American helping Indonesian

Valerian

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Hello Everyone. I am an American living in the US, trying to help an Indonesian friend come here to study. She is in need of a notary or similar to help her get a passport and visa, as well as a doctor who can prescribe meds for her bipolar disorder. Though born and raised in Indonesia, she speaks English as a first language and actually has trouble with Bahasa, so I thought I might be able to find some leads for her here. She is cut off from family support due to a history of abuse (including not treating her mental illness) and has been too depressed to make much progress on her own, hence my trying to help.

I will make posts in the appropriate subforums to ask for leads and advice, but wanted to introduce myself here first. I'm happy to "meet" everyone, and to find such a welcoming and informative resource.
 

snpark

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Yeh. Not going to happen. Unless you spend a lot of money and waste a lot of time. US visas are next to impossible to get even for students and even more so for a young girl who has never travelled before and has medical condition.
 

HappyMan

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Hi. Nice to see someone try to do a good turn for a distant friend. I hope it works out for you guys.
 

Helpful Herbert

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I'm wondering if she went to an international school? While it helps Indonesian kids get a high standard of English, it does in a lot of cases seem to end up with them not being able to speak or write their own language, and certainly not as a native speaker (even if they can get by at a basic level). It's very common in Malaysia too.

If she's Indonesian, then to get a passport she just needs to go to immigration I guess. There's a form to fill in, photos to be taken, and so on. I assume she already has a KTP (ID card)?
For a US visa, I have no idea. I guess they give visas to students who have offers from a college there, and to get that you may need to take entrance exams or some kind of test.
For a doctor's prescription, first stop would be the local puskesmas, or a hospital that accepts walk-ins (eg Siloam, Medistra, MMC).
 

Wisnu

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how do you know her? how old is she?
I'm also wondering - she's cut off from family support; having problem with bahasa Indonesia plus mental illness but went to International school.
far more difficult to survive with this condition than just getting a passport.
 

Nimbus

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This sounds like a herculean effort.

First and foremost is to take care of her bipolar issues. I don’t personally know any psychiatrist, but perhaps she can start with this list:

Everything hinges on her getting a proper diagnoses and medication. If she is having difficulty finding help in Indonesia due to lack of support from her family, it’s going to be exponentially more difficult and more expensive in America. The medications alone could cost hundreds of dollars a month, and the doctor charges $200-$300 per visit.

Bipolar is no joke, if she is prone to abusive behavior that pushes her family away, I guarantee you that the stress of moving into an entirely different country is not gonna improve her condition. She is going to be all by herself in America, if she acts up the literal strangers around her may even be less understanding, to the point of calling the cops and create legal problems for her.

I wouldn’t send her to America without a clear plan on how she would pay for her medical care here.
 

IndoTom

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I think your good intentions are destined for difficulties. If your friend is someone you met on the internet be wary. I have a feeling the effort and money your friend would need might be better used for the many refugee charities around the world that help people survive.
 

jukung11

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Though born and raised in Indonesia, she speaks English as a first language and actually has trouble with Bahasa

Don't get defensive, but have you met this "friend" in person? This is almost always the setup for a scam. It is often African scammers posing as Indonesian women. Even if she is a native Indonesian, I have seen dozens of Indonesians and foreigners scammed by Indonesians too. The set of facts that you outlined are so odd for Indonesia that you should be very skeptical.

Not speaking Bahasa Indonesia is very odd. Everyone I know that was that was raised in Indonesia that was that insulated from the Indonesian language and didn't come from a foreign family was super rich by Indonesian standards or from an extremely poor background in a very remote province. A super rich Indonesian family cutting off a daughter because of her behavior sounds a little off too. I have met a few Indonesians with better proficiency in English than Indonesian, but English was still not their first language. The local language their parents and community speaks is their first language.

My expectation is you will be asked for money to "help" with the cost of the medication or application process.

I have helped students apply for and get student visas to the United States. After admission to a U.S. school with an F visa program, she would be required to show in her account, her parents account, or a third party payer (scholarship provider) enough funds for a full year of tuition and living expenses to be granted the F visa. Even at the cheapest community colleges, that is typically $15,000. If she asks you for a penny, this is a scam and you need to run.

The only way I can see English is her first language is if she went to an English language international school. Most education from Indonesia is not accepted in the U.S., but that is. She should be able to get a stellar score on her TOEFL. It should be easy for her to get admission to a U.S. college, but probably not to where she is thinking. The standards of admission are usually a little more forgiving because international students are usually given no tuition breaks. They are a high source of revenue for U.S. colleges.
 

Nimbus

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Don't get defensive, but have you met this "friend" in person? This is almost always the setup for a scam. It is often African scammers posing as Indonesian women. Even if she is a native Indonesian, I have seen dozens of Indonesians and foreigners scammed by Indonesians too. The set of facts that you outlined are so odd for Indonesia that you should be very skeptical.

Not speaking Bahasa Indonesia is very odd. Everyone I know that was that was raised in Indonesia that was that insulated from the Indonesian language and didn't come from a foreign family was super rich by Indonesian standards or from an extremely poor background in a very remote province. A super rich Indonesian family cutting off a daughter because of her behavior sounds a little off too. I have met a few Indonesians with better proficiency in English than Indonesian, but English was still not their first language. The local language their parents and community speaks is their first language.

My expectation is you will be asked for money to "help" with the cost of the medication or application process.

I have helped students apply for and get student visas to the United States. After admission to a U.S. school with an F visa program, she would be required to show in her account, her parents account, or a third party payer (scholarship provider) enough funds for a full year of tuition and living expenses to be granted the F visa. Even at the cheapest community colleges, that is typically $15,000. If she asks you for a penny, this is a scam and you need to run.

The only way I can see English is her first language is if she went to an English language international school. Most education from Indonesia is not accepted in the U.S., but that is. She should be able to get a stellar score on her TOEFL. It should be easy for her to get admission to a U.S. college, but probably not to where she is thinking. The standards of admission are usually a little more forgiving because international students are usually given no tuition breaks. They are a high source of revenue for U.S. colleges.
I assumed that they actually know each other. If they don’t, then the possibility of a scam is always there, especially with such an unusual story.

The family is rich enough to send her to international schools so her first language is English, but somehow they can’t afford treatment for bipolar disorder? It sounds rather strange.
 

paulinenindhya

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Hello Everyone. I am an American living in the US, trying to help an Indonesian friend come here to study. She is in need of a notary or similar to help her get a passport and visa, as well as a doctor who can prescribe meds for her bipolar disorder. Though born and raised in Indonesia, she speaks English as a first language and actually has trouble with Bahasa, so I thought I might be able to find some leads for her here. She is cut off from family support due to a history of abuse (including not treating her mental illness) and has been too depressed to make much progress on her own, hence my trying to help.

I will make posts in the appropriate subforums to ask for leads and advice, but wanted to introduce myself here first. I'm happy to "meet" everyone, and to find such a welcoming and informative resource.
i have to agree to other members here
how do you know her? how old is she? I mean if she doesnt have passport, then she never been to anywhere... that's tough...
probably you could lead her to here....
i mean at least she could chat and meet people with a different perspective (don't let her into some debate forum of course)

she needs to find treatment first... and because ur very far... i don't see how u can directly help her... sorry.
 

poco - poco

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Hello Everyone. I am an American living in the US, trying to help an Indonesian friend come here to study. She is in need of a notary or similar to help her get a passport and visa, as well as a doctor who can prescribe meds for her bipolar disorder. Though born and raised in Indonesia, she speaks English as a first language and actually has trouble with Bahasa, so I thought I might be able to find some leads for her here. She is cut off from family support due to a history of abuse (including not treating her mental illness) and has been too depressed to make much progress on her own, hence my trying to help.

I will make posts in the appropriate subforums to ask for leads and advice, but wanted to introduce myself here first. I'm happy to "meet" everyone, and to find such a welcoming and informative resource.
Hi, don't get offensive but if she is Indonesian and live in Indonesia, she must speaks Indonesian.
99,99% Indonesian speak Indonesian. Indonesian is not far behind in education.
Eventhough they live in deep far in the middle of Papua rainforest, speak Indonesian.

There are no reason why she can't speak Indonesian. If you have not met her , well find out about her before you take any serious commitment to help her

Poco- Poco
 

Valerian

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I am not as worried about the visa situation, but she cannot even apply for one until she gets a passport. That is the immediate hurdle: how can she get one without her family's KK? We have been told a notary can help, but prefer to find one by recommendation rather than internet search.

To answer some of the other questions posed: we have been discussing this with other friends in the US, including an Indonesian friend who just last week had to return home because her own visa had expired. We have plans in place for everything from housing to medical care to schooling. One of the American friends has extensive experience sponsoring overseas students, though mostly coming from Africa. This is not the problem.

My friend's family is ethnically Chinese. She was raised speaking Mandarin when very small, plus English as her parents were convinced it was the best way to be successful. Her main Bahasa-speaking influence was an Indonesian nanny, plus neighborhood playmates. She attended international school through jr. high, then her parents' divorce resulted in her living with her father's extended family and attending an Indonesian high school.Of course she speaks Bahasa, but not as comfortably as English, especially as she has been supporting herself doing freelance graphic design for primarily American and Canadian clients, so speaks English most of the time now. Her English is as good as mine, though with an accent. Her family can well afford her medical care, but has refused it due to the stigma of mental illness. After high school she worked while living at home and started to pay for her own care. Her family forced her to discontinue treatment. This was one reason for her leaving home.

I appreciate the general concerns about scams, etc. but am well aware of such things and the need for due diligence in ensuring people are who they say they are.
 

harryopal

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While is it a kind human response to reach out to help someone with problems I can't but wonder how you are able to assess her mental health or robustness to cope with a major stressful situation as moving to another country and coping with all that this entails? That her parents are not prepared to support her might suggest they are either ultra conservative and lacking in compassion and the nature of her mental health issues are quite serious.

Have you any medical advice as to her vulnerability or stability? Enabling this young person to make such a leap without knowing she is up to strength for this may not be helping at all. Other respondents to your posts have expressed similar concerns. I am sure we all wish you well with your endeavours but thus far these questions about this young lady's well being seem not to have been really addressed.
 

Nimbus

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The KK is the foundation of Indonesian legal identity. Even the electronic ID takes its number from the Family Card. I don’t see how a notaris can help.

First, try hard to get a copy of the KK from the parent. Say that she wants to make a passport so she can go to Singapore to meet a client or something. Or, you can contact her parent asking to meet her in SG.

If this doesn’t work, the next avenue to try is through a passport agent (calo). They typically cost the equivalent of $35-$70. For ‘special’ cases like this, they may charge more. Still, it’s a pittance compared to the rest of the cost of moving to USA. A well-connected agent with the right amount of money can make things happen.

If they still can’t do it without KK, then the long process is to apply for her own KK. This means getting her own residence (if she hasn’t done it already), then follow the standard process by going to RT, RW, and Kelurahan.
 

snpark

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What happens after she relocates to USA and you get bored of your rescue project or can no longer finance her lifestyle? Do you just send her back? Or dump her there? From what I see on 90 day fiance you sign papers to legally support her for (10 years?) a long time so that includes medical expenses and credit?
 

Puspawarna

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Valerian, whatever eventually happens with this situation, I hope you'll continue to pose questions and share information with us. You sound well meaning, and much of what you say in post #14 does sound plausible. With luck we can live up to your initial description of us as a "welcoming and informative source" and not scare you off with too many bluntly stated questions.

There are a lot of red flags here, as you probably realize. Any info you provide, and questions you answer, will be helpful in many ways: The more we know, the more we can give you good answers. The more that you think things through now, in response to tough questions like those posed by spark, the better prepared you'll be to cope with whatever happens later. And in the long run, by sharing your story - including whatever happens as this plays out - you may be able to help others in the future who encounter similar situations.
 

Nimbus

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What happens after she relocates to USA and you get bored of your rescue project or can no longer finance her lifestyle? Do you just send her back? Or dump her there? From what I see on 90 day fiance you sign papers to legally support her for (10 years?) a long time so that includes medical expenses and credit?
Good questions. The requirements for F-1 (student) and J-1(exchange visitor) visas are different from fiance and spouse visas. F-1 doesn’t require a sponsor, but she has to be enrolled full time in a school or college, showing the financial ability to cover at least one year of tuition and living cost. J-1 requires a sponsor, and this is where the friend with the African connection comes in.

I’m still wary about how medical costs will be covered. Every beneficiary of the F-1 and J-1 program is required to maintain health insurance, and it’s not cheap. Perhaps they are counting on her working over there, which is a tricky matter. Students with F-1 visa are only allowed to work on campus part time. J-1 visa holders have similar requirements.

Frankly, I don’t see how on-campus employment can generate enough money for tuition, living cost, and health insurance. Perhaps the J-1 sponsor is a charitable organization and has funds to cover it, I don’t know.
 

jukung11

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I would agree with Nimbus that there is likely little a notaris can do for her situation.

So she possibly has foreign born parents (Chinese) and was raised going to an International school in Jakarta. That explains a lot. It is a rare set of circumstances. In case you are not as familiar with Indonesia, there are less expensive private schools in Indonesia, but the average tuition at most international schools costs more than most households of Indonesia will make in a year. There is a tremendous wealth disparity in the country. Chinese ethnicity makes up around 2% of the population of Indonesia, but the majority immigrated to Indonesia from more southern Chinese provinces during Dutch colonial times. Even at the 1950s, less than 50% of China could even understand Mandarin and it was not a primary language for most Chinese. The majority of Chinese Indonesians spoke other Chinese dialects. After the communist coup attempt in the 1960s, Chinese written language (Chinese characters are mostly the same regardless of language) were outlawed in Indonesia and much of the Chinese culture (language and religion) was stripped away in areas where they were a minority. The anti-Chinese culture sentiment may have influenced her parents promotion of English over her first language (Mandarin).

If she attended a standard Indonesian high school, I would make a few guesses. I might guess that she has a basic understanding of the Indonesian language enough to navigate Indonesian society, but it is more likely her emotional health that is holding her back. If she does not have that level of basic understanding of Indonesian, her high school grades likely would have suffered without bribery of teachers, which is also not unheard of in Indonesia. I mentioned that admission standards are often forgiving for full price paying international students, but because basic Indonesian schools have low standards for education and poor international results, they are less valuable in terms of admission standards. If she is not applying to an easiest admission school, such as a community college, many U.S. programs will put more emphasis on any standardized tests such as SAT and TOEFL for admission. There are a few SAT test centers in Jakarta. That step of the process can be completed while waiting for the KK paperwork.


It is probably a good place to start to see if all the money and effort for the application process may be a waste.

I am less familiar with mental health services in Indonesia. I do know that basic services are covered by BPJS. It is poor quality service, but you mentioned she has already been treated for this by someone else. As long as she has the file from her previous psychiatrist, she should be able to get her medication efficiently. She would first visit the local puskesmas and go from there to follow the steps to get an insurance covered consultation. If she has her previous treatment file and around 500k IDR, she should be able to get treatment from a private psychiatrist. The medication should also be covered by BPJS.
 
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