The visa challenge begins

Getting a visa that would allow me to stay in Indonesia for a long period of time was a DSC_1312 priority when I returned to Batam. The alternative is a 30-day visa on arrival that you have to renew, surprisingly, every 30 days. Actually, it’s more like 28 days; you take the ferry to Singapore ($40) and return on the next ferry. You have to endure lines for immigration on both ends, as well as the security checks, and the inevitable being taken aside to ask why you are coming and going so often.

My first thought, and research thereof, was to get a retirement visa. This one is a little expensive but has better long-term benefits. For example, you don’t have to leave the country to keep it renewed. And it’s renewable annually by just paying a fee ($750-yikes!). But I kept hearing about a business, multi-entry visa. But when I checked that one out and did a little more digging on the retirement visa it became apparent that I needed some professional help.

I’ve mentioned Okusi Associates before. They provide a variety of business services, such

Pop-up restaurant sets up in vacant lot

Pop-up restaurant sets up in vacant lot

as acquiring visas or setting up an Indonesian company. Their owner is a consultant to and investor in Smiling Hill. They have an office at Harbor Bay, so on Monday I took a taxi there and met with a nice lady who recommended the business visa. No waiting, by the way.

To give you an example of the difficulty difference in gaining one or the other, Okusi charges Rp2 million for the business visa and Rp15.5 million for the retirement visa. I addition, the fee for the business visa is $200 annually, vs. the retirement visa fee of $750 annually.

The main negative about the business visa is you have to leave the country every 60 days,

Maybe an hour later

Maybe an hour later

which means a ferry ride and back to Singapore, with all the hassle baggage that goes with going through immigration and security on both ends. You also have to have a local business as a sponsor, which I fortunately have.

The Okusi lady also gave me a list of the documents my sponsor would have to provide. these are the nine items:

  1. Article of association;
  2. Investment permit;
  3. Domicile certificate;
  4. Company tax ID;
  5. Business registration certificate;
  6. company deed of establishment;
  7. Company letterhead;
  8. ID card for local people; and
  9. Permanent business license.

What I need to provide:

  1. Copy of passport with at least 18 months of validity;
  2. Copy of Curriculum vitae;
  3. Copy of degrees/diplomas;
  4. 2 passport photos 4×6;
  5. Manpower department report;
  6. Title of position;
  7. Location of work;
  8. Country to collect visa; and
  9. Marriage certificate and birth certificate for dependents.

I asked two companies if they could sponsor me. One agreed. Now I’m waiting to meet with the wife of the owner to go over the details Actually, under Indonesian law, she’s the owner, not her expat husband. He’s currently offshore at work, probably on an oil rig somewhere. The details involve providing nine documents related to the company. Hopefully, my sponsor has those and is willing to share. Otherwise …

I’ve included with this post two photos of one of the “pop up”restaurants you see here. The

In front of my apartment

In front of my apartment

lot this tent is on was vacant an hour before the first shot was taken. The second shot was a half hour later. Meanwhile, a similar structure was going up even closer.


About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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One Response to The visa challenge begins

  1. Anthony Flagiello says:

    this is julia

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