Update on Indonesian Visas in the Time of COVID-19

Fahrul S. YusufPartner, SSEK Legal Consultants

By Stephen Igor Warokka and Manika Jashan Sadarangani

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) officially announced that COVID-19 had become a global pandemic. Following this announcement, as with many other countries, Indonesia enacted regulations to govern the traffic of individuals entering and leaving the country. These regulations specifically mandate limitations and exceptions for the granting of Entry Permits and Re-entry Permits for foreign nationals wanting to visit or return to Indonesia and Emergency Stay Permits (Izin Tinggal Dalam Keadaan Terpaksa) for all foreign nationals currently in Indonesia. 

Please visit the website of the Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration, imigrasi.go.id, or its official Instagram account, @ditjen_imigrasi, to access the abovementioned regulations and other relevant information, as well as the Indonesian Director General of Immigration circular letter and the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ announcement regarding this matter, all of which need to be read collectively to determine the required steps in terms of visas during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entry Permits and Re-entry Permits

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Indonesia has temporarily suspended all foreign visitors from entering or transiting in Indonesia. This suspension, however, does not apply to anyone holding a Limited Stay Permit (Izin Tinggal Terbatas or “ITAS”); Permanent Stay Permit (Izin Tinggal Tetap or “ITAP”); Diplomatic or Service Visa; or a Diplomatic Stay Permit or Service Stay Permit. Also exempted from the suspension are medical, food and humanitarian aid support workers; crew members for means of transport; and foreign nationals entering Indonesia to work on national strategic projects, e.g. infrastructure or construction.

Note that these exceptions only apply to foreign nationals if they are travelling from a country that has not been affected by COVID-19 or have not travelled to or transited in a country affected by COVID-19 within the last 14 days; and after satisfying the other requirements provided under Indonesian Minister of Law and Human Rights (“MOLHR”) Regulation Number 11 of 2020 on the Temporary Prohibition of Foreigners Entering Indonesia (“MOLHR Reg No. 11/2020”).

Emergency Stay Permits

As stipulated in Articles 4 and 5 of MOLHR Reg No. 11/2020, an Emergency Stay Permit is automatically applicable to any foreign national whose stay permit (any stay permit) has completely expired and can no longer be extended, without having to submit an application to the immigration office. This overstay will not be subject to a fine and will be completely free of charge.

Director General of Immigration Circular Letter No. IMI-GR.01.01-2114 Year 2020 provides that Emergency Stay Permits are applied differently for foreign nationals who arrived in Indonesia before and after 5 February 2020. However, in practice, Emergency Stay Permits have been leniently provided to every foreign national in Indonesia whose permit can no longer be extended, even if they arrived before 5 February 2020.

There may be additional requirements to obtain new visas/visa extensions in practice.

Please note that Article 6 of MOLHR Reg. No 11/2020 stipulates that the minister may issue other policies related to immigration facilities for foreign nationals as long as such policies provide general benefits. We have received further information from the Director General of Immigration that another Circular Letter will be issued regarding MOLHR Reg No. 11/2020.

These exceptions and visa requirements are subject to future changes based on the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance on the material contained herein is at the user’s own risk. You should contact a lawyer in your jurisdiction if you require legal advice. All SSEK publications are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of SSEK.