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Legal Updates | Latest Update on Indonesian Visas in the Time of COVID-19 – Re-Opening to Foreigners

With the stated aim of supporting the recovery of Indonesia’s coronavirus-battered economy, the Minister of Law and Human Rights (“MOLHR”) has issued MOLHR Regulation No. 26 of 2020 regarding Visa and Stay Permit During the New Normal Adaptation, dated October 1, 2020 (“MOLHR Reg 26/2020”). This new regulation opens the way for qualified foreign nationals to enter Indonesia, after restricting the movement of foreigners coming from abroad for about seven months through the now-revoked MOLHR Regulation No. 11 of 2020 regarding Temporary Prohibition on Foreigners Entering Indonesia and subsequent circular letters.


Reopening of Visa and Stay Permit Applications


Based on MOLHR Reg 26/2020, foreigners with a valid visa and/or stay permit may enter Indonesia after fulfilling the required health protocols regulated by the relevant health authority. Foreign nationals can once again apply for all types of visas and stay permits, with the exception of the Visit Visa Free (Bebas Visa Kunjungan or “BVK”) and Visa on Arrival (Visa Kunjungan Saat Kedatangan or “VOA”), which are still suspended until the pandemic is declared over by authorities. And while not explicitly stated, it appears that Multiple-Entry Visas are also not yet open for applications.


Visa Applications by Foreigners Outside Indonesia


Specifically for Visit Visas, only applications for a single-entry visa are allowed at this time. As noted above, it appears that multiple-entry visas are not yet open for applications. The following are the permitted activities under a single-entry Visit Visa:


  1. Performing emergency and urgent work;
  2. Attending business meetings;
  3. Conducting purchase of goods;
  4. Performance of probationary work by a foreign worker;
  5. Providing medical and food-related support; and
  6. Catching a transportation connection located in Indonesian territory.


MOLHR Reg 26/2020 provides that a Limited Stay Visa (Visa Tinggal Terbatas or “VITAS”) may be obtained for the following work and non-work activities to be performed in Indonesia.


Work activities:


  1. Performing work;
  2. Working on a vessel, rig, or installation operating in Indonesian waters;
  3. Performing a quality check on goods or production;
  4. Inspecting or auditing a branch office in Indonesia;
  5. Providing after-sales service;
  6. Installing and repairing machines;
  7. Performing construction-related temporary work; and
  8. Foreign job candidate performing probationary work.


Non-work activities:


  1. Conducting foreign investment;
  2. Family reunification; and
  3. Visit by elderly foreign tourists.


Application Requirements


To obtain approval for a Visit Visa and VITAS (visa telex), the guarantor of the foreigner in Indonesia must submit an application through the relevant online system, attaching the following documents:


  1. Health certificate containing a statement in English issued by the relevant authority in the foreigner’s country of origin that the foreigner is COVID-19 free;
  2. Statement letter in English stating the foreigner’s willingness to quarantine and/or obtain medical treatment at their own expense if upon arrival in Indonesia they have a positive PCR test or show symptoms of COVID-19;
  3. Statement letter affirming the foreigner’s willingness to be medically monitored during any quarantine period; and
  4. Evidence of health/travel insurance participation that encompasses medical coverage, and/or a statement letter regarding the foreigner’s willingness and ability to pay for their own treatment if they become infected with COVID-19 during their stay in Indonesia.


The guarantor is also required to provide evidence showing possession of at least US$10,000 to cover the foreigner’s living costs in Indonesia. This requirement is waived for medical and food-related workers, as well as transportation crew members. 


Stay Permit Applications by Foreigners in Indonesia


Foreigners currently in Indonesia holding expired stay permits originating from a VOA, single-entry or multiple-entry Visit Visa, as well as an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC), may apply for a stay permit extension at their local Immigration Office. The maximum stay permit extension is 30 days for each successful application. MOLHR Reg 26/2020 also allows the conversion of a Visit Stay Permit to a Limited Stay Permit (“ITAS”).


ITAS and Permanent Stay Permit (“ITAP”) holders now in Indonesia with expired stay permits can be granted extensions based on the previous stay permit. The regulation also allows the conversion of an extended ITAS to an ITAP.


Foreigners who hold an ITAS or ITAP that can no longer be extended can be granted a new stay permit after first obtaining a visa telex. This also applies to foreigners currently residing in Indonesia who hold any type of stay permit. However, for foreigners holding an ITAS, ITAP or Re-entry Permit (“IMK”) and who are dependent on an ITAP holder, if their stay permit is already expired and they are currently outside of Indonesia, they must apply for a new visa to enter Indonesia.


Visa Telex for Foreigners Residing in Indonesia


The visa telex for foreigners who currently reside in Indonesia as discussed above consists of (a) visit visa telex or (b) VITAS telex. To obtain a visa telex the guarantor must submit an application online and pay for the visa telex and visa fee. The visa telex will serve as an e-Visa.


The visit visa telex will automatically serve as a Visit Stay Permit, while the VITAS telex will become an ITAS when the foreigners have processed it at the relevant local Immigration Office.


Visa Telex and Visa Holders Outside Indonesia


Foreigners who are now outside Indonesia whose visa telex or visa has expired are required to apply for a new visa before entering Indonesia. 


Administrative Sanction


Foreigners who fail to apply for or extend their stay permit while residing in Indonesia may be subject to overstay fines as regulated under the applicable laws and regulations.


The above information is subject to clarification from the relevant institutions and to future changes based on the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 8, 2020)


SSEK - 2020

icone share

Indonesia Snapshot

Capital: Jakarta
Population: 259 million (2016)
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
Nominal GDP: $936 billion USD (IMF, 2016)
GDP Per Capita: $3,620 USD at Current Prices (IMF, 2016)
GDP Growth: 5.0% (2016)
External Debt: 36.80% of GDP (BI, Q2 2016)
Ease of Doing Business: 91/190 (WB, 2017)
Corruption Index: 90/176 (TI, 2016)

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