Referring to the Immigration Law No 6 of 2011 on Immigration, Article (1) Paragraph 36, deportation means an action to forcibly remove foreign nationals from the territory of Indonesia. Deportation is one of the administrative sanctions which the immigration authority can impose on foreigners. The immigration authority may decide to deport foreigners in case they have acted in violation with existing laws and regulations in Indonesia. Immigration officers may place foreigners in detention centers or detention rooms before their deportation to await their deportation. However, in most cases the immigration offers will confiscate foreigners’ passports and request them to await the deportation at their residence.
Other administrative sanctions available to immigration are:
- Blacklist a foreigner to re-enter Indonesia (re-entry ban)
- Prohibit a foreigner to exit Indonesia (exit ban)
- Restriction, change or cancelation of a foreigner stay permit (ITAS/ITAP)
- Prohibition from residing in one or some particular places within the Indonesian territory
- Obligation to reside at a certain place in the Indonesian Territory
- Administrative fines
General REASONS FOR DEPORTING FOREIGNERS FROM INDONESIA
The decision to carry out deportation is made by the authorized immigration officials. Officials can only deport a foreigner after they have investigated a case. Based on such investigation, the officers will prepare their investigation reports which will include the grounds of deportation. The existing immigration laws and regulations do not define clearly which actions will result in deportation of foreigners. The Immigration Law only provides a general description of cases which may potentially lead to deportation of foreigners:
Article 75 Paragraph (1) of the Immigration Law explains that deportation is an immigration administrative action against foreign nationals who are in the territory of Indonesia, who:
- engage in harmful activities;
- are reasonably suspected of threatening and endangering security and public order; or
- are disrespectful or contravene the applicable laws and regulations.
Meanwhile, Article 75 Paragraph (3) of the Immigration Law states that immigration officers may impose deportation to foreign nationals who attempt to avoid legal proceedings in their country of origin. This means that Indonesian immigration has the authority to deport foreigners who ran from authorities in another country to avoid prosecution.
COMMON GROUNDS OF DEPORTATION
Immigration officers make their decision to deport a foreigner on case-by-case basis. We will discuss the most common grounds for deportation below.
OVERSTAYING THE STAY PERMIT FOR MORE THAN 60 DAYS
Foreigners must leave Indonesia before the expiration of their stay or visit permit. In case they remain in Indonesia after the expiry date of their permit, immigration will impose a fine of 1 million rupiah per day. When foreigners are unable or not willing to pay the overstay fine, immigration officers will deport them and they will likely receive a ban to enter Indonesia. Foreigners can no longer avoid deportation in case they overstay for more than 60 days. In such cases immigration will always deport and blacklist the foreigner.
VIOLATING THE PURPOSE OF A VISA
The most common ground for deportation is the violation by foreigners of their visa. This happens for example when foreigners are found working in an office on a business visa. A business visa allows foreigners to have business meetings, but it does not allow them to perform work activities. A business visa does not allow business visitors to perform machine repairs, work on a computer in an office area, or perform other work activities. In case a foreigners are found working on a business visa, they will in almost all cases be deported from Indonesia.
WORKING IN A DIFFERENT LOCATION THAN STATED IN THE WORK PERMIT
Foreigners must perform work activities for their sponsor company at the location(s) mentioned in their work permit. The work permit can include more then one location. Foreign workers are violating their work permit if they work on a locations which is not listed in the work permit. To remain compliant, sponsor companies can update the work locations in the work permit of foreigner at any given time.
FAILURE TO REPORT CHANGE OF CIVIL STATUS, ADDRESS OR JOB TITLE
When foreign workers change civil status, change positions within the company or move to another apartment or house, the sponsor company must report these changes to related authorities. The authorities will in their turn update their records, and issue updated permits. Failure to report these changes within a reasonable time may lead to serious problems with authorities.
VIOLENT, DISRESPECTFUL OR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR
Foreigners who are being violent or disrespectful toward government officials or towards other people in general face risking deportation. This kind of behavior can be categorized as endangering public safe and order, which is a ground for deportation. Naturally, criminal behavior can also be a ground for deportation.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF DEPORTATION?
When immigration deports foreigners from Indonesia, they will also cancel all immigration and work permits of these foreigners. The cancellation of the permits is mainly a concern for foreigners who are working in Indonesia and holding a limited or permanent stay permit (ITAS/ITAP). Once immigration cancels these permits, they can no longer legally work in Indonesia. Since the processing of new work and stay permits will take a few weeks, it will cause severe disruption to their work activities.
In case there is a severe violation of the regulations, immigration officers may decide to ban the foreigner to re-enter Indonesia for a specific period of time. The initial period of the ban can be up to 6 months, but is usually extended. Foreigners are not able to enter Indonesia until the directorate general of immigration removes the ban.