Seeing people here interpreting the laws, and giving advice,.(...Edited) Here,...

Seeing people here interpreting the laws, and giving advice,.(...Edited) Here, a quote, talking about spouse sponsored KITAS holders, and working in wifes business......can someone else please comment and explain about how dangerous this advice is (I dont know where to find the stuff from Imigrasi/Depnaker that supports my view). "Sorry but pasal 61 of the Immigration law clearly states that a foreign husband can work in Indonesia. When I asked immigration on how to understand that, they stated that I can work in my wife's business any time in uniform or not doesn't matter. Fix working hours don't matter. What matters according to immigration is that it is the wife's business. Same what the local office for business told me when I asked them to open a business. They said you can do what ever you want in your wife's business, so better put it under wife's name. No restrictions in wife's business."

Really...? No restictions? So you can be employed, without an IMTA?

So basically that's anything if your spouse sets up a company and sub contracts you out....

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Isn’t this quite accurate? As long as your WNI spouse is a director of a company, and is the sponsor of your KITAS (Suami ikut istri or vice Versa) then you can indeed work for your spouse in that company - that is exactly what I understand the Immigration rules to be after researching the subject and talking directly to Immigration about it. If this is not accurate please do explain!!!

Immigration has nothing to with you working or not..

soren713 - ok Depnaker - my point is that as the WNA spouse of WNI director you do not need IMTA.

Work laws say that every company needs to get an IMTA for every foreign worker. (The imta is for the company, its Permission to Employ a Foreigner.). Companies are not allowed to employ any foreigners without IMTA (and without paying the $1200 - thats a clue).

guy8 I would bet you a good deal of money that the spouse law in question supersedes the employment law.

you mean that the spouse has the duty to support the family? Assuming you mean that, I have a question - how many foreigners have been deported for not supporting their family, and how many, for breaking the trms of their KITAP (working illegally).?

guy8 no idea I’m afraid but would be interested to know.

Just don't sign an employment contract with your wife, which nobody would do anyway....

Well, the first - none. I bet 1000$, no wna has ever been deported from Indonesia for not supporting their family. For breaking terms of KITAS, or KITAP? Quite a few. Doing the wrong job (different from on their IMTA), not having an IMTA, etc etc.

Gede, if it were that easy...... how many illegal workers here have a contract? errrrr... none! It doesnt mean they arent employed....

My recommendation to any WNI-sponsored spouse wanting to work in whatever way - go talk to Immigration and ask if they need an IMTA or not. If there’s any uncertainty then go talk to Depnaker.

guy manners How much do you get for pushing people of doing an IMTA which they wouldn't need?

Exactly what I did!

I have a good friend who works for his wife in her company and he feels “safer” paying for an IMTA every year. This despite being assured he doesn’t need one.

gede can you stay civil and non-accusatry please?

I am trying to protect people from possible mistakes. Life changing mistakes.

guy8 this intrigues me and I have to check that we are on the same page -

“For breaking terms of KITAS, or KITAP? Quite a few. Doing the wrong job (different from on their IMTA), not having an IMTA, etc etc.”

I’m only talking about a WNA spouse, with KITAS/KITAP sponsored by WNI spouse, working for the WNI spouse in a company of which the WNI spouse is a director.

When I see your other post you are accusing me..... So please think twice

guy8 this is a very good discussion to have from time to time.

FIrst, Gede, you have become aggressive, and are no longer discussing the point, and so you comments, I will ignore Goodbye.

Haha ignore the truth....

Your post is half an hour ago, my comment a few minutes...

martin3 I quite agree, and its very2 useful to hear other peoples experiences. Particularly to know what Imigrasi are now telling everyone! (which I can easily believe, could be inaccurate)

martin3 - so, yes, I thnk thats the main point of this conversation. A turning point would be that its the company, that needs to get an IMTA for any foreigner employed by them. Employment is not defined by a Contract (or lack of) - its defined by what you do there (same as people working illegally, casual work, no contract). SO, is it being said, that a company can employ a foreigner without an IMTAS, if its the spouse of the Director? Doesnt sound likely to me. Added to that, this is the first time I have heard someone say it so simply - it (until yesterday haha) has always been that you could work there (informal work i.e. help out) but NOT be employed. Employment (kerja resmi) can be (can be) interpreted as having these characteristics - a salary or pay, a job title, a position, a desk, duties, fixed working times..... etc. It only realy becomes important when your competition (or eighbour), or Imigrasi, want to have a go at you. The question then is - can you show that you are not actually, in reality, employed?

guy8 now we’re getting to the nitty gritty. Let’s say my wife had a PT and I worked for her/it - I would NOT sign a contract, all remuneration from her company for my work would go to a bank account in HER name. I would not print business cards with my name on. Even if I was at my desk from 8 till 6 every day, I would nevertheless consider myself to be there working in an unofficial capacity. I wouldn’t sign any contracts etc etc etc.

If however for some reason I felt that it were essential that I held a more official standing in her company, wanted payments sent to my account etc, then I would get her company to get me an IMTA.

Exactly! But the real breaking point, is, how safe are you if the local Imigrasi want to bonus, or have a friend who wants your business?

My wife does own a PT. For Events / Marketing. I have a spouse Kitas. I believe I can DJ at casual gigs - Invoicing with her business as the Contracting Party.

So following this thread. It’s occasional work and falls into the area of being covered.


martin3 ask Depnaker, they are in charge of Imta.

I think you are way too close to being employed in that case. Basically she is getting directly paid for your work - obviously you are not just Helping.

Occasional work, isnt even mentioned \

guy8 well I guess if you feel that there is any threat to your standing then you’d be wise to get IMTA.

Or at least ask at Depnaker.

I know the office manager in DEPNAKER JKT. I have asked her for information. I will inform you as I get answer.

martin2270 now here’s interesting for you!! If your wife tells you to get off your butt and earn some dosh to feed the family and you go out and DJ here and there, then it is classed by Imigration as “informal” and you DO NOT need an IMTA from Depnaker. Indeed if you DJ for 4 different venues, which one of them would get you an IMTA? None clearly. But any work contract would be with your wife and indeed payment for services should go to an account in her name.

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Of course, we all have our experiences, have heard from different people. What I heard (after research, also, of course, being in exactly that position) is (simply put) you cannot be employed without an IMTAS. So if what you do is interpreted as employment, you can be deported. Now - imigrasi dont always know too accurately how it can all be interpreted. They will also accept no responsibility at all, for information they give you - and, now, its more to do with Depnaker now anyway!

Yes. DEPNAKER's call. Always has been.

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I think the point to look at is this. If I am wrong, no real harm done (just rearrange your work so its not employment). If the other is wrong, you could get deported. Hmmm?

Guy, I’m all for checking and rechecking and being prepared for different departments interpreting rules and laws in different ways, however one thing that is consistent in my experience is the right to work (without IMTA) of a WNA spouse for a WNI spouse IF the WNI spouse is a director of the company.

Work - maybe. Be employed - not. Thats the difference - Kerja, atau Kerja Resmi.

Which 2ife signs an employment contract with the husband?? Be a bit more realistic here

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I think if the business is registered as CV under the (local) wife's name, you can work (help out) as being the foreign husband. A CV cannot apply for the IMTA anyway. If the business is registered as a PT, I would be careful. A PT can apply for IMTA, so in the end it will depend of interpretation of the law...

A PT with a minimum invested capital of 1bln.

benjamin91 ooh theres some new info too! Thanks.....

Yeah this is a requirement, there are different categorization sizes of PT and only starting a certain valuation they can apply for IMTA.


2 bln

i work at immigration agency and my husband happen to be foreigner too and this is the info that i knew and follow. you can help your Indonesian spouse in their business but as soon as the business become as big as where it’s necessary to open a PT or PMA then you must apply for IMTA to work there. a CV is fine because it’s not applicable to sponsor working kitas.

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Oh and the point of law that particularly interested me when I first discovered it during an early trip to Immigration is that a WNA husband has the DUTY to provide for his WNI wife and family - not a “right” to work but a “duty” to work.

duty to provide for the family

Don't we just love patriarchal societies??

they also say that a WNA married in Indonesia with a WNI is not a TKA, therefore the Imta stuff doesn't apply to them.

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True - thats where the law changes came from, because they were deny Indonesian residents, this duty to support their families.

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Ok lets get back tobasics. This is a site, for advice. As this is a pont often (and heatedly) questioned, the obvious answer is - dont take risks. The idea, that you can work if your WNI sponsor (spouse) is director of a company, certainly up to recently, used to be one that would get you thrown out. Things have changed in the 9 years I have been here, thats why I try to keep up with restrictions - and ignore possibilities, they are dangerous.

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A difficulty whether deliberate or not seems to be the interpretation is very much in the hands of who comes to check. And the attitude they come with. It’s like policemen doing licence checks. Do they check tax paid too?

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With Family Kitas: - You CANNOT work for someone else. - you CANNOT be employed. You CAN help your wife in her business. You CAN be solo entrepreneur, it means run a small business that don't need set up a company

Exactly my point, you cannot be employed. It has been said that if your spouse is director of a PT, you can do what you like in the company. I believe people are being mislead by Imigrasi, who (of course) dont actually know, or are possible even trying to put people into a position where they can be coerced.

What I wrote above is what was told me in Direktorat Tenaga Kerja

Ga Bo, this is actually not correct. With family KITAS You can indeed work for somebody else and you can be employed but you need IMTA from your employer.

Ya sure martin3... You need the IMTA. What I say is that with Only the family Kitas you can have some way to have an income

ga21377 yes thank goodness you can!!!!

The definition of "solo entrepreneur" becomes important here. In my birth country there is some rules that state that you have to work for a minimum different number of businesses and a minimum numbers of hours for different businesses or so. If not you will be considered an employee. Barring such a definition, you could just claim to be such a "solo entrepreneur" working 9x5 for any company on "project basis", or so...

Anybody knows about such reatrictions on the definition of "solo entrepreneur"?

solo entrepreneur don't have to work for any companies or someone else... it means you can run your own small business

Solo entrepreneur doesnt really exist here, its a concept not just a may exist here, but i dont think its what we are talking about.( This exporting of words from one country to anither can cause a load of misunderstanding. ) The legal term in english for this type of work (what spousal kitap holding wna can do, taken from government english version websites and a famous video descri ing what is alllowed) i believe, is freelance work (which of course means something else here, than in our wextern economy.... . There is another main type, which is Kerja Resmi, meaning official work, in other words, employment. All other isnt relevant here, i think. Freelancer, here, ( i have always understood) means working for money but by yourself, for yourself, and not for, or in, a company.

Meaning that if you do work for a company 9x5, possibly based on some never-ending consultancy contract, it should be OK? As long as you are not on their payroll as employee, getting any of the standard benefits employees would get?

I want to clarify it IS possible to be sponsored by your spouse on family kitas, and have an IMTA provided by a different employing entity should the wife not be part of it.

No martin, you will be arrested and deported. You cant do any work in indo without permit, or registration of some kind......except if you have a wife here and she is your sponsor for your visa (kitas/p you can do certain work but still, cannot be employed, witho.

Yes sean 100%.

This is a thread about what foreigners with visas sponsoerd by local spouses, are allowed to work as. Not just foreigners.

Not having a contract just makes it more obvious than you are illegal. Once suspicious or tipped off, they observe you, take photos, then arrest you, possibly without letting you get a change of clothes, and keep you in prison for a couple of weeks. Then they (possibly) deport you in the clothes you stand in, no wallet or suitcase, back to the country of issue of your passport to an airport of their choosing. Even if its minus 20 and you actually live in a different country. I suggest you do some research.

With a spouse kitas you can only work " help your spouse " in her own buissenes, you will not need an imta.....But as soon you are employed ( even by your spouse in her/his own pt) and receive salary you will need to get an imta. For example you are employed as a chef or receptionist or manager for your spouses company (pt) you need to get an imta...if not it could get dangerous for is possible ( like in my case) having a spouse kitas but work for another company "proper employed" when they organize an imta for you, just the imta as you already got your kitas/kitap ( your stay permit) sponsered by your spouse. That is by the way a very common thing least here in lombok.

Rene, you can also do casual work for individuals. Casual work (informal work) is ok so long as you dont work in, or for, a company. As no company is involved, no imtas (the permission for a company to employ a foreigner). Actually that casual work could be a fulltime thing, so long as you arent so big that you need some kind of busi ess permit.

Guy, that might be right, but as soon as you get paid for that kind of work it will def, become illegal... ( im guessing) its tricky and i think same like sulastry mentioned also has to do with who is checking on you, their attitute and and and...if they been tipped off ( you mentioned that) but anyway its a very interresting point, especially for me, and i would like to follow that if you have more info about that please share it with me....( i think pasal 61 can be very cknfusing, and its gonna take some time until we all understand its full volume, isnt it??)

No sorry, rene, thats not it at all, where do you get yoyr information, to say it will def. be illegal? Not at all. The government have deliberately made it easier for people seriously resident in indo, to support their family. True casual work, private work for private people, is 100% safe, for spousal kitap holdersthat was firmly established a couple of years ago. Please dont assume or guess, research first..... this is supposed to be a place for good advice.☺

And no, pasal 61 is not confusing, its very clear, if you dont assume anything, just read it with some knowledge and experience of indonesia.

Thats why i asked you and mentioned that i would like to follow that up...?...i been told diffwrent things by offend but how immigration handle things in bali or lombok or jakarta can be pretty my 15 years here i hadnt had a bad experience to me ( yet) and offcourse i wish it stays like that...still FOR ME pasal 61 doesnt tell me a 100% what im allowed to do outside of my wife's buisswnes. i researchd and also spoke to the imigrasi here and like i said before they are super helpful here....still from officer to officer the rules are slightly different even reading with theym together trough the print out version of pasal 61. Please dont understand me wrong...i believe what you are saying.....but do all immigaration officers know that? People getting in trouble here all the time and many of them was on a spouse kitas..that was last week...but i dont know the circumstances in that case...

Well, it has nothing at all to do with Imigrasi any more as well, its been handed to manpower... also, you are talking about imigrasi officers.... it doesnt matter what the front desk officers know or dint know, thats why noone tells them. If they are mistaken and want to arrest you, they cant do that without a process, and during this process they would get corrected. Btw.....of course all imigrasi offices know it, its been a couple of years now, and it was huge news. But, the officer at the front desk who you speak to, may not know it...... but he doesnt matter, does he? Why even ask? Just accept the good news mate, its 100% sure! To stay legal, just dont work in, or for, or with, a company, dont employ anyone. Casual work, self employed. Simple enough really.

Gilis are always having people deported. The one on spousal kitas im guessing was working as a diver, which means for a company (in the gilis as freelancers arent tolerated). So if no imtas, bad luck. Shouldnt be so stupid. Dont mistake the fact that there are so many illegal workers on gili, to mean that imigrasi is doing anything except what is right!

I understand it's about foreigners married to locals guy8, that was anxious all along. That makes my question, based on previous assumptions made in this thread, still stand.

Yes martin, and i answered it... the only change is that now, such a person, can do casual work. As described. The idea you can pretend its not real work by not having a work contract or pretending its contracted out to blah blah just doesnt hold water here.

guy8, I have not seen you answer it. I have seen you assume "solo entrepreneur" is not a defined term here (acceptable assumption), then assume the distinction is between other types and something better called "freelancer", then assume it means not working in /or for/ a company. Yet I have heard working /for/ a company (as in not being an employee) is actually no problem. For me that leaves two questions still open:

  1. Is working /for/ a company, so not as employee but as "freelancer" actually allowed or not. Is it even described anywhere in Indonesian law?
  2. If it is, could it be "9x5" To me, apart from the whole mess of laws for spouse sponsored KITAS/P holders here, that has been /the/ long standing question for a long time already.

Then Im not sure any more, what your question was. If you work for a company, you are not freelance. Not here. It doesnt matter what your contract says; or if you have one. If you are to all intents and purposes, employed (yes it is open to interpretation, but its pretty obvious really) then the company needs an IMTAS. Thats the Law, very simply. As for your wifes business, you can "assist" but not be employed (again, not having a contract is not relevant). So there are of course some grey areas, but mostly its very clear... No? I really dont know where the problem understanding the laws comes from.

guy8. I do consider laws here both unclear, and partly contradictory. Part of that is indeed lack of specificness in definitions, which obviously translates into the English words we use. For example "work for a company" to me already sounds different than "/do/ work for a company"

So maybe it's good to go by example:

  1. You do work for a company, in the company's building, but it's temporary.
  2. You do work for a company, but it's a project; you work at home, and deliver e.g. a design of something to them.
  3. You give training in a company, 10h per week, for three months.
  4. You give training in a company 10h per week, for three months. The company likes it and extends it without giving an end date. Hours vary.

Would you assume these are allowed or not?

For example also screams vagueness to me:

"In spite of Article 61 in the New Immigration Law, foreigners married to Indonesians are still not allowed to be employed by any legal entity without a work permit issued by Depnakertrans. They may work only on an informal basis as self-employed professionals or run a small business."

  1. What does "employed" actually mean? Only the situation where one is on the payroll of a company, as employee, including benefits? Or more generally, "doing work for" a company, full or part time, indefinite or limited time, or with or without contract (temp work / project)? How does e.g. offering your services to a broker on a permanent basis, to do work as described above, fit?
  2. What does "informal basis" mean?
  3. What does "self-employed professional" mean?
  4. What defines a "small business"?

And, as I understand, this is all ignoring the apparent situation where immigration has taken away any blockade to working (for foreigners married to locals, just to avoid that again), while Depnaker still has their old laws in place. Does one take precedence over the other? Seeing that imigrasi is the only institution that can deport, would they do so if Depnaker complains a foreigner did not work according to their rules, but while being within the limits of what imigrasi allows? We were told (yes, by "mere" desk staff) that imigrasi would not do that. Implying that at best Depnaker coiuld try to fine or jail you.

martin368 - None of them, without permission. None of them are in any way freelance, because for all, you are working with a company. The compay then needs an IMTAS (or there are other permits, for example working permits for volunteers).

I think the problem with Vagueness, is yours. Why shouldnt they be vague? Yu are right, I mean - they are. But why is that inherantly bad? I quite like it.

guy8 "None of them, without permission. None of them are in any way freelance, because for all, you are working with a company." I still do not see explain what you infer that from.

As far as I'm concerned, it is still interpretation, based on personal perceptions of what is logical, reading the law, and possibly reading translations of the law.

And so it can still just as well be interpreted as "selling a service to a company", the service being your expertise, or products. Just like you could sell a physical product to a company, e.g. ACME sprockets.

Note b.t.w. that manpower regulation speaks about the USD100,- penalty for foreign workers, quite obviously implying full contract work. As far as I know no provision is made for temporary work, variable work time work, or the deliverance of e.g. a design, as mentioned?

But let's assume it's correct. Also interesting then is: What else is left? What work can you possibly do if everything "touching" a company is excluded. Kaki lima seller? And then would you as kaki lima seller be in violation if once a year you sell your day's provision to a company for their yearly party?

You can make things and sell them, buy things and sell them, run a warung or any other business (note the ") that is too small to need local permissions and not resticted.. Teach (to individuals). Advise (individuals). Help in any way at all. Train. Build. Repair. Accompany. Assist. So, so much - just cant work for, with or in, a company. Sorry you have trouble seeing how that is an answer to your question; it seems obvious to me, and I dont know how to say it differently.

Dont forget, you can (your example) sell to an individual, who then takes the stuff to his company. One of the most points was that you have to be paid by an individual.

Or of course, get a job, with an IMTA! Everything is open, the Archipelago is your oyster, just stop looking up obscure laws and worrying about them ?

You do understand, that its this SPousal Kitap Informal work that Im talking about, yes? If you want to work, get a job, no problem. But without IMTAS, what you can do is limited (and back to the top again!).

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The interpretation seems to hinge on help vs work.

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Please read pasal 61 immigration law! Please

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The question is the family right vs the immigration. Are they mutually inclusive?

Actually whether “help” or “work” both are forbidden if you do not have the right documentation and both are acceptable if you do. Neither Immigration nor Depnaker differentiate between “work” and “help”.

martin3 "they have "Kerja Resmi" which basically means work as in employment, no? Then there "kerja" which mean, work as in, could be cutting your own lawn, or helping your wife. Running a thread on FB also falls into that category.

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I havr family kitas and married to indonesian. I was told I can work in family business as long as what I do contributes to the well being of my family.

"to help make ends meet" whatever that means

YEs, thats right, but of course, so long as you arent breaking any laws. If your wife has a warung you cant start running prostitutes to entertain the clients. You cant sell guests drugs or resticted substances, Or to be serious, you cant import foodstufs from abroad, without a license. You cant just do what you want - what they mean is, there are possibilities. Because before, there wernt any.

guy8 I like the sound of the warung you describe - could be an exciting business opportunity albeit a dodgy one!

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I have followed this for some time and all I can say is how many shades of grey are there?

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If I may, Paul - none, if White is dangerous. There is only Black, or non-black. (practically speaking).

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(note how PC I was, there)

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Its not immigration's call. DEPNAKER

And what is the DEPNAKER view on that one?

Anyone who works must have ijin

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I find it interesting that people in this forum often look for clear answers where there are none! The case in question is one of those issues where different legislation and cultures seem to be overlapping/diverging and everybody could be right! So I suggest watching news on this evolving subject (Jokowi has announced new rules again!) and naturally it’s always better to be safe than sorry. FWIIW, I have both Balinese wife, KITAS and IMTA.

What you said is correct, it also applies to "western" legislation on employment. When something needs clarifying it often gets done in court and a judgement is made which sets a precedent for future decisions. Law begets more law and lawyers fees.

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The IMTA is only required for a TKA (Tenaga Kerja Asing) or in other words a foreigner coming to Indonesia for the purpose of working. A foreigner married to an Indonesian is NOT and CANNOT be considered a TKA because the purpose of stay in Indonesia is for family reasons.

The law also states that a foreigner married to an Indonesian is allowed to work to provide to his/her family.

So technically, yes, a foreigner can work almost anywhere without an IMTA. There are restrictions to certain professions related to law or the medical world for instance. But that's only technically. The situation is still very obscure and it is an uphill battle trying to convince government officials of a foreigner's rights in such case, so one should proceed with extreme caution.

Here is a forum post that clearly summarize what the law says, what it clearly allows and what it's actually like in practice:

I agree with you. Of course it is difficult to convince employers or authorites.

just wrong.

an IMTA is required for the company, to have permission to employ a foreigner.

any foreigner.

That's opened to interpretation. The law doesn't say orang asing. It says Tenaga Kerja Asing which has a very specific definition.

Of course it is - all indonesian law is open to interpretation! (Thats the legal system, fairly vague laws, to be individually, relevantly interpreted). And thats why, we are trying to find what will actually happen to us, in specific circumstances - it is not so relevant to be quoting Pasals and whatever (fun though) - the debate is about Imigrasi, Depnaker, etc, and how they actually behave. So here it is. They insist on any company that wants to employ a forigner, to get an IMTA. Basta. Companies that dont, get into problems. And foreigners who work without the IMTA behind them, get deported. Not just TKA. History, not theory.

not sure but there is no history of a spouse Kitap holder being deported for working..

Last week on Gili Air. I think most KITAP holders are simply more careful - they get an IMTA or get correct some other way.

guy8 what did the guy/girl do?

I dont know, but, spousal KITAP, deportation for breaking the rules of KITAP, one of which states that you will ensure that any company you work for will get an IMTA. SO I was told, I even saw the list of rules, I forget who showed it to me (here).

guy8 ok, he did not freelance or help his wife.

I guess he was working for a diveshop or something, and they didnt get an IMTA for him

Sorry, I understand you now.

No! Noone ever got deported for working alone (freelancing is a confusing word) or helping his wife- except where one bloke was driving around for his wifes PT, collecting cash, etc - which would have been OK but he had responsibilities, and some power, in the company - which made it working. Out!

well the law is the law, and the law sucks, because he is a permanent resident

Permanent resident visitor. If a local gets into trouble, he gets a fine or jail time - its not better!

I guess we all are tourists in this world.

vincent5748 true Orang asing married to WNI is not TKA.

david0 on a spouse Kitas, one is not a TKA.

One may have been before but.... wife comes before work, right? Right? ??

I am married to a Balinese and work for someone here and yes, I DO need an IMTA to do so. It is a PT company though.

yannick0 Yes Yannik, I realise that an agree. I was simply saying that an Orang Asing who is married to an Indonesian can still be a TKA.... but not using a spouse kitas.

Yannick Ille An orang asing married to a WNI can be a TKA, but not on a Spouse KITAS

guy8 Depends who you ask! Lol

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I know the office manager in DEPNAKER JKT. I have asked her for information. I will inform you as I get answer.

It seems much hinges on whether foreigners here on spouse KITAS/P are considered TKA or not. If yes, then manpower law limits us in the same as any normal foreigner coming to work here. Except possibly for the crumble types of work not regulated by manpower, as now also freed by the updated immigration law. If no, there is the added questions of confirming that that indeed implies no IMTA is needed for a company, and where up to date / formal lists are for job types out of bounds for foreigners. I would really appreciate - if you do get an answer - if you indeed let us know. (Y)

The answer I got is, if you are hired in a company you must have IMTA.

Thanks!? I'm guessing no specific question was asked about what constitutes an TKA under Indonesian law correct? Further, seeing my bit of interaction with Guy, was there any further clarity on what constitutes "being hired /in/ a company?"

Could be any company, no different if your wife own it.

martin368 The tricky bit in the definition of a TKA according to the 2003 Manpower Act is actually contained in just two words and their understanding: "dengan maskud". You probably already know that, but let me spell it out so everybody here is on the same page.

The full definition of a TKA in Pasal 1 Point 13 goes as follows: "Tenaga kerja asing adalah warga negara asing pemegang visa dengan maksud bekerja di wilayah Indonesia."

From a general point of view, these two words could either

  • refer to the visa holder and his/her INTENT to work in Indonesia OR
  • they refer to the PURPOSE that said visa was given for to the visa holder.

This bit would be much easier to figure out if it would say "yang bermaksud". That would clearly refer to the intent of the visa holder, WNA married in Indonesia would then fall under that TKA definition, case closed.

As the language of law is usually highly codified in most countries, there should be a standardized use of the phrase "dengan maksud" in Indonesian law. I once did a search of several Indonesian laws for just this phrase and came to the conclusion that it usually refers to the purpose of documents etc. - not to the intent of a person. Sounds like good news, right?

But what is the understanding of Kemenaker? The official English translation on their website for this definition goes as follows: "Foreign worker is a visa holder of foreign citizenship with the intention to work in Indonesia’s territory."?

While I think this to be a faulty translation, it shows what their understanding of this phrase is for this case - intent of a person, not purpose of a document. And there is our problem, I would say.

Indeed all precisely my view, and I did precisely what you did.?

An added note of course is that under Indonesian law, I expect the original Bahasa would be used.

There is one small thing that can be added perhaps, my wife came up with this. Seeing it is a legal text, where normally a preference would exist for "measurable" definitions, logic dictates it should be about the function of the visa. After all, how to decide with what intent a foreigner is here, or came here.

martin368 Of course the only legally official version is the Indonesian one. I merely quoted the English translation that Kemenaker uses to illustrate what their understanding seems to be.

I do not think we can rule out the "intent" variation just by logic. The full version " A TKA - is a foreign citizen holding a visa - with the intent of working in Indonesia" seems (by logic) possible to me as well. It would just mean that the foreign citizen who wants to work in Indonesia would also need a valid visa to be a legally accepted TKA. That seems to be the understanding by Kemenaker as we know it.

As a translator, I do not agree on this understanding nor its English translation by them. IMHO, it is the holder of a visa given for the purpose of work.

Maybe some day someone will be able to take this decision to the courts. I would be happy to arrange an expert witness for Indonesian linguistics for that trial?

martin368 the text says not a TKA

We also have laws based on intent of an individual at one moment (i.e entry into a country). Import laws, for example. Indonesia is full of laws made half heartedly, i dont believe it is an oversight so much as fitting to the culture.... less preparation, more tweaking to make it fit at the time.

what is interesting here is number 2: Tidak untuk bekerja see d.

penjelasan art. 39 UU 6/2011] Visa tinggal terbatas diberikan kepada Orang Asing yang bermaksud bertempat tinggal dalam jangka waktu yang terbatas dan dapat juga diberikan kepada Orang Asing eks warga Negara Indonesia yang telah kehilangan kewarganegaraan Indonesia berdasarkan Undang-Undang tentang Kewarganegaraan Republik Indonesia dan bermaksud untuk kembali ke Indonesia dalam rangka memperoleh kewarganegaraan Indonesia kembali sesuai dengan ketentuan peraturan perundang-undangan. Visa tinggal terbatas dalam penerapannya dapat diberikan untuk melakukan kegiatan, antara lain:

  1. Dalam rangka bekerja: a. sebagai tenaga ahli b. bergabung untuk bekerja di atas kapal, alat apung, atau instalasi yang beroperasi di wilayah perairan Nusantara, laut territorial, atau landas kontinen, serta Zona Ekonomi Eksklusif Indonesia; c. melaksanakan tugas sebagai rohaniwan; d. melakukan kegiatan yang berkaitan dengan profesi dengan menerima bayaran, seperti olahraga, artis, hiburan, pengobatan, konsultan, pengacara, perdagangan, dan kegiatan profesi lain yang telah memperoleh izin dari instansi berwenang; e. melakukan kegiatan dalam rangka pembuatan film yang bersifat komersial dan telah mendapat izin dari instansi yang berwenang; f. melakukan pengawasan kualitas barang atau produksi (quality control); g. melakukan inspeksi atau audit pada cabang perusahaan di Indonesia; h. melayani purnajual; i. memasang dan reparasi mesin; j. melakukan pekerjaan nonpermanen dalam rangka konstruksi; k. mengadakan pertunjukan; l. mengadakan kegiatan olahraga profesional; m.melakukan kegiatan pengobatan; dan n. calon tenaga kerja asing yang akan bekerja dalam rangka uji coba keahlian.
  2. Tidak untuk bekerja: a. penanam modal asing; b. mengikuti pelatihan dan penelitian ilmiah; c. mengikuti pendidikan; d. penyatuan keluarga; e. repatriasi; dan f. lanjut usia.

Doesn't really change anything, I think.

  • So a spousal KITAS (2 d.) isn't given for the purpose of work, but for the purpose of family unification. I guess we all agree on that.
  • Then Pasal 61 of UU Keimigrasian says that the holder of said visa is allowed to work to support his/her family.
  • The question if that WNA wishing to work has to be considered a "normal" TKA for any regular employment is then still left to the understanding of UU Ketenagakerjaan Pasal 1 Point 13, as discussed above.

it is clear that they don't want to make clear, especially if they lose the 1200$$

I think much too much is being read into the laws; they are not designed or developed to be a system that is critically analysed to find answers, the answers are left up to the judges. This theoretical "what if" argumentation is just that, theoretical fun, and has very little relevance to what actually happens in indonesia. I suspect that this type of discussion is largely promoted by consultants and agents, as their biggest marketing point is to repeat.... "its so complex, not even we understand it"..... but actually you dont need to understand, in such depth. Imho, the simple, practical applications are enough, as they are all that people experience, and all that the legal profession here, think about and act on. Its like driving a car. You only need to know how to drive it.

guy8 yes, like flying airplanes, just need to know how and then see the statistics in Papua.

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I think half the problem is immergration can be more confused about the rules then us mere mortals and its not there fault its the system is built on that creates confusion

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You can help your spouse in their business. Where the problem begins is that if you start taking too much of an active role by exercising authority then that can attract unwanted attention by locals calling depnaker that they are trying to do their job but you have no official position in the business but are harassing them at work.

I am still trying to find where I read the quote today, but that was one of the major points of trouble - helping means having no authority at all, no rights to decision (and so on). Because only an employee can have that. The fact that you dont have a contract, just means you are trying to hide your activities as well.

guy8 yes, this is why a clearer definition would help curtail misuse of the laws.

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The general rule for working when having a spouse sponsored kitas is for the employer to apply for an imta for you. However, this does not apply to the "informal" sector where you are allowed to work/help at your inlaws' business, as long as it is not a PT. Like a CV or UD or whatever small activity. I am not aware of PT with small capital being allowed to hire foreigner without imta. It seems unlikely because all PT must report their payroll to tax dept and any foreigner on it must have an imta. After that, you can always do things illegally, but that's not a consideration in this discussion

PT with small capital can't hire foreigners.

Do you know the minimum?

Capital is minimum 1billion to employ foreigners

In theory it should be medium size PT so lower than 1bln however in practice 1bln is asked.

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headache init? ?

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I think im getting closer to the answer we are looking for. On emerhub i found this regarding KITAS and KITAP:

The key to this is Article 54 (3) of UU6-2011. So if on KITAS no cannot do any work because not an “indonesian inhabitant”.

From what I know, it is possible to get an IMTA under a spouse KITAS.

benjamin91 yes i was on KITAS and got IMTA to work with a company.

benjamin91 this part #5 adds confusion by stating that by national law can only have 1 type of KITAS, but some authorities allow you to have 2. All of this is due to decentralised government where regencies are allowed to pass their own laws which can be totally at odds with the national law.

In Jakarta from what my agent told me, you do not need to give up your spouse KITAS, just to apply for IMTA knowing that you already have a staying permit. That makes sense anyway but as you said maybe it is different in some places.

benjamin91 ?? Allowing the regencies autonomy to make their own laws is one of the reasons that foreigners have issues knowing what is the law that applies to them. Such as the recent debarcle regarding alcohol licenses in jogja, with many business having gone to the federal level and obtained licenses which aparently are not valid in jogja.. so jogja being a special regency has gone rogue ?

Hi Shane.... Point #4 is interesting for me.... Can I see what they are saying about that.. Thank you

Alcohol licence can be ruled by local authorities. But immigration and labor laws are national issues. There should not be differences in the regions. Kitas are approved by Jakarta. Immigration will not deliver 2 different kitas to a foreigner. Spouse kitas is accepted by depnaker for an imta. But as you say, local bureaucrats can take things in their hands, against the law!

What's the local definition of an "independant consultant"??

Shane Shepherd please can you say where you got these screen shots from. #3 as far as I know is bollocks. Any WNI - sponsored KITAS/P holder can work in any company that can provide an IMTA. Not only does it make logical sense that your WNI spouse sponsors your residency while a company pays for your work permit, but it is also the experience of a number of friends of mine.

phil571 immigration absolutely needs to be national law only. Labour laws though, coming from Australia, there used to be many “awards” for different industries, for example a hotel chain used national awards, but a local restaurant used a state award, and each award not only governed the pay but also hours etc, indonesia also has different pay rates for each area, but doesnt have for positions in an industry... so when the minimum say for example 3jt how is that supposed to work well for staff of higher levels then lower levels also demand the minimum but have no skills. I have read that manpower is looking into making minimums based on industry and position, bit it remains to be seen if anything will come of it in the near future. It is likely the laws will rolled out without much consultation with leading industry players.

shane858 this guide has been written by an agency with their own interpretation of the rules. It looks official and reads like it knows what its talking about, but it is full of inaccuracies and very misleading.

martin3 yes emerhub handles business statups etc so its in their interest to make everyone change to company sponsored for all so they can justify the need for their services. Im not saying they are wrong but the fact that all of us here in the group, and also people on expat forums also say the laws seem contradictory shows how open the laws are to abuse and misuse.

martin3 the screenshots for the law are from translated UU document obtained directly from immigration website:

shane858 yup! And that is not mentionning how all rules are enforced. Which is certainly the big weakness of indonesian bureaucracy.Useless to have good clear laws, if a local idiot decides he can interpret them the way he likes without anybody stopping him.

phil571Fabre, the local is not so dumb. He is attempting to boost his income by any means?

Good point actually.. what we first see as being stupid is actually a misinterpretation of their behavioural nuances. For example they cant cook a good steak if their life depended on it, but thwy can make a “souffle” with just an egg white some cocoa sugar and flour. ? Some things i see just drive me crazy, but other things i wonder how i can be so set in my conditioning that i missed what they saw.

Yes it certainly makes sense that if you have a spouse sponsored kitas and start work requiring an IMTA you can do so without going back to square one and getting one sponsored by a company. But unfortunately, getting any consistent answers on this is still a problem. And as for holding two at the same time... come on...

Actually giving spouses work rights without any serious restrictions/ confusion /BS seems a bit too much to ask of Indonesia, but surely at the very least, a bit of clarity on this question of Imta and spousal kitas shouldnt be.

One of the things i hope is not too much to hope for in the not too distant future.

Martin Lindsey-Clark that is exactly what happened to me. An employer wanted to use an agent, the agent wanted 30jt + the document costs and expected to change KITAS sponsor. The agent looked very shady to me, im not one to judge on looks but the way someone looks sideways its enough to wonder what underhanded tactics are being used. So i got my wife to help the HR, i got the IMTA to problems. Like all things in indonesia when thinggs are said the right way to the right people you can make amazing things happen, otherwise your at the mercy of the interpretation because although Bahasa Indonesian is a language, it is incomplete and even when talking 100% indonesian its possible for the other party to get confused. I had experience like that where a staff was confused by what i asked of them, i told my boss, he understood completely, then he re-explained it in a much more convoluted way before the staff could comprehend the simple instruction. I heard that a good example is “lagi satu” and “satu lagi”.. it has something to do with regional interpretation where indonesian know exactly where someone is from just from the arrangement of words in speach patterns.

Maybe its an old post - the laws have changed, thats the way it used to be.

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You officially can "support your family" and work together with your wife on spouse kitas. You make a working contract, pay taxes and have bpjs as any other legal worker in Indonesia would do.

Really? I thought one of the rules was that you couldn’t draw a salary/payment of any kind?

You can receive a salary from a job with your wife/inlaws if it is not in the formal sector (i.e.: PT). However, in the informal sector, I am not sure if salaries go to the Tax Dept.Same for BPJS, maybe (?)

phil571 BPJS can still be paid as a form of “medicare”.. my wife arranged it for me. Maybe she knows something i dont ?

matthew14351 you can still get paid, its just informal.. handshake deal.. the question is how much do you trust your wife? And your in laws? ?

shane858, here you are opening a whole new book...

shane858 the inlaws aren't in the picture. Doesn't it have to be formalised otherwise, how can BPJS be paid? This is rhetorical rather than thinking you know the answer?. I'm just thinking of how to reduce our/the wifes income tax bill that's all. Splitting it down the middle and having more income in the lower threshold(s).

Even if its your wifes company, if you are employed you need an IMTA. Yu are allowed to "assist" in you wifes business.

Phil Fabre - "You can receive a salary from a job with your wife/inlaws if it is not in the formal sector (i.e.: PT)."

no you cant... not legally.

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It actually not an immigration issue. Rather manpower..

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Perhaps you are all trying to make sense of something that doesn't make sense. Somewhere along the way someone explained to me that the new immigration act allows foreign spouses to work to support their family but that this in fact contravenes the older Manpower act that says that all foreigners must have a working permit. Manpower and immigration were at loggerheads and so came to an arrangement where foreign spouses could work "informally". How do you define informally? - no job title, no job description, no salary, no full time employment with an established company, no business card, etc. If this is, in fact, the explanation then we are talking about informal rules that are not written down and defined, we are trying to understand something that doesn't officially exist.

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I dont agree, phil. Its very, very simple. That statement that you quote, is wrongly translated. It doesnt refer to Work (being a very broad term) it refers to employment. So, then take out all assumptions, brought in from aus, the uk, etc about our emp,oyment system. Then....the imtas is not a work permit, its a permit for a company to employ a foreigner. So if you dont work in, or for, a company.... no imtas. There is no other work permit. If you dont employ someone..... no business registration needed. So if you work by yourself, for private people, you are ok.

No conflict, easy to understand, no? If you go looking into the letter of laws (translated from indonesian, so open to mistake) in a legal system where all laws are deliberately open to interpretation (so quoting them as absolutes is not in line with the legal system) you will simply confuse yoyrself. The system is quite clear, actually.

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Btw, the informal rules dont matter. The law says you cannot do formal work, but can do informal. And the definition of formal work, is defined..... so the definition of informal, is de facto, defined.

Do you have a reference for the definition of what is considered formal work.. its doing my head in trying to find it on both mobile and laptop.

Formal work means being employed. Indo laws are deliberately vague, to be open to interpretation, its how it works here..... stop looking!

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The new laws never put manpower and imigrasi at loggerheads. Imigrasi made 1 new rule, wna with spousal kitap can do casual work. Casual work is unregulated (except by imigrasi) as it doesnt unvolved any business or employment. So its outside manpowers focus. No conflict.

Heres an interesting read, the first reply gives a translation, which at point H says that each case is to based on job, the legal entity and size of business, but does not reference where the criteria is to be found:

Its so clear, thanks, its the best explanation i have seen yet. Yes. It is explained. He says that the moment the business becomes big enough to become a legal entity (in other words the authorities say you have to get registered) you need an IMTAS to work tbere.

That would be decided by the local authorities, depending on if you start needing permits.

guy8 the problem with case D is their interpretation of what is a small cafe, to open a cafe requires some permits, so even before it is open there must be an imta which contradicts what manpower says. It seems that manpower has no idea about cafe food business regulations.

I still dont see, a conflict. You are assuming western standards of business..... look down the street at all the warungs etc, how many have licences?

Cafe food business regulations? Any of the know what that is?

It seems this whole discussiin has become about the failings of the indo system. It started out, and was meant to be (and is better so) as practical advice?...

I have to go now, i have some unregulated work to do, after i help my wife in her business. Then i have to go to work where i am employed. ?

guy8 as you said previously, translation to english ? So do they really think a western chef is going to open a bakso stand? And then when it gets crowded so they expect it to expand then need the imta.. whats their definition of crowded? And even if it was a bakso stand, who are they to say that a food stall must get other permits and therfore an imta. It seems they are tying the imta also to defree of success. ?

Yes. Practically, it would depend on the local authorities, when they decide you need their permission to carry on, that coukd be when you start producing lots of trash, blockung the sidewalk with parked cars, being noisy etc.

Does it say 'casual work only' in the legislation Guy? i thought it just said you have the right to provide or similar..

No you are quite right, depnaker and immigration have never been at loggerheads. They couldnt care less i dare say, not their problem.

No it doesnt say Casual work; it says you have the right to work - ie earn money to provide for the family (paraphrased) - as you said. Because before, you couldnt. And thats the only change. So, all other rules still apply; Like this. To be employed, there has to be an IMTAS. To make a company, it has to be registered. To have a realbusiness, it needs local permissions. Etc etc. That leaves one area of making money (legally) left - casual, unregulated work. Its unregulated; no employer, no employee, no local permissions required, no IMB, nothing. Just making money (i.e. teaching english to private students, washing peoples dogs, etc). Its so simple.

Maybe it depends on whether the business possesses an NPWP or not?

And incidentally this law a started with a presidential decree that was implemented by Immigrasi but not by Depnaker

i am starting to think along similar lines. From what i can make of the depnaker statements is that they really dont care what you do or how you earn money but they will be obligated to force you to have an imta if some other govt agency has any interaction. If the law was so clear then so many, including indonesians would not be saying how grey it is. Emerhub has different interpretation to what has been discussed on livingindonesia, they are a local company practicing law, not a bunch of expats. Emerhub says consulting is fine, but if informal how is consulting supposed to fall into that category. As Guy said. Maybe when the rubbish starts spilling out onto the streets of your cafe then they will demand you get a company, so why is it that so many places overflowing with garbage are not registered businesses with waste management contract to stop the problem before it occurs.

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Great topic, and I understand why you raised it although it's not related to me I have been following (I dont have a spousal visa). I do understand what Phil Wilson is saying about "not officially existing". I raised an issue at a conference with the head of Immigration and the Head of Manpower about what a Komasaris could and could not do. Well, I asked the Head of Immigration, who did not know the answer, so handballed it to the Head of Manpower, who did not know the answer, so handballed it to a worker, who said they would need to look into it. In the end we went into Manpower Renon had a lovely chat about the law etc. Then went to our Regional Manpower office and had another lovely chat and their interpretation was completely different. So, in the end, we chatted and chatted and came to an agreement and understanding of what we could do or could not do in our positions in our region. Then had the Head of Manpower in our region signed off what we had agreed. Then, as we are a PT PMA went to the BPKM office in the region to make sure they agreed as well. Then just to be sure had a quick chat with immigration and all agreed. Now if immigration ever questioned the role we have a clearer understanding ourselves. Pretty hard to talk to immigration if they visit you, if are actually not 100% sure you are doing the right thing. I have always found all the departments really helpful in Bali and if you are just wanting to do the right thing then of course they want you to as well. I suggest to anyone confused/worried about what they can or cannot do here is to do the same thing, as it can very much depend on your geographical location as well. You will sleep better at night knowing, believe me.

I think your comment very well illustrates the vagaries of the immigration laws and the way you dealt with them and found your own safe solution is a good lesson for all those in a similar situation.

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I want to add in something - why not just get an IMTA instead of all this screwing around?

Because an imta is a formality ?

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I agree and would not personally take the risk. Some see it as a way to avoid paying the 1,200$...

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I must say I didn't get a very clear answer (see my txt earlier) but the final info is: If you work and have income you must have IMTA.

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I'm glad to hear this: but the interpretation is potentially a big problem. And I've spent a night in Lombok immigration jail, and they thought I was a nominee owner, who left his passport in Bali. So I was wrong about forgetting my passport yes: The issue of what I was allowed to do helping my wife the owner remained vague. My wife politely apologized: Why? Because if they don't like you they can hassle you big time.

Dear Peter, sorry for your nasty Lombok experience. Unfortunately, it underlines my point which is that often we Westerners look for legal clarity where there is none. I truly believe that many non-Westerners don’t have the same ideas of law as we have (and why would they? They’re not descendants of the Greek!!) and “laws” out here are much more a point of negotiations than to establish what is right or wrong. In my view, any undertaking to “legalize” ones undertakings is merely a tactic to reduce possible exposure and risk. But that is no guarantee of a free pass no matter what one does. To observe this principle just watch how people drive: there’s no “right of way” here. At any time anybody might jump in front of you and challenge your position. Only by having a bigger (and blacker) car can you hope to improve your standing!

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