Visa in Indonesia: who can be your sponsor?

Alexis
Modified on December 27, 2023

What is a visa sponsor in Indonesia? In Indonesia, a visa sponsor is the person or entity who invites you and guarantees you while you are on Indonesian soil. For the relevant visas, this practically means that your visa is linked to this person of Indonesian nationality or a local company that "justifies" your presence […]

What is a visa sponsor in Indonesia?

In Indonesia, a visa sponsor is the person or entity who invites you and guarantees you while you are on Indonesian soil.

For the relevant visas, this practically means that your visa is linked to this person of Indonesian nationality or a local company that "justifies" your presence on the territory and takes the necessary steps to ensure you are in compliance.

Your sponsor is therefore the responsible party for you in the eyes of immigration but also your point of contact between you and immigration. They will need to be present at immigration for certain documents.

In practice, the relationship you have with your sponsor depends a lot on your type of visa. In some cases, your sponsor is simply the person who writes your "invitation letter" required for certain visas; in others, it's your employer, spouse, or another person closer to you.

Which visas require a sponsor in Indonesia?

Not all Indonesian visas require sponsors, especially tourist visas.

Here are the visas that DO NOT require an Indonesian sponsor:

  • Visa exemptions
  • Visa On Arrival (VOA)

Conversely, here are the visas for which an Indonesian sponsor is mandatory:

  • B211 visas (long-stay and/or business visits)
  • All residence visas of the KITAS and KITAP types

To learn more about visa types in Indonesia, read: What are the types of visas in Indonesia?

Possible sponsors by visa type

Now that you know whether or not you need a sponsor, here's who can sponsor you based on the type of visa you need.

Visa B211: an Indonesian citizen or organization can sponsor you

The B211 visa in Indonesia requires an Indonesian sponsor, but the choice of sponsor is relatively broad, which explains the ease of obtaining this particular visa.

Here's who can sponsor you for a B211:

  • An Indonesian citizen (for social/family reasons)
  • An Indonesian company (for business reasons)
  • Some Indonesian non-profit organizations
  • Your visa agent

When you don't know an Indonesian citizen who has the patience and time to dedicate to your visa, the simplest way is to go through a visa agent who will take care of the sponsorship and everything else.

Work KITAS: an Indonesian company must sponsor you

A work KITAS is obtained when you become an employee of an Indonesian company. So generally, it's the Indonesian company employing you that must sponsor your KITAS.

There are two exceptions to the rule.

  1. If you are married to an Indonesian spouse (and they are your sponsor), you can keep them as the sponsor of your KITAS and only attach the work permit to the company you work for.
  2. If you are a digital nomad/independent/freelancer, you can have a KITAS sponsored by an agent. In this case, the system is similar to a payroll company, but with an added visa.

But for all others, as soon as you work for an Indonesian company and have a KITAS/KITAP, it's this company that sponsors you.

Attention, not all Indonesian companies can sponsor KITAS. Only PT and PT PMA type companies can employ foreigners, provided their capital is more than 1,100,000,000 rupiahs, or approximately 75,000 euros. This excludes many by default.

The case of Family KITAS

When we talk about Family KITAS, also known as "dependent KITAS," there are actually several possible situations.

If you are married to an Indonesian citizen, they will be the sponsor for your KITAS in the vast majority of cases, unless you absolutely want a company to sponsor you.

If you depend on someone who already has a work KITAS (spouse/children of an expatriate), it's the company sponsoring the foreigner you are connected to that technically sponsors your visa.

Retirement KITAS: your agent is the sponsor

Retirement KITAS works differently from other types of Indonesian visas.

You still need a sponsor, who is your agent.

Discussions are underway to change retirement KITAS laws. The need for a sponsor could be reconsidered in exchange for larger funds for obtaining the visa. Stay tuned…

Conclusion

The question of visa sponsorship in Indonesia is actually quite simple.

If you are a tourist staying less than 2 months, you don't need one.

As soon as you stay more than 2 months in Bali, the question of sponsorship is likely to arise. In most cases, a visa agent can be your sponsor, both for B211 visit visas and sponsored KITAS or retirement KITAS.

If you are officially employed in Indonesia or married to an Indonesian citizen, they are the ones who sponsor your visas. You can always go through an agent to facilitate the procedures, but their name/entity will not be your sponsor.

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