Why Should You Avoid Visa on Arrival in Indonesia?

Since 2015, the Indonesian government implemented a Visa-Free Policy, which means people from most countries no longer need to pay the US$35 visa-on-arrival fee.

This free visa allows foreigners from many countries such as the US, Canada, the UK to stay up to 30 days within the Indonesian territory, but not a single day longer than it.

The visa cannot be extended and foreigners mostly make use of this free 30-day tourist visa for vacation or business visit purposes.

Foreign nationals can also apply for a visa on arrival in Indonesia upon arrival at one of the designated airports. As opposed to a free visa entry, this permit costs US$35 and can be extended for another 30 days.

The Indonesian free visa and visa on arrival might seem like a good time and money saver for most foreigners. However, if you plan to stay in Indonesia for a longer period of time, or to visit Indonesia many times a year, you will actually pay more and waste a lot of time doing so.

In this article, we will tell you why you should avoid visa on arrival in Indonesia, and opt for other options.

Visa On Arrival (VoA) in Indonesia

Currently, foreigners from 66 countries and regions can apply for a visa on arrival and obtain it directly at the designated ports of entry. This type of visa is valid for 30 days from the first day of arrival in Indonesia.

Visa on arrival can only be issued at some of the big international airports in Indonesia such as:

  1. Medan-North Sumatera, Polonia
  2. Pekanbaru-Riau, Sultan Syarif Kasim II
  3. Banda Aceh (NAD), Sultan Iskandar Muda
  4. Padang-West Sumatera, Minangkabau
  5. Batam-Kepulauan Riau, Hang Nadim
  6. Jakarta-DKI Jakarta, Soekarno-Hatta
  7. Jakarta-DKI Jakarta, Halim Perdana Kusuma
  8. Palembang-South Sumatera, Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II
  9. Yogyakarta-Java, Adi Sucipto
  10. Bandung-West Java, Hussein Sastranegara
  11. Surakarta-Central Java, Adi Sumarmo
  12. Semarang-Central Java, Ahmad Yani
  13. Surabaya-East Java, Juanda
  14. Balikpapan-East Kalimantan, Sepinggan
  15. Pontianak-West Kalimantan, Supadio
  16. Makassar-South Sulawesi, Hasanuddin
  17. Manado-North Sulawesi, Sam Ratulangi
  18. Mataram-NTB, Selaparang
  19. Denpasar-Bali, Ngurah Rai
  20. Kupang-NTT, El Tari

If you enter Indonesia through an airport that is not mentioned in the above list, you will almost definitely get a free visa that is not extendable.

Requirements of Visa on Arrival in Indonesia

In Indonesia, alien passports, temporary passports, and other types of travel documents that merely show the proof of your countries of citizenship are not acceptable.

You will need to present the following required documents at your port of entry (airport) in Indonesia:

  1. Original passport (please ensure that your passport has at least 6 months validity from the intended length of stay, and it is not damaged)
  2. At least two blank pages in your passport for visa stamps
  3. Return airline ticket
  4. US$35 visa fee in cash

Restricted Countries for Visa on Arrival and Free Visa

There are 66 countries/regions eligible for the visa on arrival in Indonesia. If your country or region is not one of the 66 countries/regions, you can most probably opt for visa-free entry.

However, the visa-free regime is not applicable to the following 28 countries and their citizens might struggle when applying for single-entry or multiple-entry business visa at their Indonesian Embassies as well.

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Cameroon
  3. Central African Republic
  4. Colombia
  5. Congo
  6. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  7. Djibouti
  8. Equatorial Guinea
  9. Eritrea
  10. Ethiopia
  11. Guinea
  12. Guinea-Bissau
  13. Iran
  14. Iraq
  15. Israel
  16. Kosovo
  17. Liberia
  18. Micronesia
  19. Montenegro
  20. Nigeria
  21. North Korea
  22. Pakistan
  23. Sierra Leone
  24. Somalia
  25. South Sudan
  26. Sudan
  27. Syria
  28. Yemen

Extension Issues with VoA and Free Visa

There are several issues when it comes to extensions for visa on arrival in Indonesia.

One of the most common struggles comes when your receipt of visa on arrival purchase gets lost. If you are not able to show your receipt, officers might not allow you to extend your visa, and you may be claimed to overstay your visa as well.

Thus, you should always keep your receipt and even better — do your visa extension through a visa agent to give yourself some peace of mind.

Visa-free entry in Indonesia is limited up to 30 days and this period cannot be extended. However, many foreigners thought that visa runs to destinations such as Malaysian and Singapore would be ideal for leaving Indonesia for one or two days and request another free visa when coming back to Indonesia.

This grey zone of “extending visa” used to work, but is not tolerated anymore.

Both countries, especially Singapore, have recently changed their visa runs policy from Indonesia and you might get detained at Singapore’s or Malaysia’s airports and denied entry to Indonesia. Eventually, you will also get deported from Indonesia.

Multiple-Entry Business Visa for Longer Stay in Indonesia

To avoid all the troubles with visa on arrival and the possible steep price you have to pay, a multiple-entry business visa is the one you should consider. It is the easiest and least complicated way for you to stay in Indonesia legally.

You can enter Indonesia frequently without any issues with the immigration and there is no need for you to visit the immigration for a visa extension.

Contact Cekindo now for more information about visas and visa on arrival in Indonesia or apply for a business visa with a few simple clicks.


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