Visa Requirements / Customs etc / Police / Office hours
The following information is only for your orientation. Check with the nearest Indonesian consulate as rules can change. A visa is required for most nationals to entry Indonesia. Either apply for a Tourist Visa for 60 days at the Indonesian embassy in your country or get one on the border (Visa on Arrival) for 30 days. The cost of the 30-day (only) tourist visa is US$25. The fee must be paid in cash on arrival at the airport.
Visitor from the following countries do not have to apply for a visa to enter Indonesia for a maximum of 30 days. The countries are :
1. Brunei Darussalam
3. Hong Kong Special Administration Region
4. Macao Special Administration Region
- Passport have to valid for at least 6 months from the planned entrance
- One photo
- Return ticket
65 nationalities eligible for visa on arrival are as follows :
9. Czech Republic
40. New Zealand
50. Saudi Arabia
51. Slovak Republic
54. South Africa
55. South Korea
59. Taiwan PRC
60. Timor Leste
63. Uni Arab Emirates
64. United Kingdom (British)
65. United States of America
Also beware that several Indonesian consulates give wrong information on travels and visa requirements for Aceh. There are no special permits needed for Aceh. It is just the same as any other province of Indonesia.
The passport must be valid for at least 6 months after day of entry. A return or onward ticket and a minimum of US$1000 or a valid credit card is obligatory, but seldom checked. The decision to grant permission to enter Indonesian territory is at the discretion of the immigration officers at the port of entry. Day of entry is day number one. Short overstays are fined with US$ 20 per day. Bring a letter from a hospital or the police if you overstay because of sickness or other reasons beyond your control.
Photocopies of your passport are always useful in remote areas. Never hand over your passport to anyone except an appropriate immigration official or a policeman who can prove his own identity and has a probable explanation. Just show a copy in other cases. Hotels sometimes ask for the passport for their reporting. It is normally safe, but a mistake can always happen.
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Customs allow 2 liter of alcoholic drinks and 200 cigarettes.
Airport tax: International is app. Rp. 100.000. For domestic flights it is Rp. 25.000, but variations occur.
From the point of view of a foreigner, the police can be of big help. In Northern Sumatra they are very concerned about tourists and their safety and seldom want to bother them. There are however things to be taken seriously, such as drugs. Drugs are forbidden. Indonesia has a death sentence for major drug crimes.
When checking in at a hotel or losmen, you have to fill in a form. The owner of the accommodation has to report all foreigners to the local police. This is a part of the bureaucracy, but also useful if a foreigner goes missing. If you stay in a private home, your host is obliged to report this to the nearest police station within 24 hours. You don't have to report in person. Many Indonesians don't know about the law, so please inform them. They can otherwise get a lot of troubles on your behalf.
There is no other authority you need to report to, according to civil law. In a few areas the Military demand reports also, for example in Pulau Banyak. Bring an extra photo copy of your passport. In most villages, if you stay in a private home, it is considered a necessary politeness to report to the local village head, which is done in person. Traditional law is just as important as civil law in Indonesia. This reporting is also of good use as you will much faster be accepted and assimilated into the local community.
Always report theft or fraud to the nearest police station! There are sometimes stories amongst travelers about organized fraud in certain areas, but very seldom reported to the police. By reporting, you will help other travelers and tourists and fewer myths will occur. If you get bad treatment from a policeman, report this to a higher level and/or to the tourism office, preferably in writing.
Government offices are normally open between Monday and Friday: Mon-Thu. 07.30-14.30, Fri. 12.00. Best time to visit an office is between 08.00 and 11.00. If you dress up a bit, you get better service. Shopping centers are normally open between 10.00 and 21.00. Normal shops are open from 08.00 or 09.00 until 20.00 or 21.00. Street vendors can be found at any time.