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Jakarta Post

More countries to enjoy the free visa-on-arrival as of next week

More countries to enjoy the free visa-on-arrival as of next week
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   ●   Fri, January 29, 2016

Foreign arrivals wait at an airport visa-on-arrival payment counter. The policy to waive visa requirements for 80 more countries will be signed next week, the Tourism Ministry's I Gde Pitana said on Friday. (Antara/Nyoman Budhiana)

The government'€™s plan to waive visa requirements to a further 80 countries will come into effect next week, a ministry official said.

"Citizens from 90 countries currently enjoy access to the free visa-on-arrival when entering Indonesia. [The upgraded policy, due to be signed by the government next week, waives the fee and application process for] an additional 80 countries, including Australia," said Deputy Tourism Minister for overseas promotion, I Gde Pitana on Friday as quoted by Antara news agency.

The move is part of a plan to lure more visitors to Indonesia, as the government aims to attract a minimum of 20 million foreign tourists to the country over the next five years.

Previously, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli said that Australia was among the countries listed,  having been left out in the past due to an unwillingness to enforce any reciprocal policies. Australia implements a universal visa policy where every Indonesian citizen who wishes to enter Australia must have a visa, including governmental officials.

Australia reportedly topped the list of foreign tourist arrivals to Bali between January and November 2015, with 876,748 Australians arriving out of an overall of total of 3,631,195 tourist arrivals during the period.

The Law and Human Rights Ministry immigration directorate general spokesman, Heru Santoso Ananta Yudha, told thejakartapost.com on Friday that he was unable to confirm the exact number of countries included in the latest list and said to wait until the signing of the presidential regulation. (liz/kes)(+)