AmCham Update
AmCham Update #91
New Immigration Rules for Foreigners, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Rioting & Anger
Oct 09, 2020 | AmCham Indonesia


New Policy on Expat Visas and Stay Permits in the New Normal

The Ministry of Law and Human Rights issued a new Regulation (26/2020) on Visa and Stay Permits in the New Normal, on Oct 1. The new regulation is meant to provide a more flexible immigration policy compared to its predecessor, Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation 11/2020, which is now revoked.

Under the new regulation, foreigners who have the visas/permits listed below are allowed to enter Indonesia through strict health protocol procedures:

  • Service Visa
  • Diplomatic Visa
  • Visit Visa (Single Entry)
  • Limited Stay Visa
  • Official Stay Permit
  • Diplomatic Stay Permit
  • Temporary Stay Permit
  • Permanent Stay Permit

In regard to the above visa/permit holders that are allowed to enter Indonesia, Free Visit Visa and Visa on Arrival (VoA) are still temporarily suspended until the pandemic is declared over.

In order to support national economic recovery and family reunions, the new regulation opens up offshore visa applications for eligible persons:

Persons eligible for Visit Visa are those who have the following purposes:

  • Emergency and essential work
  • A business meeting
  • Make a purchase of goods
  • A probationary period for foreign workers
  • A medical, food, and humanitarian aid worker
  • A crew member who joins a vessel in Indonesia

Persons eligible for a Temporary Stay Visa are divided into two main categories:

Work activity:

  • A professional or expert
  • Persons who join to work on ships, vessels, or installations operating in the Indonesian maritime zone
  • Persons whose job is quality control of goods or production
  • Persons who conduct workplace inspections and audits
  • Persons in aftersales services
  • Persons who install and repair machines
  • Persons with non-permanent work in construction
  • Persons with a probationary period for skilled work

Non-work activity:

  • Persons who conduct foreign investment
  • Family reunification purposes
  • Elderly foreign tourist

Visit Visas and Temporary Stay Visas must get approval from the Director General of Immigration and must have a guarantor. To get the visas, the guarantor must apply electronically, and the visas will be issued electronically in the form of an E-Visa. Applicants must have:

  • Health Certificate free of COVID-19 in English by a competent authority from their respective country.
  • A statement in English that they are willing to conduct self-quarantine or undertake medical treatment at accommodation or designated health facility by the Indonesian government at their own expense if a PCR examination by an Indonesian health worker at entry ports is positive or there are clinical symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Statement letter of willingness to carry out health monitoring during the quarantine or independent isolation period.
  • Proof of ownership of health insurance which includes health financing and or a statement letter of willingness to pay independently if affected by COVID 19 while staying in Indonesia.
  • Especially for visit visa applicants, there is additional obligation to attach proof of availability of funds of at least $10,000 to meet the necessities of life while in Indonesia. This obligation does not apply to medical, food, and humanitarian aid workers and crew members.

For foreigners residing in Indonesia:

  • Those holding visiting stay permits (Visa on Arrival, Single-entry visitor visa, multiple-entry visitor visa, and APEC Business Travel Card), who have obtained an Emergency Stay Permit, can apply for extension of their stay permits at the Immigration Office for the next 30 days.
  • Those holding limited or permanent stay permits, who have obtained an Emergency Stay Permit, can apply for extension based on their previous stay permits. A valid limited stay permit can be converted to a permanent stay permit. Foreigners who cannot extend their stay permits are allowed to get a new residence permit after obtaining visa approval.
  • Visa approval as mentioned above consists of Visit Visa approval and Limited Stay Visa approval.

For foreigners holding expired limited or permanent stay permits that are outside Indonesia, their stay permits are declared expired and they are required to apply for a visa to be able to enter Indonesia.

The regulation is immediately in effect. A copy of the regulation can be found below.

Ministry of Law and Human Rights Regulation No. 26/2020

Jokowi Issues Presidential Decree on COVID Vaccine

President Joko Widodo has issued Presidential Decree No.99/2020 on the procurement and implementation of a COVID-19 vaccine. Signed on Oct 5, the decree outlines the procurement, implementation, funding and support mechanisms for a future vaccine.

The legislation formally outlines PT Bio Farma’s role in vaccine procurement, which includes funding via State Equity Participation. Cooperation with international institutions including Bill Gates’ Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) on research and production of a vaccine are also established in the decree. 

The price of the vaccine will be determined by the Minister of Health, however it may differ between providers of the same vaccine depending on the source and time of contract execution. To facilitate procurement efforts, the provider of a vaccine may receive a cash advance of 15 percent of the yearly value of the procurement contract.

The Minister of Health will also determine the type and quantity of the vaccine, with the procurement of a locally developed vaccine to be prioritized. The Ministry of Health will oversee the logistics and necessary equipment required to distribute a vaccine, including syringes and personal protective equipment (PPE). The Ministry will further determine criteria for prioritized vaccine recipients, while implementing the scheduled stages of vaccine administration. The Ministry will also collaborate with local governments and the private sector to provide the necessary health workers, vaccination sites, storage and transport for the administration process.


AmCham Cares: Kraft Heinz

In 2018, the Citarum River was named the dirtiest river in the world. In response, the government launched the Special Citarum Harum Task Force to tackle the water pollution and garbage on the longest river in West Java. Efforts made by the Task Force in collaboration with factories and residents along the river have shown significant results.

As the owner of a factory on the river, Kraft Heinz supports Citarum Harum projects by conducting CSR programs such as river cleaning, planting, and its newest project, a mini public library for children and families nearby.

The library is an open space with a wood structure near Bendungan Walahar, a historic dam built in 1923. The company also launched a book donation program among employees, focusing on children and general knowledge books. This program has resulted in the donation of over 500 books.

The library provides a safe learning space that is open every day, which especially helps during these challenging times when schools in Karawang are still doing distant learning. On average, 20 children visit the library each day. To ensure the health of its visitors, the library is also equipped with hand-washing facilities and COVID-19 educational posters, so all visitors can keep a safe distance while reading in the library.

Omnibus Law: Establishment of a Sovereign Fund for Indonesia

The government is to form an Investment Management Institution (LPI), a form of sovereign wealth fund, with a minimum initial capital of Rp 15 trillion according to the new Plenary draft, which was implemented as a result of the Omnibus Bill on Job Creation. The government is targeting raising initial capital of Rp 75 trillion to attract three times that amount of investment funds – Rp 225 trillion.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati announced the government is discussing the plan to inject equity in the form of cash that could reach Rp 30 trillion. Other capital in the form of state-owned assets, state shares in BUMN or companies, and state receivables will be included as capital after further provisions in government regulations are released.

Based on the 905-page Plenary draft, the formation of the new body is specifically regulated in the chapter on Central Government Investment and the ease of National Strategic Projects. Article 165 states the establishment of the LPI is intended to increase and optimize asset value in the long term in order to support sustainable development.

As stated in Article 170, if the LPI's capital decreases significantly, the government can reinvest capital.

The LPI’s organizational structure consists of a Supervisory Board and a Board of Directors. Chaired by the Minister of Finance, the Supervisory Board will also be supervised by the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises and three other professionals who will directly report to the President. The Supervisory Board is in charge of supervising the operation of the LPI. Members of the Supervisory Board are to be named by a selection committee formed directly by the President. In other words, the President appoints and dismisses members of the Board.

The Board of Directors includes five members and is in charge of carrying out the operational management of the LPI. Appointments and dismissals can only be made by the Supervisory Board.

The law also regulates state and SOE assets that can be used as investments by the central government in LPI. These assets can also be transferred directly to a joint venture company formed by the agency. Further provisions will fall under government regulations.

Observers see this fund as a positive development. Managed effectively, it could boost investor confidence, in turn attracting more investors into Indonesia. However, the fund should be managed in a transparent and independent manner to mitigate the risk of corruption.

Under Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati’s supervision, this Sovereign Wealth Fund is expected to achieve the government’s goal to help boost economic growth.

Related link:

Demonstrations against Omnibus Law in 9 Regions 

Hundreds were arrested in Jakarta and elsewhere after violent demonstrations erupted against the newly ratified Omnibus Law on Job Creation yesterday, Oct 8, across nine different regions. The demonstrations led by workers and students were attended by thousands and occurred across Semarang, Bandung, Banten, Surabaya, Makassar, Bekasi, Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Malang.

Demonstrations in Jakarta went ahead despite being banned under social distancing restrictions, with large numbers of students blockading Simpang Harmoni in Central Jakarta. Protests were also to be staged around the State Palace, but the crowds were intercepted by Police and TNI before they could do so. Tear gas was used to prevent protestors getting close to the Palace, sparking clashes with police until the late afternoon.

Protesters set fires in numerous areas in the worst unrest in Jakarta since protest against the revision of the KPK law in 2019.

Across the other regions demonstrations for the most part began peacefully but soon spiraled into riots, some continuing late into the night. Government offices and police vehicles were damaged, while both police officers and demonstrators were injured in violent clashes where police resorted to the use of water cannons and tear gas to disperse crowds. Between 50 and 100 people were arrested in Semarang, while 10 were arrested in Bandung on rioting charges.

Business leaders said rioting workers may be dismissed from their jobs for being absent without permission from workplaces. Numerous hoaxes circulating in social media about the law may have helped fuel unrest.

Related link:

Omnibus Law Not the Final Draft

Achmad Baidowi, member of the House of Representatives, has said the draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation passed on Monday (Oct 5) during the plenary session was not the final draft. There are in fact two drafts, each under different file names; Bill Cipta Kerja FINAL-Paripurna and 5 OCT 2020 Bill Cipta Kerja-Paripurna. 

The drafts being discussed require further adjustment. For example, definitions for severance need to be clarified so that it can be implemented and avoid moral hazards. After these adjustments and various others, the draft will be sent to President Joko Widodo to be signed into law. 

Related link:

Support Independent Journalism: Subscribe to The Jakarta Post

In these difficult times, our hometown English language newspaper, The Jakarta Post, is more important than ever. Given the difficulties of physical circulation and the economic slump, the Post needs to boost its online subscribers – a goal we heartily support at AmCham Indonesia. Quality English language news is vital for our businesses, our home offices and the flow of information out of Indonesia. It is for this reason, that we are urging all of our members and readers to subscribe to JP! Information is what will help get us through this crisis. Below is information about how to sign up.

JP Premium Digital Subscription Packages

Monthly subscription – Rp 50,000

Yearly subscription – Rp 600,000

We Still Need Your Support to Shelter the Front Line

AmCham Indonesia and Habitat for Humanity have joined forces in an initiative called Sheltering Those Who Care for Us, a program to provide temporary quarters in hotels for Indonesian medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our program has helped not only medical workers in Jakarta, but also Tangerang and Surabaya; we are now planning to expand to Sulawesi.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading, medical workers are working a lot harder than before. In these difficult times, they often cannot go back home for fear of infecting family members or being rejected by their local communities. As a result, they are forced to sleep in hospitals without a proper bed, also increasing the possibility of getting infected.

By donating, we will increase the overall capability of Indonesia to treat COVID-19. Habitat will match individual hospitals with hotels on an as-needed basis.

Your support is needed more than ever.


Now is the Time to Join AmCham!

Now is the Time to Join AmCham!

We are continuing with a full slate of meetings, events and information offered to our community online. But we can only do this through the support of our members. If you are not yet an AmCham member, please join now!

AmCham Indonesia is open to all companies with an interest in US business relations and we have many non-American members. We are a community and we welcome you!

Reach us at [email protected] or click below!



AmCham Office and Events

AmCham Office and Events

The AmCham Office is on work from home status and all face-to-face meetings and events have been postponed. We are having a number of meetings online using the Zoom platform. You will be notified of virtual meetings as they are scheduled.




What is Your Company Doing on COVID-19?

Please let us know what measures your company may be taking in the form of donations and other assistance to help Indonesia during this time of confusion and concern. Contact [email protected] with your news. We would like to publicize the ways that our AmCham companies are pitching in.

Stay well

We urge you to send us press releases and other information that we can pass on to the broader AmCham community. If you have items of interest, please email material to [email protected]. Follow this link to information provided by the US Embassy

Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.

COVID Update is AmCham’s regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor