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Jakarta Post

Your letters: On visa on arrival

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

  /   Mon, July 13, 2015   /  06:01 am

I just would like to make tourists aware about an odd outcome of the removal of visa-on-arrival fees for 45 countries.

To be able to enjoy the free visa a visitor must only use the following airports for arrival and departure: Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Jakarta, Ngurah Rai international airport in Bali, Kualanamu international airport in Medan, Hang Nadim international airport in Batam and Juanda international airport in Surabaya.

This means when guests arrive in Jakarta and leave from Bali they do not have to pay for the visa-on-arrival as long as they come from one of the 45 visa-free countries. However, as only five airports are eligible for free visa-on-arrival, immigration interprets the new presidential decree as follows: Those who enter, for example, through Denpasar but leave from another international airport not on the list (like Yogyakarta, Lombok, Makassar, Semarang etc.) are not allowed to leave even though they have entered the country legally, as they did not pay for the visa-on-arrival.

Currently, immigration officials try to be flexible but we'€™ve also heard about cases where tourists were refused permission to leave Indonesia at international airports that are not on the above list, because they of course did not pay for the visa-on-arrival when they entered through one of the eligible airports.

Therefore, the following applies, those who arrive in Bali, for example, and depart from Lombok, must purchase a visa-on-arrival at US$35 for a 30-day stay, single entry, when they arrive in Bali. Without this visa later upon departure Immigration in Lombok will not allow them to leave Lombok on an international flight. Visitors will have to purchase a domestic flight to one of the airports above and then connect to an international flight. Purchasing visa upon departure is not possible.

Those who arrive in Jakarta and depart from Bali will not have a problem because both airports are listed as authorized points of entry/exit for free visas.

Where is the logic here?

Björn Schimanski

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