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Tips to avoid visa & immigration problems for foreigners in indonesia
08 November 2013


Tips to avoid visa & immigration problems for foreigners in indonesia



  1. Prior to your departure to Indonesia, please check the validity period of your passport. This may seem a trivial issue but it may bring stress and get you into troubles. Below is the explanation : For you who have obtained visa and will be leaving for Indonesia, the validity period of your passport must be more than 6 months. Meanwhile, those who have not obtained visa and will apply for visa for a maximum staying period of 2 months, the minimum validity period of your passport is 12 months. For the application of visa for staying period of 12 months such as multiple entry or work permit / Limited Stay Permit (KITAS), the minimum validity period of your passport is 18 months. For Foreign Citizen who have been in Indonesia and the validity period of the passport is less than 6 months, they are allowed to remain to stay in Indonesia or go back to their countries. However, they are not allowed to enter other countries since,  in addition to being an internationally applied regulation, the immigration officers in the airport and the airlines will not allow you to leave if the validity period of your passport is less than 6 months, except there has been written guarantee of the immigration office of the destination country that it will provide facilities and allow you to enter upon your arrival there. 
  2. Still blank passport pages must always be available minimum 5 pages and when it is less than that then you have to apply for extension or apply for additional pages in your embassy in Indonesia because some countries with their embassy office in Jakarta are no longer able to issue passport by reason of busyness and as a result it is forwarded to another country. For example, the embassy of Great Britain in Jakarta has transferred its passport making process to Hong Kong and the processing there takes about 2 weeks for you with Great Britain citizens who are very busy and must go to Hong Kong for 2 weeks only to extend your passport that may make you be put under stress and it shall require a lot of money.
  3. If your passport pages are found out to be full and without any blank page to put visa sticker or immigration stamp then you are not allowed to take out the stickers of your old visas attached in the passport because this act is very much forbidden and when the Indonesian immigration party find that out then you shall be imputed with quite large penalty around USD 1000 or more when you are about to cross the immigration gate in the airport. If you experience this kind of thing then it is better for you to first consult your visa consultant.
  4. For visa applicant who is the holder of travelling document in the form of “document of identity“, and not a  passport issued by the government of Hongkong SAR, then the visa application shall be turned down by the immigration authority in Jakarta, unless the applicant has obtained the recommendation letter from RI consulate office in Hongkong. This refusal is resulted from the Indonesian immigration considers that “document of Identity” as not a passport, thus not worthy to granted with visa.
  5. For those who lose their passports while staying in Indonesia, the followings are the steps that must done immediately in stages:

    • Reporting the loss of the passport to the nearest police station in order to obtain the letter of loss certification from the police department of Indonesia. And then:
    • Reporting to the Embassy/Consulate of the country of the applicant in Indonesia in order to get new passport or travelling document as the substitute of the passport. And then,
    • Reporting to the Directorate General of immigration in Jakarta in order to obtain the stamp of approval for the new passport as well as to get the data of entry date to Indonesia and the permit to depart from Indonesia, which shall be written in the new passport.
    • It is advisable after obtaining the new/replacement passport from the embassy of your country in Indonesia, it is better to leave Indonesia before your visa is expired. This is to avoid new problem that may arise resulting from the non-existence of visa stamp/sticker in your new passport. The prolonging settlement in obtaining new/replacement passport shall result in overstay and will make the problem harder / complicated because the penalty of IDR 300,000,-./ day must be paid.
  6. Applicants of family reunion visa / Limited Stay Permit (KITAS) who are married to Indonesian citizen but do not get married in Indonesia are required to legalize the marriage certificate at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in the country in which the marriage takes place and the marriage must be registered with Indonesian civil registry office. Those who are getting married in Indonesia are required to submit the original or at least copy of license to contract a marriage issued by the embassy of their country of origin in Jakarta .
  7. Those who will be staying in Indonesia for a long time and  will bring relatives such as children or spouse are recommended to carry very important documents for processing visa or stay permit at all times, among other things : original and copy of marriage certificate legalized by the embassy, certificate of birth, certificate of divorce (if ever divorced), photograph with red background. Expatriate workers are also required to submit their latest education diploma, curriculum vitae and other certificates clarifying their profession.
  8. For foreigners who already have KITAS/KITAP cards from the immigration office it is very much forbidden to do any change whatsoever to all those immigration documents such as cutting part of it in order to make it looked smaller in size or to change the data in it. If this is done then you shall be subject to penalty from the immigration party when you are about to extend your KITAS/KITAP or at the least you shall be warned not to do it anymore.
  9. It is better for you to always be ready with photos with 4 cm x 6 cm = 8 photos, 3 cm x 4 cm = 8 photos, and 2 cm x 3 cm = 8 photos with red color background and those photos must be original ones and not the result of scan (photos taken in studio or machine), and it’s better for you to keep the hard copy well because when you plan to go overseas in order to take visa in the Indonesian embassy overseas, sometimes the Indonesian embassy party overseas asking for the hardcopy of your photo.
  10. For foreigners the holders of KITAS/KITAP travelling outside Indonesian territory must always notice the last date limit to return to Indonesia or Exit Reentry Permit because if you forget about it resulting in you exceed the proper time limit, then when you return back to Indonesia you shall not be allowed for reentry to Indonesian territory and the solution for this you are asked to buy new visa in the airport that is the kind of Visa on Arrival (VOA) valid for 30 days. Unfortunately this kind of visa is only valid for 63 countries only. If this happens then it’s better for you to contact your visa consultant first before reentry to Indonesia in order to arrange your arrival plan so there would be no problem at the immigration gate in the airport.
  11. For foreigners holders of KITAS who have been out of Indonesia and no longer interested to return back to Indonesia, then it is better for the your immigration documents such as KITAS and Blue Book to be returned back to the immigration office by your sponsor in Indonesia with the objective that later on if you should desire to return back to Indonesia using similar visa, then you would not get into trouble in the immigration office.
  12. For those using the kind of tourist or socio culture visa valid for 30 days or 60 days and want to extend their visa then they must submit their passport to their visa agent within 10 days before the validation date is expired because according to the new immigration regulations for those who would like to extend their visa they must submit their passports to the immigration office at the latest 7 days before the date of their visa validation is expired.
  13. For foreigners the holders of working visa for 1 year if they want to extend their visa for the next 1 year, then it is better for them 2 months before the visa validation is expired to begin the process for their work permit documents such as settling their recommendation letters from certain institutions, extending their RPTKs, working permits/IMTA, and to deposit obligatory money of USD 1,200 to the bank in order to obtain working permit, and to extend those documents they take a month or more.
  14. Work visa is only valid to be used when the visa holder works in the company sponsoring the visa holder / guaranteeing the visa holder at the time of filing for the visa and not permitted to work in other company, except to work in the company still of one group with it or between the companies there is an agreement of operational cooperation
  15. It is recommended for foreigners the holder of KITAS living in Indonesia who have replaced the old passport with the new one, then the new passport must first be made legal / legalized by the immigration party in Indonesia, by obtaining the legalizing stamp and should there be still valid visa stamp / staying permit in the old passport then both passports must be attached and you must always carry them with you.
  16. For foreign nationals giving birth to child in Indonesia then they must report the birth of the child to the civil registry office and also to be registered in the Indonesian immigration office within 14 days after the day of birth. After the issuance of birth certificate by civil registry office then the next step is to settle the passport in the office of their country embassy in Jakarta. If the birth of the child is not reported to the immigration office then when departing from Indonesia later on there would be problem in the airport immigration and your child shall not be permitted to depart from Indonesia. The most important requirement in settling for the child birth certificate in civil registry office in Indonesia is the obligation to show the marriage certificate of parents and birth certification letter from the hospital. This matter of reporting baby birth seems to be trivial resulting in the lack of giving much attention to it, yet from the experience occurring to our client that those not reporting the birth of their child to the immigration office had caused them a lot of stress because they had problems in the Airport and their child was not allowed to depart from Indonesia. Besides that, there were also incurred with penalty because of the delay to report it.

    As for foreign nationals living in Indonesia with KITAS then they must settle KITAS for the baby in the immigration office at the latest within 60 days after birth, after previously have settled the birth certificate in the civil registry office and passport in the embassy. If they were late in settling KITAS in the immigration office then they shall be incurred with penalty in the amount of IDR 300,000 per day. And for parents having KITAS they may sponsor their baby to obtain KITAS.

Finally have a great time at your work and stay in indonesia conveniently and peacefully for you shall not be put under stress any longer by your visa & immigration issues.

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