Assessing travel and visa obligations in Indonesia

When traveling to Indonesia, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require work authorization. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.

Traveling for Business

What types of activities may I engage in as a business visitor?

As a business visitor to Indonesia, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:

  • Attend business meetings or roundtable discussions held at the head office or representative office in Indonesia
  • Attend an international show or exhibition
  • Attend business discussions for import/export of trade commodities
  • Attend conferences or seminars


If I qualify as a business visitor, do I need a visa for Indonesia?

Citizens of most countries are eligible to enter Indonesia on visa-waivered status and conduct limited business activities. However, under Indonesian law, permissible business activities are extremely restricted, and it is highly recommended that all business travelers obtain a Visit Visa (Business) from an Indonesian Consulate or Embassy prior to travel.

Similarly, while many nationalities may be eligible for a Visa on Arrival or an Electronic Visa on Arrival, it is recommended that all business visitors obtain a consular Visit Visa prior to traveling to Indonesia.

Working in Indonesia

What types of activities require work authorization?

The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under Indonesian law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in Indonesia, even if conducted for a short duration.

  • Touring a company facility
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Hands-on technical work

In limited circumstances, foreign nationals may engage in select professional activities for a short duration without obtaining work authorization, although strict preconditions must be met. Please contact your immigration provider for an individual assessment prior to travel to determine your eligibility for a work authorization exemption.


If I am traveling to Indonesia for work, what type of work authorization do I need?

The requirements for work authorization depend on your qualifications, the nature of your work and the duration of your intended stay in Indonesia. Foreign nationals must obtain work authorization through the Manpower Plan Approval (RPTKA), Notification and Limited Stay Permit (ITAS) application process under one of the following categories:

  • Emergency (urgent repairs for up to 30 days)
  • Short-term (up to 180 days)
  • Long-term (more than 180 days)


Is it possible to be exempted from work authorization requirements?

There are no work authorization exemptions based on nationalities in Indonesia; however, certain exemptions may apply to shareholders of a local Indonesian company or for employees in specific industries. Please seek further details from your immigration provider regarding requirements and restrictions associated with these exemptions.

What else should I know?

Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.


Copyright ©2024 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Government immigration agencies often change their policies and practices without notice; please consult an immigration professional for up-to-date information. This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. BAL maintains comprehensive immigration information and processing specifics for our clients.