I have had a few people ask me recently about visas for staying longer than the usual tourist visa length, but not a long term visa so I decided to write a blog post about the various options.
Indonesia offers a free visa for people from 169 countries. It is fairly safe to say most people reading this will be eligible. I was going to link to the immigration site but it seems like it is down for maintenance, but you can find some information here on Wikipedia
The trouble with the free visa is that you cannot extend it. If you would like the option of extending it, you need to purchase the $35 Visa on Arrival (VOA). The VOA can be extended for a further 30 days. You need to extend the visa at the closest immigration office to where you are staying. You should start the process at least one week before your first visa will expire.
It can take up to three trips to the immigration office to get the visa. The current price is 355,000 rupiah per person. For an extra fee you can use an agent who will take care of the whole process.
One trap for many people is that your passport needs to be valid for at least six months on the date of your arrival to Indonesia. There are pretty much no exceptions to this rule and you will be more than likely be turned away if you don’t have at least six months remaining in your passport – so check the date your passport (and anyone who you will be traveling with) expires before you make any travel plans.
Even if you arrive in Bali at 11 pm at night, that counts as your first day. There is an overstay fee of 300,000 rupiah per day.
If you know in advance that you will be spending longer than 30 days in Indonesia, you may wish to apply for a tourist visa before you start traveling, which is valid for 60 days. You can get this at any Indonesian consulate/embassy. The index for the visa is 211. This visa looks exactly like a social visa. A social visa requires an Indonesian sponsor, is valid for 60 days and can be extended for 30 days more days, 4 times, for a maximum stay of 6 months.
Now, you will read various information on the internet as to whether you can extend the 211 60 day tourist visa. As I mentioned, it looks exactly like a social visa, but just doesn’t have your sponsor’s name on it. It seems like most agents in Bali will help you to extend the 211 tourist visa, as though it is a social visa. Over the years I have seen many debates as to whether this is legal or not. Unfortunately like many things in Indonesia, the answer is not clear. So while you shouldn’t have a problem extending the visa, if you have any trouble, please don’t blame me!
Just to re-cap, the 30 day free visa cannot be extended. The $35 VOA, can only be extended once. If an agent offers to extend these beyond their limit, it is more than likely a scam and if you overstay your visa you will need to pay the overstay fee and possibly face other consequences if it is a serious breach of the regulations.
If you don’t have time to extend or would like to save the trouble of visiting immigration, you can always get on a flight to Singapore/Malaysia, exit immigration in that country and then come straight back to Indonesia on the next available flight and get another free 30 day visa. In theory, there is no limit on how many times you do this.
There was post going around Facebook sometime ago about a person on a visa run in Singapore having trouble with immigration there. It led to a few people expressing concern about Singapore visa runs, but according to one person it seems like the person who had trouble, didn’t exit out of immigration in Singapore. There is no visa entry fees in Singapore, so other than having to spend a bit of time lining up, I am not sure why anyone would do this.
I have included a list of agents in Singapore, Bali and locations of the immigration offices in my free expat guide to Bali, which you can download here. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.