When we decided that we would spend a total of two months in Indonesia, we knew we’d have to get our Indonesian visas extended past the free 30 day visa you get on arrival.
But, when we started looking into the process, we read some real horror stories… Which quickly made us look to see whether we could get any super cheap flights in and out of Indonesia so that we could just avoid the whole visa extension drama altogether….
Needless to say we did not find any super cheap flights. At least none on par with the visa fees.
In the end we decided that this was all part of the full-time travel process. We were just going to have to bite the bullet and extend our Indonesian visas before our 30 days were up!
Most people head to Bali and do their Indonesian visa extension there. This is what most of the information I was able to find online was based on. For us, however, it made more sense to head to Lombok before Bali and so we ended up extending our Indonesian Visa on Arrival in Mataram, Lombok instead.
Now, granted, I’ve never extended my visa in Bali and so I can’t compare. But from what I’ve read and heard from other travellers who did their extensions in Bali, Lombok is definitely the place to go!
We found the whole process pretty quick and easy! Certainly in comparison to what we were expecting, anyway.
I will go ahead and say that it seems like the rules and process for extending your Indonesian visa changes quite a bit…
As a result, it’s hard to really know what to expect, or to find any clear and detailed information online. The official Indonesian embassy website actually doesn’t seem to have any information at all about the extension process itself… At least, not that I could find.
Either way, below I’m outlining all the details on how we went about our Indonesian visa extension in Lombok. Hopefully this will help you if you too decide that Indonesia is worth an extended visit! (Spoiler alert: I definitely think it is!)
PS – This post may contain affiliate links: That means that if you purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Of course, I only recommend products/services that I have used and believe are great! Please read my disclosure for more info.
Important Things To Know About Extending Your Indonesian Visa
On arrival in Indonesia, you MUST pay for a VOA (Visa On Arrival).
I really can’t stress this enough!
Whatever you do, DO NOT get the free visa for 30 days as you CANNOT extend it.
You must opt to pay for a VOA in order to have the ability to extend for a further 30 days.
You can pay for the VOA at the airport either in US dollars or Indonesian Rupiah. However, the visa extension can be paid for only in Indonesian Rupiah. Both times it is cash payment only.
The VOA and the visa extension cost IDR 500,000 / US$37 each. This price is current as of 3rd May 2019 (it was ever so slightly cheaper before that).
At the time we came to Indonesia and extended our Indonesian VOA (October 2019), the Indonesian Rupiah price was better value for money based on the exchange rate, but it’s worth checking what works better for you.
Getting Your VOA At The Airport
As long as you have a passport from the countries included in the visit visa on arrival agreement, you can opt for the paid 30 day Visa On Arrival.
Again, this is important. The paid visa is a choice. But it’s a choice you have to make if you plan on extending your Indonesian visa beyond 30 days.
We arrived in Jakarta, but presumably the below process is very similar no matter what airport you arrive into.
Keep your eyes peeled for the “Visa On Arrival Payment Counter”.
At Jakarta Airport, this was before the regular immigration control. Just ask a member of staff if you’re not sure, and someone will soon point you in the right direction.
First, you’ll pay your US$37 / IDR500,000 at the payment counter.
You’ll then move on to the visa counter in order to get the visa sticker put into your passport.
The immigration officers we dealt with were friendly and helpful, answering questions without issue.
While we weren’t asked for proof of onward travel, it might be a good idea to have this ready just in case. You’re going to need this for your Indonesian visa extension once you get to Lombok anyway.
Make sure you check the details of the sticker and stamp before moving on! Once you’re happy with the details, you can proceed to the (shorter!) VOA immigration queue (in Jakarta this was the very right cubicle – don’t stand in the regular line!) and voila! Welcome to Indonesia! 😁
When To Extend Your Indonesian Visa
You can extend your Indonesian visa 1-2 weeks before the initial VOA expires.
The immigration officers at Jakarta airport actually told us it was only possible to do this 1 week before, but we did our Indonesian visa extension in Lombok bang on the 2 week mark without any issues.
Make sure you start the process before the expiration of your paid visa, as you will not be able to extend it once it expires.
Plus, if you overstay your visa, you’ll be charged some pretty hefty fines for every day you overstay.
Even worse, you might face never being allowed back into Indonesia again 😳(Trust me, we met a couple who this happened to! Not cool!)
You won’t be able to start the process more than 14 days prior to the VOA expiry date either though, so make sure you count the days properly to avoid wasting time.
How To Prepare For Your Indonesian Visa Extension
These are all the things you’ll need in order to extend your visa;
- Your passport (must be valid for at least 6 months with some empty pages)
- A copy of the photo page of your passport
- A copy of the VOA sticker in your passport
- A copy of your onward travel flight ticket
- IDR 500,000 cash
Note: I’d suggest coming prepared with each of these items but if you’re stuck, you can print and photocopy at the immigration office too. However, they’ll charge IDR 500 per photocopy and IDR 5000 per printed page so you’re likely to find it cheaper elsewhere.
You’ll also need to dress appropriately in order to be allowed into the immigration office;
- Long pants/dress/skirt (knees covered)
- T-shirt or shirt (shoulders covered)
- Closed shoes
Also – bring a black pen!
For your visa extension application, you MUST use black pen ONLY and write in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for the application to be approved.
Where To Extend Your Indonesian Visa
The immigration office where you can go for your Indonesian visa extension in Lombok is located in Mataram.
Mataram is not a very exciting city so I wouldn’t recommend staying here any longer than you need to.
We ended up spending 2 nights in Mataram. One after our first visit to the immigration office, and one the night before we could pick our passports up again. However, arguably you could get away with not spending a single night in Mataram. We just found it a bit more convenient to be within walking distance of the immigration office for when we needed to go there.
The immigration office (Kantor Imigrasi) in Mataram, Lombok is on Jalan Udayana.
It is a white and blue building, not far from the huge yellow/gold mosque. Trust me, you can’t miss the mosque! If you pass the mosque on your left, the immigration office is on your right up the road just a little bit further.
On arrival you’ll pass a security office, where the security guard will hand you a red lanyard which you’ll need to wear for the duration of your visit. If you’re not dressed appropriately (i.e. shorts/tank top/flip flops) you won’t get a lanyard and so you won’t get in to the immigration office.
Opening hours are Monday – Thursday 8am – 4pm and Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm. The office closes for a lunch break from 12 noon – 1pm every day (until 1.30pm on Fridays).
Indonesian Visa Extension Process In Lombok
Once you’re past security, head into the main building and go up the stairs on your right to the second floor.
If it’s busy, you may need to get a number but we didn’t experience this on either of our two visits. Simply go up to the counter and tell the officer that you’re looking to extend your visa.
The immigration officer will double check that you have all the necessary details (see above) and that you’re within the agreed timeframe for the visa extension. Once they’re happy that all is in order, they’ll give you a red manilla folder and the visa extension forms to fill in.
There is a table with black pens at the back of the room with sample forms filled in to help you in the process.
It is pretty straight forward though, as all questions and instructions are both in Indonesian and in English. If you’re not sure about anything, leave it blank and ask the immigration officer when you go back to hand everything in. In our experience, they were more than happy to help.
Remember to fill in the form in black ball point pen only, and in all capitals!
Once you’ve filled in the required details, go back to the counter and hand your application in to the immigration officer. They will check through everything and have you sign your name in a log book.
Note: You will be handing in your passport, which the immigration office will keep until you collect it a few days later.
You’ll be asked to take a seat and will then be called a little while later to get your photo taken.
This officer may ask you a couple of questions such as whether you’ve been to Indonesia before and how long you intend to stay.
Once your photo’s been taken, you’ll also provide an electronic signature before being given a invoice. This will have a stamp on it with the date and time that you can come back to the immigration office to collect your passport with your Indonesia visa extension. In our experience, this was 3 days later.
Once you’ve got your invoice, you can head downstairs to the “post office” to pay for the visa extension.
The post office is within the same complex as the immigration office, just to your right as you’re heading back out. It’s a bit hard to see if you’re not looking for it. Just make sure you don’t exit back out of the complex before you pay!
You’ll pay your IDR 500,000 in cash, and get a receipt stapled to your invoice.
Note: Payment for your Indonesian visa extension in Lombok is only possible until 3pm! There is a full system closure between 3pm – 4.15pm meaning they cannot process any further payments during this time. So, if you miss this time slot, you’re going to have to come back the next day to pay.
Picking Up Your Indonesian Visa Extension In Lombok
Usually, your passport with your Indonesian visa extension will be available for collection 3 days after you hand in your application.
We put in our Indonesian visa extension application in Lombok on a Thursday afternoon and were able to come back between 8am-11am the following Tuesday to pick up our passports.
Remember to bring your invoice and receipt, as these will be taken from you in exchange for your passport.
Once again you’ll be heading back up to the second floor.
Go up to the counter and hand in your receipt. You’ll be asked to take a seat for a while and then called up to a separate counter to collect your passport. Similarly to when you handed in your application, you’ll be asked to sign a log book to indicate that you’ve collected your passport.
And, that’s it! As simple as that!
You’re now in possession of a wonderful additional 30 days visa to fully enjoy your time in Indonesia! Enjoy!
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