Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. I Gede, has virtually confirmed that the current 60 day visa-free facility (BVKS) will soon be shortened to 30 days.
An independent team composed of representatives from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Department of Justice have already submitted their recommendations on implementation to President Megawati Soekarnoputri, including their proposed changes to the existing policy.
Currently, citizens of 48 countries holding valid passports are given a "visa-free" permit to stay for 60 days upon arrival at any Indonesian gateway. It is expected that the new policy will preserve a visa-free facility for most, if not all, these countries, but shorten the validity period to only 30 days.
The move is reportedly being introduced to stop widespread abuse of the visa facility by foreigners working illegally and involved in other illicit activities during their stay in Indonesia. The majority of Indonesia's tourists stay for only 10 days meaning the majority of foreign visitors will be unaffected by any change.
While the implementation date and details of the new policy have not yet been announced, it is expected that visitors wishing to stay more than 30 days will either have to arrange their visa before arrival in Indonesia or be required to apply to a local immigration office after landing in the country.
A Collective Sigh of Relief
Many members of Indonesia's tourism community are relieved at the proposed changes, much less drastic than original proposals to completely eliminate the visa-on-arrival facility and impose a visa fee during the passenger arrival process.
Stay linked to balidiscovery.com as we continue to monitor this story and we'll announce implementation dates and procedural changes as soon as they are officially available.
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