While planning your holiday you probably think, if you need a visa and how to get it. In this post we will go through the main visa options for visiting Indonesia as a tourist.
Depending on where you’re from and the length of your planned stay, you have probably 4 different options:
- Visa-free entry (incl. 169 countries at the moment)
- Visa on arrival (VOA)
- Tourist visa
- Social-cultural visa (Social visa).
Let’s take a look at them one by one to see their differences…
Visa-free entry – up to 30 days
Take a look at the list of countries, whose citizens may enter Indonesia visa-free.
In most cases, if you are going on a short holiday, you can just pack your bags and head to the airport. On arrival in Indonesia, you will just get your passport stamped at the passport control. You are allowed to stay in Indonesia for maximum of 30 days using this option. You can not extend your stay, but for most people 30 days is more than enough.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months. You might be asked to provide a return / onward flight ticket at the check-in counter before boarding your plane or at the passport control in Indonesia. That’s to make sure you are planning to leave Indonesia within 30 days.
It is possible to enter Indonesia visa-free through most immigration check-points. You can find the list of checkpoints allowing visa-free entry from here or here. We have also added the regulation listing these checkpoints.
The only drawback of visa-free entry is not having a possibility to extend your stay, if your plans should change and you wish to stay longer than 30 days. In this case you must leave Indonesia and re-enter. There is no way to extend this 30-day period.
Visa on arrival (VOA) – 30 days + 30-day extension
VOA can be applied upon arrival in Indonesia, before the passport control. At the moment the fee is 35 USD. Usually there’s a counter with a sign “VOA” or “Visa on arrival” at the airport. Initially, VOA allows you to stay in Indonesia also for 30 days, BUT you can extend it for another 30 days while staying in Indonesia. You don’t have to leave the country.
Tourist visa – 60 days
You have to apply for a tourist visa before your trip. Tourist visas are issued by Indonesian embassies. Tourist visa allows you to stay in Indonesia usually for up to 60 days. As the requirements and application process may vary among embassies, please contact your nearest Indonesian Embassy for further information. In our experience, some embassies allow to send application documents by mail and the visa is ready in about 3-4 working days.
Social-cultural visa – 60 days + 120 days of extensions
To get a social visa you must also submit an application to an Indonesian Embassy. Initially, this visa allows you to stay in Indonesia for 60 days (depending on the particular embassy, it might be 30 days) and it’s possible to extend it within Indonesia for 4 times, 30 days at a time. That means, in total you can stay for up to 180 days without leaving Indonesia. To apply for a social visa, you’ll need to provide more documents. For example an invitation letter from an Indonesian sponsor (a friend or a local institution you are going to visit), photocopies of your sponsor’s documents and proof of having sufficient funds for your trip. Again, the requirements may differ among embassies, so better contact your nearest embassy directly. In our experience, social visas have also been ready in a few working days.
Let’s wrap it up
If your trip is definitely shorter than 30 days, you are eligible for a visa-free entry and enter Indonesia through one of these immigration checkpoints (check it here), just grab your return / onward tickets and head to the airport. If your trip is or might become longer than 30 days (but not over 60 days), you can either get the VOA in Indonesia or apply for a Tourist visa before your trip. If you have more serious plans, better apply for a Social-cultural visa.
NB! This post is written in October, 2016. Laws and regulations tend to change from time to time. Every traveller is responsible for his / her own travel documents!
Hopefully you found some answers to your visa questions. If you have any more specific questions about Indonesian visas (about extensions, applications or social-cultural visa), feel free to drop us a message. Maybe we can be of any help by taking a look at the latest rules or in other ways.
Take care until next posts!
Attention-attention! Danger under a palm tree – serious risk of time starting to fly by extremely fast and visa expiration date being closer than you think.