Advice for British people living in Indonesia, including information on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.
This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in Indonesia, including advice on health, education, benefits and residence requirements. We cannot provide guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what the Embassy can and cannot do for British nationals. This information supplements the travel advice for Indonesia. This guide is usually intended for British Nationals moving to Indonesia for the first time as permanent or temporary residents. We have adjusted the guide to also provide more detailed information on the current COVID-19 situation in Indonesia. We will keep this guide updated as detailed information on the situation in Indonesia changes.
We are not advising British people who are resident in Indonesia to return to the UK. You should instead follow the advice of the local authorities. Please also refer to our Travel Advice for Indonesia. Our travel advice will continue to be updated on a regular basis to include the latest key information on Covid-19 in Indonesia, including the medical situation and immigration requirements.
When making a decision on whether or not to return to the UK, British nationals should consider their own personal circumstances and take into account all of the information available. You should consider the following factors:
Financial support – Do you have sufficient funds to support yourself without going back to the UK for an undetermined number of months?
Health Insurance – Do you have medical coverage? Considering your own personal health condition, are you confident in receiving the necessary support you need in Indonesia? (Check the Health section below for more information)
Legal & Employment Support – Do you understand the kind of support available to you in the case of unemployment or economic hardships due to Covid-19? Will these support mechanisms be sufficient for you to support yourself for an undetermined number of months? (Check the Legal and Employment section below for more information)
We currently advise British nationals against all but essential international travel globally. If you normally live in the UK and are currently travelling in Indonesia, you are strongly advised to return now. Some commercial routes are still available but many airlines have suspended flights and international options from airports throughout Indonesia have either ceased or are severely limited. If you decide to stay in Indonesia, we strongly recommend you follow the advice of the local authorities, sign up for updates to FCDO Travel Advice and follow the British Embassy Jakarta and UK in Indonesia on social media. You should comply with local regulations including on domestic travel and social distancing restriction, Covid-19 testing, and quarantine requirements.
If you are ordinarily resident in the UK and wish to return home, but cannot afford your flight ticket, we may be able to help you in exceptional circumstances and if you have exhausted all other methods of getting funds. Please find the guidance on how to apply for the emergency loan here.
We cannot currently provide financial assistance to British nationals who are either ordinarily resident in Indonesia, or who are visitors to Indonesia and have decided to remain here for the time being.
On 31 March the Indonesian government announced new regulations to enforce large scale social distancing which includes limiting the movement of people and goods, and the restricting of religious practices and activities in public areas. Criminal sanctions may apply for violations of the restrictions. Large-scale social restrictions (known as ‘PSBB’) have been implemented in several provinces with the approval of the Ministry of Health. The restriction applies to several sectors including educational institutions (schools and colleges), offices, public facilities, places of worship and public transport. Wearing mask is obligatory, especially in public areas. People need to maintain social distancing in public transport as well as in private cars. Each vehicle can only be filled up to maximum 50% of its capacity, e.g. a 5-seater car can only carry 3 people, a 7-seater car can only carry 4 people. A private motorbike can carry 2 people whose ID cards show that they live at the same address. Online motorbike services can only transport goods and cannot carry passengers. People are banned from holding any public activities that involve more than 5 people. Everyone is advised to work from home and all religious activities should also be carried out in the home.
Public health measures by the Indonesian authorities to restrict domestic travel connected with the Eid holiday, announced on 23 April, include a ban on most domestic travel in Indonesia, including in-country air travel until 1 June (with some limited exceptions).
If you are living in Indonesia, you should comply with all local regulations and be aware that the situation may change at short notice. Please refer to our Travel Advice for further details regarding domestic restrictions.
A British National died of COVID-19 in Bali on 11 March. As the Government of Indonesia announces rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, there is an increasing risk that the healthcare system will come under further significant strain. Access to routine and emergency healthcare is likely to be very limited. If you have an ongoing medical condition you should consider stocking up on your prescription now, while you can.
Medical care and access to fully equipped hospitals varies greatly across Indonesia, especially outside of the main tourist areas of Jakarta and Bali. Healthcare is not provided free of charge in Indonesia (although see below on an exception for COVID-19) and medical bills can be high.
There is no reciprocal National Health Service agreement in Indonesia and medical costs are to be borne by the individual. It is essential that you ensure that comprehensive travel insurance is taken out before you travel. Make sure that your policy provides for the following:
an air ambulance, in case you need to be flown home or to a third country for treatment
full medical cover (bills can be very expensive)
bringing the body home, in the event of a death
bringing your family home, in the event of your illness or injury
If you need emergency medical assistance, you can attend any medical clinic, Hospital Emergency Room or dial 118 for an ambulance.
You can find more detailed information about medical facilities in Indonesia, prepared by us, here.
Indonesia divides COVID-19 patients into 4 different categories. These categories define both health coverage and the level of quarantine. You should follow the advice below and inform us if you are admitted to hospital. We can offer support to you if you are admitted to hospital, but we cannot arrange alternative hospital facilities or treatment, or for you to be transferred to the UK (or elsewhere).
1. People without symptoms (OTG – Orang Tanpa Gejala)
People who have been in close contact with a COVID-19 suspected or confirmed case, but do not show symptoms. Close contact is defined as physical contact or being in the same room (within 1 metre radius) from 2 days before up to 14 days after the suspected or confirmed case showed symptoms. People without symptoms will be monitored for 14 days after the last contact with a COVID-19 suspected or confirmed case. Samples will be taken on day-1 and day-14 for either the RT-PCR or rapid test, depending on the type of test available in the local laboratory. If the test result is negative, there will be a re-test on day-10. If the result is positive, you will be advised to self-isolate and apply social distancing at home. If you become ill during self-isolation with COVID-19 symptoms you should consult the nearest health facility.
2. People under monitoring (ODP – Orang dalam Pemantauan)
People who have a fever of greater than 38 degrees Celsius, or a history of fever; or respiratory problems, including flu, cough, sore throat and no other causes based on the clinical symptoms and:
have a travel history to a country or area that has reported local transmission of COVID-19 in the 14 days before symptoms began; or
have a history of contact with a COVID-19 suspected or confirmed case.
People under monitoring will be monitored for 14 days after symptoms began. Samples will be taken on day-1 and day-2 for testing.
3. Patient under surveillance (PDP – Pasien dalam Pengawasan)
People with a respiratory infection, including a fever of greater than 38 degrees Celsius, or a history of fever, along with respiratory illness (cough/sore throat/breathing difficulties/flu/mild to severe pneumonia) and no other clinical causes and:
have a travel history to a country or area that has reported local transmission of COVID-19; or
has had close contact with a COVID-19 suspected or confirmed case; or
people with heavy pneumonia who need medical treatment with no other clinical causes.
Patient under surveillance will be monitored for 14 days after symptoms began. Samples will be taken on day-1 and day-2 using the RT PCR test. If the RT PCR test is not available in the local laboratory, they will be tested using the rapid test kit first.
If the rapid test result is:
Negative: the patient will be referred to a quarantine facility depending on the severity of the symptoms. They will be re-tested on day-10. If the re-test result is positive, their sample will be taken for a RT PCR test.
Positive: the patient will be referred to a quarantine facility depending on the severity of the symptoms. Their sample will be re-tested using RT-PCR.
4. Confirmed case
Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 using the RT PCR test on 2 consecutive days.
There are 3 types of quarantine facilities being used by the Government of Indonesia. Patients (ODP/PDP/Confirmed case) will be quarantined based on the severity of their health condition and symptoms. Patients with mild symptoms will be asked to self-isolate at home. Patients with moderate symptoms will be referred to temporary hospitals. Temporary hospitals are government buildings which have been converted to medical facilities for isolation purposes. Patients with severe symptoms will be referred to COVID-19 dedicated hospitals.
The Government of Indonesia have confirmed that they are currently covering all costs for hospitalisation for COVID-19, regardless of nationality. Categories that can be covered are:
A. People under monitoring (ODP)
People over 60 years old either with or without other serious underlying health conditions which place them at a higher risk from COVID-19;
People less than 60 years old with serious underlying health conditions which place them at a higher risk from COVID-19;
B. Patients under surveillance (PDP);
C. Patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
The health coverage claim will be processed and submitted by the hospital directly to the Indonesian Ministry of Health.
You should consult with your nearest hospital or health facility if you think you have symptoms of COVID019. Alternatively, there are a number of call centres available: Covid-19 Indonesia call centres:
- National Agency of Disaster Management and Mitigation (BNPB) Indonesia: Call 117 Bahasa only
- Indonesia Ministry of Health: Call 119 ext 9 English language support available
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Call 1500632 English language support available
- Bali Disaster Management Centre (PUSDALOP): Call +62361 251177 English language support available
There are also a number of telemedicine applications available in English as a tool to remotely reach out to doctors, or to purchase medicine online.
The following websites provide more detailed Indonesia specific COVID-19 information – but in Bahasa only:
- National Agency of Disaster Management and Mitigation (BNPB): https://www.covid19.go.id/
- Indonesia Ministry of Health: https://covid19.kemkes.go.id
- DKI Jakarta Provincial Office: https://corona.jakarta.go.id/
- West Java Provincial Office: https://pikobar.jabarprov.go.id/#/
- Bali Provinicial office: http://infocorona.baliprov.go.id
More general information on COVID-19, including advice from Public Health England and the NHS, can be found on gov.uk.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of many individuals in unforeseen ways. If you are under emotional stress or pressure, or have concerns about your wellbeing, Befrienders Worldwide can offer support to you. You can find more information, including details of their 24/7 UK helpline on their website.
The Indonesian government, through the Ministry of Education and Culture, provides free education at public schools for Indonesian citizens up to the age of 15. For more information on Indonesian education system, please refer to the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture.
Employment, Entry and Residence Requirements
All foreign nationals wishing to work and live in Indonesia are required to have a relevant work permit issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower and a KITAS (Temporary Stay Permit) issued by the Indonesian Immigration authorities. Using a visa with the wrong category for working in Indonesia, or overstaying your visa, can lead to prosecution, potentially resulting in detention and deportation at your own expense.
For detailed information on visa and KITAS requirements please contact the Indonesian Embassy in the country in which you are residing or refer to the Indonesian Immigration Authority.
The Indonesian Immigration Authority has made major amendments to their normal policies to reflect the unique circumstances of the COVID-19. This is reflected through a Government issued Regulation (Regulation No. 11 of 2020) on the Travel Restriction for Visitors and Stay Permit for Foreigners. The regulation grants an automatic Emergency Stay Permit for foreigners whose visa has expired and/or are unable to extend their Stay Permit (B211/212 Visas, Visa on Arrival, Visa Exemption, Temporary, or Permanent Stay Permit). Visitors and residents who fall into these categories will automatically be granted an Emergency Stay Permit without the need to apply to the immigration office. Visa overstay fines will not apply for anyone who entered Indonesia after 5 February while Regulation No.11 remains in force. The Emergency Stay Permit and waiving of visa overstay fines will not apply for anyone whose visa expired before 5 February.
Holders of valid KITAS/KITAP visas who are currently overseas can still enter Indonesia by providing: a. Certificate of health issued by the local (country of origin) government’s health authority or a fit to fly certificate; b. Statement of willingness to self-quarantine or enter quarantine for 14 days in facilities provided by the Indonesian government;
It is not currently possible to extend an expiring KITAS or KITAP overseas. We are continuing to work with the Government of Indonesia to find a solution for KITAS and KITAP holders affected by this.
The amendments made by the Indonesian Immigration Authority are available in FAQs here.
The temporary closure of the Visa Application Centre (VAC) means that British Nationals in Indonesia are not currently able to renew their British Passport. We can continue to issue Emergency Travel Documents if you need to travel urgently. More information can be found here.
Following the impact of COVID-19, the majority of hotels and restaurants in Bali have closed temporarily until further notice. Some hotels are still operating but with very low occupancy rates. But accommodation options are still available - and some are offering deals on longer stays. Please contact us if you are having difficulties finding accommodation.
Food and Supplies
Supermarkets remain open, although some are operating with reduced hours and queuing systems to implement social distancing requirements. Online shopping options continue to be widely available in major cities, including with delivery options. Some public transportation Apps are also continuing to offer grocery and food delivery services.
The Indonesian government does not provide benefits to foreign nationals.
For information on UK benefits, please visit our benefits if you are abroad site.
If you are considering moving or retiring abroad, please visit our moving or retiring abroad site.
Driving licences and Vehicles
You must obtain a local driving licence to drive in Indonesia or apply for an international driving licence from the Indonesian Motor Association (Ikatan Motor Indonesia).
If you are travelling to Indonesia with Scottish Sterling bank notes, you may wish to check which banks in Indonesia accept Scottish bank notes.
If you wish to open a local bank account, you may be asked to show your passport and your KITAS.
Individuals are responsible for reporting their own tax liabilities.
Money exchange and commercial money transfer services, e.g. such as Western Union and banks continue to operate as normal. Major financial technology companies, e.g. including Transferwise, also continue to operate as normal.
Guidance on bringing medication into Indonesia
Indonesian Customs authorities allow you to bring in medication for your personal use provided it is a reasonable amount and is accompanied by the prescription from your doctor.
Property and property disputes
The Indonesian Land and Property policy now allows foreign nationals to own land or property in Indonesia. For more information on this please consult a lawyer in Indonesia.
Social ethics and traditions
Please refer to our travel advice for further information.
If you are a KITAS holder please ensure that you have an Exit/Re-entry Permit from Indonesian immigration.
People who do not wish to extend their expiring KITAS/KITAP can leave Indonesia without reporting to the Immigration Office, who are currently unable to issue Exit Permit Only (EPOs) and Exit Re-entry Permits (ERPs). EPOs can be applied later to the Immigration Office by the sponsor.
For more information on this, please refer to the Indonesian Immigration Authority.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCDO and the British Embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.
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