What about visas to Indonesia?

Indonesia is a very popular destination, its diversity attracts a lot of tourists. Apart from breathtaking landscapes and variety of flora and fauna its location guarantees unforgettable vacations. The only question that may appear is the one dealing with visas. Is it enough to pack and go or do we have to undergo complicated visas procedures?

No matter how hard we try we could not give unequivocal answer to that question. Everything depends on few factors. On 16th June 2015 an agreement on abolishing visas requirements was signed. A regulation under which citizens of 45 countries need no more visasto go to Indonesia. Therefore, those who want to stay in here no longer than 30-day-time must be in possession of a Passport that is valid for at least six month from the date of arrival and have return tickets. However, it is crucial to bear in mind that Indonesia accepts only biometric Passports. On crossing the border we get an entry stamp. Easy as it is, the regulation applies only to those who need less than a month  to stay in Indonesia. No extension is possible, no transfer into any other type of stay permit. On the other way, some more effort is needed to be put in. One of the solutions is leaving Indonesia for some time, but even one day will do. On our re-emergence we obtain another visa free, 30-day-stay. However, such departures may be somehow burdensome. Looking for suitable flights to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, or crossing the land border on Borneo is a loss of time and money.

What to do if 30 days is insufficient? In that case visitors can apply for Visa On Arrival ( VOA ) or Visit Visa. The Indonesian Government extends Visa on Arrival (VOA) to nationals of 61 countries which can be obtained at designated entry airports and sea ports. Visa-on-Arrival are valid for 30 days and are extendable with another 30 days to be applied at Immigration offices in Indonesia. Visas cost US$35. It is crucial to be prepared for paying either with deducted sum of money or in Indonesian Rupiah, as the rest is given in local currency and visitors can lose some sum of money. Please note as well that starting 26 January 2010, the 7-day Visa-on-Arrival has been discontinued. That type of visa is not available on land border Atambua, with East Timor and Wuteng with Papua New Guinea. It can be easily obtained on other borders and we can have 60 days for visiting that outstanding country.

On arrival you will need to complete a Passenger Arrival Card before passing through Customs Passport Control. A passenger arrival card will be given to you during your flight; if not, cards are available in the arrival area. Customs prohibited and restricted goods, Bio security risk goods. After you’ve cleared passport control, you should collect your baggage and proceed through customs and bio security checks. In order to protect Indonesia and it’s environment, certain items are not allowed to be brought into the country, have restrictions for entry or must be declared if they are deemed to present a bio security risk. These include food, plants, animal products and outdoor recreational equipment.

Another type of visa is called sosio-budaya, the socio-cultural one. It allows for a half-year-stay, however not everyone can obtain it. The process of applying for that visa is long and pretty complicated. The visitor has to proof their deep interest in history, tradition and culture of Indonesia and need to go there for educational purposes, for example. Dance courses, musical classes or languages schools are the places you need to go to obtain such a visa. Moreover, an local patron and their declaration are crucial in our application process. A patron needs to confirm that he is ready to give us both, financial and accommodational support during our stay in Indonesia. The Embassy needs the patron KTP, the ID, photocopy and our return ticket.

None of the visas discussed here allowed the visitor to work there neither permanent nor casual job. They are only Touristvisas that allows us to visit the most remote corners of the wonderful Indonesia.

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Information technology architect, loving expeditions in the wilderness of Indonesia.

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