National Strategic Projects are project which are strategically important to develop Indonesia’s economic growth and infrastructure. The website of the Committee for Acceleration of Priority Infrastructure Delivery provides a detailed list of all current national strategic projects in Indonesia. During the Covid-19 crisis, foreign workers working for the National Strategic Projects are exempted from the restriction which apply for regular work and stay permit (ITAS) holders. This allows these foreigners to apply for work and stay permits during the crisis as long as their companies submit all mandatory documentation to the authorities.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indonesian government has frequently issued regulations concerning travel restrictions and work and stay permit application for Foreign Workers to Indonesia. Under the current conditions (February 2021), international travel is severely restricted. Tourist travel and business visa travelers cannot enter Indonesia and almost all new work and stay permit applications are suspended. This suspension does not apply to foreign workers working for a National Strategy Project
HOW TO OBTAIN WORK PERMITS UNDER NATIONAL STRATEGIC PROJECTS?
During the recent travel ban, foreign working for a National Strategic Project can still enter Indonesia under certain conditions. They must comply with all document requirements and apply for the necessary permits.
The process of obtaining a work permit under National Strategy Project is actually the same as a normal work permit. The company will have to secure the following permits before the foreign worker can enter and start working in Indonesia:
- Expatriate Placement Plan (RPTKA);
- Work Permit (Notifikasi);
- Limited Stay Permit (E-ITAS);
- Local Registrations
Additional document requirements
The main difference in the application for the work permit application under a National Strategy Project is a the requirement for the company to provide a recommendation letter the related ministry concerning the project. The related ministry will have to issue a letter to list all of approved projects that are considered and associated as the National Strategic Project. With this recommendation letter, the Ministry of Manpower may decide to grant the Work Permit.
Furthermore, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the foreign workers must provide proof of a PCR Negative Test result along with statement letters declaring their willingness to be undergo quarantine and health monitoring. In addition, they must state that they are willing and capable to pay for all medical expenses.
CHALLENGES TO THE WORK PERMIT APPLICATION PROCESS
Large scale infrastructure projects usually require a significant number of foreign workers. The officers of Ministry of Manpower are usually practicing a foreigner to local ratio of 10:1 as their guidance. Basically, this ratio means the employer or company should have at least 10 Indonesian workers for each foreigner hired. If the proposed foreign hires are exceeding the number of Indonesian Worker, the officer will place the application on hold. They will then request the company to increase the number of Indonesian worker before they can approve the application.
Furthermore, job title of the Foreign Worker has to be listed in the Regulation of Ministry of Manpower No. 228 (2019) . In order to obtain approval of the work permit application, companies must use one of the suggested job titles mentioned in that regulation.