Monday . October 14 . 2019
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Indonesia's VOA policy to change, pending approval

Karen Yue, Singapore (2010-02-25)

INDONESIA's Ministry of Culture and Tourism has proposed alternative visa-on-arrival (VOA) procedures, which if approved by immigration officials, would end the furore over the country's entry requirements (TTG Asia, February 19).

On January 26, Indonesia withdrew its US$10 seven-day VOA, leaving only the US$25 30-day VOA.

Director, international promotion I Gde Pitana said the move, meant to simplify the VOA process, had backfired and created problems for the private sector whose clients might need only a few days in Indonesia. “We overlooked that and have to bear part of the blame.”

Pitana has asked the government to scrap the new VOA charges for travel agents, DMCs and corporate clients who have booked trips to Indonesia over the next six months, and to charge a lower fee for travellers visiting “special zones” or  popular short-stay destinations such as Batam, Bintan and East Nusa Tenggara.

Waiving of VOA fees for visitors travelling through Singapore Changi Airport and visas-on-board for Australians and Europeans flying Garuda Indonesia have also been proposed.

“The purpose of travel visas is to enforce security. If Singapore's immigration can do such a good job in screening passengers, we can leave the job to them,” Pitana said.

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