Types of VisasThey have quite a few different types of visas in Indonesia.
For the most part, visiting Indonesia (from certain countries, of course) is simply a matter of standing in the immigration line and getting your passport stamped with a Visa-Free free 30 day entry under visa exemption. Boom you're done.
< 30 days
What if you want to stay in Indonesia longer than 30 days? If you got the free visa, it cannot be extended so you'll have to leave the country for at least an overnight (grab a cheap flight to Singapore), then come back in.
30 - 60 days
If you plan far enough ahead of time and have a relationship with a local in Indonesia, you can apply for a B-211 Social Visa. You have to apply at your local Indonesian Consulate at home with plenty of time before your trip and you must supply a sponsor letter from an Indonesian local. This is a 60 day visa that has the option of a 30 day extension once you are in Indonesia.
My my recent trip was completely last minute so I had zero time to apply for the social visa even if I drove to Los Angeles (which I wasn't about to). So low and behold I found the 30 day Visa on Arrival, not to be confused with the free entry you get on arrival. This visa also comes with the option of applying for a 30 day extension once you are in Indonesia.
Go with the Social Visa and extend it.
> 60 days
Check the Indonesian Consulate website for more details on all visas including the cost and eligibility for each nationality, but good luck; it's impossible to navigate their site.
My Visa On Arrival ExperienceWhat seemed rather confusing after reading all the ins-and-outs online and a bit daunting the thought of dealing with a government entity in a foreign country, it really was a pretty straightforward process. I considered hiring an agency to do the process for me, but at $50 US, I decided to go for the experience of doing it myself.
ArrivalI arrived at the Denpasar airport in Bali. Once you get off your flight and enter the extremely large immigration room (room seems like too small of a word - hall?), there are large lighted yellow signs in the middle saying Visa On Arrival. Hard to miss.
Go to the desk under the sign and pay the amount listed on the laminated sign based on which country you are from. Mine was $35 US and since they accepted US dollars, I decided to hang on to my ruipah.
ATMs: There are ATMs in the immigration hall if you need them. The one that disperses 50K notes has a max 125K withdrawal. After customs, there are tons of ATM and bank counters.
Take your visa receipt to the immigration line.
So that's that. For the renewal, I followed this super helpful guide by Dino Maiolo. I applied for my visa extension at the Singaraja Immigration Office since I'm staying in North Bali and the instructions were totally accurate other than the fact that all visits use counter A in Singaraja.
First VisitIn short, I went straight up to counter A and asked for an application. The people there all seem to speak pretty decent English which made it all that much easier. The man asked to see my passport and visa receipt and asked if I already had a return ticket. He handed me a one-page form and a red folder.
I filled out the form and filled in the name, nationality, and passport number on the front of red folder (the folder is only in Indonesian so just compare the field names to the ones in English/Indonesian on the paper form to know what to put) and brought it back up to him. The room was pretty full of people waiting but I only had to wait about 10 minutes for him to call me back up to the counter.
I gave him my passport (buh bye) and one copy each of my passport, visa, visa receipt, and flight itinerary. He gave me a paper (a receipt of sorts that apparently serves as your passport while they have yours in custody) with the cost (Rp 355,000) (approx. $25US) and told me to come back Monday for fingerprints and photos. I was to pay the extension fee on Monday at the Post Office which is in the building behind.
I can confirm that you DO NOT NEED A SPONSOR LETTER or a sponsor at all for that matter. I was told specifically to not even fill that part of the form out.
Yes, you need to dress appropriately and yes, you do have the chance of your application being declined. My neighbor's house sitter had her's rejected and nobody knows why.
Great first day!
Second VisitAll the other people in the waiting area seemed to know what they're doing. They went right up to the kiosk, got a number and sat down. I however, had completely forgotten the process I had read online so went straight to the counter and asked what to do. I did not need to fake naive ignorance - it was real. And quite nicely it seems it gives you a jump in the line. The officer took my receipt, told me I do not have to pay until afterward, and told me to sit down.
I was still wondering if I should have taken a number since everyone was indeed being called up one by one based on their number. Shit, did he mean I should take a number and sit down?
Not more than 10 minutes later I hear my name announced on the speaker. I was motioned to go around the corner for photo. I sat at a desk, had my photo taken (three times because I kept screwing up my photo - big surprise there). Then fingerprints and that's it! Go pay at the post office and come back Wednesday morning. I was there a total of 15 minutes.
I went to the end of the parking lot and could not for the life of me figure out what the "post office" was. I looked in one set of doors. Nope, prayer room? I went in the next set and asked "permisi ... (hold up receipt) ... where pay?". They all point to where the prayer room was. Hmmm, Ah okay, the empty counter that looks like nothing, that must be it. Sure enough the girl hidden behind the counter was happy to take my money and give me a receipt.
Third VisitThis time I was instructed to take a number. The kiosk has only one option in English (Foreigners) so you press that and out comes a number. Mine was A10 and they were already on A09 (the number shows digitally above the counter).
I handed her my receipt from the "post office", she came back a few minutes later with my red folder and passport. Extension done, passport stamped. I just had to sign on an empty part of the red folder to confirm that I received my passport. I was there all of 10 minutes this visit.
So yeah it took a bit of time to go to the office every other day, but it was quite an easy process and the immigration office was friendly and efficient! I accidentally started this entire process a week before my visa ran out and because the office runs so smoothly, I was able to get it done in that amount of time.