When I originally planned my Indonesia it became apparent that it would be impossible to explore the entire country in the 28 days allowed by the visa on arrival. After carefully laying out an agenda – it looked like we would need a a minimum five extra days – which meant I would need to apply for a visa extension.
Then, thanks to my epic worst day of travel, I arrived in Indonesia a day later than I anticipated. Then, thanks to ticket prices, I actually flew out to Australia a day earlier than expected. Then I found out that the visa on arrival is actually 30 days – not 28. All of this added up to the fact that instead of three days, I was only overstaying my visa by ONE day.
ONE measly day. Getting a visa extension for one day seemed like a huge pain.
Getting a visa extension is pretty much as complicated as getting a visa to countries that don’t allow visa on arrival. The first Indonesia visa is easy – simply arrive, pay your $40 and get your thirty day visa. If you want more time - you are out of luck. All they will give you on arrival is 30 days.
To extend the visa, you must visit the immigration office a week before your visa expires. For a fee of $25, plus a processing charge of $20 they will accept your application. If approved (which most people are) you must return to the immigration office two days later to sign your paperwork. Then two days later you can pick up your visa.
Of course they are closed on weekends and holidays.
At first, our plan was to extend our visas. After all, one day was one day and we didn’t want to take any chances. So, when we arrived in Bali, we headed to the immigration office..which had moved. After a wild goose chase, we finally hunted it down to the building near the airport. It was closed.
We had spent an hour searching for the building and missed out on some much needed beach time. The last thing we wanted was to come back the next day.
After some internet research, we decided to take our chances with overstaying our visa. According to our reading, the fee for overstaying the visa was $20 a day. We couldn’t find any information on when or where you paid this fee – all we knew was that it was much less time consuming and cheaper to take slap on the wrist and hope for the best.
Marten choose to extend his visa – and every two days we watched him make the long hike to the immigration office to wait in lines and stand around for hours getting everything processed.
If you do choose to extend your visa here is what you will need:
- A copy of your passport
- A passport photo
- A copy of your original visa
- A ticket out of the country
- Your passport
As D- day (departure day) approached, I got nervous. What if they detained me and I missed my flight? What if they tried to make me pay a huge fee? What if they actually threw me in jail. I’ve seen locked up abroad (yes, I use that show to judge most of my life choices.)
We decided to head to the airport early so we could try and resolve the issue prior to our flight.
Of course, you can’t check in more than two hours before your flight and I couldn’t find anyone to talk to about my problem. I couldn’t even get to immigration without a ticket. Eventually someone from the airline listened to my explination and then took my passport to a back room. After a long while, they returned an informed me that I was correct – I had no visa to Australia.
I had already purchased my Australian visa so I knew that wasn’t an issue, and clearly they didn’t understand my issue. I had no choice but to just wait until it was time to check into my flight.
I got my ticket and headed to departures. After paying the departure tax I was sent to immigration where I presented my ticket and passport.
Then I waited.
He carefully surveyed my passport and finally said “You’ve overstayed your visa.”
Of course I had to feign shock. A really small amount of shock. But still, for appearances.
“What? No….Okay – how much do I owe”
He motioned me closer and then held up a note that said $20.
I had two tens in my hand which I quickly slid to him.