Indonesian visa on arrival, extendable vs non-extendable

Visa regulations change in Indonesia almost every year and often confuse travelers even if it’s not their first time in the country. In this article you can find an updated information on Indonesian visa for October 2016.

General requirements for entering Indonesia

Nevertheless a country of your origin and a visa type there are certain requirements for all foreigners entering Indonesia:

  • Your passport should be valid at least 6 months from the day you enter the country;
  • Your passport should contain at least one blank page;
  • You need to have an exit ticket from Indonesia to prove you’ll leave the country in time.

Concerning the last requirement we’ve been to Indonesia a couple of times and the immigration service itself never asked us for an exit ticket. But if you fly to Indonesia from any other country at check–in counter they can ask to show an exit ticket before they check you in. Our article “Book a flight without paying” HERE.

Different visa options

Free non-extendable visa (stamp) on arrival

According to a new immigration law from March 2016 citizens of 168 countries can get free Indonesian visa on arrival and stay in the country for 30 days.  Important! Visa is valid exactly 30 days not one month and the countdown starts on the day you enter Indonesia. Check the complete list of the countries HERE.

You can get visa on arrival at 29 airports, 88 harbors and 8 land border crossing. Check HERE the complete list of entering points where you can get free visa on arrival.

Since the visa is non-extendable you can’t extend it while in Indonesia. If you decide to stay longer you’ll have to leave the country and come back again. Many people do a visa run when you leave the country for one day, enter it again and get a new 30-day visa. Depending on where in Indonesia you are there are different budget flights options to Malaysia or Singapore.

Free non extendable visa on arrival (basically just a stamp)

Free non-extendable visa on arrival (basically just a stamp)

Fine for overstaying

If you overstay your visa you’ll have to pay a fine, IDR 300 000 per day from the first day of overstaying. The fine you’ll have to pay in cash at a point of departure. If you fly out make sure you arrive at the airport with enough time prior to your flight. Indonesian immigration won’t hurry up to finish the procedure so you risk missing your flight.

Paid extendable visa on arrival (VON)

If you know you’ll stay in Indonesia for more than 30 days it makes sense to get extendable visa on arrival. Extendable visa you can get at the same border crossing points as non-extendable. You need to find a specific counter where they issue extendable visa. Just ask the airport staff.

First you pay 35$ per person (including children) and get a 30 days extendable visa in your passport.

Then before your 30 days expire you have to go to one of Kantor Imigrasi (Immigration office) to get a new 30-day visa. For visa extension you pay IDR 355 000/$27. In total for 60-day staying in Indonesia you pay 62$.

To extend your visa is not that fast. First of all, you can find the immigration offices  not everywhere in Indonesia.  Second, you’ll need to apply for your visa extension some time before your original visa expires. The process itself can take up to 7 days so you’ll have to wait somewhere for sometime before you get your new visa.

Extendable Indonesian visa on arrival, 35$

Extendable Indonesian visa on arrival, 35$

Where to extend?

To extend your visa you can at Immigration office (Kantor Imigrasi). Check careful on the places where you can extend your visa before you plan your trip. You can definitely do it in Jakarta (Java), Yogyakarta (Java), Denpasar (Bali),  Mataram (Lombok). We or our friends did it there.

Here is a list of all Immigration offices in Indonesia from the official website; Kelas I and Kelas II are supposed to be those where you can extend your visa. Though I wouldn’t completely trust it since the information on Indonesian official sites is not always correct. Check before you go.

Depending on where you are it can be easier and faster to fly out of Indonesia and come back again. In this case you get 30-day free non-extendable visa on arrival again. You can find cheap flights from different cities in Java and Sumatra to Malaysia or Singapore starting from 23$ (one way) by AirAsia, Garuda, Jetstar, TigerAir, LionAir.

What do you need to extend Indonesian visa?

  • Passport with valid visa;
  • Copy of a passport page with photo (2 copies);
  • Copy of a passport page with valid Indo visa (2 copies);
  • Printed copy of your exit ticket from Indonesia. It should be within 30 days from the date you extend your visa (2 copies);
  • Details of a place you’re staying in Indonesia (hostel, hotel etc.), including full address, phone number, e-mail and contact person;
  • Reference/sponsor letter from an Indonesian citizen or long-term resident. This is not required if you want to extend your 30-day visa but you never know.
  • A black ink pen to fill the application form;
  • 355 000 IDR to pay for your visa (you don’t need them on your first visit).

How to extend Indonesian visa?

Since me and Campbell did it a lot’s changed. Now you have to go to the Immigration office three times.

  • First time you go with the above listed documents to apply for the visa extension.
  • Second, 2 or 3 days later, for paying, taking photo and fingerprints.
  • And third, again some days later, to collect your passport with visa.

For detailed explanation on how to extend Indo visa in Bali check this article.

It’s not a problem if for example you’re planning to stay in Bali all the time. But if you want to travel around the country it’s quite inconvenient.

Visa through a Consulate

If you’re planning to travel Indonesia for a couple of months it makes sense to apply for visa while at home, it’ll save your travel time and nerves.  It says on the official website that you can get a 60-day visa through Indonesian Consulate and it can be extended up to five times in Indonesia every time for 30 days. Don’t know how true it is better to check it at the Consulate in your own country.

Indonesian visa obtained beforehand through a consulate

60-day Indonesian visa obtained beforehand through the Consulate

A horror Indo visa story

At Jakarta airport waiting for our connection we met a desperate European tourist, his story was the following. He with his family (wife and two young daughters) came to Indonesia for holiday. They couldn’t get Indonesian visa beforehand at home since the nearest Consulate is some countries away from them. They knew about extendable visa on arrival and once at Jakarta airport went to get it. After they paid 35$ per person, an immigration officer offered them to pay 35$ more and get 30 more days. They happily agreed since it’d save a lot of time. After paying 35$ more each they got a piece of paper saying something about 30 days of staying.

45 days later at the same airport going through Immigration control to leave the country they all were detained because of overstaying their visas for 15 days. Long story short in the end they missed their international flight, had to pay 1200$ fine and buy new tickets back home. In total it’d cost them about 4000$!!! So in Indonesia don’t believe even officials there are certain rules and if somebody offers you an easy way to skip them very likely it’s a trick.

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