Several weeks ago it had already been reported that Indonesian President Joko Widodo requested Manpower and Transmigration Minister Hanif Dhakiri to revise a draft regulation (made in 2013) that forces expats to pass a mandatory Indonesian language proficiency test in order to be eligible to obtain a work permit. According to Widodo this regulation jeopardizes the attractiveness of Indonesia’s investment climate.
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Today's Headlines Expatriates
Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro is completing a study related to the possibility of allowing foreign ownership of property in Indonesia. In a bid to generate more state revenue through taxation, the Indonesian government may allow foreigners (expats) to own luxurious (residential) apartments in the bigger cities of Indonesia. These apartments should be worth at least IDR 5 billion (approx. USD $375,940) according to current proposals. Brodjonegoro emphasized that expats will not be allowed to own landed houses.
The number of expatriates working in Indonesia has declined in the last three years. Based on data from the Ministry of Manpower & Transmigration there were 68,957 expatriates working in Indonesia in 2013, a 4.8 percent decline from 2012. The main reason for this falling number is tighter government policy. Minister Muhaimin Iskandar stated that curtailing the influx of expats is one way of developing the country's human resources. Only when a foreigner has such exceptional qualities - not easily found in Indonesia - should he/she work in Indonesia.
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Expatriates working in Indonesia are referred to as foreign workers in Indonesian Law number 13 of 2003 regarding Manpower (Labor Law). A foreign worker is defined as a visa holder with foreign citizenship, who has the intention to perform work in Indonesia. Both expatriates working in Indonesia and the companies employing such expatriates are subject to permitting requirements and restrictions set by the Indonesian Government. In this column we provide an overview of the general licenses needed to employ foreign workers.
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