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INDONESIAN VISA - What you need to know

Entering Indonesia for a short stay visit is really easy

Exploring Indonesia

This FREE, 10-part GUIDE tells you stuff you need to know to enjoy easy, safe independent or group travel in Indonesia with a minimum of fuss.


INDONESIA has become one of the easier countries in the world to enter for most holiday and short-stay visitors .

As of 2016, nationals from 169 countries need only present their passport at the Immigration arrivals desk to be issued a special Short Stay Visa Free Facility. You can check whether your country is one of the 169 by clicking HERE. 

As the title suggests, it’s FREE, and you don’t even have to complete an entry card. But you do need to have a passport valid for 6 months and be able to show tickets for your return or onward travel if requested.

You will receive a simple stamp (not a big sticker) in your passport, permitting entry for 30 days for a holiday, family or social visit, art or cultural exchange, making presentations or attending a seminar or conference, attending international exhibitions, attending meetings with government or with head office or representative offices in Indonesia, or for transits.

But be careful – Indonesian authorities include the day of your arrival and the day of your departure in your 30 days, so you have only 29 nights.

If you overstay you will be fined a million Indonesian Rupiah – the equivalent of around US$70 – per day! (Use our currency converter to check the exact present equivalent.) 

On your arrival the Immigration gate desk officers will ask routine questions – (Why are you visiting? – How long are you staying? – Where will you be staying?).

You also may be asked whether you will be working – to work under the Visa Free entry system is a serious offence, so make clear you will not be doing so.

Your Short Stay Visa Free facility CANNOT be extended and it CANNOT be changed to any other type of stay permit.

The maximum overstay allowed is 60 days (which means  a penalty of more than $US4,000).

If you overstay by more than 60 days it gets worse – Immigration authorities will lock you up, and you may need to go to a hearing where you may receive a prison sentence or an additional fine.

You will stay locked up until deported to your HOME country (at your expense) and then be blacklisted, preventing your return to Indonesia for an extended period.

Visa-on-Arrival category – extendable up to 60 days

If you want to stay longer than 30 days, you should purchase a Visa-on-Arrival which is extendable up to 60 days. A Visa-on-Arrival is available to passport holders from 68 countries and costs US$35 for a stay of 29 nights and 30 days.

On arrival, look for the Visa-on-Arrival desk where you can make the payment and obtain a receipt. Then proceed through the Immigration gates in the normal way.

To extend for a further 30 days you need to attend the nearest Immigration office, complete some paperwork and pay another US$35.

You can check the list of eligible nationalities HERE  If your country is not on the list then you can consider interrupting your visit for a short “visa run” to a country nearby and then re-enter.

The Visa-on-Arrival permits the same activities as the Short Stay Visa Free facility but also effectively serves as a Single Entry Business Visa. This allows you to undertake a wide range of business activities like arranging contracts, audits, attending business meetings, exploring investment opportunities, delivering training sessions, or reviewing the performance of subsidiaries.

But, like the Short-stay Visa Free Facility, a Visa-on-Arrival DOES NOT entitle you to undertake any direct work or employment in Indonesia. If you are hired by an entity domiciled in Indonesia and will receive payment you need a Work Permit and a related single or multiple entry Work Visa. This provision is STRICTLY enforced.

Short stay Visa Free entry clearances and a Visa-on-arrival are available at 29 major and regional airport entry checkpoints, 88 seaports and seven land border crossings. You can check the complete list of entry points HERE.

If you are from a country whose citizens are not entitled to a Short Stay Visa Free Facility or a Visa-on-Arrival you must obtain a Visit Visa through an Indonesian Embassy or Consulate before you travel.

Multiple Entry (Business) Visit Visa - for regular visitors

Frequent business visitors also can apply for a Multiple Entry (Business) Visit Visa, renewable annually and permitting multiple stays of up to 60 days. You probably are best advised to do this through a specialist agency like Emerhub or Okusi Associates 

These agencies can also advise on the rules, procedures and costs of obtaining the necessary permits and appropriate visa should you wish to work in Indonesia.

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Rules and regulations have a habit of changing and can be confusing. If you see any errors or omissions or become aware of new information then please help us to keep our information accurate with a comment below or drop us an email through our CONTACT page. 


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