Hi guys! So I’m kicking off my Visa Series and starting off with Indonesia as this is where I’ll be headed next and was the easiest one to get. So, if you’re like me and have fallen in love with Indonesia; Bali in my case, read on to see how you can stay for an extended period of time in the Island of Gods. Terima Kasih!
Before I get started, here are a couple of things to just take note of:
1. I applied for my Socio-Cultural Visa at the Indonesian Embassy in Manila, Philippines
2. I’m a Filipino citizen holding a Philippine Passport
What is a Socio-Cultural Visa?
A Socio-Cultural visa is a type of visa that’s issued to applicants who will visit Indonesia with the purpose of:
- Visiting family members or relatives in Indonesia
- Visiting social/religious organizations
- Exchange visits (education, art or sports institutions)
How long is it valid for?
This visa is valid for 6 months. It has an initial 60 days free visit, after which you’ll need to renew it monthly at the immigration office in Indonesia in order to extend.
NOTE: A single entry Socio-Cultural Visa is valid if presented within 3 (three) months from the date of issuance. Passport must be valid for at least 6 (six) months after the date of entry.
What documents do I need to submit at the immigration office?
- Passport that’s valid for at least six months at the time of arrival in Indonesia
- Completed application form (available at the Indonesian Embassy)
- Completed curriculum vitae form (available at the Indonesian Embassy)
- One recent coloured photograph (white background) size 3 x 4 cm.
- Booking/Itinerary/Flight Schedule
- Sponsor letter addressed to the Indonesian Embassy, which explains the purpose of the visit or certification from the local organization (social/religious) that you’re going with.
NOTE: If the sponsor is an individual and is an Indonesian Citizen, additional documents must be submitted to the Embassy such as a photocopy of the Sponsor’s national ID (KTP) or passport. If the sponsor is not an Indonesian, photocopy of the passport and a copy of the Limited/Permanent Stay permit Card (KITAS/KITAP) is required.
- Manager’s Check for Php2,250 (visa fee)
NOTE: They DO NOT accept cash. The Embassy only receives Manager’s Checks from Banco de Oro, Union Bank and Bank of the Philippine Islands and should be made payable to the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.
Will there be an interview once I submit my documents?
No. Just hand over your documents (make sure it’s complete!) and wait for them to give you your claim stub.
Where is the Indonesian Embassy located in Manila?
The Indonesian Embassy is located at 185 Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, Philippines. Although their main entrance is on that street, when applying for a visa, you will be asked to enter through their back entrance on Adelantado Street. Make sure to ring the bell! A friendly “kuya guard” will welcome you and give you your application form to fill out.
Note: Make sure you’re wearing long pants/long dress and your arms are covered. Sleeveless tops and shorts are not allowed.
Can I just go there any time to submit my documents?
No. The Indonesian Embassy only accepts the submission of visa requirements between 9:00 – 11:00am, Monday-Friday.
How long does it take to process?
It takes 3 working days to process so make sure to take note of that. Releasing of visas are from 2:00 – 4:00pm, Monday-Friday.
Will I need this type of visa in order to visit Indonesia as a tourist?
If you’re staying in Indonesia for a maximum of 30 days as a tourist, entering under a Philippine Passport, then NO, you do not need this visa. The Philippines and Indonesia are both part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and thus have a standing agreement allowing the citizens of both countries to enter visa-free in their respective nations.
Other citizens/countries eligible to enter Indonesia for 30 days visa free
Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, Ecuador, HongKong, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
As of April 2015: Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Russia, Qatar, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.
Overall, my visa application process was fast (less than an hour, there were only 3 other people in the room with me applying for a visa as well), smooth and painless. Just make sure to have all your documents ready before going there and you’ll be absolutely fine.
I hope you found that helpful! Stay tuned for my next Visa Series entry — Australia!