Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Visa Issues in Indonesia for expats and visitors

9 posts in this topic

Posted

Visas are problems for all of us that live in Asia whether we're just planning on a short term visit or a long-term commitment. The first visas that I'll cover is the Social Visa (Sosial Budaya). Most expats or potential expats start with a social visa. This visa is issued to a foreigner for the purposes of visiting Indonesian relatives, studying the culture or learning the language.

For this type of visa you need an Indonesian sponsor (and this can really be just about adult Indonesian, even someone that you barely know) and a letter from that sponsor as well as a copy of their Indonesian ID. The letter should state the address where you will be staying, the purpose of the visit, your relationship with the sponsor, a statement that you will be financially responsible for all costs incurred during your stay. You may be required to provide a bank statement and a return ticket, but this is usually not the case. As with so much in Indonesia, it all depends on who you are dealing with at immigration; if you get someone that is not fond of foreigners they can give you a hard time although if you have all your bases covered, you will eventually get your visa. Generally speaking, getting a social visa is easy and relatively painless.

The visa is initially good for a 60-day period and can be extended monthly after that for a total period of six months. You need to leave the country when the six months expire. If you leave the country before your six months expire, you need to start the process anew if you want another Social Visa.

You can only obtain a Social Visa outside the country. Most expats do this in Singapore (although KL is becoming a popular spot to get visas now) and often use an agent to deal with the process at the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore, KL or wherever else they apply.

Expats that have a Social Visa and continually renew it are sometimes questioned by immigration about what it is that they are doing in the country, although many expats have been using social visas for years. Immigration may suspect foreigners of trying to work on the Social Visa, and with good reason, as there are many foreigners who do just

that. It’s a risky venture because if you get caught, you're liable to be deported and fined. I don't recommend working illegally in the country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Spousal KITAS

According to my visa agent this is a relatively new option for men married to Indonesian women (expat women have always had this option). Under this option the wife sponsors her husband and the spouse receives a KITAS. The costs are the same as a Retirement Visa. Requirements are: a bank statement showing that the couple has enough money to live for one year, a copy of the marriage certificate, a copy of your spouse’s KTP (identity card), a copy of your wife's Kartu Keluarga (family card), your passport, and several sets of extra photographs. You will need to be fingerprinted at the immigration office once you begin the process to get your KITAS.

In addition to the KITAS, you will need a SKLD (Surat Keterengan Lapor Diri) which you can get at your local police office; this is a police ID card that all expats need. You also need a STM (Surat Tanda Melapor) which is a Certificate of Police Registration and tells where you live and how long you have lived there. Then you need to go to your local Kantor Lurah to get a Surat keterengan domisili which you then take to the Catatan Sipil to get a SKTT (Surat Keterangan Tempat Tinggal), a SKPPS (surat keterengan pendaftaran penduduk sementara) and a SKDLN (Surat Keterengan Datang dari Luar Negeri).

If this all sounds complicated and confusing, it can be. You need time and patience to go through this process (in fact, I left out the entire process of applying for the KITAS if you do all this by yourself). I certainly don't have the patience to work through this whole process which is why I use an agent. All you need to do with an agent is give them your documents, wait for word from them that your paperwork is ready, fly out to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, and then either go to the Indonesian Embassy there yourself or use another agent to obtain the documents that you need. I use an agent in Singapore and take the day that I'm there to do some shopping. Once you return to Indonesia, you give your passport to your agent, and he/she takes care of the rest until you need to go in for your fingerprints.

If you really want to go through all this on your own, take a look at the Living in Indonesia Expat Forum and read about the experiences of other Indonesian expats along with detailed instructions on how to go about obtaining a visa on your own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Just returned from a visa run to Singapore for a Social Visa - it wasn't what I really wanted, but due to some health issues, I wasn't about to send my passport off the island that I've been working on for a week, so I settled for the Social Visa. No problems. I used an agent in Singapore to go to the embassy and get the visa. No one wanted to see a return ticket or a bank statement. Just one instance of the lack of consistency in this process since some folks are asked to show a ticket and a statement and some not. Generally, it's easiest to use an agent. My opinion is that once an immigration official sees a foreigner in doing this stuff on their own, some of them will try to make a little extra on the side out of the whole deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Just returned from a visa run to Singapore for a Social Visa -

You are living now for so many years in Indonesia and married to an Indonesian citizen, and still you are on a visa-run? Even up to Singapore?

And this is every year?

Isn't there anylike like a spouse visa?

Maybe not from the first day on, but if marriage keeps on going for a few years? Is there really nothing but a visa-run?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yes, Yohan, there is a spousal visa which I wrote about above, but sometimes they insist on seeing your actual passport rather than a photocopy when they get the paperwork to process. I happened to be on a fairly remote island at the time of application and didn't want to send my passport to Jakarta for what could have been weeks due to some health issues. Thus, I settled for the Social Visa which I should be able to convert to a spousal visa in a few months without leaving the country again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I've split the retirement visa info into a new thread, as it's good info and well worth putting it in it's own topic...

Indonesia Retirement Visa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I have got visa for Indonesia. i would be visiting in may 2011. I have to get my passport renewed because I have to apply for student visa for Australia. I want to know if get my passport renewed, can I still enter Indonesia or I would face in problems? should I rather also get visa on my new passport. Please do reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Your visa is still valid, you need to present immigration with both new passport and the canceled passport containing the current visa.

I was in the same situation last year, I had my multi-entry visa in the old passport which I stapled to the back of the new one - I still had 9 months to run on my Indonesian visa.

Edited by Stocky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

well i am also facing the visa problems in indonesia in those days i apply for it but they reject without any reason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Methodologies For Learning New Languages
      By ryderman3 · Posted
      I hired a skype teacher from Chaing Mai before venturing to LOS, I learnt the basics of reading,writing and speaking in a very short time. One to one training is far better than a classroom situation as you have constant interaction with the teacher. After 2 months I was able to read (albeit, very slowly) Thai, it was just a case of building on my vocab. I stopped the lessons yet even after 2 years I still remember everything she taught me. I have the advantage even being in the UK to continue my learning as Calm Junior always watches Thai Movies plus now we have a Thai lodger and Calm speaks Thai to her all the time. Our lodger was very impressed with the amount I knew and though I still find it difficult to maintain a conversation I am able to follow, in part, some of the conversations. I constantly interrupt them to ask what a word or sentence is. As for the method of learning, I have always  found that writing things down and seeing the word has always helped me to remember, trying to learn purely from conversation does not work for me.
    • Lao News Site
      By timmurray · Posted
      That's a good site - some interesting articles. I've been following the great railway debacle in the Lao press (such as it is) the last few years. In 2012 a lady in Vientiane province who maintains a garden containing the most species of Dok Champa tree (frangipani) in one place anywhere in the world had her land forcibly bought and cleared in preparation for the rail route, so great that they have now confirmed it will go ahead. Not so good though, will be the devastating effect that the link will have on Laos as we know it. It will, first and foremost, be a low speed freight route, not the flashy white bullet train through the mountains that is being depicted in the state controlled media. It will carry out wood till it is al gone, and facilitate more and more mineral extraction to line the pockets of the officials who are already driving round Vientiane in Hummers, Porche and even Rolls Royce. At the moment there are some towns in the north where Lao is increasingly becoming the second language after mandarin - I was in Namkeung recently and the main street is exclusively Chinese now. The rail link will spread this right through the country. Even in Vientiane, the rate of Chinese immigration has gone exponential the last 3 years. I am not anti-Chinese or anti-immigration, but the problem is that in Laos it is unchecked and unplanned, and everything happens for short term gains for the few people at the top. I can't see this railway bringing any good - even if it was free. The fact that the Lao govt are going to go into debt forever to pay for it, when they can't pay their teachers and need aid/loans/grants to pay for every single big ticket item, makes it so much worse. Looking at it as a trade corridor alone we may think that Laos will benefit from this enormously - but recent experience shows otherwise. The much talked about (road)trade corridor between Thailand-Laos-Vietnam (Mukdahan-Savannakhet-LaoBao-Danang) has had very little beneficial effect on Laos. Trade passes right through between Thailand & Vietnam, with Laos benefitting only from haulage fees and selling food to the drivers.  Well that's my Friday rant over with. Not a great fan of huge infrastructure projects, with huge financial burdens, that have not been fully justified and planned in careful detail by qualified people first. The Chinese partners must be grinning ear to ear.  
    • Methodologies For Learning New Languages
      By Bluecat · Posted
      Indeed, the main reason most native English speakers do not speak another language
    • Methodologies For Learning New Languages
      By METHOS · Posted
      I'm much liking this memrise site. I think the use of combining the major methods of learning make it very effective. That said, I know that this step is only part of the process, albeit, a large part. Learning the vocabulary will only help to build a foundation, and putting the language to use by conversing with native speakers is key in any language for a number of reasons. I think necessity often trumps desire, but in the case of language learning, necessity may be rare for native English speakers. I also think necessity can sometimes be limiting. Some linguists speak about creating an environment of necessity by way of self-immersion, even if you are not able to leave your home, as a means of expediting the learning process. By that, they mean, forcing yourself to use the target language throughout the day, in everything that you do, whenever possible. Not sure how that's supposed to work, but the gist makes sense. I suppose that would involve conversing over VoIP and the like, especially.
    • Methodologies For Learning New Languages
      By Bluecat · Posted
      Indeed Methos, and learning a language requires lot of efforts, whatever way you do it. So I guess that any method is good providing you spend enough time doing it, and usually it means, as Dixie said, being immersed in a situation that requires you to learn it.