Indonesia offers almost everybody (except for ASEAN countries and Timor Leste which are exempt) a visa on arrival that costs 500.000 IDR (~33$). It is a simple and convenient option to enter the country.
Since November 2022 an even easier option has existed! The Indonesia eVOA obtainable online became a reality. It’s simple to apply, is issued instantly and you can extend it online without a visit to an immigration office.
It is quite seamless and yet, the website has seen its fair share of problems after launch. Travelers report errors, failures, and general confusion. Even after it got a major overhaul in October 2023, it still remains glitchy.
Here, you will read about my experience applying and then extending several eVOAs over the past year. I have researched and compiled the common problems, and tested solutions that will help you with your online application.
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.
That includes practically all developed countries (EU, UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, to name a few) and most of the developing ones (India, China, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, and many more). Check the full list here or here.
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 your arrival in the country.
Both are only issued and/or accepted at a number of airports, seaports, and land borders. See the full list here.
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 is one and only one official, reputable, and trusted website to get your Indonesian eVOA and it is the Molina website of the Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration.
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 totally do yourself) or even worse – steal your sensitive identity data and do who-knows-what with it.
ONLY USE THE MOLINA WEBSITE FOR INDONESIA eVOA!
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 before your flight (or ferry, or even bus from Dili to Kupang).
Step 1: Register an account in Molina
Many people skip this step and then run into problems accessing their visa confirmation or extending it onshore.
Register first, then make an application!
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 yellow (recently changed to 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 “MY APPLICATIONS” and click “ADD”.
- 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 make it up to 60 later;
If Molina loads the visa suggestion as “Type of Visa B213“, 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: Arrival Information and Address in Indonesia
The Molina website has undergone serious changes in the past few months, although it’s still quite glitchy. One of the changes was the removal of the “Arrival information”, including the arrival date and vessel.
This is because this date is somewhat unimportant. The eVOA becomes valid the moment you pay and receive a confirmation and for the next 3 months. This is your window to enter Indonesia.
When you enter, you will receive a stamp in your passport which is valid for 30 days. Technically speaking, the stamp is your visa, and the pdf file you will receive is your authorization.
The dates on the eVOA pdf file you’ll receive are the validity dates for the visa, not the period when you can stay in Indonesia (which is up to 30+30 days from the day of entry).
Address in Indonesia and common problems with it
Let me be straightforward: nobody at immigration cares about the address you put on your eVOA application.
Nobody has ever asked me, nobody has ever checked, nothing. It doesn’t matter. And yet you have to put something, so it might as well be the address you’re staying at for the first few days at least.
- Pick your accommodation type;
- Copy the address from the booking confirmation you received from the hotel or check it on Google;
- Type only the postcode and all the rest of the data will automatically populate.
A common problem is when you have an incorrect postcode and the website spits “Data Postal Code not found” error.
In this situation, check the true postcode on this website by consecutively picking Province -> Regency/City -> Neighborhood -> Place.
Enter the correct postcode in Molina and you will be good to go.
Step 4: Pay for your eVisa
This step stumbles many. Most importantly, if you don’t pay within a few hours, your whole application will be void and you will have to start over!
It‘s best to pay immediately. I’ve always paid right after completing my application and never had problems.
If you don’t see the payment screen right after submitting your Indonesia eVOA application:
- Click on “MY APPLICATION” in the main navigation;
- Click on the Transaction Number.
- Click on the big blue “Make a Payment”;
- Enter your card details.
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 should show 519.500 IDR, not more, not less.
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 in Denpasar, Bali), the eVOA is a bargain.
Download the receipt at the end just in case there are technical issues with your eVOA.
Step 5: 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.
The customs declaration is something entirely different from the eVOA. Most countries require it, probably even your own when you return.
For Indonesia, the Customs Declaration can be completed upon arrival or online beforehand at the Official Indonesian Customs website.
Something you might be interested in is whether you need to register your phone’s IMEI with Bea Cukai (customs) upon arrival. Check my linked article for all questions answered.
How long does getting an eVOA take?
Once you pay, eVOA is issued immediately.
The system in place does not have any human verification in place 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 straightforward, 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.
First, 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.
Alternatively, scan the QR code at the bottom of the PDF that you received. That should immediately bring up an EXTEND option.
Once logged in to your account, click “EXTEND” in the main navigation of the header.
- Click on your application;
- 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.
Last time I extended my eVOA I timed myself and it took me 3 minutes and 45 seconds from start to finish!
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 get the eVOA. Let’s look at the most common problems people experience 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);
- 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 on its own within a few minutes. Just try again later.
There’s no button “EXTEND” on Molina
There are three chief reasons for this:
- You’re not logged in. Either log in or create an account and log in;
- Scan the QR code at the bottom of the PDF file of the eVOA.
- You’re trying to extend too late. It’s time to leave Indonesia! (Or visit the nearest Kantor Imigrasi ASAP).
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.
Can’t find my eVOA application in order to extend
Check that you’re logged in. If you still can’t find it, scan the QR code on the eVOA PDF file you received in your email.
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 in order 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.
If you overstay your Indonesian eVOA, the penalty is 1.000.000 IDR (~65$) per day after the date of expiry. 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 is! I’ve entered Indonesia 4 times on an eVOA and every time it’s been easy at the border.
I extended three of those online and except for a 1-hour downtime due to a 500 Internal Server Error, I have not had any problems with it.
If you’re experiencing problems with the eVOA application or extension, write a comment below or send me a message on Facebook or Instagram.
If you’re starting your journey in Jakarta and want to get to Bali overland, why not check my Ultimate Java Backpacking Itinerary?
Have an awesome trip!