Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Indonesia Tourist Visa on Arrival Extension in Lombok - new 2015 Procedures

This post reflects my experiences with extending a 30-day tourist visa by another 30 days. Before extending the visa, I looked up the procedure on the internet and found several detailed descriptions. However, things have changed in the meantime and these descriptions are not accurate any more, which is why I'm publishing this post.

  • only two visits to the immigration office needed
  • less photocopies needed
  • visa extension fee raised to IDR 355000 

What to take care of when arriving in Indonesia 

I want to start with a caveat: Indonesia, as of earlier this year, provides visa exemptions for citizens of 30 more countries, including Germany (where I come from) but excluding Australia (where most visitors come from), allowing for a 30-day stay without having to apply and pay for a visa. The updated list of visa-exempt countries can be found here. However, if you are a citizen of one of these "visa-free" countries and plan to extend your permission to stay in Indonesia for another 30 days once you're there, make sure you already obtain a Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) at the airport. At the airport, you will be asked how long you are planning to stay, and if you answer anything more than 30 days, you will have to pay USD 35 and obtain a TVoA. Even if the situation at the airport is a bit chaotic, and the official may forget to ask you, do not go for the visa exemption but instead make them sell you a TVoA. Else, you will not be allowed to extend your stay. This is how the visa exemption stamp looks like. This is how the TVoA looks like:

What to bring
  • your passport (expiring no earlier than six months after end of planned visa extension)
  • one copy of your passport's photo page 
  • one copy of your passport's TVoA page 
  • one copy/printout of your onward flight ticket (there's a copyshop in the small road to the right of the immigration office, IDR 1000/copy) 
  • decent clothing (although most tourists don't seem to care and there seem to be no sanctions in place) 
  • IDR 355000 (on your second visit - this is ca. EUR 25)

Where to go

In Lombok, the immigration office is located in Mataram, which is an easy 30-Minute scooter drive from Senggigi where you're probably staying. You will have to visit the immigration office twice. The second visit is two working days after the first visit. This is the location of the "Kantor Imigrasi" on Google Maps. This is how easy you get there from Senggigi: Drive the coastal road southwards until the first crossing with a traffic light. Turn left. Continue until you encounter a roundabout. Turn right. Continue for another 2km. Park in front of the office (be prepared to give someone IDR 1000 or 2000 when leaving for "taking care" of your bike.)  The immigration office is on your left and looks like this:

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am to noon and 2pm to 4pm. The address is Jalan Udayana 2, Mataram. The sign at the entrance of the immigration office looks like this:

Every member of staff I encountered was friendly and spoke enough English to make things easy. Everything seemed well-organized. The counters you need to go to are on the first floor and look like this:

How to obtain your visa extension

On your first visit, you will be given a red folder, a cover letter and a form to fill out. No need to fill out the (Indonesian-language) back side of the form, and no need to fill out the "sponsor" section. There's also a book where you will have to sign because you will leave your passport at the office. After returning the form, wait until your number is called to receive the pickup slip and be told when to come back (two working days later, e.g. Wednesday > Friday). This visit took me 1 hour.

On your second visit, report at the same counter you already know and be prepared to go through a series of steps comprising waiting until your number is called, paying at a counter on the ground floor, having your photograph and fingerprints taken, once more signing a book, and finally receiving your passport with a new visa extension stamp that looks like this. You're done! This visit took me two hours.

Guest post and photos taken by Michael Wagner