The Australian government has released a guide to Indonesia’s permit regulations for foreign researchers who wish to conduct academic research in the country, with fines up to Rp3.8billion (AU$400,000) to be imposed on individuals who don’t obtain the necessary visas and permits.
Previously, a fine of Rp48million (AU$5000) was imposed for not having the correct paperwork for people of all nationalities. The heavily increased fine is result of the Indonesian government reworking its legal framework for researchers as part of an overall revision of criminal penalties.
The Australian Financial Review spoke to Indonesia Director of the Australia-Indonesia Centre, Kevin Evans, who expressed concerns for the research community inside and outside of Indonesia.
“The potential application of its criminal articles, especially where there remains some uncertainty around what is, in fact, covered by a research visa, or how and when they need to be obtained, adds a degree of risk for foreign researchers seeking to engage with potential Indonesian counterparts,” he said.
This year, two ANU academics were refused entry to Indonesia because they were found to have entered Indonesia with tourist visas as opposed to the correct research visas. If someone is now caught under the same circumstances under the new regime, he or she may be liable for a AU$400,000 fine and also a risk of jail time.
A parliamentary committee is due to report on the wide-reaching deal, known as the Australia Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), by mid-October. The Australian Labour Party won’t declare its position until the committee’s report is tabled.
The IA-CEPA is supported by universities in both countries since it can strengthen the already substantial links between education sectors in the respective countries and open the way for an Australian university to establish a campus to help cater for the educational demands of Indonesia’s growing middle class.
Source: Australian Financial Review