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Newly Appointed Director General Happy With Bali Immigration Services

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Indonesia’s newly appointed Director General of Immigration has conducted a site visit to Bali’s Ngurah Rai Immigration Office, and he was delighted with what he found. Director General Silmy Karim has only been on the job a little over a week and is conducting visits to immigration offices across Indonesia. He has publicly conveyed the results of his site visit. Karim told reporters that Bali immigration exceeded his expectations.

Immigration Counter At Bali Airport.jpg

The new Director General of Immigration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia visited the Ngurah Rai immigration Office in Badung Regency on Thursday. He told reporters, “this is beyond my expectations. I hope that other ranks can do the same thing”.

When asked about what made the Ngurah Rai Office so outstanding, Karim said, “Fast and clean service, as well as digitalization support that we hope in the future to improve immigration services.” He added, “service is the number one target. The tasks must be carried out as well as possible” he kindly reminded staff to keep up the good work and provide service ‘wholeheartedly.’ 

He is clearly a detail-orientated man. During his visit, he observed the process of passport applications for Indonesian citizens and observed the visa renewal and extension process. He followed the process from the queue through to the interview, photograph, and application processing procedures. He addressed immigration staff at the Ngurah Rai Offices and called on them to continue to focus on improving three key areas. Namely the quality of the organization, staff performance, and increasing the department’s contribution to the prosperity of Indonesia as a country. 

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Karim also visited the Denpasar Immigration Detention Center. He checked the detention investigation room and the dentation accommodation block. He also chatted with foreign nationals currently being processed at the facility. Karim said, ‘we will protect their human side’ and reminded Immigration staff to treat inmates with care.

He was joined on his site visits by the Head of the Bali Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Anggiat Napitupulu, and the Head of the Immigration Division of the Bali Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Barron Ichsan. During his time at Bali Airport, he was escorted by General Manager Handy Heryudhitiawan.

Silmy Karim takes over the role of Director General of Immigration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights from Prof Widodo Ekatjahjana, who fulfilled the role as an acting head for a year and a half. Ekatjahjana will now return to his role as the Head of the National Law Training Body of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.


Ekatjahjana did not shy away from highlighting where improvement could be made in the Department of Immigration. During a spot check of Bali Aiport in October 2022, he was left furious after discovering multiple visa-on-arrival counters and payment kiosks unstaffed during peak travel times. He even threatened to call a ministerial meeting “so that they know that all immigration is trash….” He said at the height of his anger. 


Fortunately, his feedback was taken on board, and Bali Airport addressed the issue he raised. Moving forward, there are clear directives to improve the immigration experience for citizens and foreigners even more. The Minister of Law and Human Rights in Indonesia, Yasonna Laoly, made a statement at the appointment of Silmy Karim into his new role.


Laoly said he wants to see the Department of Immigration becoming more dynamic and focus on the development of strategic immigration. He explained Indonesia should “particularly study some countries that [we can] can speed up immigration services [for] so that we can ultimately attract the interest of investors and talented people to come. I also expect the Directorate of Immigration to make a variety of change efforts involving related stakeholders, the key mainly being through technology and digitalization.”

Development of strategic immigration includes the creation of the second-home visa for high-wealth individuals and further promoting the digital nomad visa, amongst other objectives.

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Wayan Bo

Monday 16th of January 2023

This is way to stay in such position. - Anyway, comparing to EU it’s horrible.


Monday 16th of January 2023

Mr. Karim is reported having assets worth more than 200 Milyar. Since 2012 he has been making in average 16 Milyar (>1 million USD in today money) per year having positions with Indonesian gov. companies. That is a fair bit more than the official salary working in these positions.


Tuesday 17th of January 2023

@Exp, so what’s your excuse about again? You said you haven been in Indonesia 20 years to know that people do invest in other interests. As long as he pays tax and have had a thorough background check, he can still hold a government position. And yet you are still complaining and hating this place as if only foreigners can earn more money. Sorry to burst your bubbles, after having a discussion with a Dutch individual in a different subject, this person has pointed out that even in Europe, corruption and people earnings holding government position or in companies sometimes do not add up.

Julie Gilbert

Monday 16th of January 2023

Can immigration fix up visas to give tourists what they want ? 1. Family visa of $40 aud no matter how many kids with 2 adults. Visas too expensive for Australian families. 2. VoA can choose 1 month free of charge or $10. 3. VoA 3 months for $50 aud 4.6 month VOA $100 aud


Thursday 19th of January 2023

@Paul Morris, here we go again. Maybe Australians feel that way unlike the rest of us. Pay the damn visa and enjoy the holiday. If you complain about the visa fees it means that you do not have the means for a vacation abroad. Simple as that. Many of tourists are further away from Bali than Australia is to Bali.

Australia have saved Bali again as if Bali is an independent country. Wow...bravo. You sound more like an Indian giver each day.

A visa is a privilege NOT a right.

Paul Morris

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

@Julie Gilbert, Over 650,000 Australians have visited Bali in the last 12 months ( official figures) that’s over $32,000,000 in visa fees paid to the government. At the start of the pandemic Australia gave a loan to the Indonesian government of $1.3 billion it’s now time to start paying back the loan or at least drop the visa fees for Australians. Once again Australia has saved Bali because there are very few other nationalities with large volumes of tourists holidaying in Bali.


Tuesday 17th of January 2023

@Julie Gilbert, “Can immigration fix up visas to give tourists what they want ?” Wow a real self-centered question isn’t it? Why is that people like to dictate what a sovereign country ‘s immigration policy should be. Sigh.

Well that’s just too bad if your earnings do not qualify for a family vacation abroad. A friend in the know in Indonesia told me that Indonesians have to pay 3 times the amount for a visa application to spend a holiday in Australia. Do you think that’s fair and square? And they do not complain but pay for the visa fee and enjoy the trip. It is what it is.


Monday 16th of January 2023

An initiative for improvement and a thorough inspection by the DG of Immigration. But alas when the cat is away the mice will play.

The visa on arrival should be abolished soon for many that do not pose a national security concern. However a very few nationalities that is now on visa arrival could be revised and may apply instead in their respective country of origin before entering here. If finger printed and facial photos are mandatory at port of entry then it may alleviate some wanna be criminals to operate in Indonesia for that matter.

A visa is a privilege not a right regardless of the nationality.