Which Visa to Use for Busi­ness Trav­els? The Dif­fer­ences be­tween Dif­fer­ent Visas for Busi­ness Trav­ellers Ex­plained

Indonesia Expat - - CONTENTS -

For­eign­ers trav­el­ling to Indonesia for busi­ness meet­ings or for at­tend­ing sem­i­nars or train­ing or other busi­ness (non-work­ing) ac­tiv­i­ties have a va­ri­ety of visas to choose from. In this ar­ti­cle we will dis­cuss the busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties al­lowed un­der a Visa Ex­emp­tion, Visa on Arrival ( VOA), Sin­gle En­try Busi­ness Visa (SEBV) and Mul­ti­ple En­try Busi­ness Visa (MEBV). It is im­por­tant to note that for­eign­ers are not al­lowed to un­der­take any work ac­tiv­i­ties in Indonesia with­out a work per­mit. This means that for­eign busi­ness trav­ellers are not al­lowed to work at desk out­side a meet­ing room. More­over, to avoid be­ing cat­e­gorised as work­ing, the for­eign trav­eller should not visit the same com­pany more than three days a week, for more than four hours a day. Vi­o­la­tion of the al­lowed ac­tiv­i­ties may re­sult in de­por­ta­tion, a re-en­try ban into Indonesia and penal­ties.

Visa Ex­emp­tion

Res­i­dents of 169 coun­tries can en­ter Indonesia with­out need­ing an en­try visa (so-called visa ex­emp­tion). For­eign­ers en­ter­ing Indonesia un­der a visa ex­emp­tion can stay in Indonesia for a non-ex­tend­able pe­riod of up to 30 days. The al­lowed busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties un­der a visa ex­emp­tion are:

· Per­form­ing gov­ern­ment du­ties

· At­tend­ing sem­i­nars

· Fol­low­ing an in­ter­na­tional ex­hi­bi­tion

· At­tend­ing a meet­ing held in head­quar­ters or with rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Indonesia

In prac­tice how­ever, lo­cal im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers are not act­ing in line with reg­u­la­tion and re­quire busi­ness trav­ellers to at least ob­tain a VOA (de­pend­ing on the type of busi­ness ac­tiv­ity). We there­fore al­ways ad­vise busi­ness trav­ellers to ob­tain a VOA or SEBV/MEBV, de­pend­ing on the ex­act busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties.

Visa on Arrival ( VOA)

A VOA is avail­able for res­i­dents of 67 coun­tries. A for­eigner busi­ness trav­eller can ap­ply for a VOA di­rectly at the air­port when en­ter­ing Indonesia be­fore pass­ing through im­mi­gra­tion. The VOA is valid for up to 30 days and can be ex­tended once for a max­i­mum pe­riod of 30 days. The ex­ten­sion of the VOA re­quires an in­ter­view and a bio­met­ric ses­sion at the lo­cal im­mi­gra­tion of­fice. The fol­low­ing busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties are al­lowed un­der a VOA:

· Per­form­ing gov­ern­ment du­ties

· At­tend­ing busi­ness meet­ings

· Buy­ing goods

· Giv­ing a speech or at­tend­ing sem­i­nars · Fol­low­ing an in­ter­na­tional ex­hi­bi­tion

· At­tend­ing a meet­ing held in head­quar­ters or with rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Indonesia

· Be­ing crew mem­bers of ves­sels lo­cated in In­done­sian wa­ters The VOA is a per­fect so­lu­tion for busi­ness trav­ellers who are not fre­quently vis­it­ing indonesia. For fre­quent busi­ness vis­i­tors we rec­om­mend us­ing an MEBV, to avoid ques­tions from im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers.

Sin­gle En­try Busi­ness Visa (SEBV)

Res­i­dents of all coun­tries can ap­ply for an SEBV. An SEBV is valid for 60 days and can be ex­tended up to four times for a max­i­mum of 30 days for each ex­ten­sion. Sim­i­lar to the VOA, the busi­ness trav­eller will need to at­tend a bio­met­ric ses­sion and in­ter­view at the lo­cal im­mi­gra­tion of­fice for each ex­ten­sion. The SEBV is valid for one en­try only and will be au­to­mat­i­cally can­celled once the for­eign busi­ness trav­eller leaves Indonesia. Un­der an SEBV the fol­low­ing ac­tiv­i­ties are al­lowed:

· Per­form­ing gov­ern­ment du­ties

· At­tend­ing busi­ness meet­ings

· Buy­ing goods

· At­tend­ing sem­i­nars

· Fol­low­ing an in­ter­na­tional ex­hi­bi­tion

· At­tend­ing a meet­ing held in head­quar­ters or with rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Indonesia

· Par­tic­i­pat­ing in com­par­a­tive stud­ies, short cour­ses and short train­ing.

· Giv­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion

· Be­ing a crew mem­ber of a ves­sel lo­cated in In­done­sian wa­ters

· Pro­vid­ing guid­ance, coun­selling and train­ing in the ap­pli­ca­tion and in­no­va­tion of in­dus­trial tech­nol­ogy for im­prov­ing the qual­ity and de­sign of in­dus­trial prod­ucts and mar­ket­ing co­op­er­a­tion over­seas for Indonesia

· Con­duct­ing an au­dit or qual­ity con­trol as­sess­ment or in­spect­ing of a com­pany branch in Indonesia, for a max­i­mum pe­riod of one month

· Com­plet­ing an in­tern­ship/trainee­ship

· Con­duct­ing jour­nal­ism ac­tiv­i­ties (re­quires a rec­om­men­da­tion)

· Mak­ing a non-com­mer­cial film (re­quires a rec­om­men­da­tion)

The SEBV pro­vides the most com­pre­hen­sive list of al­lowed ac­tiv­i­ties and more­over al­lows for­eign busi­ness trav­ellers up to 180 days in Indonesia. We usu­ally ad­vise clients to ob­tain an SEBV in case their ac­tiv­i­ties are not cov­ered by the other visa types, when they need to stay for a longer pe­riod con­tin­u­ously in Indonesia, and/ or when they are un­able to ob­tain a VOA due to their nationality.

Mul­ti­ple En­try Busi­ness Visa (MEBV)

The MEBV is avail­able for res­i­dents of all coun­tries. Based on the reg­u­la­tions the MEBV is valid for one to five years, how­ever in prac­tice it is al­ways is­sued for a pe­riod of one year only. Un­der an MEBV for­eign trav­ellers can stay for a max­i­mum con­tin­u­ous pe­riod of 60 days in Indonesia and this pe­riod is not ex­tend­able. Af­ter the for­eigner leaves Indonesia, he or she can re-en­ter for an­other 60 con­tin­u­ous days. This process can be re­peated by the for­eign trav­eller un­til the MEBV ex­pires.

The al­lowed busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties un­der an MEBV in­clude:

· Per­form­ing gov­ern­ment du­ties

· Hav­ing busi­ness meet­ings

· Buy­ing goods

· At­tend­ing sem­i­nars

· Fol­low­ing an in­ter­na­tional ex­hi­bi­tion

· At­tend­ing a meet­ing held in head­quar­ters or with rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Indonesia

In case of fre­quent busi­ness trav­els to Indonesia, we ad­vise clients to ob­tain an MEBV rather than ob­tain a VOA for each visit.

For more in­for­ma­tion, contact PNB Im­mi­gra­tion Law Firm at +62 21-22792254, or email us at info@pn­blaw­firm.com. Visit our web­site at www.pn­bim­mi­gra­tionlaw­firm.com

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