One of the big advantages of forming a Foreign Investment Company is that it can be used to sponsor you into a Foreign Investor Visa, which allows you personally to live in Indonesia as a director of your company.
It’s important to note that while the Foreign Investment Company has the right to operate in Indonesia, the Foreign Investor Visa must be applied for separately in order to allow you (the boss) to actually direct the business from within Indonesia, providing for the right of temporary residence and allows freedom of travel in and out of the country.
Assuming you already have the Foreign Investment Company (called a PT PMA) documents completed, the next step is to apply for an electronic visa (e-VITAS).
We do all this for you and make the process fast and simple – this post is just to explain to you in clear terms what is required so you have a basic understanding of how the application process works and what you will receive at the end.
You may be surprised that many so-called visa agents do not complete the process, neglecting some of the important documents because they are rarely checked. However, this can cause huge headaches down the track if checks are made, especially when it comes time to renew your status.
So once we have all the documents we need from you (more on that later) we submit the process directly through the Government’s online visa system (Immigration Portal). Your VITAS is a visa approval issued by the Directorate General of Immigration that simply allows you to enter Indonesia.
We then go through the step of converting your VITAS to a permanent stay permit called a KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Sementara in Bahasa). It used to be a physical card but now it’s all electronic and is a stamp in your passport.
You have 30 days after arrival in Indonesia to convert your VITAS into a KITAS through the local immigration office in the district you are staying. Again, we do all of this for you, and any scheduled visits to the immigration (there are 2, one for submitting the application and the last one to provide fingerprinted biometric scanning).
It’s also relevant to note that you will need to provide a valid residential address for your KITAS application. However, since most foreign applications arrive without a permanent residential address (it cannot be a hotel, for example) we can assist with a virtual address which gives us 3 months of breathing room for you to find a permanent address and we can update the KITAS documents and requirements with the proper residential address.
The Foreign Investor Visa (KITAS) is a temporary stay permit that lasts for 1 or 2 years. While the 2-year option is slightly more complicated and takes a little longer to process we highly recommend the longer option because it negates the hassle of renewing every year.
A KITAS can be renewed, allowing for further 2-year temporary stay permits, but more importantly, after 4 years of continuous KITAS, the holder will be eligible for a KITAP (more on this elsewhere) which is valid for 5 years.
The next step is to apply for and process the Multiple Re-Entry Permit (MERP). This is a stamp in your passport that allows you to do what it says on the tin – leave and return to Indonesia as many times and whenever you wish.
Next is the Surat Tanda Melapor (STM). This is a police report – don’t worry, it’s not a background check – it’s simply an acknowledgement to the local police district that they have a foreigner with the correct documents residing in their district.
This is something that freelancers often skip because they don’t have the correct paperwork to submit to the police and then makes renewing your KITAS a nightmare.
And lastly is the Surat Keterangan Tempat Tinggal (SKTT) which is your residential permit that is again an acknowledgement that a foreigner is residing at your nominated residential address with the local district civil office.
Common issues with an Investor Visa
The idea behind the Investor Visa is to allow foreigners to invest in and start up businesses in Indonesia. It, therefore, allows the investor a visa in which to direct the company, but the investor cannot use this visa to work within the business in a functional role.
Examples include being the marketing manager, or in the case of the hospitality industry, you can own a restaurant but you cannot use this visa to be the chef. You can only be the boss, not a worker. For that, you need a different kind of visa.
The penalties for breaking immigration law are significant, with fines of up to 500 million rupiah (around USD$45,000.00), so ensuring you are operating within the boundaries and restrictions of your specific visa is critical.
How much does it cost?
The cost of this visa for one-year validity is IDR 15 million and for two years is 18 million. This is all the total upfront cost and there are no other hidden fees or charges and will take 25 – 30 days to process from start to finish.
What do we provide?
- Electronic Visa (VITAS)
- Police report