INDONESIA: New Residence Procedures for Foreign Workers

June 19, 2019

Effective immediately, foreign workers are no longer able to undergo biometric collection and obtain their Limited Stay Permit (ITAS) and Multiple Exit Re-Entry Permit (MERP) on arrival at Soekarno Hatta airport, but will instead have to submit an application and attend a biometric session at their local immigration office.

This introduces extra steps to the immigration process, and delays the issuing of the ITAS and MERP, which allows foreign workers to exit and re-enter Indonesia.

Previously, the e-ITAS obtained on arrival at the airport was not always sent automatically to the company,  which resulted in many foreign workers leaving (and re-entering) Indonesia without showing their e-ITAS and MERP.

Note that the change only affects foreign national work permit holders – their dependent family members already had to obtain ITAS and MERP at the local immigration office.

New Procedure

  • The immigration officers at the airport will issue an ITAS sticker/stamp stating, “Subject Must Apply For Limited Stay Permit At Local Immigration Office Within 30 Days”;
  • Within 30 days of arrival, the foreign worker must submit their original passport at the local immigration office. The passport will be retained by the immigration office for eight to ten working days. During processing, the foreign worker is not allowed to leave Indonesia but can travel within the country;
  • Four to five days after submission, the foreign worker must attend a biometric session at the local immigration office;
  • Four to five days after the biometric session, the original passport, now bearing the ITAS and MERP, will be returned by the local immigration office.
  • If the foreign national leaves Indonesia without having processed their ITAS and MERP manually at the local immigration office, their work permit will be automatically invalidated and the immigration process will have to be restarted.

Our Advice

Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

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