Visa on Arrival, Fiscal Tax

Jan 24th, 2007, in Travel, by

On visas and fiscal tax.

Comments on these two interesting topics are split off from the Dating Indonesian Girls page to prevent it going wildly off-topic.

The nationals of many countries have, since 2004, been required to pay a small fee to obtain a tourist visa to enter Indonesia, called Visa On Arrival.

Meanwhile Indonesian citizens and foreigners employed in Indonesia are required to pay a fee of one million rupiah (about $110) each time they leave the country. The fee, called Fiscal Tax, is meant to be an advance payment on that person’s income tax for the next year. Technically citizens who have paid it can claim it back on their tax return, but this is rarely done as many claim that doing so invites the attention of tax auditors.

________________

February 16th 2007.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla announced that shortly tourist visas will have a duration of four months, in order to attract more foreign tourists. Visitors have complained that 30 days is far too short a time to take in the vast archipelago. antara


159 Comments on “Visa on Arrival, Fiscal Tax”

  1. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Ade Wanto,

    I asking about why we must pay in advance to aplly visa in American Embassy with no guarantee our visa will be given or denied.

    I think you don’t understand the concept of background checking, regardless whether you pass and considered that you have no bad intention to enter US and thus granted visa by the US, they still incur cost to do the background check.

    If you are not willing to pay the fee, then just don’t apply for the visa, nobody is forcing you to apply there anyway.

    I think you should be asking why Indonesians need to apply visas to go overseas (most countries, some do let Indonesians to travel without visas), then you can only blame the Indonesian government who cannot negotiate or sign a bilateral agreement with the other countries to let Indonesians to travel without visas, and why do they fail to do so is another question to ask.

  2. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Hallo Ade

    Do you think that those people working at the embassy for free? They don’t just sit there to process visas. There are other tasks too.

    Andrew, good simple analogy.

  3. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi,

    May I add that the policy for the upfront payment for US visa processing does not only apply in Indonesia alone, you also need to pay upfront if you apply for the US visa from Australia as well (if you don’t hold Australian passport or any other that doesn’t require visa).

    And you still need to go through the interview process and it will take weeks before they grant your visa.

  4. avatar Ade Wanto says:

    Anna Says:

    January 24th, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Dimp

    I think fiscal policy is ridiculous, I don’t even sure or know what the purpose if that policy.
    And, No I don’t think its justified for them to pay Rp 1.000.000, just to go out of the country,
    supposedly is for tax purposes, but I hear from the news they have to pay Rp 1,500.000, it’s went up.

    I thought is POA, which is, they have to go out of the country just for the foreigner to renew their visa.
    I don’t know, this government issues is so screw up, it’s pathetic.
    And most of the official don’t know what they doing, and its getting that way all offer the world.

    We has been arguing about fixcal policy in Indonesia. When I criticized on service fee on US Embassy some says:

    Dimp Says:

    February 1st, 2007 at 7:10 am

    Hi,

    May I add that the policy for the upfront payment for US visa processing does not only apply in Indonesia alone, you also need to pay upfront if you apply for the US visa from Australia as well (if you don’t hold Australian passport or any other that doesn’t require visa).

    And you still need to go through the interview process and it will take weeks before they grant your visa.

    Why don’t leave Indonesia if you want to pay the fiscal?

  5. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Ade Wanto,

    Why don’t leave Indonesia if you don’t want to pay the fiscal?

    Why don’t leave Indonesia if you want to pay the fiscal?

    Which is the question you meant?
    Serious? A little bit naive your rhetorical comment, hm? And with such platitudes you can end every discussion.
    🙂

  6. avatar Dimp says:

    Ade Wanto,

    Why don’t leave Indonesia if you want to pay the fiscal?

    I don’t quite get your question, but I think you are asking me if you don’t want to pay fiscal then don’t leave Indonesia, as I am asking you if you don’t want to pay the fee then don’t apply the US visa.

    I don’t have a problem paying the fiscal of Rp. 1m, but only if it is clear what is the purpose of the fiscal itself, unfortunately there is no real purpose for this, as I have argued before people can still pay less than this much, you pay Rp. 500k if you leave from Batam to Jakarta, but then you still can negotiate to pay less than this. So again the question is for what purpose.

    While the US Embassy applies the fee for processing the visas consistently througout the world, and it is clear what the fee is used for, to check your background.

  7. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Ade you sound pissed off because the Amrik did a background check on you and refused you entry?? Go somewhere else then. Asian countries are cheaper for holiday anyway.

    Look on the positive side. It’s better to have the visa application rejected at home then if you already arrive there, detained by the custom, interogated intimidatingly, AND refused entry on the spot. Can you imagine? The jetlag, the frustration, the money you have spent for the trip preparation? The cancelation fee you have to pay to the hotel? Aaaaahhhhh!!!!! You dont have to be Indo to have this happen to you by the way. Many with free-access passport have been rejected entry. London is famous for rejecting entry to many people. Hey maybe you should try that embassy.

  8. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Ihaknt,

    Go somewhere else then. Asian countries are cheaper for holiday anyway.

    Excluding Japan of course.

    But then to get visa to the country is as hard or even harder than the US visa. Especially if you are a holder of “green with gold Pancasila embosed on the cover” passport. I remembered when I went, there were about 20 of us and when we got there there were a few that ran away, these people are the ones that bring bad names to Indonesians.

    I think I told you before how hard I have to try to get the visa to Argentina, because they have classified our country as “special”.

  9. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Oh well Dimp, I made the right move to change my passport then. It’s been blissful! Not getting interrogated at the customs, walked straight through the customs. Plus I now can live in Europe if I wanted to. The next test would be when I come back home. I normally got stopped and questioned when they saw my ‘green’ passport.

    I actually didn’t know you needed visa for Japan if you hold Indo passport.

  10. avatar Dimp says:

    I actually didnt know you needed visa for Japan if you hold Indo passport.

    Japan is one of the “very hard to get” visa especially if you are holding a “green with gold Pancasila embosed on the cover” passport. I have no issues getting the visa as I already have some other “hard to get” visas on my passport. The funny thing was we went there as a group and one of the “ibu-ibu” was supposed to be accompanied by her friend, as her friend was not granted visa, the “ibu-ibu” still went, should have raised the alarm then. But the tour still let the “ibu-ibu” came with us. We went to Osaka first, then Kyoto, then Tokyo, as soon as we got to Tokyo, the following morning, the “ibu-ibu” was gone, lost without any trace. When questioned, the hotel staffs said that they saw a few other fellows with “sawo matang” skin came and pick her up the night before. The following days some other people start disappearing.

    Damn, I’m so proud of my countrymen. No wonder it has to take the regional manager of Globus to call the Argentinian consular to guarantee that I am indeed going to Argentina for holiday, and not for any other purpose.

  11. avatar PerempuanRantau says:

    Hi Dimp,

    It doesn’t have to be Argentina. When I went to Guatemala in 2001, it was already hard enough to get the visa. Even worse when I arrived at Guatemala City, I was not automatically allowed to enter the city. They questioned me around 30 minutes and once they’ve heard that I came for conference and it held at the five star hotel then they let me go. Funny isn’t it? Going to Egypt for holiday is also the same. Still needs visa and when arrive still have to answer some questions for just because reason!

    Sometimes I think it is part of the risk of being Indonesian. However some efforts from diplomatic corps will be great to make it easier for us to travel. Thus if those money of fiscal tax goes for that, that will be alright but if it only goes for nothing!

  12. avatar Ihaknt says:

    What pissed me off is when I arrived in Sydney, they always stopped me and asked where I had been, and what I was or would be doing in Sydney. Even after they saw my PR visa. Then the next question is: where do you work, what do you do, how long have you been working there. I mean what the F***?! It’s worse if it’s a red eye flight, I felt like punching the dude in the face. Of course after I calmed down I dont blame them for questioning me. There’s just too many dodgy dudes from Indo. I see it like having guests in your house. If you suspect that your guest is a bit dodgy then you cant help but keeping an eye on him/her right? And if the guest is behaving badly then you have every right to kick him/her out…That’s my 2 cents.

  13. avatar Dimp says:

    Hey Ihaknt,

    I think the guy has a crush on you, but he was too shy to tell you the truth, so he just want to spend more time questioning you.

    Hi Perempuan Rantau,

    Although some countries (very small numbers) actually welcomed Indonesian passport, while touring South America, I have to pass through Chile 3 times and we actually don’t need visa to get there. Although they do look confused, I don’t think they have too many Indonesian visitors in that part of the world.

  14. avatar pj_bali says:

    I don’t think that the visa on arrival policy had much to do with the so-called principle of reciprocity. Rather it has to with the following principle.

    1) Find people who are already paying tax
    2) Get them to pay more

    In this case it’s the tourist who has already paid his 22% VAT at the hotel, his 100% surcharge at the golf course and rapidly learning the principle of pajak kulit on anything else he/she cares to spend his money on.

    The tax is not too onerous for the tourist nor is it a cash cow for the government. If one looks at the number of visitors to Indonesia (nearly half from ASEAN so no revenue there) it would only be possible to generate 70 million USD or so from the VOA. It’s probably barely enough to cover the cost of buying all those little kiosks at the ports-of-entry and staffing them.

    My concern with the tax is this: If tourists are spending money on VOA that money is probably coming out of their vacation budget. Which means that the $25 is not going to the local tourist economy – instead it gets funnelled off to Jakarta never to be seen again.

    So in effect it’s the local small business who are affected by the VOA.

    At the time it was introduced I found the tax particularly obnoxious as the local economy in Bali had just been hit by the bombings, tourist numbers were way down – then the government indroduces a tax policy to squeeze a few more pennies out of the local businesses who were struggling to survive and rebuild.

    Hope the elites in Jakarta are happy.

  15. avatar Dimp says:

    At the time it was introduced I found the tax particularly obnoxious as the local economy in Bali had just been hit by the bombings, tourist numbers were way down – then the government indroduces a tax policy to squeeze a few more pennies out of the local businesses who were struggling to survive and rebuild.

    What the government should have done is, instead of charging people USD25 to stay in Indonesia, they should have paid the tourists USD25 in exchange for them to stay longer in Indonesia.

  16. avatar Bong says:

    Hi,

    Just want to ask, if your’e a Singaporean or Sgpr PR and working here, do you need to pay fiscal everytime you go back to Singapore as your home.

    Thanks.

  17. avatar Jane says:

    Can anyone tell me what currencies are accepted for payment of the US$25 visa on arrival? I will be coming into Denpasar, Bali from Australia.

  18. avatar pj_bali says:

    Jane

    I’m sure you can use aussie dollars, usd, euros,british pounds, or pretty much any major currency. You may have trouble with zimbabwe dollars, bangladeshi taka or burmese kyat (just leave it at home lah). When you buy the visa they will compute the exchange rate for you.

    enjoy your trip

  19. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Bong, the answer is NO. Indo gov just charges their own citizen.

  20. avatar Bong says:

    Ihaknt,

    Thanks for your reply. Appreciate if you can tell me where can I find this policy stating this clause or do you already know somebody (Singaporean/PR) that exit Batam for Singapore without Fiscal.

    Thanks again.

    Rgds.

  21. avatar Aluang anak Bayang says:

    Jane, the currency rate is predetermined on arrival at the payment kiosk. I would advise you to have the $25 in USD before you fly in. If I am not mistaken, the predetermined rate is AUD40. Save you a bit.

    Ihaknt, I thought there is departure tax if you are travelling internationally, and fiscal applies to every passengers. I am pretty sure, but then I could be wrong.

  22. avatar Odinius says:

    I believe it’s $10 US for a 7 day visa and $25 for 30 days.

    Anyone know when it will be extended to up to 120 days?

  23. avatar Dimp says:

    Ihaknt, I thought there is departure tax if you are travelling internationally, and fiscal applies to every passengers. I am pretty sure, but then I could be wrong.

    Departure tax of Rp.100,000.00 is payable for every passenger at the check in counter. Fiscal policy of Rp.1,000,000.00 (Rp. 500,000.00 if you travel by sea from Batam to Singapore) is only applicable to Indonesian citizens residing in Indonesia only, if you are a citizen residing abroad then you are entitled to 4 fiscal-free trips. Also if you hold a non Java ID (eg. Sumatra, Kalimantan etc), and travel to Singapore via Batam then you are not affected by this fiscal policy as well.

  24. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Dimp is departure tax the same as airport tax? If yes, then, it’s pretty standard process as you pay for airport tax wherever you are going, sometimes it’s included on ticket prices.

  25. avatar Dimp says:

    Yup, departure tax is the same, most airlines now collect on behalf of the government, then submit the payment to the government. I still remember when we have to pay directly at the Sydney Airport for the departure tax, I think it was around $20 back then, not the $200 that we pay on top of the ticket price now.

  26. avatar Jowo says:

    Hey Guys

    Is anyone know, how many time you renew your working visas, and can be able to convert to be indo citizen?

  27. avatar Farhan Khan says:

    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    I would like to bring to your kind attention the problems me and my poor wife facing dealing with my visa to Indonesia.

    I got married to Indonesian lady almost a year ago and step by step after learning the tough visa policies we are dishartened and disappointed .

    Indonesian Law only allow a temperorary stay of 6 months (SOSBUD VISA) for foreign husbands and for that visa costing officially almost 200,000 (unofficially almost 700,000 a month including bribes to immigration officials) It takes almost one week with continuous running between different immigration offices.

    Indonesian government have to realize and consider hwo much difficulty every Indonesian family who have a foreign husband have to face nostly if they are working . they cannot leave their work and run for almsot 12 – 12 days from one immigration office to other for extension of their hsuband visas for continuous 6 months.

    I will appreciate if Indonesian government can reconsider their visa policy for foreign husbands and provide a visa facility with multiple entry facility for atleast one year (complete one year) which can be extended to atleast one more year.

    If some one has some suggestion for me and some solution for my problem please dont hesitate to email on farhaaan_khaaan@yahoo.com

  28. avatar belen says:

    I have a question so im from chile I have chilean passport, Im resident of united states and I will like to stay in despansar, bali for 5 months what do I have to do for visa? do I have to apply for a special visa?

  29. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    From Indonesia Matters ‘Visa on Arrival’

    February 16th 2007.
    Vice President Jusuf Kalla announced that shortly tourist visas will have a duration of four months, in order to attract more foreign tourists. Visitors have complained that 30 days is far too short a time to take in the vast archipelago.

    We are almost 9 months later. Does anyone have an idea when this new rule will be applied? Or did it die a slow death like the infamous RUU APP?

  30. avatar Mark says:

    I have a question, I’m working in batam. everytime I go to singapore i need to pay fiscal tax for 500.000. is this really necessary? I usually go out 2 times a week so sad! 🙁

Comment on “Visa on Arrival, Fiscal Tax”.

RSS
RSS feed
Email

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-18
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact