INDONESIA: New Regulations Tighten Immigration Rules

When considering the complexities surrounding the stringent regulation changes to immigration in Indonesia, it is firstly worth noting that there are specific nationalities that can stay within the territory visa free for up to 30 calendar days for business purposes. The business visa free entry has also been extended to nationals of Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Minister of Manpower has, on 29th June, also issued a regulation on the Procedures to Employ Expatriates. This regulation clarifies and extends several key immigration rules and should make it harder for employers in Indonesia to hire or mobilise foreign nationals.

The new regulation is expected to be implemented at some point in August 2015 and details may change before implementation. The key changes have clarified the ratio of foreign assignees to locals, the standard ratio being one foreign assignee to ten local employees with an exemption for Director and Commissioner positions. The previous unofficial general ratio was considered at 1:3 or 1:5.

The new regulation also expands the requirement to obtain an expatriate placement plan and work permit for, amongst others, the following activities:

  • Providing guidance, counselling, and training in the application of industrial and technological innovation to improve the quality and design of industrial products;

  • The production of a commercial film;

  • Providing lectures;

  • Attending meetings held with headquarters or representatives in Indonesia;

  • Conducting audits, production quality control, or inspection at the company’s branch in Indonesia.

The new regulation also creates a new temporary visa for one or six months to cover these activities as well as a new urgent (or emergency) visa to be issued in one day. Under the old regulation the above-mentioned activities did not require these visas. Foreign assignees were able to perform these activities in Indonesia with visa-free entry (for certain nationalities), a visa on arrival or a business visa.

There are other key specific changes and these are specific to each application. We at Newland Chase are presently monitoring the actual measures implemented by the Ministry of Manpower and further confirmations are expected in late August.

 Should you need advice or assistance relating to this matter or Indonesian immigration in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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