Visa & Immigrations

Indonesia has a lot of charms to offer for even the most seasoned travelers. Great cuisine, breathtaking natural scenery, and legendary hospitality are some of what makes Indonesia attractive to visitors seeking a quick escape or even permanent retirement place. With a fast-growing economy supported by local spending, Indonesia is also an attractive place for investors to expand their business to.

However, before you buy a flight ticket to Indonesia, there are several things that you need to consider, one of them is the visa situation. A proper visa stamped in your passport will allow you to stay in Indonesia without breaking the law. Just like every nation in the world, Indonesia has a lot of options for visa types, each of them with different expiration time and its own designated function. There are visa types that can be extended, comes with multiple entry rights, and even allows you to stay for a prolonged time as a tourist.

If you are confused by the type of visa you need when visiting Indonesia, read on to know more about the visa situation in Indonesia and how to navigate it.

Type of Visas

Most Common Types of Indonesian Visa for Tourists

Visa Exemption
Visa on Arrival (VoA)
Social Cultural Visa

Free Visa / Visa Exemption

Oftentimes, you do not have to apply for a visa when visiting Indonesia. If you live in one of 160-ish countries that have an agreement with Indonesian government for visa exemption, you just need a passport and a return flight ticket, and you are good to go. You just need to ensure that your passport is valid for more than six months. This type of visa exemption allows you to stay in Indonesia for 30 days and cannot be extended by any means. If you enter Indonesia with this pass, you cannot conduct business activities since the activity requires business visa.

Indonesia - Visa Exemption

Visa on Arrival (VoA)

If you need to stay in Indonesia for longer than 30 days, depending on where you land and stay, you might be able to apply for visa on arrival, with a fee of US$ 35. With this visa, you can stay for 30 days, and extend your stay once for another duration of 30 days. For the extension, you need to go to the nearest immigration office. Business activities is also forbidden in this type of visa. Why would you have to get a VoA and pay US$ 35 for a Visa that also allows you to stay in Indonesia for 30 days? The reason is that the Free Visa can not be extended or changed in any way. With Free Visa, you will need to leave before 30 days, while the VoA can be extended.

Indonesia - Visa On Arrival (VOA)

Social Cultural Visa

If you really like Indonesia and would like to stay longer, you can apply for social cultural visa B-211. The process to apply this visa is a bit complicated, but it allows you to stay for 60 days in the country and can be extended three times, each extension granting you another 30 days of stay.

To apply, you will need a sponsor letter from an Indonesian individual or a visa agent, and a passport valid for 12 months. There are various agents that could help you to get B-211 visa, with fees ranging from (IDR) Rp 1,000,000 to 1,500,000. However, this visa is a single-entry visa; once you leave Indonesia, your visa will be considered invalid and you will need to apply for another one should you want to come back to Indonesia.

What if you need to enter and leave Indonesia for a few times in a year, but find it a hassle to continuously applying for new visa every time you arrive? Fret not! You can apply for a multiple-entry visa. The visa, despite being pricey and a bit hard to apply, allows you to enter and exit Indonesia at your will for a year, with a 60-day limitation for each stay. To apply this visa, you need to prepare a passport with 12 month of validity, and bank account statement with more than US$ 2,000 in the account.  Afterwards, just like applying for other countries’ visas, you can pick your passport at the nearest Indonesian embassy where you applied for the visa.

It should also be noted that once issued, you must use the visa at most 90 days after the issuance date; afterwards, the visa will become invalid.

Brief Overview

  • Passport must be valid at least 6 months from day of arrival. For social visa 12 months from day of arrival. No exception
  • Over 160 nationalities are eligible for free entry (no visa required) for maximum 30 days stay
  • Have one empty page for stamp of visa sticker
  • Day of arrival counts as day one, day of departure counts as full day
  • Don’t bring more than (IDR) Rp 100 million or the equivalent in cash
  • If you need visa extension, sponsor letters, etc., working with a reliable agent is highly recommended

Visa Tips

How to Count Visa Days and Various Visa-related Tips

Knowing your visa days is important because it allows you to plan your visit and stay better while avoiding the most dreaded thing for a traveler, which is overstaying beyond visa’s expiration date. The fine for overstaying in Indonesia is (IDR) Rp 1,000,000 (around US$ 63) per day, an increase from Rp 300,000 (around US$ 19) it used to be a few years ago. The most overstay time allowed for any foreigner is 60 days. Beyond that, you are considered an illegal immigrant which can face several repercussions, even jail time.

The Indonesia Visa is counted per day, not per night. Your first day and last day are included in the 30-day calculation. Even if you enter Indonesia at 23:55h (11:55pm), the last 5 minutes before midnight will still be considered a full day. The same rule applies for your departure.

If you have a visa that can be extended, you need to start the extension process seven days before your visa expires. You can visit the nearest immigration office in your city or contact visa agents that will help you navigate your visa situation better. The extension fee is US$ 35, so effectively, you are paying US$ 70 for 60 days of stay in Indonesia.

To avoid overstaying, you can use your smartphone calendar reminder to remind you of your entry and leave date. If you are also ordering accommodation and/or tourist pass to tourist attractions, you also need to consider your visa expiration date.

If deemed urgent, you can also do “visa run” by exiting Indonesia and re-entering after one day in the neighboring country. However, do note that this process is tedious and could be pricy. It could also add to the stress of your travel. If possible, you will want to avoid this challenging step.

After knowing the visa situation in Indonesia, the next step is acting based on your needs. If you only need a quick escape for less than 30 days and live in over 160 countries that allows you to enter Indonesia with visa-free, you can proceed to book your hotel and transportation, and if you need more, you can visit Indonesian embassy near you, it’s that easy!

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