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Indonesia - Visa

One of the greatest attractions of moving to Bali is there are no great visa obstacles. A retirement or renewable-stay visa is available to those over 55 years of age who can prove they have an income of at least US$18,000 a year – by coincidence, close to the annual amount of the Australian age pension.

Applicants must also show proof of health insurance in either their own country or Indonesia. They must agree to employ an Indonesian maid, not to work or undertake business activities, and show proof of accommodation that is either rented for at least US$500 a month or purchased for at least US$35,000.

The visas are for one year but can be renewed in-country up to a maximum of five years. After five years, it is possible to apply for a permanent stay visa (See Appendix for more details.)

Visas do not present a problem for those wishing to spend extended periods in Bali.

Australian tourists can obtain a tourist visa on arrival. That is, at the airport when you land in Bali or Jakarta. This is a 30-day single entry visa and costs US$25 (A$27).

There are several types of visas that cover a longer period of stay in Indonesia. These are business visas, employment visas and retirement visas. We will focus on the retirement visas for the purposes of this book

Full details are listed below but there are a few general points to note for those who are close to retirement, or at retirement age, and do not wish to work in Indonesia. The retirement or renewable-stay visa is available to those over 55 years of age who can prove they have an income of at least US$18,000 (A$19,300) a year. Note that this is close to the annual amount of the Australian age pension at the time of writing. Applicants must also show proof of health insurance in either their own country or Indonesia. They must agree to employ an Indonesian maid, not to work or undertake business activities, and show proof of accommodation that is either rented for at least US$500(A$535 a month or purchased for at least US$35,000 (A$37,600). The visas are for one year but can be renewed in-country up to a maximum of five years. After five years, it is possible to apply for a permanent stay visa or KITAP (permanent stay permit).

Retirement Visa:  If you are 55 years of age or older, renewable stay permits (or retirement visas) of one year’s duration are able to be obtained for Indonesia.

Requirements:  This retirement visa requires:

  1. the applicant to be 55 years of age or older
  2. an application form to be completed in duplicate (this form is available from Republic of Indonesia website www.embassyofindonesia.org)
  3. the applicant’s passport with at least 18 months duration with a minimum of three blank pages {C}a.      {C}All passport pages must be photocopied and submitted along with passport photographs—ten 4 cm x 6 cm photographs, four 3 cm x 4 cm photographs and four 2 cm x 3 cm photographs {C}b.     {C}An applicant whose spouse wishes to apply for a retirement visa as well must supply a copy of the marriage licence
  4. a flight itinerary
  5. a curriculum vitae
  6. a bank statement or pension fund showing monthly income ofUS$1,500 (A$1600) or US$18,000 (A$19,300) a year
  7. proof of health insurance, life insurance and third party personal liability insurance in country of origin or Indonesia
  8. a statement showing cost of accommodation {C}a.      {C}minimum purchase price of house or apartment of US$35,000 (A$37,600) {C}b.     {C}minimum rental cost of US$500 (A$535) a month for Jakarta, Bandung and Bali US$300 (A$325)a month in other cities in Java, Batam and Medan; US$200 (A$215)a month in other cities
  9. a statement proving there is or will be employment of an Indonesian maid
  10. a statement agreeing not to engage in business activities or work.

The maximum stay on the retirement visa is one year and this can be renewed five times, meaning a maximum stay of five years. You can enter the country on a ‘visit on arrival’ (VOA) visa and after a month apply for a longer term (limited stay) visa (KITAS – the Indonesian acronym for the longer stay visa)).

The visa fee is A$165 at time of writing.

If you use an agent, which does in fact make life a lot easier, the fees range from 5 million rupiah (A$500) to 7 million rupiah (A$700).

Permanent stay permit

After extending the visa five times (for a five-year stay), foreign retirees can apply for a permanent stay permit or KITAP (Indonesian acronym for the permanent stay visa) through a Senior Foreign Tourist Bureau.

After obtaining a KITAP, citizenship or naturalisation can be sought in a process over a year but certain qualifications need to be met by the retiree.

Note that you need a KITAS to be able to ship personal items to Indonesia. If shipping, it is best to use a door-to-door agent so that you avoid customs and port issues.

It is also easiest to use an Indonesian immigration agent to obtain a long-stay visa.

Business visa:  There are two types of business visas for people visiting Indonesia for normal business activities. They are:

  1. a single entry 60-day visa
  2. a multiple entry twelve-month visa.

The visa applicant’s business counterpart or an agent in Indonesia should apply in Indonesia on behalf of the applicant for a letter of approval from the Immigration Department of Indonesia.

Once the applicant has this letter of approval, he or she can then apply for a business visa.

The following documents are required for a business visa:

  1. a passport with a minimum validity of six months from the proposed date of entry into Indonesia
  2. a fully completed visa application form
  3. one passport-size colour photograph
  4. evidence that the applicant has sufficient funds to cover the cost of applicant’s intended stay in Indonesia (e.g. a bank statement).

For the relevant business, the following are also required:

  1. two supporting letters, one each from the applicant’s company and sponsor/counterpart in Indonesia, setting out the reason and duration of the proposed visit, and responsibility for incurred costs
  2. copy of written approval from the Immigration Office in Jakarta, Indonesia, if the duration of business is to exceed 60 days.

Employment Visa

Locally know as KITAS, employment visas are for foreign nationals who want to work in Indonesia.

An employment visa requires sponsorship by an Indonesian company.

For the required documents see the website www.visabali.com/employment-visas.php.

UPDATE - December 2014

Indonesia plans to waive Visa-On-Arrival (cost $35 USD) for five countries in an effort to boost tourism.  The countries are:  Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia.  However, despite the January 2015 target, the new policy is not yet confirmed.
Indonesia already grants visa free access to the 9 ASEAN countries plus Peru, Hong Kong, Chile, Morocco, Ecuador and Malaysia.  By way of contrast, Malaysia provides visa exemptions to 164 countries and Thailand to 64.

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