A 29-year-old Tanzania woman has been deported to Bulgaria following a complex overstay in Bali. The Tanzanian model, known to the press by her initials GPN arrived in Bali on a 30-day tourist visa on arrival in February 2020. She extended the 30-day visa for another 30 days, as is permitted. During this 30-day extension borders closed and flights were canceled due to the global Covid-19 outbreak.
It is said that GPN’s initial plan was to stop over in Bali for a couple of months while finalizing a work contract in China. It was her plan to get a visa for the People’s Republic of China and move to mainland China long-term. During the first few weeks of her stay, GPN is said to have fallen in love with a Bulgarian man who was living in Bali on a tourist visa too. Only her plans changed when lockdown came into place.
The couple fell pregnant in 2020 having been together for 5-months. GNP’s partner had to return to Bulgaria to work. GPN was unable to travel with him partly due to her pregnancy and partly due to border closures in Indonesia, Tanzania, and Bulgaria and issues obtaining a visa elsewhere. The Head of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights in Bali, Anggiat Napitupul, released a statement confirming the events that led up to GPN’s deportation to Bulgaria.
He confirmed that the authorities were made aware of GPN’s situation shortly after giving birth, her options were limited due to Covid-19 and financial constraints. She was unable to leave Indonesia due to border closures, and neither could she gather the paperwork she needed for her child to travel.
The community where GPN was living became increasingly concerned for her welfare. Seeing her become depressed, in August 2021 the community contacted Gianyar Regency’s Social Service Department who referred GPN to the Bangli Mental Hospital. By the time GPN was taken into the hospital, her overstay had reached 513-days. This then became a criminal issue and GPN’s case was handed over to Denpasar Immigration Detention Centre.
Since GPN was unable to arrange and pay for a flight ticket herself she had to wait for assistance from the Tanzanian and Bulgarian consulate for a solution for herself and her child. In his statement Napitupul could confirm that GPN and her child have been granted permission to enter Bulgaria because her child is half-Bulgarian.
It is thought that GPN and her child will be joining her partner in Bulgaria after completing relevant paperwork in Indonesia.
GPN and her child were deported from Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport on Wednesday 8th June and landed in Sofia, Bulgaria the following day. They had a layover in Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Muscat in Oman, and Istanbul in Turkey.
Neither Denpasar Immigration nor the Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights in Bali, have confirmed if GPN was forced to pay fines for her overstay, or if she will be blacklisted from Indonesia. Given the extenuating circumstances, authorities may be satisfied by the deportation.
During the first lockdown, Indonesia did give free visa extensions for visitors trapped in Indonesia due to the closing of borders and canceling of flights. The free extension mandate expired months ago and as Indonesia’s borders are fully open again, travelers have no valid reasons for overstaying their visas.
At present, travelers to Indonesia can enter the country on a 30-day visa on arrival which costs IDR 500,000. There are 72 countries eligible for the visa on arrival and this visa can be extended one time for an additional 30-days.
Overstays in Indonesia are charged at IDR 1,000,000 per day unless the traveler exiting the country can present a letter stamped and signed by immigration granting permission otherwise, this can be granted for travelers who have been in hospital for example. Overstays in Indonesia are considered a criminal offense and can result in huge fines, imprisonment, deportation, and blacklisting.
Plan Your Next Bali Vacation:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community
SUBSCRIBE TO NEW POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.