Expat guide to living in Indonesia & the capital - Jakarta



Indonesia is a blend of many cultures. Sitting at the tip of Sumatra, the country enjoys an influx of visitors from around the world visiting its famous Bali. But at the heart of the capital, expat communities brim to the top as commerce and industry progress. We’ve collated some information to get you up to speed about before your big move.

Indonesia Jakarta

Expat Clubs

American Women's Association of Indonesia (AWA)

Membership is open to women and men of all nationalities. Current number of members 250. Cost of annual membership can change periodically. Please contact the AWA Center for information on the current dues. All activities are held in English.

Tel: +62 21 726 6281, +62 21 727 95256

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.awajakarta.org/


British Womens' Association, Jakarta

The BWA Jakarta has been offering friendship and support for women living in Jakarta since 1970 and has members from all over the UK and many other nations too (you don't have to be British to join).

Email: [email protected]

Fb: www.facebook.com/groups/129040613861077

Website: www.bwajakarta.org/


Canadian Women's Association

Membership is open to all nationalities. At present, we have approximately 80 members who are mainly Canadian women, although everyone - male or female - who has an interest in Canada and Canadian affairs is welcome to join. Membership entitles a person to receive a monthly newsletter, membership directory, and discounts at Coffee Mornings.

Address: PO Box 1415/JKS, Jakarta, Indonesia 12014

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.cwajakarta.com



Indonesian Heritage Society, Jakarta

The Indonesian Heritage Society, Jakarta is a non-profit organization offering the opportunity to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of Indonesia. The varied activities of the society, including tours, lectures and study groups, provide a stepping stone to discovering the culture, life, history and art of this vast archipelago. The society has a large multinational following that includes many Indonesians and, while most activities are conducted in English, the French and Japanese sections provide the opportunity to participate in projects conducted in their own languages.

Address: 17th Floor, Sentral Senayan 1, Jl Asia-Afrika 8 (adjacent to Plaza Senayan)

Tel: +62 21 572 5870

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.heritagejkt.org/


International Community Choir

A non-profit community choir that provides a social singing activity for expatriates & local residents. Everybody who enjoys singing is welcome to join with no audition required.

Tel: +62 81 681 7071, +62 081 5900 6043

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.jicc-choir.com

International Schools 

British International School Jakarta

The British International School, Jakarta is committed to providing a British-style international education of the highest quality, primarily for British and Commonwealth nationals but also, space permitting, for other families interested in this type of education.

Curriculum: British

Address: Bintaro Sektor 9, Jl. Raya Jombang-Ciledug, Pondok Aren,, Tangerang 15227, JAKARTA, INDONESIA, 15227

Tel: +62 21 745 1670

Fax: +62 21 745 1671

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.bis.or.id   


Jakarta International School

With five original students, Jakarta International School was founded by UN workers in 1951. These pioneers introduced relevant schooling in English for children of expats in the newfound Republic of Indonesia. From early days the school's international identity was clear. It was originally named the Joint Embassy School (J.E.S.) after its British, American, Australian and (then) Yugoslavian embassy partners. Just over a decade later, in 1978, J.E.S. became J.I.S.


Address: P.O. Box 1078/JKS, Jakarta 12010, Indonesia

Tel: +62 21 769 2555

Website: www.jisedu.org/


Jaya International School in Bintaro

Located on the outskirts of Jakarta, the school aims to deliver and enrich an internationally accredited curriculum within an Indonesian context.

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate

Address: Emerald Boulevard, Bintaro Jaya Sektor IX - Tangerang 15224, Indonesia.

Tel: +62 021 745 7562

Fax: +62 21 745 7561

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.globaljaya.com


Medan International School

Provides a high quality, internationally-accredited education which places the development of each student at the centre of all educational endeavours.

Address: Jl. Jamin Ginting Km. 10/Jl. Tali Air No.5, Medan - 20141, North Sumatra Indonesia

Tel: +62 61 836 1816

Fax: +62 61 836 1894

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.mismedan.org/

Country Information 

Location: Asia

Capital City:  Jakarta

Other Important Cities: Bandung, Denpasar, Mataram (Lombok), Semarang, Surabaya, Yogyakarta

Currency: Rupiah (Rp)

Language: Indonesian

Calling Code: +62

Internet TLD: .id

Electricity: The country runs on 127/230V 50Hz. Electricity is provided by the government-owned, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN).

Website: www.pln.co.id/

Emergency Numbers:

Ambulance: 118 / 119

Fire: 113

Police: 110

Embassy Information


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from a few countries may enter and stay in Indonesia visa free for a limited period: These are :Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Hong Kong SAR (Special Administration Region), Macao SAR, Malaysia, Maroco, Peru, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Equador. But these nationals must have a return ticket, proof of finances and they are not eligible to obtain an immigration permit while having entered visa-free. There are a handful of countries where nationals may obtain a visa on arrival. A full list is given by the Indonesian government here: www.kemlu.go.id/sanfrancisco/OthersPictures/PDF%20File/VISA%20INFO%20UPDATE%202009_1112_FINAL.pdf. The rest, whose countries are not included in the list must obtain a visa from an Indonesian embassy or consulate in their home or host country.


There are different visas available for expats: tourist, business, social visit, journalist and research visas. These can vary between single or multiple entry. These visas are mostly short-term stays.

For longer stays, expats must apply for a limited stay visa. An Indonesian sponsor is required before this can applied for. Applications are coursed through an Indonesian embassy or consulate, who then forwards it to the Indonesian Immigration Office for approval. Only until it’s been approved at that end can the embassy go ahead with the visa processing.

Documents required:
  • Valid passport, 6 months, with at least 1 blank visa page
  • A letter of intent ( in duplicate ) from employer or sponsor, which describes the purpose of the visit and guaranteeing all transportation and living expenses that will be incurred in Indonesia.
  • Completed application form in duplicate
  • 2 x 2 recent colour photographs
  • Applicant’s curriculum vitae in triplicate.
  • Police certificate of good conduct in triplicate.
  • Work contract in triplicate
  • Employees certificate in triplicate
  • Three copies of marriage certificate if applicable
  • Vaccination certificates in triplicate
  • Visa application by mail
  • Proof of visa fee payment

For detailed information please visit: www.kemlu.go.id/sanfrancisco/OthersPictures/PDF%20File/VISA%20INFO%20UPDATE%202009_1112_FINAL.pdf

A side note about working in Indonesia. Foreigners may only be considered for a job unless the position cannot be possibly filled by an Indonesian professional. This regulation includes operational directors, managers, technicians, experts and specialized workers.


Expats in Indonesia have very little chances to buy properties in the country due to the laws in place. Although expats may purchase the house or unit, the sale does not include the land. Nevertheless the process of purchasing real estate is a long process for expatriates.

Foreigners rent accommodations instead. The expat community in the capital Jakarta is growing; foreigners prefer to live there as commercial businesses, civil services and other amenities are located in the city. Jakarta is also an inexpensive city, compared to other metropolitan areas in Asia. Rental prices do however vary. Expats must be aware that landlords are known to rent their units for a more expensive price when dealing with expatriates.

Employed expats are usually assisted by their employers with accommodations. If not, going to a real estate is the best option. Listings are also available in internet databases and classifieds in newspapers.

Apartments are more popular for expats who work within the city. There are many apartment blocks available that range from studio to five bedroom units. Senayan and Permata Hijau are popular places for expats looking for apartment blocks. These areas have close to malls and other commercial shops. Permata Hijau is also close to international schools, however this area can be very congested.

Houses are more suitable for expat with families. These are very spacious units and are usually located within gated communities, meaning more security. Some also come with gardens and pools. Pondok Indah and Kemang are two family-friendly areas offering a closer proximity to international schools in the areas and spacious living conditions.

Leases are usually for one year. Rent is upfront for the entire lease period however this can be negotiated if the tenant is renting for 2 or 3 more years. Deposits are normally 1 month month, which is fully refundable after the lease expires, provided the unit remains undamaged.

Driving License

Expats may use an international driving license to drive legally for a limited period in Indonesia. However for longer stays, foreigners, with a valid residence permit, must apply for a SIM or Surat Izin Mengemudi. Other expats prefer driving a motorcycles, as these are more agile and can maneuver more efficiently in traffic jams. However this is also deemed hazardous. A separate license called SIM C is required to drive a motorcycle.

To apply for a SIM for regular vehicles expats must go to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Jakarta:

Address: Satuan Penerbitan Administrasi SIM (SAT) - PAS Polda Metro Jaya, Jl. Daan Mogot Km. 11, Jakarta Barat, Indonesia.

Documents required:
  • Original passport
  • Original KITAS card or the residence permit
  • Domestic License or International License original
  • Photocopies of the passport: personal information, entry stamps and visa pages
  • Photocopy of KITAS card
  • Photocopy of domestic license


The public facilities and services in Indonesia are limited and are not up to Western standards. Although, routine checkups and minor treatments in public hospitals are adequate. Cash payments are to be expected and health insurances may not be honored in these places. Most expats prefer going to expensive private hospitals and clinics who have better services as well as more English-speaking staff. Financially able expats usually seek better treatment in Singapore. It is highly recommended to obtain a comprehensive health insurance that can cover or reimburse medical expenses including international evacuation. Foreigners should also stock up on prescription medication.

There is no nationwide medical insurance available in the country. Health insurance policies are honored by most private hospitals.



Siloam Hospitals West Jakarta

The trusted destination of choice for holistic world class healthcare, health education and research

Address: Jl. Raya Pejuangan Kav.8, Kebon Jeruk, Jakarta, 11530, Indonesia

Tel: +62 21 500 181

Emergency: 500181

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.siloamhospitals.com


SOS Indonesia

International SOS is the worl’ds largest medical and security assistance company, as well as the leading provider of remote site medical services- with over 10,000 professionals operating in 24-hour Assistance Centres, International clinics and remote site medical facilities across five continents.

Address: JI. Rambu No. 17, Cipete Selatan, Antasari, Jakarta Selatan, 12410

Tel: +62 21 750 6973

Emergency: +62 21 750 6001

Website: https://www.internationalsos.com/locations/asia-pacific/indonesia


Medikalok Health Care

Managed by embassy-appointed physicians, their full suite of managed care health services is available for family and occupational medicine consultation, diagnostics and health screenings, dentistry, ergonomic & integrative physiotherapy, and Mobile Doctor visits.

Address: Graha Irama Building, 5th fl, Jln. H.R. Rasuna Said Blok X-I, Kav. 1-2, Kuningan, Jakarta,12950, Indonesia

Tel: +62 21 526 1118

Fax: +62 21 526 1119


Mayapada Hospital

Mayapada Healthcare Group is one of Indonesia's finest hospital groups, and currently comprises of two international standard hospitals located in Jakarta Selatan and Tangerang. The two premium hospitals are very well equipped for complex healthcare delivery to give our valued customers seven star comfort.

Address (Jakarta Selatan): Jl. Lebak Bulus I Kav. 29, Cilandak - Jakarta Selatan

Tel: +62 21 2921 7777

Email: [email protected]

Address (Tangerang): Jl. Honoris Raya Kav. 6, Modernland – Tangerang

Tel: +62 21 5578 1888

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.mayapadahospital.com/