All foreigners must have a valid visa to live in Indonesia. Citizens of certain countries have visa-free status for short visits of up to 30 days.
Procedures for gaining residence status in Indonesia are complicated because of how laws are implemented. There is no uniform way of getting, for example, KITAS residency status. Each provincial immigration office interprets the law differently, has their own procedure, and can demand extra fees beyond the legal fees.
Types of Resident Visas
- Izin Kunjungan Sosial Budaya Visa – VKSB: valid for up to six months. The Sosial Budaya, or social-cultural visa requires an Indonesian sponsor. It is valid for 60 days after which it must be extended every month for up to six months. It is used for visiting family, or for social-cultural exchanges. It is a single entry visa; when the holder leaves the country, the visa becomes invalid.
- Kunjungan Beberapa Kali Perjalanan Visa or Sosial Budaya – Multiple-entry Visa: valid for 12 months. This is a social-cultural visa that is valid for 12 months and allows multiple entries into and out of the country.
- VITAS or VBS – a Limited-stay Visa or Semi-Permanent Residence Visa: A foreigner hired by an Indonesian company is given a VITAS while still in their home country. This is extended to the worker’s spouse and children and is issued after a work permit has been authorised. When a foreign worker and his family arrives in Indonesia, immigration procedures change the VITAS visa to a KITAS visa.
- Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas or Temporary Residency Permit – KITAS: valid for six months to one year. A KITAS Visa is the most common visa for foreign residents and requires an Indonesian sponsor. Valid for five years in total, it is first valid for one year and must subsequently be extended every 12 months.
- Kartu Izin Tinggal Tetap or Permanent Residency Permit – KITAP: valid for five years; after the first period of five years, it can be extended for four more consecutive five-year periods, and is valid for 25 years in total. A KITAP Visa requires a sponsor, and is most often given to foreigners who are married to Indonesian citizens and who plan on living in Indonesia permanently.
- Retirement Visa – for those aged over 55.