Visas are the biggest headache many travellers face in their Indonesian trip. They are not hard to obtain, but the most common -30 days - is awfully short for such a big place. Many travellers find even the 60-day visa restricting.
The following information was correct at the time of writing, but Indonesian visa requirements are prone to fluctuations so you need to contact the Indonesian embassy in your home country before you plan your trip.
The Department of Foreign Affairs website (www.deplu.go.id) has links to Indonesian embassies and consulates worldwide where you can find the latest up-to-date visa information.
Study ft Work Visas
You can arrange visas for study, short-term research, visiting family and similar purposes if you have a sponsor, such as an educational institution. These social/cultural (sosiaVbudaya) visas must be applied for at an Indonesian embassy or consulate overseas. Normally valid for three months on arrival, they can be extended every month after that for up to six months without leaving the country. Fees apply.
People wishing to study and work in Indonesia must apply directly to the Central Immigration Office in Jakarta (plOO) for a Limited-Stay Visa (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas, or Kitas). If you're planning to work in Indonesia your employer will need to organise your visa - it's a long and com-plicated process. In the first instance, though, call your nearest embassy for the most direct avenue. Those granted limited stay are issued a Kitas card, often referred to as the KIMS card.
Depending on your nationality you may be able to obtain a visa on arrival (VOA) at recognised entry points in Indonesia, which comprise 15 airports and 21 sea ports. These include ports for ferries to/from Sumatra: Penang-Medan, Penang-Belawan, Melaka-Dumai and Singapore-Batam/Bintan. See the boxed text, p369, for more information. VOAs are not available at land border crossings, including the one from East Timor. There are two types of VOA; a seven day (US$10) and a 30 day (US$25). Both visas are non-extendable. To get a 60-day visa you have to apply through an embassy or consulate before your departure.
At the time of writing, citizens of 63 countries were eligible for a VOA, including those from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.
If you are not eligible for a VOA, or if you are arriving at a non-approved port or crossing overland, you need to apply for a visa in advance. These can be 30 day or 60 day and the costs vary from country to country (because they are charged in local currency), so again you need to seek accurate information from your nearest embassy. The main crossings that require a visa to be issued in advance include the road crossing at Entikong between Kalimantan and Sarawak (eastern Malaysia), between Tarakan (Kalimantan) and Tawau (Sabah, Malaysia), and between Jayapura (Papua) and Vanimo (Papua New Guinea). See the boxed text, p779, for more information.
You may be able to skip all the above if your nationality falls under the visa-free category. For visits of up to 30 days, visas are not required for citizens of Singapore and a smattering of other countries.
Officially, you must have a ticket out of the country when you arrive. The best answer to the ticket-out requirement is to buy a return ticket to Indonesia or to include Indonesia as a leg on a through ticket. Medan-Penang and Singapore-Jakarta tickets are cheap, popular options for satisfying this requirement Although immigration officials usually won't ask to see an onward ticket, if you don't have one you may be forced to buy one on the spot.
In addition to (sometimes in lieu of) an onward ticket, you may be asked to show evidence of sufficient funds. The magic number is US$1000. Credit cards and travellers cheques can usually substitute for cash.
Citizens of Israel and several other countries will need special visas that are difficult to obt However, it's an urban myth that a stamp fi Israel in your passport will cause problems.
Technically, if you're heading to Papua or parts of Maluku, you should obtain a special permit from the Indonesian Immigration Office. It rarely translates to necessity, though but checking with your nearest Indonesian embassy before you go is wise.
Tourist 30-day visas on arrival are not extend-ible and it is illegal to remain in the country if your visa has expired. Do not simply show up at the airport with an expired visa and expect to be able to board your flight. You may be sent back to the local immigration office to clear up the matter and you could be in deep trouble. However, if you genuinely cannot leave before your visa expires because of illness or a flight reservation problem, you can get a short extension if you report to immigration before your last legal day.
If you're already in Indonesia and you want to extend your stay you will probably need to leave the country and apply for another visa. The Indonesian embassy in Singapore is popular. See also the boxed text, p564, for more info.
However, another route to visa renewal has emerged: travellers have reported being able to extend a 60-day tourist visa if they can find an Indonesian willing to act as their sponsor. This can be done 30 days at a time for up to six months. However, there's a fair amount of paperwork involved, so first check with an immigration office to find out the latest details.
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