Foreigners who entered Indonesia with visa-free access are now told to apply for a telex visa in order to apply for other stay permits that will allow them to remain in the country, Director General of Immigration Jhoni Ginting said in a circular issued yesterday.
Following the backlash and confusion to the country’s updated immigration policy, which went into effect on July 13, Jhoni laid out additional provisions explaining the steps that can be taken for various permit holders, which effectively confirms that most foreigners should be able to remain in Indonesia as long as they follow the official steps.
The new update includes foreign nationals who entered the country with visa-free access, as well as those whose temporary stay permits (ITAS) and permanent stay permits (ITAP) have expired. According to the circular, foreigners under these categories should apply for a telex visa using Immigration’s online application system.
The term “telex visa” is used to refer to a recommendation letter pre-approved by Indonesia’s Directorate General of Immigration for prospective visa applicants, which must then be delivered to and processed at Indonesian embassies abroad in order to obtain the actual visa.
However, given that these are unprecedented times, foreigners granted the telex visa can simply apply for either ITAS or visitor permits (ITK) and make the necessary payment to Immigration without leaving Indonesia.
You can read the full circular, in Indonesian, here. Coconuts Bali has confirmed the authenticity of this circular with Putu Suhendra, who heads the information department at the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office.
These latest provisions come a little over a week after Immigration announced its new policy, which brought an end to the emergency stay permits that were introduced due to travel restrictions at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
The “new normal” update, announced only a few days before it went into force on July 13, previously stated that foreigners who entered Indonesia under the visa-free facility cannot extend their visas and are therefore instructed to leave the country before Aug. 12. Meanwhile, foreigners holding ITAS and ITAP residing in Indonesia but are ineligible for any further extension, must also leave the country within the 30-day grace period.
The more recently announced provisions, therefore, appear to at least provide an option for foreigners to remain in Indonesia amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those whose visas cannot be extended or have expired.
Editor’s Note: The article has been updated to include confirmation from Putu Suhendra, an official at the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office.