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Move To Indonesia | British Expat Guide

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Contemplating a transfer to Indonesia from the UK?

Need to stay in paradise however assume it’s an unattainable dream? Assume once more.

The 17,500 tropical islands of Indonesia are expat heaven, boasting jaw dropping surroundings, blissful seashores for lazy days, superb climate, kicking nightlife, heat and hospitable individuals, low dwelling prices, mouth watering delicacies, and a wealthy and numerous historical past and tradition.

With all this to supply it’s no shock that growing numbers of Brits are selecting to make Indonesia their house.

If you wish to discover out extra concerning the causes to do the identical and the right way to do it, maintain studying…

Have to Ship or Obtain Cash Overseas?

Some banks cost you as much as 5% in hidden prices when sending cash to a checking account overseas. TransferWise is as much as 8x cheaper.

How? It’s easy. Banks set their very own trade price to earn cash off you. TransferWise provides you the actual change price, also called the “mid-market price”.

Minimize out the financial institution expenses, get began with TransferWise at present.

Indonesia Visa Necessities for Brits

Let’s deal with the technicalities first by testing the visa necessities for UK residents wanting to maneuver to Indonesia.

The excellent news is that the Indonesian embassy has launched a brand new e-visa system which signifies that visas can now be utilized for on-line.

Passports should all the time be legitimate for no less than 6 months from day of arrival…


Visits to Indonesia of as much as 30 days don’t require a visa.

In case you want to keep for a period of 30 to 60 days nevertheless, you will have to use for a vacationer visa which might be finished both on-line earlier than departure from the UK, or extra generally on arrival on the airport (it is called a Visa On Arrival).

This visa is legitimate for 30 days, however could be prolonged for an extra 30 days by making use of for an extension to an immigration workplace inside Indonesia. Observe that an extension will solely be granted as soon as. You might also be requested for proof of onward journey.

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Acquiring an Indonesian work allow (IMTA) requires you to have discovered an employer earlier than leaving the UK who will act as your sponsor and search approval to rent a overseas nationwide.

As soon as approval has been obtained by your sponsor / employer you’ll be permitted to use for a piece allow tied into that specific job.

Foreigners in Indonesia are often employed on a 1 to three yr contract, so the size of time your work allow will assist you to keep will rely upon the size of your contract.

On arrival in Indonesia additionally, you will want to use for a short lived residency visa — with out it your work allow won’t be granted.

The momentary residency visa or KITAS is renewed yearly, and to acquire one your passport have to be legitimate for no less than 6 months longer than the size of the KITAS being utilized for.

Everlasting Residency

An Indonesian everlasting keep allow is called KITAP. It lasts for five years (after which era it may be renewed) and is obtainable to expats who’re retired and who’re over 55 years of age and have already held a short lived residency visa (KITAS) for four years, or expats who’ve been married to an Indonesian partner for greater than 2 years and maintain a KITAS, or those that have labored with the identical Indonesian firm for greater than four years or who’re buyers, administrators or commissioners in an Indonesian firm.

move to indonesia from uk

Approach of Life in Indonesia

Way of life

With an extended historical past of colonisation Indonesia is a melting pot of various cultures various from one island to a different, leading to a whole lot of native dialects being spoken, the most typical of that are Bahasa Indonesia and Javanese — English just isn’t extensively spoken outdoors of the vacationer areas.

Totally different religions are practised too, with Java being predominantly Muslim, and Bali primarily Hindu.

Jakarta and Bali are the preferred spots for expats to settle, however even in these most touristy areas the tradition stays reasonably conservative, and in areas the place Islamic faith is dominant, ladies might discover themselves having to regulate to sexist attitudes and having to decorate appropriately (i.e. coated up).

The large cities like Jakarta are closely westernised however supply unbelievable employment and leisure alternatives for expats, so though you’ll be anticipated to work arduous through the week, wind down time is an entire lot of enjoyable, with nice bars, eating places, nightclubs, and different actions on supply.

For instance of distinction, the island of Bali gives a mixture of conventional tradition, nature, laid again seashore life, and extra. Indonesian individuals are usually very pleasant and useful — notably in additional rural areas the place there’s a robust sense of group.

british expats in indonesia

Sadly there’s additionally a stark wealthy/poor divide in metropolis areas so anticipate to see beggars on the streets and communities dwelling in lower than savoury circumstances.

Love meals? You’re in for a deal with in Indonesia.

Meals is a vital a part of the tradition right here, and households, associates, and colleagues collect to eat collectively to debate something and every thing — making meals a serious social occasion.

Most meals are based mostly round rice and noodles — with a very good dose of spice! Espresso is massive enterprise in Indonesia, and in consequence there’s a vibrant cafe tradition right here with individuals gathering to talk, drink espresso, and watch the world go by.

Buying can also be a serious social pastime right here, and there’s all the things from wonderful conventional markets to glittering trendy excessive rise malls.

There are an enormous variety of different leisure actions for expats to take pleasure in too, together with chilling on the seashore, visiting museums and historic websites, dropping your self in nature on the beautiful nationwide parks, mountaineering volcanoes, diving and snorkelling to discover the colorful underwater world, and exhilarating water sports activities akin to browsing and wind crusing.

One factor that Brits ought to concentrate on is the danger of terrorism. Islamic extremist teams have made quite a few violent assaults in recent times, concentrating on public and crowded locations within the cities reminiscent of church buildings and police stations.

Getting Round

Being the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia actually has hundreds of islands to discover, and you may journey between the primary islands by both taking a ferry or flying.

Air journey is by far the quickest and most handy selection, and there are quite a few price range home airways promoting cheap tickets flying routes day by day.

When you’re flying out to one of many extra distant islands, it’s value taking into consideration that flights are much less dependable, being susceptible to schedule modifications and cancellations, and plane are sometimes older and and restricted on area.

where to live in indonesia

Air tickets can both be purchased on the web or immediately on the airport, however as modifications are widespread it’s advisable to reconfirm your reserving earlier than you arrive on the airport, and to reach early to be sure to get a seat.

For those who’re travelling overland it’s potential to journey by practice, however solely in Java and Sumatra the place the nationwide rail service (Kereta Api) connects main locations and presents a cushty a scenic strategy to journey.

In Java sleeper trains can be found on lengthy distance routes. Buses are one other method to get round — at the very least in Java.

They’re low cost and pretty punctual, however very sluggish and sometimes cramped, with a poor security document in addition, so ensure you at the very least get a ticket for a luxurious bus for those who’re travelling lengthy distance.

Minibuses are generally used for native transport, and are low cost and comparatively fast, however might be cramped. Motorcycle ‘taxis’ are a great way to get round — notably in areas with dangerous visitors as they will weave by means of the jams.

Be ready to haggle to get a superb worth. Main cities have metered taxis which saves the stress of bargaining.

Driving in Indonesia

Indonesian cities might be very congested, so getting round by automotive isn’t your greatest guess.

Nevertheless if you wish to discover elsewhere underneath your personal steam there are some necessary factors to think about.

Street high quality is usually poor, streets might be cramped with automobiles and different automobiles parked up any previous how, different drivers typically have little respect for the principles, and other people and animals simply are likely to wander into the street — all of which bumps up the probability of getting an accident fairly considerably, so it’s very important to stay vigilant.

That stated, petrol could be very reasonably priced and automobiles drive on the left hand aspect of the street identical to again house.

You’ll want each your UK driving license and a world drivers licence that has been issued in Indonesia, in addition to applicable insurance coverage and registration paperwork in case you personal your personal car, all of which you must carry with you always.

Renting a automotive or motorcycle can also be an choice, however you’ll nonetheless want to hold each driving licences and the automotive registration paperwork as spot checks by police are widespread. There are many car rental corporations working out of the primary vacationer places.

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Climate in Indonesia

Virtually solely tropical, the local weather in Indonesia consists of excessive yr spherical temperatures averaging out at a balmy 28°C, and each moist and dry seasons.

Because of the measurement of the nation, climate and local weather range relying on location, however roughly talking summers from Might to September are scorching and dry, and the months of October to April convey monsoon showers and storms which though typically intense, are likely to solely final an hour or two.

Sumatra, west Java, Kalimantan and Papua are a number of the areas with probably the most rainfall.

Highland and much inland areas are a bit cooler than the coast, and mountainous areas are cooler nonetheless, with temperatures averaging 23°C.

Value of Dwelling in Indonesia

General the price of dwelling in Indonesia is low compared to the UK, however prices additionally range relying on location, with rural areas being inexpensive than cities.

As an added bonus in the event you land a job with a world firm you’ll possible obtain a superb wage with allowances for issues like healthcare, education in your youngsters, and lodging.

where to live in indonesia

Let’s check out dwelling prices in additional element…

Way of life

Groceries and garments are considerably cheaper than again residence offered you keep away from the costliest imported merchandise.

Alcohol, however, may be extra pricey.

For those who choose to eat out it’s definitely not going to interrupt the financial institution. A three course meal for 2 individuals at a very good restaurant is unlikely to set you again greater than £20, and consuming out at a Warung (sort of like a cafeteria), road stall, or a very native place prices little or no.

Check out this nice video on the price of dwelling in Bali for just a little style:

Transportation together with buses and taxis can also be low cost, and for those who determine to lease or purchase your personal car gasoline costs are as little at 50p a litre.

When you fancy an evening in town, entry to golf equipment and cinemas is reasonable, however shopping for alcoholic drinks can take a chew out of your finances — persist with beer relatively than wine if you wish to maintain down the prices.

Utilities are reasonably priced — anticipate to pay anyplace between £50 to £80 per 30 days for fuel, electrical energy, and water mixed within the metropolis.


Even in main cities corresponding to Jakarta, rental prices are low compared to the UK — greater than 50% cheaper than London.

In case you’re incomes a great wage it is possible for you to to afford luxurious lodging, however even when your revenue is low it’s nonetheless potential to lease a pleasant, primary house in a pleasant space.

Renting in smaller cities or extra rural areas is cheaper nonetheless, with the potential of having a pleasant, roomy condo or home for as little because the equal of £180 to £350 per 30 days.


Indonesia doesn’t have the most effective public healthcare system. Requirements range and amenities are largely primary, with only a few docs and nurses talking English.

On prime of this, expats aren’t entitled to medical remedy underneath the Indonesian common healthcare scheme, so regardless that they are often handled at a public hospital they nonetheless need to pay.

Expats are extremely suggested to take out personal medical insurance which provides entry to raised amenities and medical employees, and also needs to cowl flying out to Singapore for prime class remedy within the occasion of great sickness or damage.

The prices for personal medical insurance are dependent in your private state of affairs, however there are quite a few suppliers so it ought to be potential to discover a care plan to fit your price range.

When you’ve got a world employer while working in Indonesia, attempt to ensure that personal medical insurance is included as a part of your contract.

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As Indonesian public faculties comply with an Indonesian curriculum with classes taught in Bahasa Indonesian, with a questionable normal of schooling, virtually all British expats select to ship their youngsters to worldwide faculties with a curriculum accredited by the authorities again within the UK.

Charges might be excessive nevertheless, costing anyplace between £2,300 and £25,000 relying on the varsity and the age of the kid.

Common Areas for Brits


Fairly merely paradise on earth, the island of Bali is breathtaking, with lovely seashores, historic temples, lush paddy fields, rainforest jungles, world class diving and surf spots, and unimaginable arts and tradition.

The Balinese individuals are deeply religious and really pretty and assured to welcome you warmly, the eating places are second to none, and there are many locations to get together.


Indonesia’s dynamic capital is city jungle and cosmopolitan metropolis rolled into one.

It’s gritty but always evolving, with a dynamic and numerous inhabitants.

Right here the wealthy and the poor are juxtaposed, however this has given rise to a singular metropolis full of bohemian cafes, world class eating places and unimaginable road meals, numerous buying malls and hipster markets, a wealth of museums and a vibrant arts scene, and far, far more.

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Based over 800 years in the past, Surabaya has constructed its fortunes on sea commerce, and people cultural influences may be seen immediately.

East Java’s provincial capital has the most important and most genuine Chinatown in Indonesia, in addition to an extremely historic Arab quarter.

This industrial metropolis supply up an intriguing mixture of cultures and an exciting mix of previous and new.


Proper within the coronary heart of central Java, the traditional metropolis of Yogyakarta is surrounded by many a mysterious fantasy.

Nestling between Mount Merapi and the Indian Ocean, it’s fiercely conventional, and has for hundreds of years been a seat of studying and supply of inspiration for teachers, artists, performers, and the religious.

Discover the walled palace the place the sultan nonetheless holds sway, or one of many many Buddhist or Hindu temples.


Set in a shocking pure panorama of volcanic mountains and tea plantations, Bandung is probably probably the most stylish metropolis in Indonesia.

Its location provides up loads of alternatives for nature lovers, and its bohemian vibe, vibrant arts scene, fabulous markets, crumbling artwork deco structure, and devoted cafe tradition all add to its charms.

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This small metropolis in east Java is about low on the mountain slopes, and is understood for its apple and tea plantations.

It’s a clear and nice metropolis with a cool local weather, and a really enjoyable place to remain. Apart from providing some critical good mountaineering, Batu additionally boasts scorching springs, good museums, and a number of other amusement parks together with a waterpark.

Indonesians come right here to benefit from the peace and calm and get away from the warmth and bustle of the town, however it’s little recognized amongst overseas vacationers.


Based within the seventh century, Palembang was as soon as the capital metropolis of the Buddhist Malay Srivijaya Kingdom, and is steeped in historical past.

With the Sungai Musi River operating via its coronary heart, modern-day Palembang is quickly rising. Take within the views on a river cruise, or bask in a few of the metropolis’s infamously spicy native delicacies.

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Jobs in Indonesia for British Expats

Fortunately Indonesia has a reasonably wholesome financial system which continues to be displaying vital progress, which is sweet information for those who’re an expat eager to work there.

Most expats working listed here are employed by overseas corporations, with nearly all of jobs being based mostly within the huge cities.

The Indonesian authorities provides choice to Indonesian candidates, which may typically be a little bit of a problem, however in case you’re a talented and skilled employee in a fascinating sector resembling electronics and manufacturing, textiles, fuel and petroleum, or mining, you continue to stand an excellent probability.

Should you don’t have an appropriate talent set or a lot expertise, there are different choices — employment within the tourism sector and educating English are a number of the mostly out there jobs for youthful or much less expert expats in Indonesia.

Each time you’ll be able to it’s advisable to safe employment earlier than making your transfer.

Nonetheless contemplating shifting to Indonesia?

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