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Transfer Maids and Direct Hire from Indonesia Procedures

Employing Transfer Maid or Direct Hire from Indonesia.

The Find a Nanny website also allows advertising of transfer maids. Transfer maids, or foreign domestic workers, are often a good way to find a good maid quickly and avoid going through a lot of red tape. As the maids are already here in Singapore, often the transfer can be completed quickly. Or in the other scenario, multiple maids can be interviewed, the preferred maid selected and the transfer effected smoothly at the appointed time. Transfer maids generally are more experienced that the ones typically presented by maid agencies, have overcome their home-sickness and culture shock. If I may characterise the typical transfer maid (not meaning to stereotype), they might be goal driven (to save money for their children's education for instance) and therefore more focused.

Employing a Transfer Maid Without Going Through an Agent.

It is the new employer's responsibility to complete the process 30 days before the Foreign Domestic Worker's (FDW) Work Permit expires. Here are the steps:

  • Obtain consent of the transfer.
  • Confirm that the present employer has sent the FDW for her six monthly medical exam and if the last exam was 5 months ago, send her for one.
  • Submit a new Work Permit application for her, available here.
  • Only allow the FDW to start with you (the new employer) after the new work permit has been issued.
  • Collect the current Work Permit card before doing the transfer.
  • The previous employer must continue to pay the levy up until the day the new Work Permit is issued.

If the maid's, or foreign domestic worker's application is unsuccessful and the Work Permit is cancelled, the current employer must send the maid back to her country within seven days of the cancellation or expiry of Work Permit.

Direct Hire from Indonesia.

You may want to hire a particular person from Indonesia based on a recommendation. This is not as hard as some people make it out to be. The whole process should only cost you a few hundred dollars compared to well over a two thousand dollars if you use a maid agency. There is really only one step in the procedure that can go wrong and, naturally, it is on the Indonesian side. She MUST obtain a KTKLN ID Card, otherwise there could be complications at the airport in Indonesia. Please read below:

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), has very detailed explanations of the process here.

The following is provided as a useful summary, but please do check the MOM website in case there have been changes.

You will need to gather all the relevant details about the lady you wish to employ as your new maid, such as:

  • Full name
  • Passport number
  • Passport expiry date
  • Date of birth
  • If married, spouse's details
  • If she has worked in Singapore before, then get her previous Work Permit number.

Apply for the Work Permit (Foreign Domestic Worker)

  • You can do this on-line here (you will need a SingPass)
  • If you wish to do a manual submission, you can submit the completed Work Permit application form at any SingPost office
  • You must pay a $20 Administrative fee. Payment can be made using Visa, Mastercard or eNets Debit.
  • To process the Work Permit application will take one working day.
  • You can view and print the Work Permit Application Form from here.
  • It will take seven days for approval to be given by MOM after which the outcome of the application will be mailed to the employer.
  • If successful, you will receive an In-Principle letter or a "Letter of Notification to bring the Foreign Domestic Worker into Singapore".
  • You will then have to pay the security bond for the maid. You can do that at NTUC Income, here, or with Anda Insurance here. Once purchased MOM will be automatically advised.
  • Post the following by registered mail:
    • In-Principle approval letter to the maid. She will need to show this to Singapore Customs upon arrival at the airport.
    • Insurance Security Bond copy.
    • The air ticket you purchased for her. (you can do this on-line)
  • Your Indonesian Foreign Domestic Worker must obtain a KTKLN card and these can only be made while she is in Indonesia. A list of the KTKLN offices can be found here.
  • As her employer, you will have to be at Singapore airport 30 minutes before her arrival to declare the In-Principal Approval Letter to the Immigration's Office, otherwise the maid may be turned away.
  • Once the maid is in Singapore you will have 14 days to complete her medical check-up, which can be done at SATA

The total cost of doing this excluding the air tickets is about $150. A Maid agency will charge well over $2,000 so the slight inconvenience of doing it yourself is far outweighed by the savings in money. If you have the time.


54 Responses to “Transfer Maids and Direct Hire from Indonesia Procedures”

  1. Jasmine 15/04/20135:25 pm

    As long as my ex-maid apply KTKLN card from here home town and approved thus I can proceed apply all documents here in order to bring in to Singapore..

    • IRTI42 15/05/20172:42 pm

      BUT ,if by employment agency why the agency didn’t asking any KTKLN cards where the helper is tranfer or direct hire from indonesia but the helper have experience in Singapore before.
      what is different application form from MOM for employer who want direct hire and application form throught by employment agency

  2. Yee Mei
    Yee Mei 17/04/201310:53 am

    Hi Jasmine,
    Yes, that is correct. The KTKLN card will allow her to get through Indonesian Customs without hassle
    Many people get their maids this way from Indonesia and save themselves the expense of going through a maid agency.

  3. Josephine Ang 28/04/20132:57 pm

    Is it still possible to direct hire indonesian FDW without going through agent?

    • Yee Mei
      Yee Mei 28/04/20133:37 pm

      I believe it is still possible, however the situation is fluid and always changing. Embassies are getting more anxious to protect their citizens who work overseas from exploitation, and the easiest way for them to keep tabs on them is to insist that they seek recruitment through an agency.
      A good alternative is find a transfer maid. At any one time there are usually a few of them with advertisements on Find a Nanny.

      • Josephine Ang 07/06/20139:56 am

        I am going through direct hire without agent. All the paper works are done; the maid that I am going to employ has already obtained the KTKLN card, air ticket booked and security bond transmitted to MOM. I have given her the In-Principal approval letter from MOM to show to Singapore Immigration. Now only waiting for her to fly in 2 weeks time from Indonesia to Singapore. Fingers crossed, I am hoping that Indonesia custom don’t give her any trouble and she be allowed to board the plane without any hassle. I will come back to update how it goes.

        • Yee Mei
          Yee Mei 07/06/20138:04 pm

          That’s great Josephine, I believe that everything will be fine as it seems you have done everything correctly.
          Thanks for offering to come back here to share your experience.
          I can’t wait to hear from you
          Thanks again.

          • Josephine Ang 17/06/201311:43 pm

            Hi Yee Mei,
            Thank you so much for your site which provided us detailed process in direct hiring. I have benefited so much from this site that I managed to direct hire a ex-Singapore maid sucessfully without much issue. My maid had arrived on 15-Jun-13 without much hassle. Just need to give some kopi money when being questioned for not having an agent when applying KTKLN card and passing through Indonesia custom.

            • Yee Mei
              Yee Mei 18/06/20139:25 pm

              That’s great news Josephine!
              Thank you so much for coming back here and letting us know

        • Ana 01/08/20138:14 am

          Hi Josephine

          Could you please advise what documents are required for the KTKLN card? Also is there any other document from Indonesian embassy that is required, for example, do we need to get the maid-employer contract endorsed by the embassy?

          Was there any issue at the Indonesian immigration?

          Thanks in advance for your reply.

        • Serene 12/09/20133:06 pm

          Hi Josephine

          Can you advise what did your maid said to the custom in Indonesia?

          I heard the maid cannot say that she is going to work and must look confident.

          Can you please reply me via leesl8012@hotmail.com

        • Hi Josephine 14/10/20135:29 pm

          Hi Josephine
          Can I know how you get the… This conversation has been moved to here: https://findananny.sg/forum/direct-hire-from-indonesia/please-let-me-know-how-did-you-do-it/

    • crystal 02/10/20131:35 pm

      Hi Josephine, I read that you have successfully do direct hiring of indonesian maid without going through agent. Please let me know how did you do it. I just….
      This conversation has been moved to here: https://findananny.sg/forum/direct-hire-from-indonesia/please-let-me-know-how-did-you-do-it/
      If you would like to particpate please do so at the new location.

  4. ah ling fat fat 29/04/20134:14 pm

    Please advise how the FDW can obtain the KTKLN card in Indonesia ??

    • Yee Mei
      Yee Mei 30/04/201310:20 am


      Here are the locations where a KTKLN card can be obtained. http://ktkln.bnp2tki.go.id/lokasi_ktkln.pdf
      Your maid/foreign domestic worker will have to do this herself.
      Note that there are offices in the International airports in Jalarta and Surabaya. I am told the the processing is very quick and the whole ordeal should take less than one hour.

  5. Idah 30/04/20134:34 pm

    Hi, Can we still direct hire from Indonesia? Cos I heard from sources that the Indonesia Embassy has restrict dire hire. Only can go through Agency. Is it true??

  6. Yee Mei
    Yee Mei 30/04/20136:08 pm

    I have heard nothing from official sources which suggests that direct hiring of domestic workers from Indonesia is not possible.
    Here is an article published in Taiwan just a few days ago: http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aall/201304230039.aspx
    It suggests that the Indonesian officials are ENCOURAGING direct hire. If that is the situation in Taiwan, why not here?

  7. Linn 03/06/20134:45 pm

    Hi Yee Mei

    Chance upon your website and am interested to “direct hire” my ex-indon maid . She is now back in Indonesia – Surabaya. Yes agent is charging ard SGD2500 inclusive insurance!
    Seems that getting the KTKLN card is key. It was mentioned that this can be obained from the Surabaya airport and ordeal is quick. So am wondering if she can apply and obtain the card immediately on the day of departure? Too ambitious?
    If not can you help advise what is the best alternative – I reckon her home is far away from the airport.

  8. Yee Mei
    Yee Mei 03/06/20137:44 pm

    Hi Linn,

    I understand that to way to do it is to get the card at the airport on the same day of departure, but I must stress that I have never done this myself, so I really can’t predict the outcome.
    Your maid can probably make some enquiries locally, and learn more.
    The fees the agencies charge are outrageous.
    Good luck with your plan, it would be great if you came back here later and let us know how everything went.

  9. iza 09/06/20131:42 am

    Hi just want to check if I want direct hire from Indonesia will MoM check our income? Heard employing maid must have $2.5k monthly?

  10. Yee Mei
    Yee Mei 09/06/201310:01 pm

    Hi Iza,

    Yes, I believe MOM will check your income, but I am not certain what the minimum amount is right now.
    I’ll try to find out, but I believe the MOM website would also have the answer (buried deep on page 23, probably)
    I’ll post back here when I find out
    Thanks for using Find a Nanny

  11. Popori 20/06/20132:15 pm

    Hi Yee Mei,

    So my ex-maid will first have to apply for a passport that is valid for at least 2 years in Indo before she can apply for the KTKLN card?

    Is that all she needs to do? Passport + KTKLN Card only?
    What other documents do I need to send her to facilitate the process?

  12. Yee Mei
    Yee Mei 21/06/201310:10 pm

    Hi Popori,

    You will need to do some preparation first.
    I don’t think I can explain it any better than I already have in the article above.
    Basically you will need to apply for a Work Permit (Foreign Domestic Worker) and when you receive the approval letter you must send her a copy by registered mail along with a copy of the Insurance Security Bond and the air ticket.
    Your maid or nanny can then get the KTKLN ID Card herself at any of the designated offices or at any International Airport within Indonesia
    I hope that helps. More details above.

  13. Carol Lam 25/06/20138:59 am

    Hi Josephine

    Did you buy one way ticket to SIN or 2 way?
    How much did your domestic help gave for kopi $?

    Greatly appreciate the information shared on this website.
    Thank you all for sharing you experience

    • Josephine Ang 05/07/201311:03 am

      Hi Carol,

      I only need to buy 1-way ticket. I gave her IPA letter and she applied KTKLN card – these 2 were enough for her to pass Indonesia and Singapore custom. She gave about $30 when questioned by Indonesia custom. Actually if your maid is good in talking and not scare of their questions, there really no reason for Indonesia custom to stop them. They just purposely to earn some kopi$.

  14. Snowy 17/07/201311:52 am

    Hi Josephine,

    Can I check is there any problem with your maid getting the KTKLN card in Indonesian?

    My ex-maid got problem getting the KTKLN card, said that there must be a contract endorsed by Indonesian embassy here in Singapore.

    is that true? My sister is at the embassy with our own draft of contract but they claimed that no direct hire allowed. Refused to endorse.

    do you have any workaround for this?

    Appreciate your help urgently.

    Thank you!

    • Josephine Ang 17/07/20132:11 pm

      Hi Snowy,

      My maid did not have the contract too when applying for the KTKLN. She just need to pay more (some kopi$) and got her KTKLN card without contract. She only need to show her IPA letter and passport.

      Indonesia embassy may tell you no direct hire, but it is definitely acceptable and approve by our MOM to hire without agent.

      • June 10/09/20133:53 pm

        Hi Josephine,

        How long did your maid take to apply & collect her KTKLN card?
        I’m trying to do a direct hire but the maid suddenly told me she can’t get the card yet told to wait 2 weeks and I have to change the flight dates. Not sure if she is telling me the truth.

  15. Lee Jillian 30/07/20132:18 pm

    Hi Josephine,

    Once the ex-maid enter Singapore, must she sit for any test again?

    I worry that I pay for the air-ticket and she fail the test, she needs to return to Indo.

    And also, must be draft our own contract to be signed by both parties?

  16. Rosalind 05/08/201310:40 pm

    Hi, my maid is gng bk this oct for home leave. Her KTKLN card expire in mar 2014 (officially ending of 2yr contract). If she cont to extend her contract with me, do i still nd to bring her to indon embassy to hv e contract draft?

    If she has no intention to go bk till 2015 mar, can i assume tat i don’t hv to renew her KTKLN card?

    When she is bk this oct for her home leave, what documents does she needs to bring with her?

  17. michelle 17/08/20139:13 pm

    Hi Rosalind,

    i dont think you need to make till 2015…..as long she didnt go back to indo or travel to indo

    however, do not make in Batam as my maid was ask to bring money to give them. irritating suckers.

    so as long she is in singapore, than dont have too. even if she go back make, it will only just be 1 day.

  18. Maria 18/08/20132:04 pm

    Hi, I’m an Indonesian living in KL. Just wanting to inform that informal Indonesian workers
    such as maids and nannies can no longer apply for KTKLN cards at the airports as of january 2013. Airport office is solely for validating ktkln card once the obtain it and ready to fly. Only formal workers (white collars) may still apply for ktkln card at the airport.

    Documents needed for your maid to apply ktkln at bnp2tki offices are:
    – work contracts endorsed by indonesian embassy
    – work visa/ work permit
    – passport
    – indonesian identity card/kartu tanda penduduk (ktp)
    Some offices may require additional documents such as:
    – kartu keluarga /family card
    -consent letter from her family to work overseas (from father/mother or husband if she’s married)

  19. Sharon 22/08/20139:19 am

    Hi, I am enquiring on direct hire too. My ex-helper of 5 yrs wants to come back to work after her son is a year old.

    Her previous passport has expiry and she has to do a new one.

    Do you know if we need to supply her any document in order to do a new passport.
    Or she has to go thru certain agency in Indonesia to do passport.

    She was telling me her uncle who works in Training Centre can help her but charging her 11 million rupiah to do Passport, Export Visa, JKT medical chkup, KTKLN and air ticket.

    Do they need medical chkup in Indonesia too?

  20. June 03/09/201311:18 am

    I was told that the KTKLN card will take at least 2 weeks?
    Any mommies with experience how long it actually takes?

  21. Yee Mei
    Yee Mei 14/09/20134:57 pm

    Hi Everybody,

    I decided that a forum might be a better place to continue the discussion about direct hire of maids from Indonesia, so if you would like to ask more questions, or help out others with your knowledge, please go here: https://findananny.sg/forum/direct-hire-from-indonesia/
    Thank you

  22. Cyan 16/10/20131:05 am

    Hi, I chanced upon this site when trying to look for a direct hire helper from Indonesia.

    If any of you kind souls have an ex helper who is keen to return to work but you don’t require her assistance,

    This conversation has been moved to here: https://findananny.sg/forum/direct-hire-from-indonesia/please-let-me-know-how-did-you-do-it/
    Many thanks.

  23. Cola 19/10/20139:21 am

    A friend recommended a indonesian maid ( experienced ex sin maid) to me . Apparently she already has her bio data with a indo/Sg agent. Does this mean that she has already taken a loan with the indo agent and I cannot direct hire her?

  24. Kavita 20/10/201310:49 am

    Hi i m looking for a transfer maid who can help me look after my kids urgently but i am not sure where to find for one and how to go about. Can u pls help mi.

  25. rajni123 09/03/20141:38 pm

    When you direct hire a maid, how do you sign-up contract with the maid about salary and other contractual requirements? Are there any standard documents/processes? My ex-maid wants to come back after 4 month and I am trying to go for direct hire procedure.

  26. Yee Mei
    Yee Mei 09/03/20144:44 pm

    Hi Rajini123

    I’ve moved the conversation to the forum because forums are a much more efficient way to manage conversations. Much better than commenting on a post.
    The conversation has been moved to here: https://findananny.sg/forum/transfer-maids-1/how-to-re-hire-and-ex-maid-directly/#p48
    where I’ve asked you a question.
    Once you have answered that, we will find it easier to help you


  27. michelle78 30/01/20159:19 am

    I need a maid urgently, anyone can help?

  28. Julia 07/11/201610:03 am

    The direct maid that i will be taking is from Tanjung Pinang. Tk reach Singapore by ferry. So can I should get her the ferry ticket instead of flight ticket right?

  29. malis 07/11/20162:34 pm

    hi i just needed to enquire abt getting a helper from indonesia and tried calling indonesia embassy but was annoyed at nobody picking up the calls.
    is the KTKLPN card compulsory if anybody knw?

    • Yee Mei
      Yee Mei 07/11/20164:15 pm

      I was told by a Indonesian maid who has worked for several families here in Singapore, that Immigration at the ferry terminals don’t bother with KTKLPN.
      I cannot verify that myself and please remember that the situation and the laws are changing all the time, so I don’t think anybody can guarantee anything.
      The maid I referred to above travelled freely and stayed in Batam in between jobs.

      • malis 08/11/20169:11 am

        lets just hope for the best. my helper is cmg via flight tho. she has also checked at her end the card is not required at all.
        thanks btw!

  30. Shul 28/12/20167:40 pm

    My maid went back thinking shes not coming back so i cancel her work permit. Can i still do direct hire myself?? So she need to apply ktkLN card so she can come in without any hassle??

  31. jai tan 29/10/20179:25 am

    Hi, I need some advise regarding direct hiring of maid, which forum can go to?

  32. NoiYeen 31/10/201811:43 pm

    Hi… I am looking for a direct employment to get myself a maid. As I am a single mum and a sole breadwinner to 4 kids, I can’t afford to spend much. This will also be my 1st time and I would need advises and how to go through the whole process. Hope that I could be guided through it and will definitely appreciate it much.

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