After a long uncertainty about Australians getting free VOA to Indonesia, finally on March 2, 2016 the president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo officially signed the President’s Regulation (Perpres) No. 21 Year 2016 on Visitor Visa Exemption. In the Regulation, Australia is added into the list of countries whose citizens could visit Indonesia without paying for visa. They will still get visa on arrival but they don’t need to pay if they plan to stay maximum 30 days. This visa is unextendable. For those who plan to stay more than 30 days, they still have to purchase the normal visa, extendable for another 30 days.

This regulation was announced by the Indonesian tourism minister, Arief Yahya, several days ago, but reports from Australian tourists claimed that they still had to pay for the visa when they landed in Indonesia’s international airports. Miscommunication and the slow internal memo were blamed for this confusion. It was found that several airports haven’t received the updated list of countries who get the visa exempt and still charged the said visa. We are happy to report that yesterday Australian tourists entering Bali claimed that they no longer need to pay for visa.

Indonesian government hopes to increase the international tourist visit by 20%. This sounds ambitious and for some people US$ 35 might not mean much, but if you travel with family of four, for each visit you could save US$ 140. That is enough to pay for extra 3-night decent accommodation, or several nice dinners in Bali. This is hoped to be attractive enough to get more Australian tourists to visit Indonesia more often.