As stipulated by the Law No. 6 of 2011 concerning Immigration (“Immigration Law”), every foreigner who enters the Indonesian territory must have a legal Visa. Consequently, Art. 34 of the Immigration Law demarcates 4 (four) different types of Visa, namely:
a. Diplomatic Visa;
b. Official Visa;
c. Visit Visa; and
d. Limited Stay Visa.
The demarcation does not singularise either Business Visa or Work Visa, because each Visa falls under different categories. Respectively, Business Visa constitutes a Visit Visa, whereas Work Visa constitutes a Limited Stay Visa. The difference of categories wherein each Visa belongs entails subsequent differences accordingly, such as purposes and procedures of issuance. Consequently, this article shall delineate the differences between Business Visa and Work Visa for your clear understanding.
As conveyed above, a Business Visa falls under the category of Visit Visa. Based on the Regulation of the Minister of Law and Human Rights No. 24 of 2016, a Visit Visa for business purposes comprises 3 (three) different types, namely (i) Single Entry Business Visa; (ii) Multiple Entry Business Visa; and (iii) Visa on Arrival. However, Visa on Arrival comes with a caveat that it can only be given to foreigners from certain countries. With that being said, further discussion shall focus on Single Entry Business Visa and Multiple Entry Business Visa.
As the name suggests, Single Entry Business Visa (“SEBV”) is a permit given solely for a one-time visit and thus shall expire once the foreigner leaves Indonesian territory. It is valid for the maximum of 60 (sixty) days and can be extended up to 4 (four) times for 30 (thirty) days at an Immigration Office in Indonesia.
On the other hand, Multiple Entry Business Visa (“MEBV”) is a permit granting foreigners to visit and leave the Indonesian territory multiple times. It is valid for the maximum of 5 (five) years and allows each visit to last up to 60 (sixty) days.
Despite allowing for business purposes, regulations on Business Visa come with a limitation. A Business Visa (both SEBV and MEBV) does not allow visitors to work as an employee in a company in Indonesia. Business purposes as mentioned in the regulations only include, inter alia, business talks, business meetings, comparative study, training purposes, seminars, exhibitions, audit, and quality control or inspections. Should the foreigner intend to be employed by a company in Indonesia, he/she must apply for a Work Visa instead.
Work Visa falls under the category of Limited Stay Visa. Based on Art. 102 of Government Regulation No. 13 of 2013 concerning Implementation of Immigration Law, a Limited Stay Visa is categorised into 2 (two) types, namely (i) Limited Stay Visa for Working Purposes; and (ii) Limited Stay Visa for Non-working Purposes (Work Visa). A Work Visa is granted for the purpose of working, such as, inter alia, working as an expert, conducting professional activities to gain wages, conducting inspection or audit on branch offices in Indonesia, and conducting professional sport activities.
In accordance with the regulation on Limited Stay Visa, a Work Visa allows a foreigner to stay within the Indonesian territory for a considerably longer time than a Visit Visa. A Work Visa is valid up to 2 (two) years and may be extended to the maximum of 2 (two) years, allowing a visitor to stay within Indonesian territory for the maximum of 6 (six) years in total. Aside from the validity period, a Work Visa differs from a Business Visa in regards to the purpose of the Visa. A Work Visa allows visitors to be employed by a company domiciled in Indonesia; whereas a Business Visa does not.
Considering the regulation has stipulated clear distinction on different purposes of each Visa, every foreigner who intentionally misuses or carries out activities that are not in accordance with the purpose and objective of his/her permit is subject to sanctions under Art. 122 of the Immigration Law. Such sanctions take form of punishment of imprisonment for a maximum of 5 (five) years and fine sentence at the maximum of IDR 500 million. Therefore, it is imperative for foreigners to obtain the appropriate Visa prior to conducting any business activity in Indonesia, lest sanctions will be imposed unto them.
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