Indonesia plans to resume accepting visa applications from residents of eight countries that require a calling visa for entry starting Monday following a temporary suspension imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, an immigration official has said.
Those on the list were Afghanistan, Guinea, Israel, North Korea, Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Somalia, said Arvin Gumilang, a spokesperson of the Immigration Directorate General at the Law and Human Rights Ministry.
The immigration office had conducted a service reopening trial on Friday. Guarantors of residents in the eight countries hoping to obtain Indonesian visas could file requests through www.visa-online.imigrasi.go.id starting Monday, while hopeful workers from the eight countries could upload their application documents through tka-online.kemnaker.go.id, he said.
"We will open the eVisa service for those in the calling visa [list] for the purpose of family reunion, business, investment and work," Arvin said in a statement on Sunday.
Authorities decided to resume processing applications for countries on the calling visa list due to the high number of expert foreign workers and investors from the eight countries, Arvin said.
"It's also to accommodate the rights of mixed-marriage families," he added.
A 2012 Law and Human Rights Ministry regulation on guidelines for the granting of visas for citizens of countries on the calling visa list stipulates that countries on the list are those that pose a potential liability to Indonesian national interests from an ideological, political, economic or sociocultural standpoint as well as threaten national security, defense or immigration.
The application for residents of countries on the list is evaluated by a team of the Law and Human Rights Ministry, the Home Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Manpower Ministry, the National Police, the Attorney General’s Office, the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), the Strategic Intelligence Agency of the Indonesian Military and the National Narcotics Agency (BNN).
"The team will hold coordination meetings to determine whether an individual is eligible for a visa," he said as quoted by kompas.com.
In late October, the Law and Human Rights Ministry launched an online visa application for foreign citizens who wish to enter Indonesia, called eVisa.
Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said the measure aimed to create a faster, easier and more transparent entry permit service.
“This is to send a positive message to [other countries] that Indonesia has made bureaucratic reforms and is ready to become a destination for foreign investment,” he said.
The new policy could help Indonesia's economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by creating jobs through foreign investment and international tourism, Yasonna added. (nal)