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Employment in Indonesia

Perhaps the first thing to discuss is … are you already in Indonesia? As job seekers around the world know, being able to respond immediately to leads and requests for interviews as well as to network is very valuable. Frankly speaking, it will be very hard for you to locate employment in Indonesia, if you are not here.

Government policies towards hiring expatriates

The second, most important thing is you must realize is that employment in Indonesia is not truly "open" to expatriates'. Early 2002 government figures show that 40+ million Indonesians are unemployed and about 10% of them are professionals. The government policy clearly states that it does not want a company in Indonesia, domestic or foreign, to hire an expatriate for a job that can be done by an Indonesian. There are too many unemployed Indonesians looking for work!

This policy pretty much precludes the young, adventuring expat with little work experience from getting a job in Indonesia.

Work Permits

In order for a company in Indonesia to hire an expatriate, they must have permission from the government. Obtaining this permission can be time consuming, costly and extremely bureaucratic. Hiring an expatriate is not a decision taken easily by local or multinational companies.

Government policy states that foreigners who work in Indonesia must be "experts" in their field. This precludes your average recent university graduate from working here … as the government sees an expert as someone who has been working in their field professionally for 5 to 10 or more years. The only exception we've found to this rule is for native speakers teaching English. If you have teaching qualifications and are a native speaker, you are already an expert in your field even if you are a fresh graduate.

If the government accepts the company's application (manpower plan), then the expatriate is issued a work permit. After the work permit is approved, the company can also apply for a semi-resident visa for the new employee.

In addition to the applications and bureaucratic hassles of hiring foreigners, the company must pay a monthly tax of $100 for each foreigner they hire. These funds are paid to the Manpower Ministry, who ostensibly uses the funds for training programs to increase the skills of Indonesians.

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