Indonesian Visa

If you’re planning to visit Indonesia for less than 30 days then most likely you should have no worries (unless your coming from few certain countries in the world). At the airport you’ll get a stamp for visa-free entry and you’re good to go! But if you plan to stay longer, that’s another story. If you have the opportunity you can apply for 60 day visa beforehand but they only accept applications if there’s 2 months or less until the date you’re entering the country. For us it meant that we couldn’t use this option (technically we could have in Kuala Lumpur embassy of Indonesia but the timeframe was quite tight) so we decided to extend it while here. First and foremost it means that when you arrive to the country you have to PAY for Visa on Arrival. You must find a separate counter for that and NOT go through the passport check as most of the people are doing (since they’ll get 30 day visa-free entry). If you just go through the passport check it’s not possible to extend your period of stay since technically you didn’t get the visa in the first place and you must leave the country after 30 days. The cost for VOA (Visa on Arrival) is 35USD but many other currencies are also accepted. With that the first step is done and after 20 days staying in the country you should go and find the nearest immigration office (in Bali there are 3 for example). Then the interesting second part starts :). In total you need 3 visits so make sure you choose an office where it’s comfortable for you to go since you can’t change it in the middle of the process. Be warned that all immigration offices are closed for lunchtime and all in all they are just opened until 3 or 4 in the afternoon with many only accepting new applications in the mornings. So it’s always best to go early. I must also add that based on many other forums the experience and things you need to do may vary each time since the immigration system in here is quite chaotic 🙂

Visit 1

Go to the reception desk and ask for the application for extending VOA. Fill it out with blank letters, don’t worry if you leave the recommendation part empty, it’s not needed. But what you do need is copies from your passport picture page and also the page where you got the first VOA stamp. Most of the immigration offices have small copying places nearby. In addition you need 2 copies of your ticket leaving the country with the date clearly stated. If you have all that you should take a ticket for “VOA foreigner” and wait for your turn at the counter. When your turn arrives (there can be some waiting involved 🙂 ) they’ll give you a red folder on top of which you should write your full name and passport number and put all the needed documents + passport inside. Then they ask you to take a seat so they could check if everything is in order. If that happens to be so after some time they call out your name and give you a piece of paper where the date of second visit is stated. Usually it’s after 3-4 working days. Be sure not to lose it since as long as they have your passport it works as an official substitute!

Visit 2

At least in our case we were asked to go to the same counter where we handed over our folders and from there we got a ticket to the photo booth. At least in Ngurah Rai immigration office everyone were really friendly and helped out if we asked something. But I’ve read that that’s not always the case. Either way when it’s your turn you have to get your picture + fingerprints taken. That shouldn’t take very much time and afterwards you’re presented with yet another paper with the time of the 3rd visit. Once again it’s about 3-4 working days usually. But before you come back to claim your passport you must find the nearest post office or a bigger bank where you can pay for your visa. I really don’t understand why you can’t pay for it in the same immigration office but that’s  just the case. I would recommend finding a post office since not all banks accept these payments and there is no list of the ones who do. But you really shouldn’t have any issues in post offices. The fee is 355.000 rupiah and you’ll get a check. Be sure to bring it along for your 3rd visit.

Visit 3

Usually this is the easy one. You just hand over the papers you got last time + the check (ask from the reception where you should give them) and then you’ll once again go to the “VOA foreigner” counter and wait until your name is being called out. If everything is ok you’ll just get your passport with a new stamp, leave your name/signature and your good for another 30 days!

After 60 days you have to leave the country/do a VISA run and when you decide to stay longer it’s the same 3 steps all over again :). There are also several agencies who do some of the work for you but since you still have to visit the immigration office for the photo and fingerprints + these agencies can ask you twice as much if you’d do it yourself it’s not highly recommended. It may seem like a hustle but actually it’s nothing too inconvenient and in total we spent maybe only a bit more than an hour in the immigration office.

Hope you found some value in this post and feel free to ask if there’s any questions :)!

All the best!


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