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$25. The fee must be
paid in cash on arrival at the airport.
Note that several Indonesian consulates give wrong information on
travels and visa requirements for Aceh. There are no special permits
needed for Aceh. It is just the same as any other province of
The passport must be valid for at least 6 months after day of entry.
A return or onward ticket and a minimum of US$ 1.000 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.
Visa on Arrival can be obtained by nationals of the following
Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil,
Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya,
Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Laos, Maldives, Malta, Mexico,
Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Poland,
Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia,
South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland,
Taiwan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United
Visa on Arrival can be obtained upon arrival at certain airports
and seaports; in Sumatra only at the airports of Medan, Pekan
Baru and Padang. The closest seaports are Medan (Belawan), Sibolga,
Padang, in the Riau Islands near Singapore and Dumai.
Visa-free facility is granted to the citizens of countries
whose governments extend visa free facility to Indonesian nationals,
i.e. Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Hongkong Special Administrative
Region, Macau Special Administrative Region, Malaysia, Morocco,
Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Social visit visas, business visas and work permits, are not
covered in this information.
To be on the safe side, always ask an Indonesian Consulate. The
above information is not automatically up-dated.
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.
The Indonesian police force has had a bad reputation, but it is
improving. 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 official cost for this,
but some "cigarette money" is normally given.
There is no other authority you need to report to, according to
civil law. In a few areas the Military demand reports also 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.