Looking for visa information for other countries? Check out our Travel Visa Guide

*Update as of September 2013: we applied for an Indonesian visa at the embassy in London and returned to pick it up five days later – the process was fairly painless, we simply filled in the forms and paid the fee. There was a bit of a queue at the visa office though so it’s best to get there early.

Indonesia is the third country on our travel itinerary and our first stop in Asia – exciting stuff! After no doubt breaking our budget in New Zealand and Australia and whizzing around for two months trying to fit as much in as we can, we’re looking forward to slowing down and spending a bit more time in Indonesia – that is, if they’ll let us have a visa.

Do I need a Visa for Indonesia?

It’s been harder than we thought it would be to get a an Indonesian visa, in fact, we’re still not sure whether we’ll be able to get one for the amount of time we’d like to spend there. Here are the main visa options:

Indonesian Visa on Arrival

People from many other Asian countries don’t need Indonesian visas. If you’re from one of the permitted countries,  which the UK is, it’s possible to get a 30 day visa on arrival for Indonesia. To be granted this visa you must:

  • Have a valid passport with at least six months validity on it
  • Have onward or return air tickets
  • Arrive in the country through one of the designated air or sea ports

This visa cannot be extended unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as a natural disaster.

Indonesian Tourist Visa

Since Indonesia is such a large country and we want to travel more slowly once we get there, the 30 day visa on arrival simply wouldn’t be long enough for us. Instead, we are trying to get a 60 day tourist visa, which means applying in advance from the Indonesian embassy in London. However, there are a pretty strict set of guidelines you need to meet to be awarded this visa you must:

  • Have a passport with at least six months validity
  • Be a British Citizen (since we’re applying at the British embassy)
  • Fill in an application form; printed double sided
  • Supply two colour passport photos
  • Provide a travel itinerary, with details of flight bookings into and out of the country
  • Show a bank statement dated less than a month ago with a balance of at least £1,000
  • Supply a letter from your employer, school or university stating that you’ll be returning to the UK after your visit
  • Pay a £35 fee

The problem is, since we’re leaving for an indefinite amount of time, we’re quitting our jobs and can’t provide a letter from our employers. Also, because we chose to books flights as we go rather than buy a round the world ticket, we can’t provide proof of onward travel. Oh, and another thing, we couldn’t apply for the visa more than three months before we plan to visit.

How to Get a Visa for Indonesia?

Well, we could simply settle for getting a 30 day visa on arrival as a last resort but instead we’re going to book the flights, turn up at the visa office three months before we’re due to visit (just before we leave London, which is cutting it fine) and hope they grant us a visa. Fingers crossed!

Read our Travel Visa Guide for information about visas for other countries.

*Information is accurate as of November 2012