Indonesia Expat
Business/Property Info for Expats

Visas in Indonesia: Horror Stories and Fake Agents

visa fraud
Visas in Indonesia: Horror Stories and Fake Agents

Relocating or migrating to Indonesia for whatever reason is a huge decision to make in a person’s life. Both life and career can be profoundly impacted by this decision.

Therefore, foreigners should consider available options wisely, especially when it comes to immigration processes and visa applications. One wrong step can result in big delays, heavy fines, or worse – blacklisting, penal sanctions, or deportation.


Getting caught in the middle of a visa scam by fake agents or having inexperienced professionals handle visa applications is not uncommon to many foreigners in Indonesia.

Our clients shared some of these horror stories about visa applications before finally engaging our services. The good news is that these real stories may be prevented by taking adequate precautions, such as conducting thorough research before applying for your visa in Indonesia and engaging a reputable visa consultant.

We are here to tell you these stories, in the hope that none of them will happen to you.

  • Passport confiscation by the immigration officers: as a foreigner abroad, you should keep your passport at all times, since the document represents your official legal identity. Some foreigners have suffered the frustrations of having their passports confiscated by immigration officers or authorities during inspection without any clear reason. Should anyone experience this issue, it is best to appoint a local legal counsel to handle this matter.
  • Having to fly overseas multiple times: many foreigners have had to fly overseas multiple times and work on tourist or business visas because their agents did not manage to extend their work permits on time or provide estimates on any progress throughout the process. This process creates an unnecessary burden and risks for foreigners from financial and administrative aspects.
  • Getting stuck in Singapore: Singapore is a popular nearby destination for collecting visa stamps from the Indonesian embassy. However, the embassy is not always on time and many have no idea about the existence of one-day service visa agents. Some foreigners have been forced to stay in Singapore for a week just to collect their visas, while many missed their flight back to Indonesia due to delay in visa issuance.
  • Rejected visa renewal: when it comes to visa renewal, the approval should be straightforward due to the previous visa history. However, when trusting the wrong agent, a visa renewal can be rejected. A number of foreigners have been required to work remotely for a month due to not being able to renew their work and stay permits.
Visas in Indonesia: Horror Stories and Fake Agents. Understanding Different Types of Visas in Indonesia

Visa scams by fake visa agents can happen in many forms. Some bogus visa agents can be easily identified, while others are smart enough to make their offer look like a real deal. Keep in mind that when a visa agent shows any of these red flags, it is likely that they are fake and a wise customer would do best to steer away from them in the other direction.

  • Not able to elaborate on how they help with a visa application: a self-proclaimed visa agent should be able to explain visa types, visa regulations, and application procedures easily based on the applicable regulation.
  • No specific visa application timeline provided: be suspicious when a visa agent is unable to inform the turnaround time for the entire visa application process. Their favourite excuse? There’s no certainty because it depends on the immigration officers. Furthermore, they are also unable to provide any concrete evidence to satisfy their clients.
  • Unrealistic promises: a crooked visa agent will try to lure foreigners with unrealistic promises such as no requirements for an Indonesia visa application and a 100 percent success rate, even for applicants from restricted countries.
  • No physical office: although not all visa agents operating online are fake, oftentimes fake visa agents don’t have physical offices so that they can disappear without trace easily after closing transactions with their victims. Solid agents invest a considerable amount of infrastructure to maintain their reputation and would be very glad to welcome a direct visit to their premises.
  • Hidden fees: during the application process, some agents keep asking for more money to pay mysterious fees without ever being able to deliver their service. Any sensible clients should avoid this behaviour at the first sign.
  • Disappearing in times of trouble: as with anything, problems may appear. This can be overwhelming for both you and the agent. Some might give up. A good agent must be resourceful and remain with you to reach a successful resolution.

At the time of publication, even a reliable agent will have difficulty providing a fixed timeline for KITAS and visa processing. The applications are only granted in very specific cases, so do not be fooled by unscrupulous agents. However, now is a good time to prepare all of your documents with the help of your reputable agent so that no time is wasted. When the applications open again, you will stand a good chance of being amongst the first to be approved.


To prevent illegal foreigners in Indonesia, the government has implemented stringent immigration regulations that may be amended from time to time. Prior to making a visa application, it is best for foreigners to consult with visa specialists about the up-to-date regulations.

Cekindo’s team of visa consultants have in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in providing visa consultation for more than ten years. Our prestigious visa clients include Traveloka, Tokopedia, OYO, Xiao Mi, and Huawei.

With Cekindo as your visa consultant, you can have peace of mind because a specific timeline is provided clearly along with updates on your application status. You will be guided every step of the way.

Visit or work and stay legally in Indonesia with the right visa. Visit for a free visa consultation with our experts and join other satisfied clients.

Read more: Indonesia to Make Foreign-Owned Property Easier

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