Kantor Imigrasi Jakarta Timur has restored my faith in Indonesian Immigration after it was so callously shattered by Aceh imigrasi. Yes, I did my first visa extension and it was drama-free and fairly straightforward, though unnecessarily long, in my opinion. It required 3 visits to the kantor imigrasi (immigration office) within 1 week. Here’s how it went down.
On the Monday morning 5 days before my visa would have expired near the end of May, my sponsor (the 20 year old who lives here) and I took a bus to our local immigration office. It’s literally a 5 minute bus ride and costs 3,000 rupiah per person. I took with me 3 different letters signed by my sponsor on the company’s letterhead, a photocopy of my sponsor’s national ID card, a photocopy of my passport’s data page, and my passport. We went into a really nice part of the immigration office, sat for about 10 minutes before we were called, submitted the paperwork, got a receipt for my passport (which they kept) and were told that I should return on Wednesday. We were in and out in 20 minutes and back at the centre 30 minutes after we had left it.
Two days later, on Wednesday morning, I headed out at about 9 am and hopped on a bus to Immigration. This time, I waited for about 15 minutes before I was called. The lady took my receipt and I paid the 355,000 rupiah extension fee, got a new receipt for my payment and waited again for about another 15 minutes. At that time, I was called into a side room where I was photographed and fingerprinted, no different from how it’s done at airport immigration. Then I was told to come back again to pick up my passport on Friday afternoon.
I returned at about 1:30 pm in Friday afternoon and waited for about 10 minutes before I was called. I gave the lady my receipt, waited for another 5 minutes, then received and signed for my passport and was done. No fuss, no muss.
I have to say, I was a little disappointed in the total lack of drama and grudgingly impressed with the straightforwardness of the process. My only complaint was that I didn’t see why this all required 3 trips and I felt that it could all be done in 1 day but it was so easy that there really is no reason to complain. There were no unreasonably long waiting times, no bribery attempts, no back and forth, no ridiculous requests, and no unannounced new rules to follow. I was torn about feeling disappointed because I wanted to get my passport back as smoothly and as quickly as possible but I also wanted something to whine about. I’ve since calmed myself down and stopped being so bad-minded about Indonesian immigration and instead just reveled in the positive experience that I had.
I have to repeat this process every month until my 6 months are up, at which time I’m required to leave the country to get another 60-day visa. Hopefully, my next experience at the end of June will be just as smooth.