OK, here’s my solution to living in Indonesia without a work permit – a retirement visa. I can do this on my own or hire an agent who will charge me as much as $1,500.
I think I have a travel agent who will sponsor me and I have an Indonesian national who can go with me to the respective offices and act as a translator, so I may try this on my own.
Let’s see: 55 or older – check; valid passport – check; 4 passport photos – can get easily; proof of mension with required amount – check; resume – check; medical, death and personal liability insurance – will have to get in Indonesia; leter of sponsorship from travel agency – have possible source; statement of accommodation – will get when I find an apartment; statement about domestic employees hired – no problem; statement about not working in Indonesia – no problem.
Extra fees – here’s where they want bribes and jack up the costs. Will deal with this as it occurs.
Here is the official stuff:
A foreigner can apply for a Retirement Visa with a travel agent acting as a sponsor. The sponsor needs to write a letter on the applicant’s behalf. They can enter Indonesia on a tourist visa and then apply for the KITAS visa on arrival. The rest of the process must be carried out by the applicant who first goes to an Office of Immigration or Kantor Imigrasi. Applicants must be:
- Age 55 or older
- In possession of a valid passport with more than 18 months remaining before expiration
- Copy of all passport pages and four passport photos, 4x6cm
- Curriculum Vitae with work history
- Proof of pension that pays a minimum of USD1,500 per month
- Proof of medical, death, and personal liability insurance
- Letter of sponsorship from a travel agency
- Statement of accommodation in Indonesia
- Statement that they will declare employment of domestic help while in Indonesia
- Statement agreeing not to work or engage in business in Indonesia while living in Indonesia
Depending on a foreigner’s home country, a Retirement Visa is valid for one year and can be extended yearly for a maximum stay of five years. A person should contact an Indonesian Embassy or Consulate for the rules which pertain to their home country. After five years of continued residence they can apply for a KITAP Visa.
Retirement Visa holders are required to pay Indonesian income tax on their personal earnings.
Hiring an Agent
Many foreigners hire an agent to do the paperwork for residency visas. Agents generally cost three to ten times more than doing the process in person.
The Office of Immigration or Kantor Imigrasi issues visas. However, each immigration department in Indonesia is administered differently and immigration rules and regulations are interpreted differently. Some rules are slighted or ignored, and in the process, applicants’ rights can be forfeited. Ignoring rules is sometimes the result of ignorance, but more often done to encourage extra fees. Requests for extra fees are endemic to immigration offices, with some requiring more fees than others.
Change of Address
By law all people living in Indonesia – citizens and otherwise – are required to register their home address to the local magistrate or village chief or appropriate municipal office, and if they change residence, the new address must be registered immediately as well.