Wed, 28 Jun 2006

Investors offered permanent residence

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Procedures for permanent residence will be eased for foreign investors and top executives in an effort to boost investment, an official said Tuesday.

Government Regulation No.38/2005 on visas, residence and immigration permits was issued last October to support efforts to attract more investment from overseas.

"Foreign investors and foreign top managers can change their limited stay permit to a permanent resident permit two years after the first permit has been issued," Justice and Human Rights Ministry spokesman Taswem Tarib said Tuesday.

To qualify, they would have to reside here continuously for two years. The previous 1994 regulation required residence of five years.

The duration of permanent residence in Indonesia is limited to five years, although it can be extended.

No decision has been made on the minimum amount of investment required to qualify. "The Justice and Human Rights Ministry is still discussing the matter with the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM)," Taswem told The Jakarta Post.

"This regulation actually took effect in March 2006. But since we had to coordinate with the BKPM and the Transportation Ministry, we decided to delay the announcement for this regulation."

The government also would determine the employment opportunities for locals in their enterprises, especially in the transfer of technology.

"We will ask them first about their ability to employ Indonesian workers in their factories. Also, we will ask them about prospects for Indonesians to reach the management level."

Benefits for foreign nationals from Indonesian permanent residence, he said, included being able to reside here for five years without immigration hassles, and also permission to leave the country for up to three months at a time with multiple reentry permits.

The government also pledged to slash red-tape in obtaining necessary approvals.

"We have cut the bureaucracy to obtain the permits from an index of 43 to 15, so they won't face the lengthy Indonesian bureaucracy."

He acknowledged the drawn-out process for foreign investors to obtain permits for their businesses, with approval needed from various government institutions.

"We are considering doing away with all the local bureaucratic requirements so foreign investors will not be afraid to invest here due to the lengthy bureaucracy," he said.

"Even if they still have temporary residence permits, it will not be necessary to go to the immigration bureau as long as they have passports and the permits."(05)