If you’ve found this article because you have overstayed your Indonesian visa, don’t panic. Chances are good that you will be able to sort out your situation without too much pain.
A simple overstay is only an administrative matter, not a criminal one. Don’t let anyone tell you any different!
Undang Undang (Law) no. 6/2011 on Immigration is the Indonesian law that deals with overstays. To be guilty of overstay, you must first have entered Indonesia lawfully at an official immigration checkpoint. This means you were carrying a valid passport and had a proper visa (or a waiver to enter visa-free). In other words, you were at some point legally in Indonesia.
Overstay is the act of staying in Indonesia for longer than your visa or entry permit allows. Note that both the day that you enter Indonesia and the day you leave count as full days. For example, you entered using the visa free 30 day entry, on the 1st of September (a month with 30 days). Then your 30th day in Indonesia would be the 30th of September. Each day after that would count as a day overstayed.
Important: Even if you have overstayed, ensure that your passport remains valid. Being caught without a valid passport while also overstaying could result in a criminal charge as per article 119.1 in the Immigration law.
Note that this is different from the situation where someone entered Indonesia illegally. The penalties for illegal immigration are more severe. But a simple overstay is only an administrative matter, not a criminal one. Don’t let anyone tell you any different!
Law no. 6/11 on Immigration defines two types of overstay: fewer than 60 days; and over 60 days.
Overstays of 60 days or fewer
The Law on Immigration sets out what you should do if your overstay is no more than 60 days. The process is simple: make sure you have a ticket to fly out of Indonesia, and go to the airport. You will have to pay a fine (Rp 1 million per day of overstay as of May 3, 2019). Then you can leave the country. Be sure to go early to leave enough time to sort out your overstay without missing your flight!
What if you can’t pay the fine? In that case, you will be deported and blacklisted. (Check our article dealing with Blacklisting).
Overstays of more than 60 days
With an overstay of more than 60 days, the law says that you will be deported and blacklisted. Surprisingly, you will not have to pay a fine!
Again, you should go to the airport really early with your ticket to exit Indonesia.
Don’t display any expensive watches, jewelry, electronics, or other signs of wealth. Do not bring large amounts of cash. If this is found, officials may pressure you to buy your way out of the situation.
Be ready for questions that officials may ask. Stay calm and gracious, don’t raise your voice. Don’t argue and don’t quote the law at them.
Make sure you can explain the circumstances of your overstay. Especially how you managed financially while staying in Indonesia. Important: Working illegally will make your situation much worse, as that is a criminal offense.
Be remorseful and apologetic. Agree that you have made a mistake and that you are willing to face the consequences.
Prepare yourself for the possibility that officials may try to goad or insult you. They may also threaten you with punishment, possibly citing Article 124. Don’t let this scare you, as that article applies mostly to employers who knowingly hire illegal workers.
If you have an Indonesian spouse, have them go with you. Officials may want to talk to them as well. Be sure that your companion is ready: don’t display any signs of wealth, stay calm, and have an explanation. In addition, you and your companion should both make it clear that s/he had no prior knowledge of the overstay.
Unless officials become suspicious that some other crime has been committed, you will likely be deported on the same day. However they can legally detain you while they conduct an investigation.
More tips for long overstays
- Deal with your situation sooner rather than later. The longer you delay, the less likely it is that officials will accept your explanations.
- It is better for YOU to be the one to go to the authorities, rather than having them discover you.
- The best place to surrender yourself, is an airport with full immigration facilities (Kantor Imigrasi Kelas 1 Khusus). For example, Soekarno-Hatta in Jakarta or Ngurah Rai in Bali. This is because these offices are more likely able to process your immediate departure. Regular immigration offices will be more likely to detain you, as they do not have this authority.
- Before you surrender yourself, tell a friend or family member. This is mostly so that they know where you are, if you end up detained by immigration.
- You may also want to tell your embassy. However, it is unlikely they will offer you much assistance.
- Bring a ticket to leave the country with you. This makes it more likely Immigration will allow you to depart as scheduled. You’ll almost certainly experience a longer detention if you don’t have a ticket in hand.
- Don’t do anything rash, like faking documents or trying to smuggle yourself out. You will almost certainly find yourself facing far harsher consequences.
What if my overstay was due to an emergency?
If you know that you are going to overstay due to an emergency, you should extend your visa before it expires. At your local immigration office you can ask for an Izin Tinggal Keadaan Terpaksa (Emergency Stay Permit). This stay permit is available for among others, humanitarian reasons and natural disasters. For humanitarian reasons you should include supporting proof, such as medical records or doctor’s recommendation.
The emergency stay permit is valid for 30 days. You can then apply to extend it for an additional 30 days each time.
The relevant statute for the emergency stay permit is Justice and Human Rights Ministerial Decree no 27, 2014.
Applicable articles of law & translation
Pasal 78 UU 6/2011
1) Orang Asing pemegang Izin Tinggal yang telah berakhir masa berlakunya dan masih berada dalam Wilayah Indonesia kurang dari 60 (enam puluh) hari dari batas waktu Izin Tinggal dikenai biaya beban sesuai dengan ketentuan peraturan perundangundangan.
2) Orang Asing yang tidak membayar biaya beban sebagaimana dimaksud pada ayat (1) dikenai Tindakan Administratif Keimigrasian berupa Deportasi dan Penangkalan.
3) Orang Asing pemegang Izin Tinggal yang telah berakhir masa berlakunya dan masih berada dalam Wilayah Indonesia lebih dari 60 (enam puluh) hari dari batas waktu Izin Tinggal dikenai Tindakan Administratif Keimigrasian berupa Deportasi dan Penangkalan.
1) Foreigners holding an expired stay permit and still within Indonesia fewer than 60 days past the expiration of the stay permit will be fined according to the law.
2) Foreigners who do not pay the fine stipulated in (1), will be subjected to Administrative Immigration Action, in the form of Deportation and Blacklisting.
3) Foreigners holding an expired stay permit and still within Indonesia more than 60 days past the expiration of the stay permit will be subjected to Administrative Immigration Action in the form of Deportation and Blacklisting.
Pasal 124 UU 6/2011
Setiap orang yang dengan sengaja menyembunyikan atau melindungi atau memberi pemondokan atau memberikan penghidupan atau memberikan pekerjaan kepada Orang Asing yang diketahui atau patut diduga:
a. berada di Wilayah Indonesia secara tidak sah dipidana dengan pidana penjara paling lama 2 (dua) tahun dan/atau pidana denda paling banyak Rp200.000.000,00 (dua ratus juta rupiah);
b. Izin Tinggalnya habis berlaku dipidana dengan pidana kurungan paling lama 3 (tiga) bulan atau pidana denda paling banyak Rp25.000.000,00 (dua puluh lima juta rupiah).
Anyone who intentionally hides, protects or gives accommodation, livelihood or employment to a foreigner who is known or reasonably presumed:
a. to be within Indonesia illegally is punishable by imprisonment of a maximum of 2 years and/or a maximum fine of Rp 200 million
b. to have an expired stay permit is punishable by imprisonment of a maximum of 3 months or maximum fine of Rp 25 million.
Some notes on the Law
As you can see from reading the law, a simple overstay is an administrative matter. It doesn’t involve courts or jail time. For overstays of more than 60 days, there is no fine. The only applicable penalty is Deportation and Blacklisting.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The words “dengan sengaja” in bold above, is a legal term. “Dengan sengaja” (“on purpose”) means that the violation has to be willfully done, with an obvious advantage to the violator. “Diketahui atau patut diduga” (“known or reasonably persumed”) means the perpetrator knows the status of the foreigner. This part of the law mostly applies to employers of illegal immigrants and benefit financially from doing so. The employer must be aware of the status of these workers, who are unable to show documents proving legal entry into Indonesia. This is not the case for an Indonesian friend or partner who is merely living with you. They are not be expected to know your immigration status or anything else about immigration.
We do not condone overstaying your visa. The best way to avoid overstaying is to follow Indonesian Immigration laws and regulations.
Legal disclaimer: Every effort has been made to make the above information as accurate as possible. However, the writer is not a lawyer. This article is not legal advice. Indonesian laws, regulations, and procedures can change at any time. This post was last updated in October 2017. It was accurate to the best of the writer’s knowledge at that time.
Please visit Expat Indo Forum and add your voice!