Working abroad in paradise
Relocating to a new country for work can be daunting, and moving to an island can be quite a lifestyle adjustment, especially transitioning from an urban jungle. Although Bali has forgone a city-like development, being constantly surrounded by nature provides a freeing environment that encourages a stress-free attitude. Who doesn’t want to clock out of the job and head straight to the beach to end the day by watching a sunset?
Your Employer – The Company
To be able to be employed in Indonesia, a company must sponsor you in order to receive a work permit / residency (KITAS). There are a few legal conditions a local company in Indonesia needs to meet (e.g minimum capital). An important prerequisite is also the company’s justification in the need of a foreign worker for a certain position, due to the protection of the local work-force. The direct effect is, that companies hire only workers for management positions and very specific high-level job descriptions and the employee needs to also provide proof (certificates and a matching CV(, that he/she is qualified. Because of the costs and the administrative efforts it takes to hire a foreigner, companies can be very selective.
Legal Aspects & KITAS
Work contracts are rarely longer than 2 years – often only for 1 year. The company that hires you is obliged to handle all the legal procedures and to arrange the KITAS for you. For that, you need to submit a set of documents such as your CV, passport etc. Your CV must reflect your qualifications for the job. Usually, the KITAS takes several months to be issued and is applied for you while you are still abroad (offshore KITAS). The cost for a KITAS is roughly USD1200 and most HR departments work with a visa agent to get the job done. THE KITAS is usually valid for 12 months (some only 6 months) and then needs to be renewed.
The company is also obliged to pay a monthly tax of 100USD for you – one year in advance. With the KITAS you don’t need a different visa in order to freely travel in and out of the country as it is multi-entry. The company will register you with the domestic social security system and fees, such as income tax, will be automatically deducted from your salary. It’s always the easiest – at least for the employee to negotiate a take-home pay, like this you won’t “care” how much the company will have to additionally pay on your behalf.
What jobs are available?
Work permits are only issued for jobs that are difficult to be filled by local workers. It’s impossible to get a job as a waiter or a housekeeper for example. Bali’s job market for foreigners is dominated by hospitality & leisure industry. Depending on the size of the business they might hire one or several foreigners. Large multinational hotel chains might hire 5 or even more expatriates (often GM, RM, Marketing Director, Chef, FBM). You can find more and more Indonesians in top and key positions nowadays. Some restaurants and clubs are big enough in size and revenue to be able to hire managers & chefs from abroad. Schools do hire expats, however the requirements are somewhat different. There are jobs available in the activity industry such as dive masters.
We are in the process of creating a job listing for expatriates.
Insurances & other benefits
The most important insurance that you need when living abroad, is the medical insurance – for you, and your family if this applies to you. Technically, you will be registered as an employee with the local medical insurance system. However, expatriates often negotiate into their contract to get an international “private” medical insurance of top of this arrangement. These insurances allow you to get treated in other countries too and that is, for many understandable reasons, quite important at times. Expatriate contracts often include a housing allowance, transportation allowance (or a car), one return flight ticket to the home country, school fee (can be expensive) for the kids. After all, everything depends on negotiations.