Indonesia: More Permissible Job Titles For Foreign Workers

Last Updated: 7 November 2019
Article by Fragomen  

At a Glance:

  • The Indonesian Ministry of Manpower has issued a regulation expanding and consolidating the job titles available to foreign workers.
  • Employers should review the new regulation to ensure that their current and prospective foreign workers' job titles are in line with the lists.

The situation

The Indonesian Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has issued a regulation delineating the job titles available to foreign workers for which their Indonesian employers can apply under their Foreign Manpower Utilization Plan (RPTKA) application. The new regulation revokes previous decrees and provides a consolidated and expanded list of permitted job titles.

A closer look

The new regulation specifies more than 2,200 job titles in 18 different industries, including those that were not included under previous individual decrees. ​The key industries represented in the list include:

Industries represented in previous decrees and in the new regulation Industries not represented in previous decrees but represented in the new regulation
Construction  Real estate
Education  Financial services and insurance
Manufacturing / processing  Health and social activities
Water and wastewater management, waste processing and recycling, and remediation  Information and telecommunications
Logistics  Power, gas and geothermal, and temperature-control systems
Arts, entertainment and recreation  Professional, scientific and technical (management consultation)
Hospitality  Miscellaneous services
Mining industries 
Large-scale retailing and wholesale, motor vehicle repair and maintenance 


  • Review the job title list. Employers should review the new list to ensure that their current and prospective workforce's job titles are in line with the list relevant for their particular industry. Companies seeking to apply for a job title not on the list may apply to the MOM for discretionary approval on a case-by-case basis, but this may cause delays in overall work permit processing. RPTKA processing times and documentation requirements remain unchanged.
  • Additional eligibility requirements. The new regulation also imposes additional eligibility requirements on certain industries and specific job titles, particularly the years of relevant work experience.  Employers should consult their immigration professionals for guidance on these new requirements.
  • Existing work permits. Employers of foreign workers with work permits indicating a job title that is not on the new pre-approved list can apply to the MOM for a one-time extension for the current job title. However, the MOM may require the employer to choose a different job title from the list for subsequent renewals, particularly those filed in 2020. Furthermore, while it has not yet been clarified or confirmed, if the employer must select a new job title for the foreign worker (who holds an existing work permit under an obsolete job title), then it is possible that the foreign worker may need to cancel the existing work permit, exit the country (resulting in a stop-work period), and obtain a new work permit with the updated job title. It is likely that the MOM's policy on these existing work permits will continue to evolve.
  • Online system implementation. The MOM will be updating its online application system (TKA Online) to include the new pre-approved job title lists. Since the lists are not currently fully updated, however, employers should select a job title that is both on the TKA Online drop-down list as well as the new regulation to increase the likelihood of the application being approved and to avoid issues with future extension applications. There is no indication of when the system will be fully updated but once it is, employers should be able to select a proposed job title from a drop-down list.


Indonesian employers seeking to hire foreign workers must submit an RPTKA application to the MOM as the first step of the work permit process. The application must include the proposed job titles and job descriptions of foreign workers, among other details.

Looking ahead

The new regulation follows the government's efforts to streamline the work permit process, a trend that began in early 2018. Most recently, in April 2019, the re-elected Indonesian President acknowledged the need to attract foreign investment and reduce the regulatory regime (including in the work permit process) that has been a barrier to improving the stagnating economy.  With a new cabinet in place in the President's second term, ongoing changes to the work permit process and regulations are likely to continue.

It is also likely that the job title list will grow and evolve as the economy expands and new companies (with different job title needs) enter the market, particularly in the information technology sector. Fragomen will issue an update when the TKA Online system is updated and when the MOM updates the policy regarding employers applying for work permit extensions based on job titles on the new pre-approved list.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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