in Jakarta in early October 2018, attended by the Ministry of Manpower and the Directorate General of Immigration, it was stated that the implementation date of the new regulations would be 1 November 2018, and that a trial would be started on 15 October 2018. However, as of 24 October 2018, no trial period has begun and Immigration officers at the airport do not know when the implementation will begin.

Further details are now available of the new regulations for hiring foreign workers (see our previous alert here).

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has published Regulation No. 10/2018, but there the Directorate General of Immigration has not yet published its new regulations, and there is still no implementation date for the new system.

The main changes are:

Expatriate Placement Plan (RPTKA) and Work Permit (IMTA)

  • The individual work permit (IMTA) is likely to be replaced by a “notification” of the details of individual foreign workers, after which the foreign worker can start work.
  • In certain sectors (vocational education and training; oil and gas and digital economy), a foreign national Director or Commissioner will be able to work, with the same job title, for more than one employer.
  • The target processing time for the RPTKA will be no more than 2 working days after the “expose” meeting and for the “Notification” will be no more than two working days after payment of the Billing Code. Currently, each of these applications is processed in one to three weeks.
  • The Billing Code will include the DPKK (Skill and Development Fund) and possibly other applicable fees (to be confirmed once the Directorate General of Immigration (DGI) publishes its new regulations) and must be paid within 24 hours of issuance. The MOM will send a reminder notification to pay DPKK for the next year, one month prior to expiry. Non-payment will lead to revocation of the Notification.
  • The RPTKA will no longer be required for shareholders working as Director or Commissioner in the same company in which they hold shares.
  • Mandatory Indonesian language training will be introduced for long-term work permits (duration of 7+ months), but not for Directors or Commissioners.The company should provide Indonesian Language training to the foreign worker by way of cooperation with an Indonesian language institute. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has not provided a list of authorized authorities and it seems to be allowed that employees can act as language teacher of the foreign worker. MOM officers may visit workplaces to check the language ability of foreign workers.
  • A recommendation letter for certain business activities from the related government body will no longer be required. However, certain ministries (e.g. Oil and Gas, Education, Mining, Electricity, etc) are allowed to request additional requirements (e.g. job qualification, experience, job title, etc).
  • The validity of the RPTKA, currently a maximum of one year, will be based on the employment agreement between the employer and the foreign worker. Under Indonesian law, a fixed-term employment agreement is valid for a maximum of two years, can be extended for one year and can be renewed for a maximum two years. However, according to the appendix of MOM Regulation 10/2018, the validity of the RPTKA can be up to five years. This seems to be in violation of the above Manpower Law. This needs to be further clarified with MOM.
  • Moreover, it seems that an Indonesian employment agreement will become necessary for Directors and Commissioners, and foreign workers applying for a short-term work permit.
  • Under MOM Regulation 10/2018 there are more possibilities to amend the RPTKA, which may lead to shorter processing times as there is no need to apply for a new RPTKA in case of new assignees (amendment will suffice).

Limited Stay Permit (ITAS)

A combined application for “Telex Visa” (VITAS (limited-stay visa) with telex approval), ITAS (limited stay permit) and MERP (multiple-exit re-entry permit) will be submitted together with the “notification”.

  • Either all three issued documents can be collected, and biometrics provided, at the consulate (if available); or the Telex Visa can be collected at the consulate and ITAS and MERP can be collected, and biometrics provided, at the airport or seaport on arrival in Indonesia.
  • It is likely that the preparation of biometric facilities at consulates and airports may take significant time to implement, and that biometric sessions at airports may lead to extended waiting times on arrival.

Our Advice

Stay tuned for further details of the implementation of these new regulations as they are released.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to Indonesia please email us at [email protected]