The Social Budaya Visa (Social and Cultural visit) has a duration of 60 days and can be extended for another 30 days at a time for up to 4 times. Here’s how
As mentioned in the previous article (how to get a Social Visit Visa for Indonesia), the Social Budaya Visa (Social and Cultural visit) has a duration of 60 days and can be extended for another 30 days at a time for up to 4 times, meaning you can stay a maximum of 180 days on this Visa, almost 6 months!
Normally the extension should be requested in the same city from which you have received the letter of invitation. In our case, for example, the invitation came from Yogyakarta. But we, at the time of the visa’s expiry, were on the island of Lombok.
Not easy to get back to Jogja from there! So then, how then to extend the visa and not have to go back each month to Yogyakarta or wherever you got the invitation from? There are two possibilities: the first is to contact an agency, just Google it and you will find a lot. We found an agency in Mataram. They asked 750.00 rupiahs each, 52USD.
Definitely too much for us, and this was the cheapest we could find. But if you have money and you do not want to go to the immigration office this is the hassle-free solution.
The second solution, for those like us who do not have much money, or don’t want to pay an exaggerated fee to the agency, is to do it yourself. The cost for the extension is 350,000 rupiah, 25 USD, less than half.
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First look for the immigration office‘s address in the city where you want to request an extension. Just type “Kantor Imigrasi” and the city, for example, “Kantor Imigrasi Mataram”, so to be sure there’s one. Basically, these are in every city. What will be required is a letter from your initial sponsors that “authorizes” another person or organization to sponsor your extension, so as to relieve him/her from the responsibility, of unloading it on somebody’s else shoulder. In our case, we were guests of a very nice guy through Couchsurfing and we asked him to become our new sponsor. The immigration office gave us a facsimile of the letter, this here:
We have it copied to the letter by entering the data of the old and the new sponsors. All documentation is in Indonesian so you’ll probably need the help of a local or use Google Translate. You have to buy four 6000 rupiah stamps, easy to find (copy center but probably also in the cigarette shops).
This letter must be signed by your old sponsor, so this is the tricky part. You’ll most likely have no way to make him/her sign, so the easy way is to falsify the signature and make a photocopy, The best you can do is to tell your first sponsor what you are doing, in the most unlikely case that immigration decides to call him/her for verification.
The signature of the new sponsor is also needed, together with a copy of the new sponsor’s ID card. All the other forms will be given to fill out at the immigration office. The new sponsor should be there in person, even though you can probably go around this rule, as long as you have all the papers. Another annoying thing you’ll be requested is proof of your trip out of Indonesia. We simply said that we travel by bicycle and we would leave by ship so we could not provide any ticket. They know that it is virtually impossible to book a vessel in Indonesia a month in advance.
We had no problems. But other offices may not be so understanding. Otherwise just make a fake airline reservation, or a real one if you don’t need to extend a visa a second time. After 4 working days, we were back at the immigration office, paid the fee in cash, and picked up our passports. The 30-day extension will start from the expiry date of your current visa and not from the day of the issue of the extension, so it is 30 real calendar days.
One last advice we can give is: better avoid trying this in Bali! The island of Bali is overwhelmed with tourists and barely legal ex-pats, controls will be tighter, cues way longer, and officers less kind, it may work nevertheless but it’s risky. Make your trip to Lombok if you’re there, just a short and cheap ferry ride.
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