Expat relocation to Indonesia

Expat relocation to Indonesia

Expat relocation to Indonesia

Indonesia’s meteoric rise to the status of one of the world’s largest emerging markets has prompted strong interest from foreign professionals seeking opportunities in Jakarta.

Indonesia’s growing economy has made its capital city a hub for foreign professionals and international companies seeking to benefit from its fruitful jobs market. However, important issues such as work visas, labour laws, frustrating bureaucracy and even-changing regulations have made the tangled threads of legal employment difficult to unravel. Many of the hassles date from earlier times when Indonesian government policy actively discouraged foreign companies from establishing themselves.

Nowadays, expatriates and foreign companies looking to get a foothold in the country need to realise the government’s first priority is to decrease unemployment amongst its own people by only allowing the hiring of expats when locals are unable to do the job. For example, foreign nationals cannot work in human resources, health, safety and environmental jobs, quality control and inspection or supply chain management unless there are exceptional circumstances, as all these sectors are well supplied with local workers.

As a result, expat professionals are advised to secure a position before arriving in Jakarta, with those still willing to take a chance pointed in the general direction of networking events and emailing companies of interest. Older expats tend to be employed in mining, oil and gas production, consultancies, export and engineering firms, and younger arrivals may join the vibrant tech start-up and e-commerce sector. Teaching English is also popular with younger arrivals.

Getting a visa is a long, complicated and often frustrating process, as companies wishing to employ foreigners need to submit a lengthy application to the government, which then takes its time to give the go-ahead for a work permit application. Whatever the job, eligibility for a work permit include at least five years’ work experience in the sector. Various sectors also have age restrictions, such as the oil and gas industry’s rule that applicants must be between 30 and 55 years of age. However, age restrictions don’t apply to CEOs and those with specific expertise.

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