Indonesia Expat Guide

Indonesia is a really popular spot for international expatriots looking for a way to experience a new culture, lower their cost of living, work with NGOs and for simply a wide variety of reasons. Whatever the reasons though, it is likely you can find a spot somewhere in Asia, and particularly Indonesia, to meet your needs and expectations. The idyllic Indonesian island of Bali is by far one of the most popular spots for expats, with Jarkarta, the capital also being a popular choice.

We also have various stories and advice on the Indonesia section of our expat blog.

What Visas are Needed to Live in Indonesia?

Visas are, by far, the hardest part of living as an expat in Asia and often where you are at in life (20-something, family, retired) will dictate which country is better and more lenient with visas for your situation. As always, if you do not plan to work within the country (or simply do online work) then it is far less complicated in some ways.

The quick and simple on Indonesia visas:

  • The country offers a US$25 Visa on Arrival that is ideal for travelers and short-term expats with no intention of working within the country. These VOA are good for 30 and 60 days at a time and require no advance embassy visit, they are stamped into your passport once you enter the country. You can easily leave Indonesia and return with new stamps if you’re willing to make the trip out every 30-60 days.
  • If you plan to work in Indonesia and live for several years you will need a KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas–Temporary Stay Permit Card). There are many obstacles and hurdles to jump for this visa, but once you have the KITAS it is valid for a full year and is much easier to renew after that point (for up to six years).
  • For the spouse and children of an expat working or living in Indonesia the VITAS for just a bit of time (a year or so) the VITAS (Visa Izin Tinggal Terbatas–Temporary Stay Permit Visa) is ideal and works as a sticker in your passport. If you have one of these before entering Indonesia it is imperative that you check in with the local immigration office within seven days of entry.

What Airports Are in Indonesia?

  • Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali
  • Selaparang International Airport, Mataram, Lombok
  • Halim Perdana Kusuma AirportJakarta
  • Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta
  • Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport, Banda Aceh
  • Hang Nadim Airport, Batam, Riau
  • Sultan Syarif Kasim II, Pekanbaru, Riau
  • Polonia Airport, Medan, North Sumatra
  • Minangkabau International Airport, Padang, West Sumatra
  • Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport, Palembang, South Sumatra
  • Adi Sucipto International Airport, Yogyakarta
  • Adi Sumarmo International Airport, Surakarta
  • Ahmad Yani International AirportSemarang, Central Java
  • Husein Sastranegara International Airport, Bandung, West Java
  • Juanda International Airport, Surabaya, East Java
  • El-Tari Airport, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara
  • Sam Ratulangi Airport, Manado, North Sulawesi
  • Hasanuddin International Airport, Makassar, South Sulawesi
  • Sepinggan International Airport, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan
  • Supadio International Airport, Pontianak, West Kalimantan


A great other resource for Indonesia expat information is:

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