If you’re travelling to Indonesia on a non-ASEAN passport, like many Singapore Permanent Residents and Long Term Pass Holders escaping the Lion City for Bali trips lately, one snag remains the requirement to obtain a Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) when you land at the airport, costing IDR 500,000 (~S$45).
While this requirement doesn’t apply to Singapore citizens, who have enjoyed visa-free entry once again since April 2022, it does impact many of our readers who don’t have the luxury of a red passport (or ASEAN passport) to fall back on when heading to Indonesia.
In this case you previously had to queue separately and pay to obtain a VoA in your passport on arrival at the airport, before proceeding to the immigration counter itself, by which time Singapore citizens and ASEAN nationals deplaning your flight have probably formed a significant queue ahead of you!
As we reported in November last year, this could be avoided when flying into Bali or Jakarta by obtaining an e-VoA in advance, if you held one of 26 nationalities, and the good news is this option has now been expanded to practically all visa-eligible nationalities and all international entry points across the country, including ferry terminals.
Singapore citizens may also opt for a VoA when travelling on longer trips to Indonesia, since its 30-day entry approval can be extended to 60 days, which is not possible when entering visa-free.
87 nationalities are now eligible for e-VoA
When the e-VoA was first launched, only nationals of 26 countries were eligible to use the option.
The e-VoA has now been expanded and nationals of all 87 visa-eligible countries can now apply for one online before their trip, and skip the VoA queue on arrival.
The full list of 87 e-VoA-eligible nationalities is provided below (click to expand).
As you can see, this option now benefits many Singapore residents who travel regularly to Indonesia (Bali in particular), including Australian, British, Dutch, French and US citizens.
Many of these nationals did not need a VoA to enter Indonesia before the pandemic, including Australian, British and Dutch citizens, but this concession has unfortunately not yet returned, like it has for ASEAN nationals.Fun fact: In 2019, only around 20% of travellers on Singapore – Bali flights were Singapore passport holders.
Entry points expanded
When this new e-VoA was launched, is was only applicable to those arriving by air on international flights into Bali Denpasar Ngurah Rai Airport, or Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport.
This list has now been significantly expanded to practically all international airports and seaports, including ferry terminals in Batam and Bintan, and other airports with direct flights from Singapore like Lombok, Surabaya and Medan.
Immigration officers at all these ports can now verify your e-VoA in their computer system.
You can check the latest full list of eligible entry airports and seaports here.
How it works
In order to apply for your e-VoA, you’ll need to register an account, and receive a verification email.
Each traveller must hold a separate e-VoA, including infants and children (even if they are included on their parent’s passports).
You can apply for your e-VoA by clicking “Apply” and then proceeding to supply the following documents and information:
- The full photo page of your passport, with at least six months validity from the date of your arrival to Indonesia
- A passport-size photograph
- Your email address
- Visa type and arrival information
- Accommodation details in Indonesia
- A valid Mastercard, Visa card, or JCB credit card for payment (does not have to be in your name, but must have a “3D Secure System”)
After completing the payment step, your e-VoA will be available in your account.
Despite its electronic nature, your e-VoA should be kept as a soft copy on your computer or smartphone, or as a printed hard copy, in case the immigration system at your arrival port suffers any failure on the day of your arrival.
Do note that once your e-VoA is processed, none of the information can be changed.
The information on your e-VoA must be exactly the same as the information on your passport, otherwise it may be deemed invalid, in which case entry may be refused and there will be no refund.
Issuance of an e-VoA does not guarantee entry to Indonesia. The final decision of entry still lies with the Immigration Officer on duty at the time of arrival processing.
Whichever port you are entering Indonesia though, the manual counter option on arrival remains – e-VoA is entirely optional.
For full details , see the FAQ for e-VoA application.
The e-VoA fee is IDR 500,000 (~S$44), the same as it is for in-person VoA applications at the airport on arrival.
However, do note that a small credit / debit card payment processing fee applies for the e-VoA, so the total price you will actually pay is IDR 519,500 (~S$46).
That makes it slightly more expensive than paying with cash on arrival (about S$1.70 more).
We think that avoiding the extra step to join the VoA queue at the airport on arrival is worth the additional S$1.70 cost.
Payment online can be made by Mastercard, Visa or JCB card (the cardholder does not have to be the VoA applicant).
The e-VoA is valid for entry into Indonesia during a period of 90 days, starting from and inclusive of the date you apply.
It’s therefore important not to apply too early prior to your trip.
This then allows you to make a single entry into Indonesia via an eligible entry point, for a stay of up to 30 days, provided you arrive within that 90-day window.
For example, if you apply for your e-VoA on 27th February 2023:
- You must enter Indonesia between 27th February 2023 and 27th May 2023 (i.e. within the 90-day window).
- On entry, your stay is then limited to 30 further days (e.g. entry on 27th May 2023, stay until 25th June 2023 is permitted).
You can extend your stay by a further 30 days if you wish, just like the regular VoA system, by making an application to an immigration office once you are in the country. The cost is IDR 500,000.
You must extend your visa within the initial 30 days, to avoid an overstay fine.
The purpose of your stay must be one of the following:
- Government Visit
- Business Meeting
- Goods Purchasing
- Transit (after clearing immigration)
If you hold a VoA-required nationality and are transiting between flights in Indonesia without clearing immigration, a VoA is not required.
Generally speaking, this will require you to be travelling on a single ticket, with any luggage checked through to your final destination, and all boarding passes issued at your origin airport.
Singaporeans and other ASEAN nationals don’t need a VoA
Since early April 2022, those holding one of nine ASEAN passports, including Singaporeans, no longer need a Visa on Arrival (VoA) to visit Indonesia, meaning a nice cash saving compared to the country’s original reopening process, where a VoA was a requirement.
Here are the approved ASEAN visa-free nationalities, for those arriving in Indonesia as tourists.
Just to reiterate, this e-VoA process does not apply to travellers entering Indonesia with one of these passports.
Visa-free ASEAN tourist arrivals are limited to a 30 day stay in Indonesia, which cannot be extended (you’ll have to leave the country and re-enter again to get a ‘fresh’ 30 days stay allowance).
The alternative to this is to obtain and pay for a VoA (or e-VoA) and extend it by a further 30 days once in Indonesia.
As for all visitors (ASEAN or non-ASEAN), your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you arrive, to be eligible for entry to Indonesia.
Current requirements when flying to Indonesia
Back in May 2022, Indonesia scrapped pre-departure COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated visitors, having also removed on-arrival testing the month before.
However, unlike most countries in the region, you must still be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to visit Indonesia quarantine-free, which means you must still have:
- a COVID-19 vaccination certificate (physical or digital) showing that you were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before departure.
The certificate must be issued in both English and the local language of the country where you were vaccinated, if different.
The vaccination requirement does not apply to passengers younger than 18 years, who are able to follow the entry requirements of their accompanying parents, guardians or travel companions.
Those aged 18 or over who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons are allowed to travel test-free and quarantine-free to Indonesia, but they must carry a supporting doctor’s certificate from the country of departure.
If you are arriving by air at Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya or Medan, you should also complete the e-customs declaration before departure and obtain a QR code to show on arrival. Note that this system is not currently used when arriving in Batam or Bintan by ferry, where an old-fashioned paper declaration is still the norm.
Indonesia trips like long weekends in Bali or Bintan are now easier for many Singapore residents who don’t hold an ASEAN passport, but are on the list of 87 nationalities now eligible for an e-VoA, including Australian, British, Dutch, French and US citizens.
This service allows you to obtain your VoA in advance and head straight to the immigration queue on arrival at practically all entry points, without the need to make a separate trip to the VoA desk to process the visa and make payment.
On busier days this could significantly speed up the arrival process, allowing you to get on with your trip much sooner.