Indonesia’s Minister of Law and Human Rights and the Directorate General of Immigration has publicly announced a new way for tourists to extend their visas. It is now possible for tourists in Indonesia who entered the country on a visa on arrival or an electronic visa on arrival to apply to extend their stay online. The news comes as a part of the newly appointed Director General Silmy Karim’s plans to digitize as much of Indonesia’s Immigration operations as possible.
Director Karim issued a statement to reporters in Jakarta on Thursday, 27th January. He also outlined how the upgrades to the Department of Immigration website also make it easy for investors to apply for the newly created second home visa. Director Karim said, “coinciding with Immigration’s anniversary, now foreigners can apply for tourist visit visas and pre-investment (second home visas) on the molina.imigrasi.go.id website. The launch of this new service using online payment methods”.
The e-visa on arrival service was launched in November 2022 and is available for citizens from 87 countries. The new service allows tourists who are planning to visit Indonesia for 30 days for tourism, leisure, or specific business-related activities. It remains the case that the visa on arrival can be extended one time for an additional 30 days. Perhaps the most exciting update for tourists to Indonesia is that this extension of the tourist visa on arrival can now be applied for online and from any device.
In order to apply for the e-visa on arrival, or an extension, visitors much first register on the immigration website. They must fill in basic details and upload a copy of their passport and a passport photo. Once completed, a verification email will be sent to them. Once the account is activated, travelers can apply for their e-VOA or VOA extension. When the e-VOA is approved, provided all the details are entered correctly, the visa documents will be delivered by email. For the extension, the website guides users through the application process. The same account details and website can be used to apply for a second home visa.
This will save tourists wishing to stay longer than 30 days in Bali on a VOA lots of time. As has been the case until now, tourists must visit their nearest Immigration Office three separate times to extend their VOA if they are not enlisting the services of a visa agent. On the first visit, they submit the application. On the second visit is a short interview and checking of biometric records, and on the third visit, tourists can collect their visa extension. Now the extension application can be completed online.
Director Karim has pledged to bring Indonesia’s immigration operations up to a gold standard. In a press release issued on 19th January, he said, “Immigration must shift, meaning we digitize, which is the direction of economic contribution through good and user-friendly service. Digitization will also be heavy on surveillance and prosecution to immigration intelligence. That way, the power of Immigration in guarding the Indonesian entrance will be more solid.”
He shared his visions of what the future of immigration services for Indonesians and foreigners could look like. He added, “I have a dream that in the future, Indonesian Immigration will be so up-to-date, a good example for other countries for their fields. I hope, one day our passport can use the application, so it will be even easier. Physical passports remain, but can also be represented with applications, for example using QR Codes, such as in Qatar. At the airport there is also a rapid autogate to reduce dependence on humans”
Director Karim said that with the new streamlined services will come new opportunities for foreigners in Indonesia. “Later we will prepare interesting packages [of immigration services] that allow foreigners to enjoy vacation and do business in Indonesia. We continue to develop big data and a special supporting system.”
It remains the case that extensions to the B211a socio-cultural visa, also referred to as the digital nomad visa, must be extended in person at an immigration office within Indonesia.
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