Various press reports now circulating seem to confirm that the long-awaited and controversial change in the visa policy will be introduced on February 1, 2004.
Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, told the press in Jakarta on Friday, January 2, 2004, that the change in visa policy would be initially introduced on the first day of February for foreign visitors arriving by air in Bali, Jakarta, Medan (Sumatra), Manado (North Sulawesi), and Padang (West Sumatra). On that same date, foreign visitors arriving by ship would experience the changed policy at the following ports: Batam, Sibolga, Belawan (North Sumatra), Jakarta, Surabaya and Jayapura (Papua).
11 Countries to Retain Visa Free Facility
Based on the strict application of reciprocity embraced by the new rules, the citizens of 11 countries whose governments extend visa free facility to Indonesian nationals would continue to enjoy visa-free stays. Included in the 11 countries and administrative districts to be granted the 30-day visa-free facility are: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Hongkong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, Chile, Morocco, Peru and Vietnam.
Visa-On Arrivals for 20 Other Countries
The nationals of another 20 countries and one administrative district will be able to apply for a purchased visa on arrival valid for either 3 or 30 days upon arrival in Indonesia. In a service the Minister promised will only consume 7 minutes, visitors will be able to purchase a visa for a 3 day visit reportedly costing US$ 10 or US$ 25 for a 30 day visit.
The nations and districts eligible to purchase a visa on arrival are: the United States, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, the Arab Emirates, Finland, Hungary, United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Germany, Canada, South Korea, Norway, France, Poland, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Taiwan.
Citizens of countries not on the visa on arrival or visa free lists will be required to apply for a visa before entering Indonesia.
Early reports are not clear on what procedures will apply for visitors wishing to stay more than 30 days making the wisest course for those visitors to apply for a visa beforehand with their nearest Indonesian Embassy or Consulate.
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