From the capital city to the rural regions of Indonesia, a growing number of tourists can be seen in many places in this beautiful archipelago – any time of the year. Other than just tourism itself, many foreigners also look at Indonesia as a promising country to live and work.
The country’s tourism and economy is booming like never before. As a result, there are many so-called “visa agents” popping up around the country, especially in tourist areas such as Bali. This is not exactly good news to the development of tourism and for the advantage of foreigners.
In this article, we will share the uncomfortable experiences of our clients we came across and tried to reverse during our operations on the Indonesian market. It turns out that unreliable “visa agents” lead to a lot of problems for tourists and foreigners, and a professional consultant plays a vital role when it comes to visa applications.
1. UNRETURNED PASSPORT
In most cases, your passport will be returned once your visa application is processed and successful – only when your visa agent is not a crook.
If you are unfortunate enough and engage a dubious visa agent to apply for a new visa or to extend your visa, you might never be able to get back your passport. There is a high probability that they will disappear into thin air after collecting payment from you.
The passports they steal from victims like you can be sold for illegal activities.
2. APPLYING FOR THE WRONG TYPE OF VISA
This is a widespread mistake made by inexperienced and unqualified visa agents, who are not familiar with the immigration law in Indonesia. They have insufficient knowledge to distinguish the different visas and might end up helping you get a wrong type of visa.
For example, a lot of these deceptive visa agents will mistake a VoA (Visa on Arrival) with a free visa in Indonesia. Free visa is granted on arrival for a 30-day, but it cannot be extended. On the other hand, a visa on arrival can be renewed.
3. LACK OF INFORMATION ON VOA
If you apply your VoA through these untrained visa agents online before you arrive in Indonesia, you might not get the vital information you need for obtaining your visa. One example is that you might be refused for entry at certain airports if these airports do not issue VoA. There are only 20 designated airports in Indonesia which can issue the visa on arrival.
- Banda Aceh – NAD, Sultan Iskandar Muda
- Medan-North Sumatera, Polonia
- Pekanbaru-Riau, Sultan Syarif Kasim II
- Batam-Kepulauan Riau, Hang Nadim
- Padang-West Sumatera, Minangkabau
- Palembang-South Sumatera, Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II
- Jakarta-DKI Jakarta, Soekarno-Hatta
- Jakarta-DKI Jakarta, Halim Perdana Kusuma
- Bandung-West Java, Husein Sastranegara
- Yogyakarta-Java, Adi Sucipto
- Semarang-Central Java, Ahmad Yani
- Surakarta-Central Java, Adi Sumarmo
- Surabaya-East Java, Juanda
- Pontianak-West Kalimantan, Supadio
- Balikpapan-East Kalimantan, Sepinggan
- Manado-North Sulawesi, Sam Ratulangi
- Makasar-South Sulawesi, Hasanuddin
- Denpasar – Bali, Ngurah Rai
- Mataram-NTB, Selaparang
- Kupang-NTT, El Tari
You might think that a free visa can be your alternative if you cannot obtain a VoA at an airport which does not issue it. However, this does need to be the case because you will still get sent back to your home country if your country is not eligible for the free visa. Currently, only 169 countries are qualified for Indonesian free visa.
4. LONG VISA PROCESS
Since not all visa agents are regulated in Indonesia, there is a high probability that you will come across an unreliable visa agent. This false visa agent simply does not have the knowledge of the visa regulations and might take a long time to figure out the requirements and hence causing a long visa application or renewal process.
One thing leads to another, you will be overstaying in Indonesia due to your expired visa which is said to be under the process for renewal.
5. NO VISA SPONSORSHIP IS PROVIDED
For the social-cultural visa extension, you will need to have a sponsor to do so. A reputable adviser will be able to provide assistance for sponsorship. On the contrary, a dishonest and inexperienced visa agent will not be able to do so since they don’t know the intricate details of the immigration law in Indonesia such as a rule of domicile of a visa sponsor.
CEKINDO IS YOUR TRUSTED VISA CONSULTANT
If you feel that your visa agent in Indonesia is not a fair player, you should better consult a professional agency with a long experience on the Indonesian market. Cekindo has been operating in Indonesia for more than 7 years and came across dozens of clients that were affected by the dishonesty of their agents.
However, as we all know that prevention is better than cure, use services of Cekindo to avoid problems that might appear when applying or extending your visa in Indonesia. We provide visa sponsorship from our offices located in Jakarta, Semarang and Bali.