Your Simple Visa Guide for Studying in Indonesia

Navigating Indonesia’s student visa landscape can feel like trudging through Bali’s densest jungles. But fret not, brave expat! We’ve decoded the maze, so you won’t have to.


Reasons To Study In Indonesia

Studying abroad to pursue a degree opens up many future opportunities. Besides that, studying overseas also helps us to grow and be more independent as an individual.

As one of the largest economies in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is an ideal destination where you can get a high-quality education at affordable prices.

Indonesian education is usually categorized as a top standard, with more international students trooping to the country worldwide.

According to some reports, around 6000 international students in Indonesia study at universities and other higher education institutions. Apart from education, the nation has more to offer, like fantastic food, friendly people, and stunning natural beauty.

With a diverse culture and outstanding natural environment, Indonesia is always welcoming to international students and foreigners alike. Its serene environment makes it student-friendly, and its locals are very accommodating.

If you are thinking of studying abroad in a different environment yet exploring and enjoying nature, Indonesia is a sure bet.

Indonesia is another Southeast Asia country fast becoming a sought-after study destination among its other Asian countries.

Although Indonesia does not speak English as its official language, most of its citizens speak it fluently. Its educational system is also rapidly increasing with new technologies being adopted.

1.   Low Living Cost

Living and studying in Indonesia is relatively cheaper than other study-abroad destinations. Food, transportation, and accommodation only consume a little of your finances, and you can live a quality and decent lifestyle.

Especially during this AMERTA period, you will have the chance to get a fully paid scholarship. It will make a living here much more accessible.

2.   Warm and Welcoming Local Residents

The citizens of Indonesia are well known for their hospitality and warmth, especially towards foreigners. It will make the environment student-friendly for international students.

Also, locals will happily help you adapt well to the culture and heritage without any restrictions here to feel at home.

3.   Going on a trip to beautiful places across the country

It’s common knowledge that Indonesia has to be one of the most beautiful archipelago countries in the world. Located between Southeast Asia and Oceania, Indonesia is well known for its rich culture, tourism, and beautiful places.

While studying abroad in Indonesia, it’s impossible not to visit beautiful islands such as Bali, Lombok, or even Labuan Bajo.

Education System In Indonesia For International Students

Since its independence from the Netherlands in 1945, Indonesia has seen a dramatic improvement and growth in the education system.

As of 2022, there are around 3000 private universities and 150 public universities in Indonesia for international students, an approximate number of universities in Indonesia.

The Ministry of Education and Culture supervises both private and public universities. A traditional three-tier degree system exists in Indonesia.

International students in Indonesia are equipped with the correct skills and knowledge to survive and excel in this competitive world. Besides, Indonesia is one of the safest study destinations for international students.

Public universities in Indonesia are funded by the government but governed as self-managed institutions. The governing council for higher education makes changes in syllabus and teaching methodologies.

Therefore, the quality of education offered at public universities is top-notch and offers outstanding facilities and infrastructure to international students in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, private universities are funded, owned, and operated by private organizations. Besides, they still need to follow and implement the government’s education policies.

A wide variety of diploma programs are offered at the polytechnic colleges in Indonesia for international students.

How To Apply For An Indonesian Study Visa?

If you’re excited to further your education and broaden your cultural horizons by studying abroad in Indonesia, you’ll need to gain a student visa.

Indonesian student visas are made up of three official documents: a study permit, an entrance visa (VITAS), and a temporary residence permit (KITAS).

Entrance visas last up to six months, whereas residence permits remain valid for 12 months and must be renewed annually until you complete your program.

Although fees will vary depending on your nationality and the exchange rate at your time of travel, the whole process costs around IDR 1,970,000.

The complete visa application procedure can be broken down into three parts and several steps. Following these will ensure you have the greatest likelihood of acceptance.

Applying For A Student Permit

  1. Accept a place at an Indonesian University: Receive a formal letter of admission and pay any enrollment fees.
  1. Your University begins the application process: Your institution will begin an application on your behalf using the Ministry of Education and Culture online portal.
  1. Send over documentation: Your University will need several pieces of supporting documentation to complete the application. You’ll find a full list of what paperwork is required in the next section.
  1. Submit the application and await a decision: The turnaround time on applications is between one and two weeks.

The Ministry of Education and Culture will forward your approved study permit and visa authorization to the Immigration Department in your home country so you can begin the visa application process.

Applying For An Entrance Visa (VITAS)

  1. Contact your local embassy or consulate: Make a visa application appointment.
  1. Get your documents in order: You’ll need to take several documents to your appointment. A breakdown of what’s required is included in the next section.
  1. Attend your appointment: As well as submitting your documents, you’ll be asked simple questions.
  1. Pay the application fee: Your application will be processed once paid. The accepted payment methods are worth checking because these can vary between consulates.
  1. Receive a decision: Once your visa has been approved, you should return to the consulate to collect your passport and documents.

Applying For Residence Visa

  1. Visit the immigration department in Indonesia: It’s vital that you do this within 30 days of arriving in Indonesia. You’ll need to complete some paperwork and pay a fee.
  1. Receive a decision: It takes about ten days after submission to convert your VITAS into a KITAS.
  1. Please register with the police headquarters: Once your KITAS has been issued, you must get a police report letter (STM) from your local police department and take it to your municipality’s population office.

You’ll be provided with a certificate of registration for temporary residence (SKPPS).

Register with the Police Headquarters

After receiving your KITAS, you have to get the Police Report Letter (STM) from the local police department and register with the local municipality’s population office, and receive your Certificate of Registration for Temporary Resident (SKPPS).

To register with the police, you need the following documents:

  1. Letter of request for the Certificate of Police Registration Card from your University
  2. The Letter of Recommendation or the Certificate of Sponsorship from the University
  3. A copy of your passport and your KITAS
  4. Passport-size pictures

How To Pay The Indonesia Visa Fee?

The way you pay the visa fee depends on what Embassy or Consulate you apply at and whether you’re applying by mail or in person.

The Indonesian Embassies/Consulates have instructions about the payment method on their websites. There are only so many acceptable ways to pay the Indonesian visa fee.

What Documents Do You Need To Apply For A Student Visa In Indonesia?

After being accepted into an Indonesian educational institution, you must apply for a Study Permit from the Ministry of Education in Indonesia.

Since, at this point, you may still be abroad, your University should help you with the application process and issue your certificate of acceptance.

After the Ministry of Education issues the Study Permit, they will forward it to the Immigration Department Head Office in Jakarta so that they can issue your visa.

The Immigration Department forwards the letter to the Indonesian Embassy/Consulate where you intend to apply for your entry visa (VITAS).

The documents you need when you apply for a Study Permit from the Ministry of Education include:

  • Three copies of your passport
  • A copy of the Recommendation Letter issued by your University
  • A copy of your Letter of Acceptance
  • The completed application form.
  • A Letter of Recommendation from the Indonesian Embassy/Consulate in your country of residence.
  • A copy of your academic transcript and records
  • Your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Two passport-size photographs in line with Indonesia visa photo requirements.
  • A Letter of Financial Guarantee or a sponsorship certificate proves you can cover your study and living expenses.
  • Health certificate

How Much Does It Cost To Study In Indonesia?

The tuition fees for international students vary depending on the University and the course one chooses to study in Indonesia. When compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia offers a variety of courses at reasonable tuition fees.

The average tuition fees vary from 36,487,080 IDR to 92,737,995 IDR per year.

The living costs in Indonesia are affordable, and international students need to spend around 129,225,075 IDR annually.

The cost of living in Indonesia is taken into account, considering the necessities such as food, transportation, and accommodation. The living costs hugely depend on the location of your studies.

Indonesian Student Visa Processing Time

Getting an Indonesian student visa is quite a long and complex process, and it can take up to two months from start to finish.

Therefore it’s wise to begin applying as soon as you get confirmation of your university place. You can only travel to Indonesia once you have your visa, so don’t put your plans at risk by applying too late.

How Long Is Indonesia Student Visa Valid?

The duration of your Indonesian student visa depends on the duration of your courses. The visa you use to enter the country is valid for six months, whereas a KITAS can be issued for up to one year.

Can You Extend An Indonesian Student Visa?

Yes, you can extend your student KITAS for the entire duration of your studies. If the KITAS is issued for six months, then you have to renew it every six months until you finish the course. If it is issued for one year, then you have to renew it annually.

You also have to apply for an extension of your Study Permit from the Ministry of Education before applying for the KITAS extension.

Can Your Family Join You In Indonesia?

Once you’ve been granted your temporary residence permit (KITAS), you can bring your children and spouse to Indonesia on a dependent visa, also known as a family KITAS.

Your loved ones will need to apply for the dependent visa at a local Indonesian immigration office, so they’ll first need to obtain an entry visa into the country.

After filling in the necessary forms and attending an interview, their single-visit visa will be converted into the KITAS.

Can you work while on an Indonesian student visa?

Unfortunately, an Indonesian student visa doesn’t allow you to work alongside your studies. It’s really important that you bear this in mind and have sufficient financial resources to cover your living expenses.

What To Do If Your Visa Gets Rejected?

If you follow the step-by-step instructions and submit complete and valid documents, you’ll likely be denied entry to Indonesia.

If your application is denied, there’s no need to abandon your study abroad plans. Although Indonesia doesn’t have a formal appeals process, you can reapply at your earliest convenience.

Taking the time to fix the issues in your initial application will give you the best chance of acceptance. Here are a few common reasons visas are rejected that you should avoid:

  • Missing documents
  • Invalid passport (e.g., the expiry date is too close)
  • Insufficient evidence of funds to support your studies
  • Incomplete application form

How Is Student Life In Indonesia?

Indonesia has a great collection of excellent universities as well as abundant textile, art, music, and other courses tailor-made for international students.

The most popular subject to study in Indonesia is language, whether you’re keen to master Arabic in the world’s largest Muslim nation or want to learn the national dialect. Life on the Indonesian campus is full of opportunity.

There is so much going on in entertainment, culture, sports, and family events inside and outside campus. Students and faculty-staff members will get to know the superb landscape combining green and charming society.

It makes the campus the best place to enrich knowledge and scientific production.

Networks and friendships endure because of the quality of the life experiences that formed them, and Indonesian institutes provide you with the best environment for such growth.

Throughout your academic journey, you will continue to benefit from the kind of relationships that Indonesian institutes foster.

Indonesian universities organize a sense of belonging between students, staff, and communities through institutionalizing community services and facilities.

What Are The Advantages Of Studying In Indonesia?

Indonesia is a country where you can get a good education, live in a tropical climate, and get acquainted with oriental traditions.

The advantages of studying in Indonesia are undeniable – in just one year, you will be able to learn the language and traditions and get skills in your specialty.

For this, academies, institutes, universities, and various educational courses are open to potential students. People usually go to this country to get a technological education.

  • Seven hundred fifty budget places are allocated for international students every year.
  • There are 30 public universities in Indonesia, but most often, international students choose the oldest and most prestigious ones – Gadjah Mada University and the University of Indonesia.
  • There are private educational institutions here as well. The most famous of them are Atma Jaya and Pajajaran.
  • There are also programs for future business people – MBA. Thanks to them, you can get good knowledge in business, law, banking, and IT technologies.
  • After graduating from a university in Indonesia, you can work in export, mining, and tourism and become an outstanding scientist, doctor, etc.
  • To enter them, you need to apply for a student visa. It is issued for one year.

Do International Students Get Health Insurance On Their Student Visa In Indonesia?

Indonesia’s healthcare system is ranked 92nd globally by the World Health Organisation, and Indonesian healthcare facilities are gradually improving year after year.

As an international student, you need an Indonesian health insurance policy to study in Indonesia.

There are two types of health insurance in Indonesia such as private and public health coverage. International students can avail the private health coverage to access private hospitals in case of any health issues.

The student health cover will cover medical expenses such as hospital costs, emergency ambulance, and prescription medicines. Most private hospitals have excellent facilities and offer excellent treatment to international students.

Therefore, the public health facilities in Indonesia are very reliable and efficient.

Best Places To Study In Indonesia

Tourists from many nations visit to enjoy the mountainous jungle rainforest, calm beaches, and temples, making it one of the preferred places to study in Indonesia for international students.

Guess what? One of the world-famous tourist attractions in Indonesia (Bali) is here.

International students in Indonesia experience a diverse culture in this tropical island paradise. Every major city in Indonesia has courses in many streams. Therefore, International students can easily find their preferred courses in Indonesia in significant cities.

Some popular cities to study in Indonesia are as follows:

  • Jakarta
  • Surabaya
  • Bandung
  • Bekasi
  • Medan


Indonesia, with its allure and intricacies, can be a rewarding study destination. With this guide, you’re better equipped to tackle the visa process. Dive in, thrive, and remember – Bali awaits!

“Stay Informed”

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