Extending your stay in Indonesia

There are millions of reasons to want to hang out longer. But will your visa let you?

FREE VISA ON ARRIVAL

169 countries are eligible to receive a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival in Indonesia, so you are probably among them. >> More info in this article << After 30 days on a free 30-day tourist visa it’s time to leave, and there’s no getting around that. Tight visa rules and regulations are standard throughout the entire country of Indonesia and overstaying your visa can result in hefty fines ( 1.000.000 Rp. as of 1 April 2018 ) and travel bans. 30 Days might be all you want, but how can you stay longer?

OPTION 1:  EXTEND BY RE-ENTERING THE COUNTRY

While the 30-day Free tourist visa is easy to get on arrival, this visa is unfortunately only valid for 30 days and it absolutely cannot be extended within Indonesia. Visa extensions must therefore be done outside the country. Enter the quick border hop to Singapore or Malaysia the closest and often cheapest option to reach from Lombok and Bali. By leaving and re-entering Indonesia you’re not technically extending your visa, but rather regaining a new free 30-day tourist visa. To do this, it’s best to leave a few days before your visa expires. (As soon as the visa is issued on arrival in Indonesia, the clock starts ticking because the first day and last day count as full days.) With time to spare, also check that your passport is still valid for at least 6 months with enough pages (it should be if you’ve only recently arrived in Indonesia). Once you’ve been stamped out of Indonesia, it’s just a matter of flying into a new country, and then returning to Indonesia, where you’ll be greeted by a new 30-day free tourist visa.

OPTION 2:  EXTEND BY BUYING A PAID VISA ON ARRIVAL

While most travellers to Indonesia take the free 30-day tourist visa route upon arrival in Indonesia, there’s another way. Choose to buy a 30 day Visa on Arrival (VOA), and not only are your papers valid for 30 days, but they also allow an extension of another 30 days. Again, you’ll need a valid passport with up to 6 months remaining, available pages, and 35 USD (approximately 460,000 IDR) in cash to pay for the visa fee. On arrival at the airport tell the immigration desk you wish to stay for 60 days. Pay the VOA visa fee and take the two visa slips from the immigration officer. Keep this slip handy and proceed to the immigration line. Make a beeline for the ‘paid visa on arrival’ line as it is much shorter than the free visa line. The immigration officer will then take one of the visa slips and give the other one back to you to keep. In addition, a visa sticker will be stamped into the passport. Keep the visa paper slip in a safe place as it’s way too easy to misplace. CHECK your stamp before leaving the immigration hall, sometimes they use the free tourist visa stamp and you won’t be able to extend !

EXTENDING YOUR ORIGINAL 30 DAYS PAID VISA

Now, should you wish to outstay your 30 day welcome, extending your paid-for visa is a lot simpler than skipping the country. It can be a bit time consuming though – roughly a three-day process at an immigration office (kantor imigrasi). Allow plenty of time before your visa expires (minimum 5days) and bring the following with:
  • Passport
  • Photocopy of your passport page and your visa page
  • Visa payment receipt (as above)
  • Boarding pass of you flight into Indonesia.
  • Proof of onward travel – a printout, not just a screenshot or email on your phone.
  • Dress to impress – that is, neatly, covering shoulders and knees, and wearing closed toe shoes (not flip flops).
The first day involves filling out the visa extension application form, giving the officer your passport and the required papers (see above). The fee needs to be paid on the second day. This fee is slightly less than the initial visa on arrival fee you handed over at the airport. Pick up your passport on the third day. When extending in Lombok, the second and third visit are combined, so you only need to return twice ! To avoid all of this, it’s possible to hire a reputable visa agent to take care of business. However, make sure to compare rates and fees before committing to one that’s come recommended from fellow travellers. After staying a total of 60 days, you’ll need to leave Bali and re-enter. Currently, there is no limit to repeating this process. 

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