Indonesia has a visa on arrival that costs 500.000 IDR (~33$). It is a simple and convenient option to enter the country.
But did you know that you can obtain it online, even before you arrive? This is what’s known as the eVoA.
The Indonesia eVOA is simple to apply for, is issued instantly and you can extend it online without a visit to an immigration office.
Unfortunately, the website has seen its fair share of problems after launch. Travelers report errors, failures, and general confusion. I have had a few problems to deal with myself too!
After it got a major overhaul in October 2023, it somehow became even more glitchy. Then in January 2024, Indonesian Immigration added more requirements and options to the online application.
Here, you will read about my experience applying for 5 eVoAs and then extending 4 of them, including the problems I’ve faced. I’ve also added information from countless reports about glitches and solutions concerning the eVoA.
Who is eligible for an Indonesia eVOA or VOA
Passport holders from 93 countries are eligible for Indonesia eVOA online or visa on arrival paid at the airport.
Check the full list of countries.
The difference between eVoA and VoA
VoA stands for Visa on Arrival and is exactly what the name suggests – you receive a visa for Indonesia upon your arrival in the country. You will pay for it at the border.
Indonesia eVoA on the other hand can be paid for and received online BEFORE you arrive in the country.
Both are only issued and/or accepted at certain airports, seaports, and land borders. See the full list of eligible borders here. Big airports like Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Makassar, and Lombok are on the list and so are some land borders, for example, the Mota’ain border with Timor Leste.
The VoA and eVoA are equivalent permits and allow you to stay in Indonesia for 30 days, extendable once for another 30 days. Any entry into Indonesia is subject to an immigration check and potentially a few simple questions.
The two main differences between the VOA and eVOA are:
- You can proceed directly to immigration with an eVOA. With VOA you must queue to pay for your visa first, then proceed to the immigration desks;
- You can extend eVOA online in less than 5 minutes. VOA received after landing can only be extended in person with 3 visits to the closest immigration department or with the paid help of an agency and 1 visit to immigration.
Official website to apply for an eVOA for Indonesia
There are two official, reputable, and trusted websites to get your Indonesian eVOA:
They are identical and both belong to the Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration. You can use the same account for both.
There are so many travel agents, visa agents, Bali agents, etc agents that claim to help or facilitate visas for Indonesia.
They will either charge you more (for something you can easily do yourself) or even worse – steal your sensitive identity data and do who-knows-what with it (okay, probably not, but why risk it?).
I’ve only ever used Molina for my applications. It works, although there are glitches (more on that later).
How to apply for Indonesian eVOA online
If you’re reading this section, I will assume you qualify for a Visa on Arrival for Indonesia and want to get it online from the Molina website (or Evisa Imigrasi) before your flight (or ferry, or even bus from Dili to Kupang).
Step 1: Register an account in Molina/Evisa
Many people skip this step and then run into problems accessing their visa confirmation or extending it onshore.
Register first, then make an application! (EDIT February 2024: It’s no longer necessary to make an account, although I still recommend it as you never know when they will change the system again)
This is the link to register on Molina. Choose the option “foreigner“, then fill in all information (Personal, Document, Account) on the next screen, click submit, then go back and log in through the big orange button in the top right corner of the main page.
Step 2: Make a new visa application
After signing in with your account, navigate to “SERVICES” and pick “E-Visa”. You can also find use the button “Apply” on the home page regardless if you’re logged in or not.
- Then select the country where your passport is from;
- Select your purpose to visit Indonesia. If you’re going as a tourist, pick “General, Family or Social“;
- Select a sub-purpose for your visit: Tourism, family visit, transit;
- Select “Visa on Arrival 30 Days”;
- On “I’m planning to stay” the only option is 30 days. Don’t worry, you can extend it later to up to 60 in total;
If Molina loads the visa suggestion as “Type of Visa B1“, you’ve done it correctly.
- Click “Detail & Apply”;
- Scan the requirements and conditions;
- Click “Apply”.
If you get “INTERNAL SERVER ERROR 500” or similar, just try again. The Molina website is known to spit out errors all the time. Wait a few minutes and restart. Sometimes getting the eVoA is super easy, but sometimes it’s an annoying hassle.
Step 3: Personal Information
On the next screen, you’ll have to upload your passport bio page and a face picture. A few things to note:
- Keep your passport pic as small as possible but clear and without glare; Compress it down to under 200 kb;
- Carefully follow the requirements for the face picture.
Step 4: Form Application
The system will automatically read the MRZ from your passport and populate most of the information.
Important: Double-check EVERYTHING. Sometimes the automatic information is wrong. It’s ALWAYS WRONG for the passport’s date of issue (it puts the current date instead).
Step 5: Attach Onward Flight
That’s a new step as of January 2024. You are now required to attach a PDF of your return or onward flight out of Indonesia.
Thankfully, the eVoA remains completely automated, which means that you can submit any ticket and you will be approved no matter what. Nobody checks the applications, the actual checks happen at flight check-in and immigration.
This means that you can attach an onward ticket for up to 60 days after the date of entry if you intend to extend the eVoA. If prompted at check-in or immigration, explain that you will extend – they know about that option and will accept your ticket.
Step 5: Validation and Submit
Before the October 2023 overhaul of the online portal, I never had any problems with the eVoA.
Then in December 2023, I kept trying to submit only to get hit with the dreaded HTTP 500 Error. Five times in a row.
I gave up and went to sleep. Tried again the next day. Same error twice.
Then the following day it finally worked and the application was submitted.
But now what, I hadn’t paid for it!?
Step 6: Retrieve the eVisa
After submitting your application the portal just does nothing. But you’re not finished.
Go back to the home screen of the Molina portal and click ‘Retrieve E-visa”.
Alternatively, navigate directly to this link for “find batch”.
Input your passport number, nationality, and date of birth.
You should now be able to see your application. And if you got many Error 500s like me, also see all the draft applications there too.
Pick your application (or the most recent one) and follow the procedure. You should be able to pay this way. Do the payment within 2 hours after you submit the application.
Note: Your card must support 3D Secure payments (aka 3DS or 3D Secure System). Revolut does and works fine for eVoA payments. Learn more about what personal finance apps I use.
The Indonesia eVoA costs 500.000 IDR (~33$) and you will pay 19.500 IDR (~1.3$) as a card transaction fee.
In total, the eVOA payment screen will show 519.500 IDR.
Yes, this means that the VOA at the airport is slightly cheaper, but considering you might end up paying in a different currency (at an unfavorable rate), you might have to extend via the lengthy in-person procedure and you could end up waiting in queue for up to an hour to pay for the VOA (especially at Bali’s Denpasar Airport), the eVOA is a bargain.
Download the receipt at the end just in case there are technical issues with your eVOA.
Step 7: Receive eVoA on your email and save it
Shortly after you pay, you should receive a confirmation of the payment. In a separate email, you should receive the eVoA in a pdf. Download it on your phone and you’re good to go.
You don’t need to print out the Indonesia eVoA. Simply show the PDF file at immigration.
How long does getting an eVOA take?
Once you pay, eVOA is issued immediately.
The system in place does not include any human verification and is fully automated. Think of it more like a payment portal for the entry permit (stamp) you will receive at the border.
It’s quite different to how, say, the Vietnam e-visa works where your application is checked and approved before you get your visa.
If you follow all the steps correctly, Indonesia eVoA is instant. You can even do it an hour before your flight (not that I recommend that).
How to extend the eVoA
Extending eVoA is simple, and takes less than 5 minutes and a few clicks on the Molina website.
Make sure you extend your eVoA at least a week before its date of expiry. This way if there are any unsolvable issues you can go to an immigration office and salvage the situation.
Note that you cannot extend the eVoA before you enter Indonesia! Upon entry, the immigration officer will register your eVoA in the system and you should receive an automated email from “DIREKTORAT JENDERAL IMIGRASI REPUBLIK INDONESIA” with your “Stay Permit” confirmation.
Only then will you be able to extend it. I suspect many officers don’t register this properly and this is why many travelers are unable to find their eVoA on the system and extend. As time goes by, this should be less and less of an issue.
Step 1: Log in to your account on Molina.
That’s why it was important to register an account, even though Molina says it’s not necessary. Yeah, it isn’t, until you want to extend it, then it most certainly is. If you didn’t sign up for an account, do so now. It’s easier, especially if you intend to ever get another eVOA online.
Edit February 2024: You no longer need an account to extend. You don’t need to be logged in to do the next steps. If you’re logged in, you will NOT see the eVoA in the “Extend” section.
Step 2: PANIC because you don’t see your application in the EXTEND section
Step 3: Go back to the home screen and retrieve the eVoA
Follow the same procedure as when you had to pay.
Go back to the home screen of Molina (or directly to this ‘find batch’ link), click “Extend My Visa”, fill in your info, and see the applications you have made.
Pick the ACTIVE ONE. This is the one that has a green “PAID” note next to it.
Once there, the process becomes straightforward.
- Fill in the information required;
- Pay! It’s 519.500 IDR too.
- Receive PDF confirmation on your email;
It’s so simple actually. No need to visit the immigration and no need to pay an agent to do it for you.
Common problems with the Indonesian eVOA
The reason I wrote this guide is because I read countless questions and complaints about it daily from fellow travelers struggling to make it work.
I’ve had problems with it too, but have always been able to fix them and eventually get the visa. Let’s look at the most commonly experienced problems and what you can do to fix them.
HTTP 500 internal server error
This error means that there’s a problem with the server. Not yours, the website’s. There is a long list of potential reasons, but we don’t care about it, we just want our eVoAs!!!
Unfortunately, this is not within your control. If you get this error, the best you can do is:
- Clear your cache and cookies and refresh the page;
- Try a different browser;
- Try using a VPN;
- Try a different network (e.g. switch from wifi to mobile data);
- Try with a different device type (e.g. smartphone instead of PC)
- Go get coffee and try again later.
That’s about it. I’ve had this error pop up for me trying to complete the Indonesian eVOA journey and it always fixes eventually. Just try again later.
I don’t see where to pay
I didn’t either for a while and I scratched my head figuring it out.
You have to go to the home screen and retrieve your application. After you click on “details” it will allow you to pay. Then you’re good to go!
I don’t see my application in the Extend Section
You don’t and nobody else does because the Molina website is bad.
Instead, go to the homepage and click on the button “Extend My Visa”. Then follow the procedure. It’s explained in detail in the “How to Extend” section of this article.
Status stuck at “waiting for payment”
The reason for this is unknown. All you can do is start a fresh application and pay immediately after you submit it. There is no penalty for having an unpaid application.
Passport not accepted
If when trying to create a new account you get the error that your passport picture is invalid, it’s probably two possible reasons:
- Your passport picture is too large;
- Your passport picture is in a format that’s not accepted.
There’s a hidden size limit of 200 kb for passport pictures on Molina. If your picture is bigger than that, resize and compress your image.
Make sure you use a JPG file format. This one is definitely accepted for the Indonesian eVOA.
Do you need to complete biometrics to extend eVOA?
When extending your VOA, you will make at least 1 visit to immigration (if done with an agent, independently it’s 3) where they will take down your biometrics.
If you’re extending an eVOA online, you don’t need to do this. You don’t need to visit an immigration office at all if you extend online.
Other documents needed to enter Indonesia
Apart from a visa, when entering Indonesia you also officially need:
- Passport valid for at least 6 months;
- Return or onward ticket;
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Indonesia;
In reality, the passport requirement is strictly mandatory (it’s unlikely you’ll even be allowed to board your flight), the onward ticket is enforced only 50% of the time (but then stubbornly required despite objections) and the proof of funds is never asked for.
Since June 2023, there are no longer any COVID-related entry requirements for Indonesia.
What happens if you don’t extend and overstay?
Overstaying a visa is one of the worst things you can do as a traveler. It can potentially lead to massive problems and a lot of headaches.
The penalty is 1.000.000 IDR (~65$) per day per day of overstay. This is up to 60 days. It is unclear what happens if you overstay longer than 60 days but we can assume nothing good.
Immigration will NOT care about technical issues with the Molina website. You cannot use this excuse.
If for some reason you cannot extend online, go in person to the nearest Kantor Imigrasi or leave the country and reenter.
My experience with eVOA for Indonesia
Honestly, what an absolutely massive time-saver the eVOA has been! I’ve entered Indonesia 5 times on an eVOA and every time it’s been easy at the border.
The first 4 times I didn’t have any problems whatsoever. Neither with the application nor with the extension.
The last time I did it I couldn’t get past the Error 500s until I tried once more the day after. Then I couldn’t figure out where the extension button was for hours until I found the “retrieve” option on the home screen. Talk about a user-unfriendly experience!
If you’re experiencing problems with the eVOA application or extension, write a comment below or send me a message on Facebook or Instagram.
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Have an awesome trip!