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On Your Mark, Get Set, Wait!

Ministers Wacik's Announcement on Additional VOA Countries Proving Somewhat Premature.

Bali News:
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Following’s coverage [13 Nations to Be Added to Visa-on-Arrival Facility] additional details are emerging that would indicate that statements by Indonesia's Minister of Tourism and Culture on expanded visa facilities were a tad premature.

While apparently an agreement has been reached with the Minister of Justice and Human Rights to add 11 more countries (note: not 13) to the current list of 21 countries eligible to purchase visas on arrival (VOA) at an Indonesian international gateway, this new facility will only become available following a formal written decree, which awaits the pleasure and convenience of the Minister of Justice and Human Rights.

Which Countries Will be Added to the VOA List?

In a clarifying statement issued on June 20, 2005, by the Information Center of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, further light was shown on exactly which additional countries will be able to purchase a visa-on-arrival once the official decree is promulgated. The latest press statement from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is at variance with earlier press reports with only 11 countries to be added to the VOA list: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Egypt, Austria, Ireland, Qatar, and Luxemburg.

India and China are also said to be under review for the VOA facility, but no formal agreement to include these additional countries has yet been achieved.

Other press reports, still unconfirmed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, suggest that The Netherlands and Sweden might also be under consideration for the visa-on-arrival facility.

The citizens of 21 countries and territories already eligible to purchase visas on arrival are: the United States, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Finland, Hungary, United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Germany, Canada, South Korea, Norway, France, Poland, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Taiwan.

Once the Ministerial Decision is published and its implementation date comes to pass, 32 countries will be eligible for either a six or thirty day visa-on-arrival.

A six-day visa will cost US$10 while a 30-day visa will cost $25. The extension of the "short day" visa from three days to six days is another change in the current policy awaiting the Minister of Justice and Human Rights' formal declaration.

Caution Urged

Pending the formal announcement from the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, citizens from the 11 nations to "soon" be eligible for a visa-on-arrival should not assume any degree of leniency on visa handling when arriving at an Indonesian gateway. Prior to any official announcement from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, citizens of the 11 "new" visa-on-arrival countries should continue to secure their visa before departing on their trip.

Stay tuned to where any formal announcement confirming the new policy will be published as soon as it becomes available.

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