There are many kinds of visa for Indonesia each with their own advantages and
disadvantages. Currently the Indonesian visa rules are subject to discussion and change due
to the tensions in the world. There are exemptions for some countries,
please contact your
local (Indonesian) embassy to obtain the most recent information.
General All visitors must possess a passport valid for at least six months after their arrival date in Indonesia. For special visas listed below there are other rules. Immigration officials reserve the right to deny entry to any visitor who, in their opinion, is not properly dressed or groomed (long hair is okay), lacks the proper funds, or "may endanger the country's security, peace, and stability or the public health and morals." These unfortunate undesirables will receive a transit visa upon arrival that allows them to hang out at the airport until the first available flight out.
Tourist Visa 60 days valid, non-extendable, one has to leave the country and return to get another stamp in one's passport. A round-trip flight from Jakarta to Singapore costs around US$140, a round trip form Denpasar to Singapore about US$230. Some expats experienced that after a number of these stamps are placed in one's passport, the officials at the airport may hassle and accuse the frequent tourist of working. Maintaining honestly that one is a a tourist and remaining patient is recommended. Presidential Decision No. 18 of 2003 dated 31 March 2003 states that for most countries the Tourist visa (short stay permit) now is valid only for 30 days, and now requires the payment of a fee. This decree has been postponed.
Social Visa valid for visits that are social, cultural, religious, or medical in nature. This includes visiting family/relatives and social organisations, and exchange visits between academic, art, or sports institutions. 60 days valid, monthly extendable to a total of 6 months. One requires an Indonesian 'sponsor' and letter from this sponsor. One can only obtain such a visa outside of Indonesia. In Singapore there are agents who can arrange the 'Sosial Budaya' within a day. Usually it takes 3 days to get one.
Business Visa (multiple entry) 60 days valid, monthly extendable to a total of 12 months.This visa is valid for the purposes of doing business activities in Indonesia, which do not involve taking up employment or acquiring money for payments of services. It is valid for conducting a temporary business assignment, i.e. inspecting company subsidiaries and carrying out emergency/urgent works. It is also valid for attending international conferences and seminars and carrying out journalistic visits.
Residency or work visa Sponsorship required by an Indonesian company or recognized foreign company. Expensive, $1200/year tax pre-paid, due at sign-up. Lots of redundant reporting to various offices required. Residents are also need to pay 1.000.000 rp tax every time they leave the country by air. (500.000 rp by sea.)
Collective Visit Visa Each person should have with their own passport and they have to enter and exit the territory of Indonesia as a group at the same time. Same rules as for the Social Visa.
Retirement Visa If you are 55 years or older you can apply for this visa. There is lots of paperwork, and requires statements of income, health, insurance, a minimum amount of spending on accomodation and the payment of taxes and other fees. One cannot work in Indonesia with this visa. After 5 extensions (each year) one can apply for an unlimited stay visa (KITAP) and a year after that for citizenship.
Overstaying your visa period means usually that you have to pay, around US$20 a day. If there are legitimate reasons for your overstay, like illness or transportation problems, there might be exemptions. If possible, report your overstay at the immigration office.
Special Procedure Under certain circumstances, visa applications can be arranged for in Indonesia by the sponsor of the applicant concerned. In such cases, the sponsor should appear in person at the Head Office of the Directorate General of Immigration to begin the processing of the visa application as follows: On behalf of the applicant, fill out and complete all visa requirements according to the type of visa, which includes a letter from the sponsor stating the purpose of the visit / invitation and a written statement guaranteeing the sponsor's taking responsibility for the applicant during his / her stay in Indonesia. submit the visa application to the Visa Section of the Directorate of Immigration Traffic. In absence of any incriminating factors, the visa authorization for the applicant concerned shall be cabled, at the expense of the sponsor, to the overseas Visa Officer at the Indonesian Embassy or Consular Office at the applicant's place of domicile. The visa shall then be administered by Visa Officer in the presence of the applicant concerned.
Not recommended is to 'just stay and see' without any official visa. It has been done, and there are (expensive) escape routes from Indonesia to nearby countries. Risks are payment of very high fees and even imprisonment, and becoming blacklisted, so you can never enter Indonesia again. There have been people changing their name to get into Indonesia again.