I have recently extended my Indonesian visa on arrival (VOA) in Bali. It took about a week, three visits to the immigration office, and Rp251,600, but it was a lot easier than leaving the country to get a new one.
Luckily for me, I live near an immigration office (in Singaraja), so the whole process only took about an hour in total, including journey time. If your nearest office is further away, then you’ll need to decide whether it’s easier to make the 3 trips or just one trip abroad instead.
In my case I needed a sponsor, but I’ve heard of other people not needing one. When you do this for the first time, I suggest you take a suitable local person with you just in case. They can always help with translation and filling in the visa application forms.
Also, I didn’t need a photo, but I’ve heard of other people beings asked to provide one, so it’s probably best to bring one just in case. It’s always a good idea to carry a few passport photos when you visit an immigration office as you never know when they might ask for one. These should be with a red background.
Since I used my wife as a sponsor for my visa, I had to provide a copy of our wedding certificate. Presumably, if you use someone else, this won’t be necessary.
I had to fill in 3 forms. One of these is a sponsor’s letter, which my wife completed. The others I completed myself (with some help from my wife as one is entirely in Indonesian). One of the forms needs a “materai” (stamp) which costs Rp6,000. You stick in on the indicated square at the bottom of the form and both you and your sponsor sign so that your signatures overlap it.
The second time I did this, they asked me to bring in my return ticket, presumably to prove that I was going to leave the country.
One small but important detail: make sure you complete the forms in black ink and in capital letters, otherwise they could be rejected. Really! Oh, and it’s a good idea to dress reasonably well when you go into the immigration office, so vests, shorts and flip-flops are out, as are mini-skirts and skimpy tops. You don’t need to wear a suit and tie, but at least long trousers/skirt (jeans are fine) and shirt or t-shirt.
You also need to provide photocopies of your passport (showing your identity details and current visa), your sponsor’s identity card (KTP), and your marriage certificate (if your spouse is sponsoring you).
5 days after dropping the forms off, I returned to the immigration office and paid Rp250,000 (equivalent to 25 US dollars).
3 days after that, I returned to pick up my visa. Oh, and I had to pay Rp1,000 for them to photocopy my passport with the new visa stamp in it.
I was initially concerned that, since the whole process was going to take a week, I would end up overstaying on my original visa (which ran out 2 days into the process), but this wasn’t a problem as I dropped off the forms before my visa expired. Ideally, you should go in one week before your visa expires but, even though I didn’t do that, they back-dated the new visa to start from the day my original one ran out. Nice!
Apart from the reduced hassle of doing this (compared to leaving the country on a visa run), there’s another advantage: the visa stamp they use only takes up half a page in your passport compared to a full page for the standard VOA stamp.
I hope this helps clarify the process for you.
One final tip: don’t listen to anything they tell you in Denpasar airport about this as they have been giving out inaccurate information there. For example, they may tell you there’s an immigration office in the airport, which isn’t true. There is one nearby, but not in the airport itself. They’ve also been known to tell people they can get their VOA extended while they wait, which is simply not true. I suggest you save your energy and avoid asking about this in the airport.
Good luck and happy travelling!