When you arrive to Indonesia, most countries only get a 30 day tourist visa to explore the country. If you’re hoping to do more than just visit a couple places, you can get a visa extension for another 30 days.
We were nervous to get one at first – since the writeup about it in Lonely Planet makes it seem impossible to do without major help. Many of the towns we had visited before also had agents who could “help you” get the extension, but for a price. Instead, we opted to do it ourselves and I’m glad we did – it was so easy!
Here’s how we did it:
We applied for our visa extensions in the city of Mataram on Lombok. The office is located on Jalan Udayana 2 and the building is called “Kantor Imigrasi Mataram”.
On the top floor, go to someone behind the counter and let them know that you want to extend your tourist visa for another 30 days. They will give you a package with two forms in it that you fill out – just info like your name, passport number, nationality, etc. They will also ask for photocopies of your passport (the page with your photo and info), the page on your passport where your Indonesian visa stamp is, and of your departure card. To save time, get this done beforehand and give each item its own page (not all photocopied onto one page). If not, walk down the street and there’s a copy shop. We ended up just photocopying at a car rental shop who were kind enough to do it for us!
Hand in these forms and you’ll have to sit down and wait until the person behind the counter calls you up. They will hand you a receipt and tell you return in a few days. We went in on a Wednesday morning and our visas were ready by Friday morning!
The day you can pick up your passports, arrive early to avoid a rush of people. The office opens at 7am, however, there were no people working the counter yet and we ended up waiting around until 8am to get service. We handed in our receipt at the counter and had to move to another counter to pay the fee (250,000 rupiah each). We had to wait an hour and got called up a final time to fill out a form with our name, nationality, passport number, address where we were staying (just wrote down the name of the homestay and that was fine) and our reason for wanting the extension. We had a short wait again then we received our passports back with a new visa in them!
Maybe we were just really lucky, but we were never asked for a sponsor, or if we wanted to have the process sped up (at a cost) or asked by anyone in the office if they could act as an “agent” and do it for us. The whole process was really easy, and yes it took a few hours out of our day, but we saved a lot of money by doing so and now we can stay in Indonesia for an extra month!
Tips: Mataram isn’t anything special, just a smoggy city so instead of staying there we stayed in Senggigi (not much better but at least it’s by the sea). It’s only a 40,000 rupiah taxi ride to the Immigration Office.