Passport/visa agent or notary

Valerian

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I am trying to help an Indonesian friend come to the US to study. She lives in East Jakarta, and has been unable to get a passport because her family won't give her access to their KK. She is living on her own because of a history of abuse and neglect, so cannot depend on them for anything. Her landlord told her a notary might be able to help her get a passport, but had no recommendations. Though an Indonesian national, my friend was raised speaking English and would prefer to work with an English-speaking notary or agent, so I thought I would ask here. If anyone has any recommendations I would be very grateful.
 

harryopal

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From the sound of it your friend is a minor. Apart from getting an Indonesian passport she would probably also need a letter of permission for her to travel to the US from her parents.

I am familiar with Australian Immigration laws not the US but I imagine for them to favourably consider issuing a Visa it would be useful to show an application to a US educational institution with a letter from that institution showing they would place her. It would also help if she has a record of exceptional abilities as a student in which case exploring scholarship applications would be worthwhile.

Then there would be concerns about how your friend would support herself financially. If she has adequate funds of her own she would need a copy of her bank statement. In the absence of that I imagine she would need a letter of guarantee from a US sponsor indicating they would cover any financial needs of the "student." Given the high costs of medical treatments in the US this would be a serious undertaking.

There is also the issue of entry limitations now with Covid. This may vary from state to state and at the moment entry seems rather uncertain.

If you can cover the above points and you are a US citizen then you might seek an interview at the US Embassy for them to evaluate the chances of a visa. There seems little point getting a passport if there is no possibility of getting a visa.

In the absence of positive responses regarding the above issues then it seems to me the likelihood of her getting to the US is improbable.

Perhaps a US forum member with detailed knowledge of US immigration requirements can contradict me and give you encouragement.
 

dafluff

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I am trying to help an Indonesian friend come to the US to study. She lives in East Jakarta, and has been unable to get a passport because her family won't give her access to their KK. She is living on her own because of a history of abuse and neglect, so cannot depend on them for anything. Her landlord told her a notary might be able to help her get a passport, but had no recommendations. Though an Indonesian national, my friend was raised speaking English and would prefer to work with an English-speaking notary or agent, so I thought I would ask here. If anyone has any recommendations I would be very grateful.

In Indonesia, by law, you stay on your family KK until you yourself start a family (aka get married). KK will not be issued to single people. I am not sure how a notary would help in this case.

Perhaps she could find a passport agent who could "bypass" the KK requirement or alternatively, get a printout of the KK from the local Catatan Sipil office.
 

harryopal

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I repeat, I don't think it is a good idea to seek a passport if there is not a realistic possibility of getting a visa. It may just arouse false hopes and create extra disappointment unless visa requirements are achievable.
 

HappyMan

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... If you can cover the above points and you are a US citizen then you might seek an interview at the US Embassy for them to evaluate the chances of a visa. There seems little point getting a passport if there is no possibility of getting a visa...
Other wise advice aside, I'm not sure about the part I quoted here. I (a US citizen) tried contacting the US Embassy on behalf of both friends and in-laws. The embassy did not want to hear from me regarding immigration. They did not want me to attend the interview. They told me that (in essence) the advocacy of a random US citizen for the visa of a random alien was useless.

Perhaps someone with more gravitas would achieve different results.

Going to the embassy with my (now former) wife was a different matter. I did feel that my presence at the counter was helpful during her interview. The mood of the interview itself seemed to change when my pale, pasty, visage appeared next to hers. The interview changed from an interrogation to a conversation. Perhaps our status as a traditional "familial unit" was what elicited a more convivial atmosphere.
 

snpark

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You have about a 0.001% chance of getting her a visa. Seriously don't invest too much money and time into it. She might not even get a passport. And for someone with medical condition, young girl, first time travelling etc next to impossible she would get any kind of US visa. Sorry.
 

HappyMan

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So, mostly this has all been said, but there are some things to try.

Like Dafluff said, CaSip migh give her a KK printout for the passport application. Barring that, I'd be going to the RT to see if they have anything on file or are willing to mediate. Bureaucracy is slow to adapt, but someone must have solved this "my family won't give me the KK" problem before and written about it on the internet (in Indonesian).

You might find that she needs additional documents which are in the possession of her parents. Somehow school records come to mind, but you should have a deeper look about the internet.

You'll get more thorough info on dedicated sites, but it seems like the main focus for immigration interviews is the likelihood of the person supporting themselves and returning to their home country before their visa expires. As others have mentioned, the former can be handled by showing a flush bank account. The latter is down to "local ties", which could be business/land ownership or a meaningful career... relationships and children...? Not sure how a young student swings this one easily.

After that, you have the seeming randomness of visa approval. The ex maintains that when she had her student visa interview there were multiple better candidates who were rejected while she was approved... people on full-ride scholarships with wealthier families.

If you are serious about this, you guys can try. The KK is something she will eventually need access to anyway, so that probably won't be a wasted effort. Putting money in an internet friend's (my assumption) bank account requires a lot of trust though... Good luck.
 

Hawk256

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The visa is going to be the biggest problem and the other items are a pretty tall order. I know people right now that have legitimate marriages and cannot get a visa for their spouse for the purpose of visiting the US. It is actually easier in a marriage to intend to immigrate to the US and get approved than it is to get a visa to visit. In your case this doesn't apply to you but just trying to illustrate how hard it is to get a US visa. On top of the improbability of getting the desired outcome, you are looking at a money pit of ongoing issues. Your call and you are welcome to try but it doesn't look good from the start.
 

jukung11

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In Indonesia, by law, you stay on your family KK until you yourself start a family (aka get married). KK will not be issued to single people.

I have known people to accomplish this even without getting married. I don't know if it was simply because they gave a "gift" to the local pak RT, but they were given the documents to get issued a KK even though they were single. I believe the law supports it.

1. Penerbitan KK baru, dilaksanakan karena: d. pindah datang yang tidak diikuti oleh kepala keluarga

My understanding is if you move to a new area without your family, it can be issued. I saw this with young people when people leave far away provinces for cities. Also a few Indonesians that relocated because of sex work did this too.

Either getting a copy of the old KK or a new one issued, it will probably help contacting the RT.
 

dafluff

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I have known people to accomplish this even without getting married. I don't know if it was simply because they gave a "gift" to the local pak RT, but they were given the documents to get issued a KK even though they were single. I believe the law supports it.



My understanding is if you move to a new area without your family, it can be issued. I saw this with young people when people leave far away provinces for cities. Also a few Indonesians that relocated because of sex work did this too.

Either getting a copy of the old KK or a new one issued, it will probably help contacting the RT.

Hmm...might have different policies for different areas, I guess.

In Surabaya, the first requirement is a marriage certificate.

 

Valerian

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Thanks to everyone who has replied, and especially for the link and the Catatan Sipil office suggestion. We will check these out. I am quite familiar with the US side of student visas and am working with another US friend who has sponsored quite a few students, mostly from Africa. My friend can't even apply, though, without a passport so that is the essential first step. She needs help navigating the Indonesian bureaucracy to get that, help her US friends can't provide.

For more background, my friend is 24. A year ago, she attempted to get her own KK since she had moved away from her family. She started with the RT and RW of her original (mother's) home, got some document from them, then was told to go to the RT and RW of her new location. Things stalled there because she could not provide documentation of where she currently lives. She lives in a kos run by an elderly couple who don't use leases and are paid in cash. She explained her predicament to them, and they refused to provide a letter or other documentation of her tenancy. It was they who suggested she consult a notary. At that point she got frustrated and gave up, then COVID struck.

Now that Americans are finally starting to get vaccinated, we are trying again, starting with the passport problem. My friend has her KTP and her high school diploma, and some other documents. The only thing she needs is a KK, or a way to proceed without one.

So, if anyone has a recommendation for a reliable, preferably English-speaking notary or passport agent, we would be very grateful.
 

jukung11

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as she has been supporting herself doing freelance graphic design for primarily American and Canadian clients

She started with the RT and RW of her original (mother's) home, got some document from them, then was told to go to the RT and RW of her new location. Things stalled there because she could not provide documentation of where she currently lives.

It reads like she has already done most of the process I mentioned in getting a KK. She can move or get the RT to contact the kos owners to get it done. Indonesia is an infamously corrupt civil government system. This sucks for the poor, but works out well for anyone with money. Usually a donation to the various people involved gets the wheels moving. A motivated RT can be an excellent resource at resolving conflict and getting things accomplished. Moving to a new Kost that will be happy to provide the paperwork is not expensive and not difficult either. She could even ask the RT if he knows someone willing to provide the residency documents or rent an apartment. There are a lot of ways over this hurdle.

These are pretty minor costs in comparison to the college application and visa process. She also does not need a passport to start the student application process. She will need a minimum score on a TOEFL test to get admission for most F-1 qualified programs. That can be done in Indonesia without a passport. The average cost for the test is $200-$250.

The majority of I-20 estimates of costs are in the $20,000 - $30,000 range. So either the Indonesian International student or foreign sponsor would need that in liquid assets at the time of the application. If the majority of the funds are from a sponsor that is not familial, a traditional lender, or recognized scholarship program, there is usually extra scrutiny from the state department. This is a common tactic for human smugglers and was for the 911 terrorists. If it comes out that the sponsor has a romantic tie to the international student, immigration often assumes it is a way to side step the K-1 application process.

From your posts, it reads as though you will be the sponsor. Hopefully with some to the critics of the plan and skepticism from random people on the internet can prepare you for the amount you are going to get from the U.S. government.
 

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