Indonesia Tourist Visa: Extend Visa in Lombok, not Bali

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The tourist visa rules for Indonesia have recently changed and we struggled to find up to date informtion on the web for our visit. In the end we extended our visa in Lombok and found it to be relatively easy and efficient with no need to pay an agent.  We have therefore set out below the process of how to get a 60 day tourist visa in a bid to help others in the same boat.

Before we get onto how we got our visa, it’s worth noting that we did hear from many travellers that extending your visa in Bali is a right pain in the arse. We heard reports of it taking at least 10 days with 3 visits to the immigration office in Denpasar. Some people did use an agent, but this is costly and still requires a long wait. In this beautiful country, wasting 10 days hanging around Denpasar is a crime.

1. On arrival at the airport tell the immigration desk you wish to stay for 60 days. You must pay $35 for a 30 day visa which is extendable, even though a free 30 day visa is available on arrival. Keep the receipt . The free visa is not extendable.

2. Visit the immigration office at Mataram (kantor imigrasi) allowing plenty of time before your visa expires, minimum 7 days. The office opens at 8am.

3. Documents required:

  •  Passport
  • Photocopy of your passport page and your visa page
  • Visa payment receipt (as above)
  • Proof of onward travel (printout, not just a screenshot or email on your phone. Anecdotally we heard that if you say you are getting a boat out of the country then you do not have to show proof, but we cannot vouch 100% for this).
  • If you cannot get hold of the photocopies and printout beforehand, there is a narrow street to the right of the Immigration Office down which numerous photocopy merchants ply their trade. It is hugely overpriced however, especially if (as we did!) you need to access the Internet in order to print off your flight confirmation.

3. Make sure you are properly dressed. AND FOR ONCE NOT JUST WOMEN! Jimmy was not allowed to enter in shorts and had to change, whilst we saw one man have to buy a sarong to cover up.

4. With documents in hand you can now approach the desk upstairs and begin the process of completing the application form. The sponsor section can be left blank. Once this is submitted along with your photocopies and passport, you must wait for your application to be logged (we waited approximately 30mins to one hour).

5. Next, collect your receipt for your passport and receive a date to return, which for us was 3 days later. (Our first visit was the 13th and we returned on 16th).

6. When returning on your alloted date, you will be given a number. This is called two or three times when you are required to complete each stage, including paying extension fee of 355,000Rp (each) , providing fingerprints, having photograph taken and finally to collect your passport with visa stamp inside. This took the best part of a full morning but we got there in the end.

Beautiful sunset on Gili Islands, wait here whilst you get your visa extended
See sunsets like this on the Gili Islands whilst you wait for your visa extension

One last piece of advice. Whilst waiting out the 3 days to get our extension, we stayed in Senggigi. A pleasant enough resort very close to Mataram, but in all honesty a little dreary in a 1995 kind of way. On reflection the time would have been better spent heading straight to the Gili’s or Kuta in the south and biking back to the immigration office when we were due.

Still not the easiest of processes but by all accounts better than trying in Bali!

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