Indonesia's Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Yusril Ihza Mahendra has formally announced that the implementation of Presidential Decree number 18 of 2003 revoking the visa-free-on-arrival for the citizens of 48 countries is now on indefinite hold.
The original Presidential Decree announced on March 31, 2003, caused widespread protests in local tourism circles who feared that a proposed visa fee of US$ 50 to be charged to the nationals of countries from major tourism producing countries would further worsen already dismal foreign arrival totals.
With the latest announcement from the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, the proposed implementation date of October 1, 2003 has been delayed "until a decision is made regarding which countries are to be eligible" for visa issued on arrival.
Those in favor of the original decree insist that for the sake of national pride and the principle of reciprocity, those countries who charge Indonesian nationals for visas should be similarly charged when holidaying here.
While not discounting that the possibility that the current visa-free-on-arrival policy will eventually be changed, the status quo will now extend beyond the October 1 deadline until some unspecified time in the future.
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