Retirement in Indonesia
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The warm climes of Indonesia have attracted the attention of retirees from colder climes. While many come for a one-month stay on a tourist visa, there is now a way to stay longer, on a retirement visa. Other important issues related to retirement are Purchasing Property, Indonesian income tax and Medical Care.
The retirement visa allows you to live in Indonesia, make multiple trips out of Indonesia during the year, open a local bank account, and get a drivers license, etc. You can NOT do work of any kind in Indonesia on this visa, nor can you legally work remotely with a company in another country on this visa.
The official name of the retirement visa is "Visa Tinggal Terbatas untuk Wisatawan Lansia Mancanegara" Indeks Visa 319. Lansia stands for lanjut usia (geriatic age).
"How to Retire in Bali" - as the title suggests is a complete guide to retiring in Bali. The guide book covers all of the essential information you need to know before contemplating a move to Bali, such as visas, health care, insurance, buying property, finding accommodation and adapting to life in Bali. The book includes interviews with retirees who have already made the move to Bali. You can learn from their experiences and come out with a better understanding of what it is actually like to live in Bali, rather than just visiting the island for a holiday.
Retirement Visas - ITAS Lansia - Retirement Temporary Stay Permit
The Immigration Department has issued the long-awaited revisions to regulations that allow the granting of temporary stay permits for those over 55 years of age. This facility to provide renewable stay permits of one year's duration was originally announced and regulated in February 1998 and the law has undergone subsequent revisions and explanations in the regulations.
In the first few years after the regulations were issued few retirees were actually able to actually get the visa due to the strict requirements. Subsequent revisions brought the requirements within closer reach of the financial capabilities of more retirees.
The retirement visa facility is intended to assist those wishing to spend their retirement in Indonesia and has the following requirements:
- Applicant is 55 years of age or older
- Applicant is retired
- Possess a passport or travel documents with more than 18 months remaining validity
- Copy of all passport pages
- Eight passport photos 3x4 cm, taken with a red background
- Twelve photos, 6x4 cm, taken with a red background
- Curriculum vitae
- Copy of marriage certificate, if married
- Statement from Pension Fund Foundation or Bank from the country of origin (or Indonesia) of funds available, minimum of US$1,500 per month, from retirement income or investments to provide the applicant living expenses during the stay in Indonesia- Total US$18,000 per year. (Note: this amount is higher than many other countries' requirements). Married retired couples must both prove an individual income of $1,500/month and apply separately.
- Proof of medical/health Insurance, life insurance, and third-party personal liability insurance in country of origin or Indonesia (Note: Foreign retirees are NOT eligible to enroll in BPJS Kesehatan - the National Health Insurance in Indonesia)
- Statement of living accommodation in Indonesia. Minimum cost of US$35,000 if purchased house/apartment or, a minimum rental cost of US$500/month in Jakarta, Bandung, and Bali; US$300/month for other cities in Java Island, Batam, and Medan, and other cities a minimum US$ 200/month.) in the tourist areas according to the regulations
- Statement to declare intent to employ an Indonesian maid and/or driver whilst living in Indonesia
- Payment of Immigration Fee based on effective regulations
- Sponsor letter from the appointed travel agency, costs to be paid by applicant
- Statement agreeing not to engage in business activities or work for a living. You MAY NOT WORK in Indonesia on this visa!
- You may stay in Indonesia for one year on this visa, extendable up to five times (1 year each) for a maximum stay of five years. Extensions can be done without having to leave the country.
- A statement letter of financial ability to rent an accommodation at for a minimum of US$500 per month in Jakarta or US$300 per month outside Jakarta. (You must sign a lease for housing with a minimum one year period.) Alternately you can supply proof that you own a house under an Indonesian spouse's name.
If only one spouse qualifies for a retirement visa, then that person can be the sponsor for a eITAS (semi-permanent residency - dependent visa index 317) for the dependent spouse that doesn't qualify. For example if she/he isn't 55 years old. In other words, both spousal applicants do NOT have to be 55, just one.
You can enter first on a visit visa and then after a month apply for the limited stay permit (ITAS). But you will need to leave the country, most commonly to Singapore, to finalize the new visa processing.
Hiring an Agent
Retirement agencies are appointed by the Tourism Department and the Directorate General of Immigration with the purpose of sponsoring and processing retirement visas for foreigners.
Your application must be done through a licensed agency that can advise you as you gather up all the needed documents. The agency functions as your "sponsor" and the agent must submit the application. You can't submit a retirement visa application yourself. While there are many stories floating around the community/internet about shortcutting processes with incomplete documentation, this may harm your status or renewal in the future, so we don't advise it !
Various firms offer their services to act as a coordinators for seniors and must sponsor all those applying for this visa facility. One of these is Rami Formalities. In pricing negotiations, just be clear exactly which documents they will help you get. Sometimes the rate sounds higher, but they are assisting you to get additional needed documents beyond the ITAS, such as SKTT, STM/Resort Police Report.
Note that the Keputusan Menteri nomor M.04-IZ.01.02 tahun 1998 and subsequent regulation M.07-IZ.01.02 TAHUN 2006, effective 31 August 2006, limits the eligibility of the retirement visa to citizens of the following countries:
United Arab Emirate
Citizens from these countries can NOT apply for a retirement visa:
The full titles of the regulations that govern retirement visas are:
Peraturan yang mengatur Keputusan Menteri Kehakiman RI No. M.04-IZ.01.02 tahun 1998 tentang Pemberian Visa dan Izin Keimigrasian bagi Wisatawan Lanjut Usia Mancanegara;
Lampiran Keputusan Dirjen Imigrasi No. F. 492-UM.01.10, April 18, 2002 tentang Petunjuk Pelaksanaan Pemberian Visa dan Izin Keimigrasian bagi Wisatawan Lanjut Usia Mancanegara.
Steps after Retirement Visa Approval
Once you receive the written communication that your visa has been approved, you need to take this to the nearest Indonesian consular office (at a consulate or embassy) that has jurisdiction over the area you live in. Check with the embassy to see what other things you must need to provide with the confirmation document. This process can also be done at the Indoensian embassy in Singapore with the assistance of a local agent. Your visa agent in Indonesia should be able to help you make these connections.
After you return to Indonesia with the new stamp in your passport, you must present yourself to the Immigration office to complete the process. Just like other forms of semi-permanent residence, you'll need to have your photos and fingerprints taken at the immigration office.
Read through the other document requirements on our main Visas and Documents page.
Indonesian Income Tax for Retirees
Be advised that even on a retirement visa, according to government regulations you will be liable to pay Indonesian personal income tax on your global income, taxed at the rate of 5-30%, depending on your income. However, in practice, we haven't heard of anyone having to pay this tax on their global income.
The Indonesian government has been considering doing away with this requirement - as the worlwide income taxation discourages foreigners from retiring in Indonesia.
If the rule is applied, your country may allow credits due to double taxation.
ITAP for Senior Citizens
After extending the one-year limited stay permit (retirement visa) five consecutive times (5 years), foreign retirees can apply for a permanent stay permit visa (ITAP) through a Senior Foreign Tourist Travel Bureau, as follows:
- Application letter and guarantee from tourist travel bureau as a sponsor.
- License (SIUP) and tax number (NPWP) of the travel bureau.
- Appointment letter of travel bureau to handle the Foreign Senior Tourist.
- Curriculum vitae.
- Original and copy of valid passport
- Four photographs, size 2x3 cm.
- Statement of accounts, issued by Pension Fund Institution or bank/s declaring funds of not less than US$1,500/month are available to finance his/her stay in Indonesia.
- Statement/evidence verifying actual stay at available accommodation facilities through the purchase or rental at minimum specified rates.
- Statement to declare employment of Indonesian maid-servant during his/her stay in Indonesia.
- The most recent, still valid, limited stay permit visa.
Exiting the Country
While you are residing in Indonesia on a Retirement visa, if you wish to leave the country for any reason, you must obtain an IMK/MERP (Multiple Exit Re-entry Permit) which is valid for 6 months or 1 year.
Naturalization for Senior Citizens
After obtaining an permanent stay permit (ITAP), citizenship or naturalization can be sought in a process requiring one year, based on the qualifications of the retiree.
Property Ownership for Foreigners
Changes to the laws in early 2010 are opening up some possibilities for financing of property purchases for retirees, see Buying Property in Indonesia
Pension/Social Security Funds
Retirees will need to decide how best to get their Pension/Social Security Funds transferred to them in Indonesia.
While there are retirees that chose to have their funds deposited directly into an Indonesian bank account, many others choose to have their funds transferred in an account in their home country and then just transfer money as needed to an Indonesian bank, or through ATM withdrawals, due to higher confidence in the foreign banking systems, and for tax reasons.
Factors to consider:
- which remittance method has lower fees
- what the currency exchange rate is
- timing your transfer when the exchange rate is good
- how long it takes you to get the money
- what to do in case of emergencies
- online access to accounts
- if the transfer is paid out in Indonesia in your currency or Indonesian rupiah
See our article on Banking in Indonesia for more information on the banking system in Indonesia, transferring funds, credit cards, ATM, etc.
See info on US Social Security funds deposited direct to an Indonesian bank.
Information for UK retirees on State Pensions if you retire abroad.
A site that compares companies that transfer money internationally.
Indonesian Customs NO longer allows a privilege of free import duty to retirement visa holders. Import Duty Fees will apply to the shipment. The privilege of free import duty is provided by the Indonesian Customs one time only to those who are holding BOTH KITAS (residential permit) and IMTA (employment permit) with the validity of one year. Import Duty will apply to incomplete documents and/or the validity of less than 12 months. To obtain the free import duty facility, the customs clearance process must be within three months of your arrival to reside in Indonesia.
Indonesians returning to Indonesia require a "Surat Keterangan Barang Pindahan/Surat Keterangan Pindah" reference letter and certified (stamped) packing list from the local Indonesia Embassy. The shipment will not be cleared without the reference letter. List all items to be shipped and getting approval that this is in fact a household good shipment (as opposed to someone shipping in new goods to be sold). List the larger items (2 beds, 6 chairs) and smaller items can be grouped (2 boxes bedroom linens, 3 boxes children's books, etc.). This statement letter from the Consulate/Embassy will be stamped (consularized) and attached to the packing list in the shipping documents.
Shipments under the name of Indonesians married to a (non-employed) foreigner will need to obtain the reference letter from the local embassy and will need to pay Import Duty. The shipment will NOT be cleared without the reference letter from the consulate. This letter is consularized by the Consulate as proof of your overseas residence.
We suggest that you use "door to door" shipment services so that the moving company in Indonesia can sort out the paperwork and clearance for you. Just talk with your moving company in Indonesia first and discuss that that you are on a retirement visa/ITAS, so there won't be any working permit requirement applied for the shipment clearance.
Door to port shipping will be cheaper, but you'll have to deal with the customs officials yourself (not advised), or through a separately hired clearance Indonesian agent. Time your shipment so that it's not sitting in the Indonesian port facility for a long time, incurring storage charges.
Some of the Moving companies in Indonesia.
Our thanks to Santa Fe Relocation for updates on the Household Shipments section.
Personal Accounts of the Application Process
The saga of one of the successful applications for a retirement visa:
I started the process with first getting the implementation procedure (Petunjuk Pelaksanaan=juklak) that was issued by the Director General of Immigration on March 2000.
With that paper I saw the officer in charge of ITAS at the immigration office on Jalan Surapati, Bandung. The man first said, that he did not have the JUKLAK. I keep insisting that the document exists. Finally he took it out of his drawer and said : “I have the document. I read it, but I have never used the new rule before. Get your stuff together and we'll see what can be done. Anyhow, since you are leaving for LA, get yourself a visa sosial/budaya. We will go from there.”
These are the papers/documents I put together:
- Copy of my retirement statement from the retirement office in the US
- Copy of my health and hospital insurance coverage
- Copy of my life insurance policy
- Copy of my house rental contract
- Statement that I employ two Indonesians
- My abbreviated curriculum vitae
- Sponsorship and guarantee statement from my brother (Indonesian citizen)
- Sponsorship and activity statement of a Non-Profit Organization where I help for free
I went back to Jalan Surapati and was told : OK. We will extend your Sosial Budaya visa, three or four times.
After the fourth extension, I was told by the Surapati office that my papers are ready to be delivered to Jalan Jakarta. I was also told that after the Jalan Jakarta office , all the papers will be sent to Jakarta, first to the Justice Department and then to the Director General of Immigration. After everybody had signed in Jakarta, my papers would be sent back to Bandung, to the Surapati office. I almost gave up hope, ... but, a friend at the Surapati office came to me and said: “Don't worry, I'll see to it that the papers go to all those offices. The approval will be back here in two weeks.”
Ten days later I got a call :“Your ITAS request has been approved. We need to take your finger prints and signature.”
The fingerprinting took two minutes. My passport had to be properly stamped and signed off and the ITAS had to be typed, stamped and signed off. All that took two hours. When I looked at my ITAS , I noticed it was only for six months. I asked the man in charge: Why only for six months, why not for a year?
The reply was: Come back here in five months, then I will extend it for a full year.
That's the whole story. I hope this can be of some help for those who are interested in obtaining a retirement visa.”
Note: The official cost for an ITAS Lansia (Lanjut Usia) is the same than for any other ITAS type, i.e., IDR 700.000 as per Peraturan Pemerintah nomor 19 tahun 2007. There are many pitfalls and to be honest, it is better to be extra patient.
Unlike other visa categories that you can actually do the work with the immigration office yourself, a retirement visa requires the use a qualified appointed agent like Rami Formalities.
Another person's experience:
I have to say that my personal experience in obtaining the special visa for retired foreigners who want to reside in this beautiful country was relatively easy. I first contacted an agency in Bali on the internet in early January 2005. They are one of the one’s appointed by the government to handle the special visa. I mailed them the following documents:
Copy of passport
Copy of marriage certificate
Letter stating I’d employ a maid
Letter stating I wouldn't’t be working in the country
Letter stating I was renting a house (includes owner’s name, address of house, amount of rent )
Copy of health insurance policy and life insurance policy (these I bought in Indonesia from local insurance companies, cost 850,000 and 900,000 per year )
Copy of bank account statement and a couple of mutual funds (they don’t seem to care too much about this—just have to show something)
Some photographs with red background 4 X 6 cm 10 pcs 3 X 4 cm 4 pcs 2 X 3 cm 4 pcs
Liability insurance: paid to the Bali agency. They made the arrangements.
After the agency received these documents, they sent them to the main Imigrasi office in Jakarta. After three weeks, everything was approved, the agency then emailed me the document to hand carry to the Indonesian Embassy in . (One has to tell the agency what Embassy outside the country they will be using) My wife and I flew to . I met a special agent there who picked up my passport, passport photos, and the emailed approval document, from me at the hotel. (his name and number was provided by the agency. His fee for this was about US$ 300.00 for the two passports. You can go to the embassy yourself, but it takes about 3-4 days longer) The next day, he brought back my passport with the correct stamp to enter . We entered (no fee at the airport), and had to report to the agency in Bali within 7 days. They took our passports and we signed some documents. They called us the next week and then took us personally to Imigrasi where we filled out the ITAS form and signed some papers. We were fingerprinted and had our pictures taken for the ITAS . We went home and the following week our passports and ITAS for the special retirement visa arrived at our house by courier.
Okay, the three weeks was from the time I turned in the documents to the agency to the time we received approval from Imigrasi in Jakarta, so the entire process was about six weeks to receive the ITAS at our doorstep. I am helping out the agency in Bali search for foreign expats who want to retire here. They have an employee who works on commission and has already successfully processed many applicants.
The ITAS is good for one year and is extendable. After the year was up, I went with an employee of the agency to Imigrasi with passports, the old ITAS , and some more photos. We spent about 30 minutes there, got our new ITAS , and were on our way. The fee has to be paid every year, and the insurance kept up to date.
Let’s discuss the issue of Indonesian personal income tax, taxed at the rate of 35% for incomes over Rp 200 million/year ($20,000). I went over this several times with the agency, figuring they should have all the correct information regarding this matter. They keep telling me and others that the Indonesian Government does not levy a tax on retirement income (which the retiree is reporting) for retirees living in . I haven’t inquired any further in this matter and the agency says not to give it a second thought.
November 2010 Update to the above:
The above was written 5 years ago. Please note that a few changes have occurred since then regarding the retirement visa. I started working again outside the country in 2008, but still have a home in Surabaya as a base, so came off the retirement visa and enter the country with a visa on arrival. I’ve been to the local imigrasi here in Surabaya to get the 30-day one time extension on the visa on arrival. Imigrasi said an agent was still required for the retirement visa, but one can use the local Indonesian agents who hang around imigrasi to process the visa. This is much easier, less costly, and the agents are tied in close to imigrasi so there are no additional hassles as they both work together. Simply go to a local imigrasi office and ask the uniformed imigrasi who process visa on arrival extensions who their agent buddies are.
I hope the above will be of some us to you, your wonderful expat site for Indonesia, and some relief for those foreigners wanting to retire here in this lovely country who meet the requirements.
Indonesian Government Regulations on Retirement Visas (in Bahasa Indonesia) [doc 29 KB]
Indonesian Government Directives regarding Retirement Visas (in Bahasa Indonesia) [doc 227 KB]
Interesting Retirement-related Sites
Last updated August 6, 2021