Types of Visas in Indonesia: Explained

Navigating Indonesia’s myriad visa types can be akin to conquering a labyrinth, particularly for expats! Indonesiasolved.com is your trusty guide, helping unravel the complexities surrounding the diverse visa options available in this tropical paradise.

Let’s dive into the essentials, exploring visas from social to retirement, and demystifying the requirements and processes entailed.

Best Time To Go To Indonesia

Indonesia is a big country, and different places have different seasons, particularly when it comes to diving and surfing. 

That said, most places are hot, dryish, and crowded July-August, hot, wet, and empty in January-February, and somewhere in between for the rest of the year. 

It can be hard to find alcohol or restaurants open during the day in more conservative Muslim areas during Ramadan.

Top Regions And Cities In Indonesia

Bali

Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali offers Hindu temples, hikes through rice fields, yoga retreats, and party-hearty beach clubs, plus diving, art classes, and world-class hotels, spas, and restaurants – all packed into an island about the size of Trinidad.

It’s Indonesia’s signature tourist destination, so over-tourism is an issue.

But much of north, east, and central Bali still offers the rice terrace landscapes, volcano views, and the resilient culture that first drew travelers to the island.

Java

About the size of Greece but home to roughly the population of Japan, Java’s rich volcanic soils teem with life (and people!). This is Indonesia’s economic motor and dominant culture, the center of empires for centuries. 

It’s home to gridlocked, water-logged Jakarta, the nation’s administrative capital (for now), and Yogyakarta, a regal university city that does battle with neighboring Surakarta (also known as Solo) for the status of Java’s cultural capital. 

From smoldering Mount Bromo to the Unesco-listed temples of Borobudur and Prambanan and the historic tea plantations around Bandung, it’s easy to spend weeks, if not months, exploring – some of it by train.

Flores And Komodo

Famous for Komodo dragons, Earth’s most giant lizard, Unesco-listed Komodo National Park offers glorious diving and snorkeling and stunning island views: liveaboards are the way to go. 

To protect the fragile reef and many tiny islands, authorities hiked the entrance fee to a hefty IDR 3,073,380 per day in August 2022, only to repeal it sharply after tourism workers protested; check the current position before you visit. 

The Komodo archipelago’s parent island, Flores, offers tribal cultures, mountain valleys, and highlights such as Wae Rebo, a postcard-perfect highland village, and Kelimutu, a volcano with multi-colored crater lakes.

Lombok

Lombok’s Gili Islands, a triptych of low-lying sand islets a short hop across the water from Bali, are a law unto themselves, as there’s no permanent police presence. 

Party-seeking youngsters flock to Gili Trawangan and older reprobates to Gili Air; Gili Meno is quieter, although sound does carry. 

Yet there’s more to Lombok than these and other gilis (Gili means island): the Rinjani volcano offers a challenging but rewarding multi-day hike, and the south coast unfurls rugged promontories and sweeping golden beaches.

In addition, the cultural attractions run from an ancient palm-thatch mosque to a fusion of Hindu-Muslim temples.

Sumatra

About the size of Spain but with much less infrastructure, Sumatra is known for its rainforest. Despite surging deforestation – during a bad season, the peat fire haze can cause diplomatic incidents – it still has tonnes to offer. 

Gunung Leuser National Park is probably the world’s best place to see orangutans in the wild. Advanced surfers are drawn to the remote Mentawai Islands for exceptional reef breaks. 

The cool highlands around Lake Toba, the world’s largest crater lake, house fascinating cultural relics. And the Minangkabau region gave Indonesia its signature – spicy, aromatic – Padang cuisine.

Best Things To Do In Indonesia

Try Scuba Diving

Most of central and east Indonesia falls within the Coral Triangle, a global hotspot for marine biodiversity. While the currents that feed reef ecosystems and draw sharks and rays can be challenging, Indonesia offers brilliant diving in warm and generally clear waters. 

Komodo, Raja Ampat, and Alor draw experienced divers, generally on liveaboard boats; Bali and the Gilis are popular places to learn, while Sulawesi’s Lembeh Strait is known for weird and wonderful critters.

Go Surfing

Warm waters and epic waves make Indonesia a lure for surfers. Far-flung islands like Rote, in the far south, and the Mentawais, to the west, boast long, steady, big waves that draw experienced surfers. 

Bali offers year-round surfing – on the west coast in the dry season (roughly April-October) and the east coast during the wet season (roughly November-March) – at levels from child-friendly to competition grade.

Experience A Religious Ceremony

With six official religions, most of them available in a range of distinctively Indonesian flavors, the country’s rituals are fascinating. 

Buddhists come from around the globe to celebrate Waisak at Borobudur; in Yogyakarta, the Prophet’s birthday celebrations see epic parades; at Balinese New Year (Nyepi), marching monsters give way to a strictly enforced day of silence.

Dates generally follow non-Gregorian calendars.

Visiting Indonesia

If you’re considering visiting Indonesia, chances are you do not need an Indonesia Visa. That’s because the Indonesian visa policy is very lenient. For stays of up to 30 days, only nationals from a few countries have to apply for a visa. 

Additionally, several others can apply for an Indonesian Visa on Arrival. Indonesia is part of the ASEAN agreement, meaning there is visa-free travel between Indonesia and 9 other member countries.

Do You Need A Visa To Transit In Indonesia?

You do not need an Indonesian airport transit visa if you are generally exempt from holding an Indonesian Tourist Visa.

You do have to apply for an Indonesia visa unless:

  • You will transit in Jakarta (CGK) and
  • You have a confirmed onward flight ticket for a flight to a third country within 24  hours, and
  • You do not leave the international transit area of the airport and
  • You have the necessary documents (visa, passport, etc.) for the next destination

Or

  • You will transit in an airport other than Jakarta (CGK) and
  • You have an onward flight ticket within 8 hours and
  • You do not leave the international transit area of the airport and
  • You have the necessary documents (visa, passport, etc.) for the next destination

Types Of Indonesian Visas

Indonesian visas are divided into the following types based on the purpose and duration of your trip:

  • Tourist Visa (Embassy and On Arrival)
  • Multiple-entry Visa
  • Business Visa
  • Limited Stay Visa

Indonesia Tourist Visa

The Indonesia Tourist Visa is a single-entry visa issued for a maximum of 30 days. Upon Arrival, certain nationals can receive the Indonesia tourist visa (see above). 

You can extend this visa once you are in Indonesia and stay for a maximum of 60 days. You can get this type of visa if you intend to enter Indonesia for tourism, recreational, or visiting purposes. 

You cannot work or conduct business with a tourist visa.

You have to apply for an Indonesia tourist visa only if you are from one of the visa-required countries or you want to stay for more than 30 days. Otherwise, only some people need to apply for an Indonesian visa for tourism.

Indonesia Multiple-Entry Visa

The Indonesian Indonesia Multiple-Entry Visa is issued to people who will enter Indonesia for official government activities, business or commercial activities, or family visits. 

This visa is valid for six months, one year, or two years. 

To receive this type of visa, you have to get Authorization from the Directorate General of Immigration in Indonesia.

Indonesia Business Visa

The Business Visa for Indonesia is a type of multiple-entry visa that can be issued for up to one year. With it, a business traveler can enter Indonesia multiple times and stay up to 60 days in any entry.

With a Business visa, you can attend meetings or training, do negotiations, and other business-related activities. Still, you cannot take up actual employment in Indonesia (i.e., you cannot be paid a salary by an Indonesian company).

Indonesia Limited Stay Visa

Despite the name, the Limited Stay Visa for Indonesia is a “long-stay” visa. You need This visa type if you want to work, study, join a family member, or retire in Indonesia. For example:

  • Indonesia Work Visa
  • Indonesia Student Visa
  • Indonesia Family Visa
  • Indonesia Retirement Visa
  • Indonesia Digital Nomad Visa

In order for you to apply for one of these visas, your sponsor or guarantor in Indonesia (i.e., your employer, school, or family member) has to apply for a Letter of Visa Authorization from the Directorate General of Immigration in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Once the Directorate General of Immigration authorizes your visa, they will notify the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate, who will give you the visa.

How To Apply For An Indonesia Visa?

You can apply for an Indonesia visa in one of the following ways:

  • At an Indonesian Mission abroad (Embassy or Consulate) before you travel
  • On Arrival at the airport in Indonesia

Applying For An Indonesia Visa At An Embassy Or Consulate

The process for an Indonesian visa application is:

  1. Find the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate responsible for your jurisdiction. You can find the Diplomatic Missions of Indonesia here.
  2. Contact them or visit their website to learn about the visa application requirements.
  3. Make an appointment if necessary.
  4. Collect the required documents for the Indonesia visa application. You have to submit your passport along with the documents.
  5. Pay the Indonesia visa fee. The method of payment changes depending on the specific Embassy or Consulate. Some require you to pay through a bank, while others accept cash. The visa fees are non-refundable. 

Submit the documents to the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate. In some cases, you may be allowed to submit the documents by mail.

  1. Wait for the Embassy/Consulate to process your visa application.
  2. Once they decide, you should return to pick up your passport and documents. If you applied by mail, the Embassy/Consulate will mail them to you. If the decision is favorable, you will receive your Indonesian visa.

Although the process detailed above is a general overview, the exact process varies from country to country. This is why first you should contact the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate responsible for your jurisdiction.

How Long Does It Take To Process An Indonesian Visa?

It takes 3 – 5 working days for the Indonesian Embassy/Consulate to process your visa application. Still, the processing time depends on the specific diplomatic mission where you are applying as well as the application method. 

If you apply by mail, it will take longer for you to receive the visa due to the mailing time.

Indonesia Visa Fees

The Indonesia Visa fees are as follows:

  • Single-entry Tourist Visa: IDR 768,580
  • Multiple-entry Tourist/Visit/Business Visa: IDR 1,537,160
  • Limited Stay Visa: 
  1. Six months: IDR 768,580
  2. One year: IDR 1,383,660
  3. Two years: IDR 2,459,840
  • Visa on Arrival: IDR 538,090

How To Pay The Indonesia Visa Fee?

There are only so many acceptable ways to pay the Indonesian visa fee. This will depend on what Embassy or Consulate you are applying for and whether you’re applying by mail or in person. 

Luckily, the Indonesian Embassies/Consulates have instructions about the payment method on their websites. Sometimes, you have to purchase a Money Order; other times, you can pay via your Credit or Debit Card.

Note: The visa fees are subject to change based on new immigration rules and the country you apply to.

What Is The Duration Of An Indonesian Visa?

The validity of a Tourist Visa for Indonesia is 30 days and for a single entry. This type of visa can be extended for another 30 days before expiration.

Visas on Arrival are also valid for 30 days and extendable.

A multiple-entry Indonesia visa is valid for one year. You can stay up to 60 days on each entry.

Limited stay visas are issued for six months, one year, or two years.

Indonesia Visa Extension

You can apply for an Indonesia visa extension before your current visa expires at the Immigration Office in Indonesia. 

You have to pay a fee, which will be the same as your original visa fee.

You can apply for an extension up to 4 times, each time for 30 days.

You cannot apply for an extension of your stay if you have entered under a Visa Waiver (without a visa).

If you stay longer than you are allowed, you will have to pay a fee for every day you have overstayed. The overstay fee is approximately IDR 1,076,250 per day.

What To Do If An Indonesia Visa Is Rejected Or Denied

If an Indonesian online visa is rejected, there are often steps that can be taken to rectify the situation. This depends on your circumstances and the reason(s) why your initial application was not successful.

Rejected Due To A Mistake Or Missing Information

This can be rectified if your Indonesia visa application is rejected or denied due to missing or incorrect information. In most of these cases, it’s necessary to resubmit the form and correct any mistakes that were included.

Rejected Due To A Criminal Conviction

You may not be eligible to re-apply if your application has been rejected for another reason, such as criminal convictions. 

It is essential to have the correct information and documentation prepared before completing an online Indonesia visa application. 

Following the correct guidelines and getting everything ready in advance can make getting a visa for Indonesia swift and seamless.

Is Traveling To Indonesia Worth It?

Indonesia is a beautiful and adventurous travel destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. With over 170,000 islands and 240 million people, Indonesia provides an incredible travel experience.

If you need more clarification about visiting Indonesia for a vacation, there is plenty to do, including animal viewing, island hopping, shopping, and surfing. There are also numerous other enjoyable activities.

Indonesia is home to some of nature’s most beautiful natures, including beaches, deep seas, tropical forests, and mountains. Be wowed by gorgeous beaches like those in Bali, Lombok, Nusa Dua, and the tranquil Gili Islands. 

Hiking is also very popular here, as you may climb numerous active volcanoes, including Mount Bromo and Ijen Crater in East Java, Mount Rinjani in Lombok, and Mount Batur in Bali.

It has nearly 17,000 islands, so you could easily live island-hopping here.

Indonesia is home to 20% of the world’s coral reefs and some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling. Numerous alternatives exist for novice and experienced divers, including gear rental businesses, liveaboard trips, and more. 

Nothing says more about a country than its people. Indonesians are often recognized for being pleasant, cheerful, and always willing to lend a helping hand. What better way to discover and experience a nation than through its people?

They are also highly proud of their history, culture, wildlife, food, and other aspects and are eager to share it with others.

Indonesia has about 300 styles of traditional dances, each with a unique philosophy. Each dance is distinct and worth seeing!

For example, visiting Bali, you can see the Kecak Dance, which evolved from ancient Balinese ceremonies known as Sanghyang. The performance can be seen at Tanah Lot, GWK Cultural Park, or Pura Dalem Ubud.

Indonesian food is well-known around the world. In Indonesia, you can practically eat for days and try something new. 

Try their most popular food, such as satay (lamb or chicken skewers), nasi goreng (fried rice plate with additional meals such as fried eggs, veggies, and chicken), and Gudeg (a dish made from boiled young jackfruit, usually served with rice, sambal, and chicken).

Furthermore, Indonesia is well-known for its spicy cuisine. So, if you like spicy foods, you’ve come to the right place!

In Indonesia, you may satisfy your stomach with everything from street food to fine dining.

Conclusion

Embarking on an Indonesian adventure should be about relishing vibrant cultures and breathtaking landscapes, not wrestling with visa complexities. Whether you’re here to soak up the sun or for entrepreneurial pursuits, understanding the visa tapestries is crucial.

Have we solved your Indonesian visa conundrums? Feel free to explore more expat-centric advice and insights here at Indonesiasolved.com!

Good luck!

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