Murzal & Partners

Visa on Arrival – Tighter Enforcement by Indonesian Immigration

5 April 2023

 

Immigration Newsletter – April 2023

Visa on Arrival – Tighter Enforcement by Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration

 

Visa on Arrival

Visa on arrival (“VOA”) is designed to provide ease for travelers (from certain countries) to enter Indonesia for non-official/non-commercial purposes such as tourism purpose.

Indonesia VOA allows 30 days of stay which is extendable for another 30 days so long permitted by the relevant immigration officers.

 

Visa Abuse

It is uncommon to encounter that the ease to enter is being abused by some travelers. “Abuse” refers to the utilization of the VOA not in accordance with its permitted purpose.

In the past 3 years, with Indonesia tourism spot such as Bali being re-opened post Covid closure, we have seen not only the growth in the number of the visitors but also the number of the VOA abuse. From January 2023 – March 2023, Indonesia Directorate General of Immigration (“DGI”) has deported more than 50 travelers from Bali alone.

Common cases of VOA abuse:

  1. Working full time/part time;
  2. Establishing business;
  3. Attending business meeting or commercial discussion;
  4. Holding a seminar; or
  5. Attending negotiation meeting.

 

Enforcement

Compared to a decade ago where abuse of VOA was mostly overlooked due to lack of resources within DGI, the past 2 years has shown DGI’s eagerness to discipline VOA abuse without “scaring away” other travelers.

Recently, DGI has been actively following up reports from public, pro-actively perform market audit, and engaging travelers to ensure awareness of the permitted purpose of VOA. We proudly share that, after being involved in providing opinion on VOA abuse, DGI has successfully avoided the pro-active approach to lead to a “witch-hunting exercise”.

To date, we have seen that DGI’s approach remains analytical, systematic, and in accordance with the prescribed steps under the relevant regulations.

In addition to these pro-active steps, the regulatory landscape has also been refreshed with clearer guidance for pre-investment visa, retirement visa, and multiple entry visa.

 

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MURZAL & PARTNERS

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