Arranging an Indonesian 60-day tourist visa: Part 1

We are going to be spending almost 2 months in our next destination: Bali, Indonesia and for the first time on our trip, this means we have to sort out an extended stay visa.

Visa regulations in Indonesia entitle a UK citizen to get what is known as a tourist visa, ‘on arrival’, which allows an individual to stay and travel throughout Indonesia for 30 days. This costs each person US$35 (approximately £23) and is paid for at the airport, just prior to passing through immigration.

For people already in Indonesia and wishing to stay longer, it is possible to extend this visa for a further period of 30 days, once only.   This costs an additional IR 350,000 (£17). In total, getting our visas on 2 these separate occasions, would cost our family of 4 nearly £200.

An alternative, cheaper way of arranging this, is to apply at an Indonesian Embassy for a 60 day visa, which costs around US$50 per person (£35). 60 days is the maximum time you can get a tourist visa for, without having to leave the country and start the process again. And this is the same, whether you arrange and visa on arrival and then extend it for a further 30 days, once in Indonesia; or whether you get an initial 60-day visa, before travelling to Indonesia.  The main difference is cost and reducing hassle-factor.

We figured that it would probably be worth trying to save some money by applying for the 60 day visa at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur,  where we were staying prior to our trip to Bali.

Before attending the Embassy, there’s a fair amount of paperwork to arrange:

  1. Passport
  2. 1 photocopy of passport photo page
  3. 2 passport photos
  4. Completed Visa application form – these are available online, usually via the Indonesian Embassy home page of whichever major city you are currently staying – e.g. London, KL, Singapore, etc. You can also collect these at the embassy, but may hinder your progress in the queue as they take about 15-20 minutes to complete in detail. I’d suggest completing before you arrive, if you can…
  5. The visa application form needs you to be able to specify an address where you will be staying when you initially land in Indonesia. We included a printed confirmation of our accommodation booking details.
  6. You need written confirmation of your onward flight out of Indonesia, to demonstrate that you plan to leave the country.
  7. You may be asked to prove you have the finances to stay in the country for a longer term – it suggested that about £500 per person is adequate for a 60-day stay. Some sites will tell you that if you can show ownership of a credit card and traveller cheques, this is sufficient. Other recommendations will advise you to take proof of your most recent bank statements – we printed out the last 2 months worth.

Once you have all this paperwork sorted, the next step is to attend the embassy. There are agents that can do this on your behalf – as long as they have the correct, signed, documentation as above – but obviously, this will incur an additional fee. It is important to note that if you are planning to attend yourself, the embassy website in KL, states that you must be modestly dressed and it is specified that no shorts, short-skirts, sleeveless tops or flip-flops can be worn.

We went to the KL Indonesian Embassy as a family and arrived about 9.30am. I wore a long dress with capped sleeves and flip flops (almost hidden by the long dress – I had no other shoes!) and Aaron wore long trousers and a short sleeved shirt and trainers. The kids just wore their usual clothes.

In KL, the Visa submissions department in open 9-1pm; or they see the first 120 people attending that morning. Its probably best to get there early. Even when we arrived, just after opening, it was very busy! We got checked into the Embassy via security and attended a kiosk, telling the official what we needed. We were given a ticket number and were directed upstairs, to the visa submissions room. There was an odd numbering system going on in the room, I guess with a few different kinds of Visas being issued. Luckily we only had to wait about 45 minutes. The kids played with their toys quietly in the corner. Aaron and I just tried to look very proper and ‘official’ whilst we waited!

Finally it was our turn. The lady spoke excellent English and asked us what we wanted. She questioned our reasons for wanting a 60-day visa, opposed to a 30-day visa on arrival. We explained that we had rented a house for the duration of our stay and had various plans for our trip. After spending about 15 minutes checking through our application forms and supporting documents, she shook her head and said that currently in KL they aren’t issuing 60-day visas. She advised that it would be no problem to arrange a visa extension once we were actually in Bali, in fact, we could arrange our initial 30-day tourist visa via the embassy that day, but it would incur a further visit to collect in a few days time, so she advised it would be more convenient to just arrange this at the airport.

We were disappointed. The annoying thing is that they currently (as of January / February 2015) are issuing 60-day visas from the Indonesian Embassy in Penang, Malaysia; just not at KL. The official didn’t seem to be able to explain why this was the case, “a government decision,” is all she could say.

So we’ll have to do it the long way around after all: Once we get to Bali, we’ll visit the Embassy in Denpasar, and arrange our visa extension. We’ll let you know how this goes in Part 2…

3 thoughts on “Arranging an Indonesian 60-day tourist visa: Part 1”

  1. Wow red tape. Kuala Lumpur should be the main issuer office. Safe travels and check out the flash packers guide to Bali.

    1. Yeah, tell me about it! I think the Indo government are doing quite nicely from this! Apparently the situation re. Visas can change from week to week and is different in each location (so the official at the embassy told us!), so anyone else reading this, who needs a 60-day visa; it is still worth contacting the embassy to find out the current state of play. It could well be different to what it was last week; or even yesterday! Will be checking out the Flash Packer guide- thank you!

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