Amid a rise in cases involving Russians and Ukrainians overstaying their visas or working illegally on the Island of Gods, Bali Governor Wayan Koster is appealing to the central government for the visa on arrival (VOA) privilege to be stripped from the citizens of the two nations.
Speaking to reporters in Denpasar yesterday, Koster said that Russians and Ukrainians have picked Bali as a safe haven from the escalating conflict back home.
“[They] don’t feel comfortable in their countries. Many of them come to Bali not for leisure, but to find comfort, including for work,” he said.
Koster said that he has been in touch with both the Ministry of Law and Human Rights and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over his proposal to remove both Russians and Ukrainians from the 86 nationalities eligible for the VOA.
He added that based on reports that he received, Russians and Ukrainians make up the highest number of violations – including visa issues and traffic offenses – among foreigners in the country.
Separately, the chairman of the Badung chapter of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRI), I Gusti Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya, said that many Russian communities in Bali need to be monitored.
Several Russians have been deported in the past few weeks, including a man who worked as a photographer despite holding an investor visa, and two people for giving motorbike lessons. One Ukrainian has also been deported for falsifying documents in order to obtain an Indonesian national identity card (KTP), which he reportedly bought for IDR31 million (US$2,017). He claimed that he wanted to stay in Indonesia in order to avoid war in his country.