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Extending Visa
by: Emma Kwee

If your stay in Indonesia exceeds 1 month, you'll probably be here on a sosial/budaya (social/cultural) visa, arranged in your home country. This type of visa needs you to find a sponsor (e.g. someone who guarantees your legal presence) in Indonesia . Sponsors are not that hard to find, if you are here for business purposes usually the company you are affiliated with will take care of your visa and also the extending of your visa during you stay. Same goes for people who wish to study here, the institution will probably arrange and sort out all the required paperwork prior to your arrival.

For individual travelers, life is not that easy. Your visa is valid for 6 months, but unfortunately needs extending at the immigration head office every month. This is a very time consuming and aggravating chore, so prepare to be a regular guest at the scruffy head office at Jalan Suci on a monthly basis.

The amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out and copies of that and stamps and autographs required is mind numbing, and as waiting continues frustration is taken to new levels. There are some tips however that can reduce the agony, and will enable you to somewhat smoothen the process of extending your visa.

Normal procedure is: On your visa the validity date is stated. Go to the immigration office no later than 5 days before that date, because the process of extending will not be fixed in a single visit. Once you get there, buy the required forms at the counter right to the entrance (Rp.10,000). Now here's a trick. Instead of having to buy and fill out these forms every month again, buy all the forms required during your stay at once. If your stay is the full maximum of 6 months, that means you need 4 or 5 stacks of paper.

Take this paper trail to your sponsor and fill them out all at once. Although there are some differences in forms, the majority of them is similar, and yes indeed, a waste of time and trees. Make sure you get them all signed and get the same amount of copies of the sponsor's KTP (identity certificate). This way, you don't need to go back and forth to your sponsor for autographs and copies, because you got a pre-filled stock that will suffice for all the other times you need to extend your visa.

Another document you need to copy is your passport and the pages with your visa. Next thing, go to the immigration office again and hand them over at the counter on the second floor. They will make you wait and wait and wait, and then copy a few more things down at the copy shop, and finally will require you to pay the monthly fee of Rp.200,000 and then will ask you to come back next week, when it's done.

The third time you extend your visa requires you to head of to the law office at Jalan Jakarta to get a stamp, but other than that procedures are similar. So, prepare yourself to be at the immigration office at least twice a month, endure the waiting game and smile. No really, smile. Because even though corruption is abolished in the immigration office, it still pays of to be on friendly terms with the employees. Try to build a relationship with them, because they are the key to the amount of time you'll be spending at their office. Once they recognize you, they will help you out and the process will go a lot smoother. So for one, don't ever be the impatient, demanding, superior foreigner who wants things arranged for him or her on the spot, or you'll be sitting there until your part of the outdated furniture.

Kantor Immigrasi Bandung
Jalan Suci/Surapati No.82

Law office:
Departemen hukum dan hak asasi manusia
Jalan Jakarta No.27

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Address : Bandung Immigration Office,
Jalan Surapati No. 82, Cibeunying Kaler, Kdy. Bandung

About The Author

Emma Kwee

Emma is a Dutch born and bred Indonesia lover who after years of traveling stranded and lost her heart to the same country her father was born in.

Emma writes for Streetdirectory Indonesia. Robert J Steiner manages Streetdirectory.co.id & FlowerAdvisor.co.id, well known for for online Flowers & Gifts in Indonesia.

She is currently living the good life in Bandung, writing for streetdirectory.com while sipping fresh coconut juice under a palmtree, she's planning on staying put for a while.

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