September 8, 2019

Indonesia--The Complete Relocation Guide

If you have ever visited Indonesia, you will be aware of the stunning beaches and scenery this beautiful archipelago has to offer--which is what most people envisage when they think of Indonesia.
It is also rich in culture and history, humid climates and with over 259 million people living there, it is one of the most densely populated places to live.

Along with the beautiful landscapes and beaches previously mentioned, moving to Indonesia hosts the opportunity for submersion into a traditional, yet increasingly modernized culture. Although the cities are densely populated, there is also the option of occupying a more remote island for a more laid back lifestyle.

If this is something that appeals, then here is a guide of some of the things that may be beneficial to consider before making a move.

The Climate 
Regardless of the location--city, beach, or village-- it may take a little time to adjust to the climate. Indonesia is typically very hot and humid. From June to September is the dryest season in Indonesia, but still, a monsoon season--and the second monsoon season is from December to March, bringing with it the heaviest rains. This will be something to keep in mind, as a move to Indonesia is not optimal during a monsoon.

Accommodation in Indonesia 
Like any place one may consider relocating to, it will be worth looking at temporary accommodation prior to a move to Indonesia. This not only ensures somewhere to stay upon arrival but also allows for time to find something more permanent in the longer term. For those ready to take the plunge and buy a property soon, use a mortgage calculator, or ‘simulasi kpr’ to work out exactly what the costs would be on a monthly basis.

When searching for a home, as is similar in most countries, the major cities offer the most modern lifestyle opportunities--so it may be best to consider finding accommodation in these areas if not wishing to be confronted with too big a cultural difference. As an expat, it is also not uncommon to hire domestic help to assist with chores- this is almost something to be expected rather than frowned upon.Ask around for recommendations for real estate agents from locals, and make sure to visit and gain a feel for neighborhoods before committing to a particular area.

Visa Requirements 
It is hard to obtain a work visa for Indonesia unless sponsored by an employer prior to relocation. Navigating through the Indonesian bureau can be challenging. Companies wishing to hire foreigners need to obtain an IMTA-a special work permit, which can only be obtained if the company can prove that foreign nationals are needed to fill specific positions since the Indonesian governments prioritizes local applicants to fill local roles.

When this is approved, a company is then able to submit an application for a limited stay visa on behalf of the applicant. Upon arrival in Indonesia, the applicant has seven days to report to the regional immigration office to obtain a limited stay visa. The visa can then be converted to a KITAS, which means that an individual can stay for up to one year.

Be Vigilant 
Although a beautiful place to live, Indonesia is no stranger to its association with terror attacks and extremist groups, which is why it is extra important for foreigners to take care in the country. Registering with an embassy and providing them with an emergency contact is a good idea for extra protection, too.

Healthcare Provision 
Unlike in other countries, the public healthcare system is not always that adequate, and it may be safer to use private healthcare. Make sure to obtain international health insurance as the safest option. A large number of health insurance providers will have policies that cover areas of South East Asia, such as Indonesia.

Some expats will prefer to use the healthcare provisions in Singapore as they are significantly better- so make sure than any healthcare insurance policies will cover that area, too. Many expats to Indonesia will use ‘Group Practice Medical Clinics’ which offer a wider range of specialists and most routine medical evaluations. Most of the medical staff will also speak some English, unlike in other hospitals in the country, which is why these clinics are a popular choice for foreign nationals staying in Indonesia.

Some medications that require a prescription at home can easily and cheaply be acquired over the counter in Indonesia, which may make accessing some treatments a lot easier than having to access them through a medical professional.

However, be prepared to have to spend cash in these clinics, as only a few hospitals have access to machines that will support credit card transactions.

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