Back on 1st January 2021, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi announced that all international flights scheduled to arrive in Indonesia on 1-14th January 2021 will be on hold in accordance to the COVID-19 Task Force Circular Letter number 4 of 2020.
Within this version, it states that holders of diplomatic residence permits, official residence permits, limited stay permits (KITAS) and permanent residency permits (KITAP) were exempted and could fly in.
During January, the Indonesian government introduced a new scheme: Enforcement of Restrictions on Community Activities, or PPKM, in Java and Bali to minimise further COVID-19 transmission.
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, as well as the chairman of the COVID-19 and National Economic Recovery Committee Airlangga Hartarto, announced on 12th January President Joko Widodo’s decision to extend the ban on foreigners entering Indonesia in light of PPKM.
The first PPKM period was set as 11-25th January 2021. President Joko Widodo claimed on 29th January that PPKM had been ineffective for tackling the virus throughout its first period, in a limited meeting uploaded to the Presidential Secretariat YouTube on 31st January.
Even with this, PPKM was extended to a second period covering 26th January – 8th February 2021. This meant that foreigners were still banned to enter unless they met several criteria imposed in January.
Days have passed, and the president expressed the need to focus on micro-level PPKM. On 8th February, Airlangga Hartarto along with the Government Spokesperson of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force Wiku Adisasmito held a press conference regarding the introduction of Micro PPKM taking effect on 8 – 22nd February 2021.
Wiku stated that foreigners may not enter the country unless they are visa and residence permit holders in accordance with the Regulation of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights No.26 of 2020. Thus was also included within Handling Task Force Circular Letter No.8 of 2021 regarding International Travel Health Protocols during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
The Regulation of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights No.26 of 2020 states the following:
(1) Foreigner who holds a visa and/or stay permit valid to enter Indonesian territory through certain immigration checkpoints after fulfilling health protocols.
(2) Health protocols as referred to in paragraph 1 is determined by the ministry or agency carrying out the handling of COVID-19.
(3) Visa and/or stay permits as referred to in paragraph 1 consists of:
- Official visa;
- Diplomatic visa;
- Visitor visa;
- Limited residence visa;
- Official stay permit;
- Diplomatic stay permit;
- Limited stay permit; and
- Permanent residence permit
4) Apart from foreigners who hold a visa and/or residence permit, as referred to in paragraph 1, the crew of transportation who came by means of conveyance and foreigners who hold travel cards for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (KPP APEC) businessmen and passers of traditional boundaries can also enter Indonesian territory.
(5) Responsible for transportation means those who came from outside
Indonesian territory are obliged to ensure that passengers have
has a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) result.
Furthermore, Handling Task Force circular letter No.8 of 2021 replaces circular letter No.6 of 2021 which expired on 8th February. This updated version includes the following:
The prohibition of entering Indonesian territory, either directly or transiting in a foreign country, will still be enforced for international travellers who are foreign nationals, except those who meet the following criteria:
- In accordance with the provisions in regulations of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights no.26 of 2020, concerning visas and stay permits in the New Habit Adaptation Period;
- In accordance with the Travel Corridor Arrangement or TCA bilateral agreement scheme;
- Obtain special consideration or permission in writing from a ministry or institution.
The Indonesian Directorate of Immigration later on Monday night released infographics on its Facebook and Instagram accounts explaining the new regulations for international travellers, both foreigners and Indonesians, starting from 9th February until further notice.
These infographics included 13 criteria for foreigners allowed to enter the country, which are:
- Official visa
- Diplomatic visa
- Visitor’s visa (single entry)
- Temporary residence visa (vitas)
- Official residence permit
- Diplomatic residence permit
- Temporary residence permit (ITAS)
- Permanent residence permit (ITAP)
- Active crew members (registered)
- APEC business travel card (ABTC)
- Border Crossers (Dwellers)
- Based on the bilateral agreement on Travel Corridor Arrangement (TCA)
- Been granted an approval letter from competent authorities.
Several Instagram users commented to seek confirmation whether they would be permitted to enter Indonesia once again, but this post was deleted a few hours later. Meanwhile, the immigration website has been crashing due to high traffic. When access was possible at 3.30pm local time, applications for those offshore for B211A visas were not able to be processed.
At the time of writing, no further statements from other ministries nor the president had been released.
See the latest update below, February 9, 2021 – 8 pm WIB. –> Immigration latest update
What visas can be applied for to enter Indonesia?
A visit visa for 1 (one) trip (B211) which is granted in the context of:
a. carry out emergency and urgent work;
b. conducting business talks;
c. make purchases of goods;
d. expertise testing for prospective foreign workers;
e. medical and food assistance and support personnel; and
f. join the transportation means that are in the territory of Indonesia.
Limited stay visa that is given to carry out activities:
a. in working order; and/or
b. not in working order.
Limited stay visas for work include:
a. as an expert;
b. join to work on ships, floating equipment, or installations operating in the archipelago waters, territorial sea, or continental shelf, as well as the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone;
c. supervise the quality of goods or production;
d. conduct inspections or audits at company branches in Indonesia;
e. after-sales service;
f. installing and repairing machines;
g. perform non-permanent work in the context of construction; and
h. prospective foreign workers who will work in the context of testing skills.
Limited stay visas not for work include:
a. carry out foreign investment;
b. family unification; and
c. elderly foreign tourists.
The granting of free visit visas (BVK) and visit visas on arrival (VOA) is temporarily suspended until the COVID-19 pandemic is declared to have ended by the ministry or agency implementing the handling of COVID-19.
Source: YouTube BNPB and COVID-19, Handling Task Force, Immigration