International travel restrictions are limiting the travel options of foreign travelers during the covid-19 pandemic. However, since the beginning of 2022 Indonesia is slowly easing its travel restrictions, and more travel options are becoming available. Fully vaccinated travelers no longer require to undergo a quarantine before being able to travel within Indonesia. In addition, the travelers only require to show a pre-flight PCR test result. They no longer require to do a PCR re-examination once they arrive in Indonesia.
In addition to the above changes in health protocol, the Indonesian immigration is now allowing again certain nationals to enter Indonesia using a free visa or visa on arrival. The free visa and visa on arrival were suspended for a long time during the covid-19 pandemic.
In this article we will discuss the travel options available for travelers to enter Indonesia.
Visa On Arrival Option
Nationals of 43 countries can now enter Indonesia using the visa on arrival option. Foreigners can purchase the visa on arrival at the airport in Indonesia. The visa only allows foreign travelers to visit Indonesia for tourist purposes. Business travelers cannot use this type of visa, and require either a single entry business visa, or a work and stay permit – depending on the activity in Indonesia. The visa is valid for 30 days and travelers can extend it once for another 30 days. Unfortunately, foreign travelers cannot convert the free visa or visa on arrival to a single entry visit visa or limited stay permit (ITAS).
The 43 countries whose citizens are eligible for a visa on arrival are:
|(1) South Africa||(2) United States of America||(3) Saudi Arabia||(4) Argentina|
|(5) Australia||(6) Netherlands||(7) Belgium||(8) Brazil|
|(9) Brunei Darussalam||(10) Denmark||(11) Philippines||(12) Finland|
|(13) Hungary||(14) India||(15) United Kingdom||(16) Italy|
|(17) Japan||(18) Germany||(19) Cambodia||(20) Canada|
|(21) South Korea||(22) Laos||(23) Malaysia||(24) Mexico|
|(25) Myanmar||(26) Norway||(27) France||(28) Poland|
|(29) Qatar||(30) New Zealand||(31) Seychelles||(32) Singapore|
|(33) Spain||(34) Sweden||(35) Switzerland||(36) Taiwan|
|(37) Thai||(38) China||(39) Tunisia||(40) Turkey|
|(41) United Arab Emirates||(42) Vietnam||(43) East Timor|
Free visa option
The free visa option currently allows nationals of 9 ASEAN countries to enter Indonesia without the need to purchase any visa. The visa is valid for 30 days and extension is not possible. Similar to the visa on arrival option, the free visa allows foreigners only to travel in Indonesia for tourist purposes.
Citizens of the following countries are eligible for a free visa:
|(1) Brunei Darussalam||(2) Philippines||(3) Cambodia||(4) Laos|
|(5) Malaysia||(6) Myanmar||(7) Singapore||(8) Thailand|
Single entry visa option
The single entry visit visa allows for an initial stay of 60 days. Foreigners can extend the visa for up to 4 times, 30 days per extension. The visa requires an Indonesian company as sponsor. Specifically for tourism purposes, it needs company sponsor needs to have a special tourist operational license.
Foreign travelers can choose for a single entry visit visa for the following reasons:
- Unable to receive free visa or visa on arrival. The nationality of the traveler is not listed in the eligible countries as set out above. Therefore, the travel options in the form of the visa on arrival or by entering Indonesia using the free visa facility is not available to them;
- Long period of stay. The single entry visit visa is a better option for travelers who intend to stay up to 6 months in Indonesia without the need to leave the country;
- Business travel. Business travelers who are having business meetings in Indonesia require a single entry business visa. In case they perform work activities at an office or project site, they must apply for a work and stay permit.
Limited stay permit (ITAS) travel options
There are several types of limited stay permit (ITAS), depending on the purpose of stay. In this paragraph we will discuss the most common types of limited stay permit (ITAS).
Working in Indonesia: the Working Visa
Firstly, the working visa, which allows foreigners to work and stay in Indonesia. When foreigners work for a company in Indonesia, or in case they work on a project in Indonesia, they require such working visa. The working visa is valid for up to 12 months, and allows for extension. Because they the foreigners are working in Indonesia, they will need a sponsorship from a local company, or an organization registered in Indonesia.
Because of the current Covid-19 pandemic, work permit applications are only accepted under the condition that the company first obtains a recommendation from the related government bodies:
- In case the company of the applicant is working on a National Strategic Project or National Vital Object projects, they must obtain a recommendation letter from Ministry of Maritime and Investment Affairs (Marves);
- All other companies require a Recommendation letter from the investment authority (BKPM) or any other related government bodies depending on the case specifics.
Once the company receives the recommendation letter, the sponsoring company can apply for the work permit of the foreigner. Once the work permit is issued, the foreigners can apply for their limited stay permit (ITAS) and local registrations.
Living in Indonesia with spouse: The Spouse Visa
Secondly, the spouse visa, which allows foreign spouses to stay in Indonesia and is valid for up to 12 months and extendable. However, it does not allow the spouse to perform any work activities in Indonesia. Foreign spouses can be legally married to an Indonesian citizen or a foreigner holding a working ITAS. It is important to note that Indonesia does only recognize legal marriages of opposite sex couples. Therefore, the spouse visa option is not available to partners in same-sex marriages or civil partnerships.
Investing in Indonesia: the Investor Visa
Thirdly, the investor visa, which allows foreign investors to stay in Indonesia for up to 24 months. The Indonesian immigration categorizes investors as a shareholder who holds least IDR 1 billion in shares in an Indonesian Limited Liability Company (PT PMA). In addition, the investor can concurrently hold a position of director or commissioner in the company.
In case the investor is appointed as director, the investor is allowed to perform work activities in Indonesia. These activities must be in line with the director job title.
Retiring in Indonesia: The Retirement Visa
Lastly, the retirement visa, which is open for senior tourists aged 55 years or above. Retirees who wish to spend their retirement in Indonesia are required to have sufficient funds for their stay in Indonesia. In addition, they must prove that they have no purpose to work in Indonesia. A Retirement Visa is valid for up to 12 months with an option to annual renewals.
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