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Moving to Indonesia for approx. 2 yrs. Which visa?

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  • Moving to Indonesia for approx. 2 yrs. Which visa?

    Hi all,

    Wow, this forum really is a treasure when it comes to information about living in Indonesia!

    I’ve been reading from the sidelines in the last few months and since I now personally have some concrete questions I decided to register, post and see whether anybody here can give me some push in the right direction. Here we go :-)

    In about 2 to 2.5 months me (Dutch) and my Indonesian girlfriend currently living in The Netherlands, are moving to Jakarta for about two years and will then move back here. This is a great adventure for the both of us and we’re very excited. It gives us an opportunity to discover how it is to live in this big city in Indonesia, and for me specifically to really get to know the country, culture, family and learn the language.

    Of course there are practical matters to take care of. My girlfriend will have a job in Jakarta and she has an Indonesian passport, so that is all fine. I won’t have a job from the start (I will focus on learning the language first and will look for a job once we are there). I’ve read about all kinds of visas and solutions on this forum, but I haven’t found the right answer yet. Since we are not married yet (but most likely will be somewhere in 2019), this also limits our options as I understand.

    My question to you: what type of visa is the most practical for me to apply for given the above?

    The Social Budaya (sosbud) seems to be the one that is most feasible since it is valid for 6 months (incl. the extensions). I am not completely sure whether during that period I can also fly to different countries though (for instance for a conference or family visit) and whether after 6 months I can apply for another one? I am curious whether you think the sosbud is the best option or whether you have other thoughts :-)

    Hopefully you can help us a bit, thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum , social visa should be your best option ,but you cannot travel out of the country until the end of the 6 month period or the social visa will be void .
    Renewal should not be an issue , you would need to start the document support for the application while you are in holland , good luck !

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Momentum View Post
      (1) ... she has an Indonesian passport, so that is all fine.

      (2) I .. will look for a job once we are there ...

      (3) what type of visa is the most practical for me to apply for given the above? The Social Budaya (sosbud) seems to be the one ...

      (4) I am not completely sure whether during that period I can also fly to different countries though ...

      (5) whether after 6 months I can apply for another one? ...

      (1) All fine if she has no other country's passport .

      (2) Be informed that normal legal jobs for foreigners are only for work experts (college/university diploma + 5 years work experience related to the diploma) . Illegal work (any work without a specific Work Permit/Work Visa/KITAS) is considered a crime (up to 5 years in jail) .

      (3) For doing nothing , the (single entry) Sosbud Visa , attending an Indonesian language school : 1 year "Student" Visa/KITAS (sponsored by the school) . A (single entry) Sosbud Visa sponsored by your Indonesian girlfriend is additionally good when you marry her : with it you can get an one year KITAS without leaving Indonesia .

      (4) The "Single Entry" type means that it expires if you leave Indonesia . There is also the "Multiple Entries" type that would allow its holder to leave and come back many times , but this type is usually only for "family visits" .

      (5) Staying in Indonesia for a long time with no strong reason is becoming more and more difficult with Sosbud and shorter Visas because some officers are concerned about foreigners working illegally in Indonesia .


      http://www.expat.or.id/info/docs.html (Indonesian Visas/documents)

      http://www.expat.or.id/business/jobseekers.html (about legal work)

      http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...596#post244596 (Requirements for English teachers)

      http://www.expat.or.id/info/gettingm...indonesia.html
      http://www.expat.or.id/info/mixmarriages.html
      http://www.expat.or.id/info/familylaw.html
      http://www.expat.or.id/info/marriage...lications.html
      http://www.expat.or.id/info/prenuptialagreement.html (about the prenup/separated wealth for buying Indonesian property)

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you both for your answers, that definitely points me into the right direction!

        Originally posted by marcus View Post

        (1) All fine if she has no other country's passport .

        (2) Be informed that normal legal jobs for foreigners are only for work experts (college/university diploma + 5 years work experience related to the diploma) . Illegal work (any work without a specific Work Permit/Work Visa/KITAS) is considered a crime (up to 5 years in jail) .

        (3) For doing nothing , the (single entry) Sosbud Visa , attending an Indonesian language school : 1 year "Student" Visa/KITAS (sponsored by the school) . A (single entry) Sosbud Visa sponsored by your Indonesian girlfriend is additionally good when you marry her : with it you can get an one year KITAS without leaving Indonesia .

        (4) The "Single Entry" type means that it expires if you leave Indonesia . There is also the "Multiple Entries" type that would allow its holder to leave and come back many times , but this type is usually only for "family visits" .

        (5) Staying in Indonesia for a long time with no strong reason is becoming more and more difficult with Sosbud and shorter Visas because some officers are concerned about foreigners working illegally in Indonesia .
        (1) Fortunately, she has only the Indonesian passport :-)

        (2) That is a good remark. After the first 2 months I am planning to find a job in an industry that interests me a lot: real estate, specifically to Indonesia. Since in the future we might invest in real estate in Indonesia and I've been reading enough on this forum about the subject and its complexity (foreigners not being able to own land, hak milik etc.), I want to learn about it at first hand by working in the industry for a while. My roots are in economics and business, with 10+ years working experience in e-commerce. If I can't find a job in real estate after trying for a while, my back-up plan is to go for a job in the e-commerce space and learn about real estate on the side through other methods. If this would happen and I, for example, would enter originally with a Sosbud, would it then be possible to leave the country for a day and come back on a specific work permit or would they think that is strange?

        (3) My plan is to focus only the first 2 months intensely on the language to be able to speak and understand the basics. After that, learning by doing plus some regular weekly lessons. So I guess the 1 year (single entry) student Visa/Kitas isn't a suitable/realistic option?

        (4) Okay, so does that mean you have 'multiple entry' versions of all kinds of visas or only the one for family visit purposes? And how does this work with expats with a work permit who need to go in and out of the country for business trips and family visits?

        (5) Yeah, I read about that more lately and I understand their concerns. I don't want to violate any laws of course. That why I turn to guys like to for some advice!


        Sorry for the long reads. I want to give as much context as possible for relevance :-)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Momentum View Post

          (4) Okay, so does that mean you have 'multiple entry' versions of all kinds of visas or only the one for family visit purposes? And how does this work with expats with a work permit who need to go in and out of the country for business trips and family visits?
          Marcus is by far the best source of info on what visas are available but I know he won't be offended if I add info to your above question as I have had experience.

          A multi-entry Sosbud or Business visa is available by application. It is valid for one year and permits in/out multiple times. The one annoying restriction is you do have to exit within every 60 days. This may be convenient for your enterprise but, as I found out, is a 'pain in the ass' just being used to actually stay in RI.
          You will need a reason to achieve as they are authorized from Jakarta Central Immigration and telexed to the Embassy/Consul of your choice. The single-entry Sosbud is much easier as each foreign RI Embassy/Consul is permitted to issue on its own volition.
          The multi-entry Sosbud is issued for any reason regarding family matters. The multi-entry Business is ostensibly for those who have business in a foreign country but have an association with an Indonesia business in some way, so the applicant can easily come to RI and do whatever business is required then leave....an agent would be preferable to achieve this.
          Either way it does permit living in RI for any period up to a max of 60 days but I found it tiresome after the first year of integrating holidays etc. I even went to KL on a morning flight and returned in the afternoon (with a duty-free litre of expensive vodka).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Momentum View Post
            (2) ... would enter originally with a Sosbud, would it then be possible to leave the country for a day and come back on a specific work permit or would they think that is strange?

            (3) ... So I guess the 1 year (single entry) student Visa/Kitas isn't a suitable/realistic option?

            (4) Okay, so does that mean you have 'multiple entry' versions of all kinds of visas or only the one for family visit purposes?

            (4a) And how does this work with expats with a work permit who need to go in and out of the country .. ? ...

            (2) It is possible to leave and return with another Visa in the same day .
            Note : Work Permit is issued in Indonesia . After it is issued (by the Manpower Department) , your employer presents it to Jakarta's Immigration Directorate in order to get an authorization letter for an Indonesian Embassy to issue a Work Limited Stay Visa .

            (3) Well , I think the school will not agree to sponsor an one year Visa/KITAS if you don't register there for an one year course .

            (4) Repeating part of what Davita said above in other words , theoretically "Multiple Entries" Visa is available for certain purposes of the Visit Visa (for family visits and for business purpose) .
            Note : We usually don't use much the name "Visit Visa" in the Forum , but instead name the Visit Visa by its purposes (Social Cultural/Family Visa , Tourist Visa , Business Visa) .

            (4a) Work Limited Stay Visa/Work Stay Permit (Work KITAS) is not multiple entries but in practice it is because in addition to it the Indonesian Immigration issues a "Re-entry Permit" .
            Note : As soon as you enter Indonesia a Visa becomes a Stay Permit , but usually we just use the word "Visa" for simplicity .
            Last edited by marcus; 3 weeks ago.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks a lot Davita and Marcus, I really appreciate it :-) @Davita, I can imagine having to leave Indonesia every 60 days is indeed not so nice and definitely not practical!

              Based on what I learned on this forum and in this thread, I think the Social Cultural visa (sosbud) is what I should go for initially in my situation. Once I have found a job I will apply for a Work Limited Stay Visa, which in practice will be a 'multiple entries' visa because of the re-entry permit. If I can't find the right job within six months, I will leave Indonesia for a few days and apply for another Social Cultural visa and continue searching for a job (within a wider scope). There are no specific requirements of a sponsor for my SC visa right? So, any family member of my girlfriend can be my sponsor?

              Next to that, since we will only know the exact arrival date in about 3 weeks from now (estimation is still beginning of November), when and where (Indonesian embassy in The Netherlands?) should I apply for the SC visa and how long does it approximately take? Any specific things I can prepare upfront to speed up the process?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Momentum View Post
                (a) ... I think the Social Cultural visa (sosbud) is what I should go for initially in my situation...

                (b) There are no specific requirements of a sponsor for my SC visa right?

                (c) So, any family member of my girlfriend can be my sponsor?

                (d) ... when and where (Indonesian embassy in The Netherlands?) should I apply for the SC visa and how long does it approximately take?

                (e) Any specific things I can prepare upfront to speed up the process?

                (a) I agree .

                (b) Theoretically the sponsor must be responsible for you during your stay in Indonesia , so it is possible that a poor sponsor can be rejected (up to now I only heard 2 government officers mention that but in the last 10 years of this Forum I didn't hear of anybody having a sponsor rejected , except me myself but a sponsor for a 5 years Stay Permit) . If you can choose , it is preferable to choose a sponsor who has a profession stated in her/his Indonesian identity card (KTP) that can imply a source of income . Another think to consider is the address stated in the KTP . For example , if you intend to stay in South Jakarta , better having a sponsor with an address in South Jakarta . This because the sponsor's KTP address will define which Immigration office you will deal with , for the Sosbud extensions (there are maybe 4 or more offices in Jakarta but normally just one in other cities) .

                (c) Any Indonesian (not poor/jobless as mentioned above) .

                (d) As soon as possible (as you have 3 months to use it after issuance) . Indonesian Embassies for sure issue Visas , but not all Consulates do it (see link below) .

                (e) The first steps (better check Embassy's website) :
                - the sponsor's letter (see sample in the link below - some Embassies accept just an email/fax copy of that) ,
                - USD1'500 (or equivalent in other currency) bank balance statement of the sponsor (I guess the Embassy can accept a bank statement of the foreigner himself/herself instead) .


                http://www.kemlu.go.id/en/kedutaan/default.aspx (Indonesian Embassies'/Consulates' websites/address)

                http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...=5217#post5217 (post no.4 , sample of sponsor's letter for a Sosbud)


                Comment


                • #9
                  That is good one, I didn't know I should do the Sosbud extensions at the Immigration office closest to my sponsor's KTP address. The family of my girlfriend lives in Sumatra and we'll be living in Jakarta (for my girlfriend's job). Are there any solutions to this, since I don't think flying to Sumatra every month is very practical? Or is the only option to find a different sponsor?

                  Thanks for the other resources as well btw!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Options :
                    - Sponsored by girlfriend : even with KTP from Sumatra , later in Jakarta she try to get one from Jakarta as you have 60 days to extend the Visa (ask her to start a Surat Pindah from Sumatra to Jakarta as soon as possible) .

                    - Sponsored by the future Jakarta's landlord , or future girlfriend's work colleague , ...

                    - Get a Tourist Visa . Some people have succeeded in getting extensions for it because it has the same Visa identification (B211A: Single Entry Visit Visa) .

                    - Get a paid Visa-on-arrival (can extend it once) , and in 60 days look for a sponsor .

                    - Pay a professional agent to sponsor you (see list of agents below)


                    http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...d-my-blacklist (post no.8 , list of agents)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We have some friends in Jakarta so I think we'll ask one of them to sponsor me :-)

                      BTW, how does it work when I am sponsored for a Social Cultural visa and my address in Indonesia? Do I need to have an address in Indonesia registered somewhere? If so, where does this need to be registered + what happens if we at some point move to another apartment, do I need to change my address somewhere?

                      Also, today I called the embassy and they told me that for a Social Cultural visa application I need to provide a flight itinerary, to and out of Indonesia (including name of passenger, flight dates and numbers), so I need to have a return ticket since they want to be sure that I will leave the country. Since I won't go back for a while I won't book a return ticket. Any recommendations on this matter?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Momentum View Post
                        (x) BTW, .. when I am sponsored for a Social Cultural visa .. Do I need to have an address in Indonesia registered somewhere?

                        (y) ... what happens if we at some point move to another apartment, do I need to change my address somewhere?

                        (z) ... the embassy .. told me that for a Social Cultural visa application I need to provide a flight itinerary, to and out of Indonesia .. , so I need to have a return ticket .. Any recommendations on this matter?

                        (x) Yes , if I am not mistaken . Just before your 60th day in Indonesia (in case you want to extend the Visa) there is (probably) an Immigration form where you need to inform your address in Indonesia .

                        (y) Assuming Immigration requested you to inform your address in Indonesia as mentioned in (x) above , YES you must report your address change to Immigration . It is considered a CRIME if you don't do it (see the Law below) .

                        (z) Unfortunately this is specified in an Indonesian Regulation , so a return/onward ticket can be requested anywhere/anytime (although in many cases it is not requested) . See your options in the links below .


                        http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...y-ticket/page2 (ticket)

                        http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...12650-Question (ticket)

                        http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...ne-way-flights (ticket)


                        ------------------------------------------------


                        UU no.6 , year 2011
                        Article 71
                        Each foreigner residing in the Territory of Indonesia shall:
                        a. provide all necessary information regarding the identity and / or their families, and report any changes in civil status, nationality, occupation, sponsorship, or a change of address to the local Immigration Office; or
                        b . ...

                        Article 116
                        Each foreigner who do not perform his/her obligations as stipulated in Article 71 shall be punished with a maximum confinement of 3 (three) months or a fine of up to 25,000,000, 00 (twenty five million rupiah).

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