'Immigration on board'

On some Garuda Indonesia flights, immigration entry procedures are conducted during the flight, which saves passengers from the need to queue to clear passport control upon arrival at the airport. More information is available here. 'Immigration on board' is currently available on the following Garuda Indonesia international flights:




Tokyo-Jakarta and Tokyo-Denpasar


Dealing with Imigrasi serves as a useful introduction to the Byzantine complexity of Indonesia's bureaucracy. The long and short of it, though, is that most Western travellers can get a visa on arrival for US$25 at virtually all common points of entry Java, Bali, etc, so read on only if you suspect that you don't fit this description.

There are three ways of entering Indonesia:

Visa waiver
Show your passport, get stamped, that's it. Applies only to a few select, mostly ASEAN countries.
Visa on arrival
Pay on arrival, get a visa in your passport, get it stamped. Most visitors fall in this category.
Visa in advance
Obtain a visa at an Indonesian embassy before arrival.

A minimum of 6 months validity must be available in your passport and it must contain at least one or more blank pages. This same rule applies to any visa extension that may be sought whilst in the country.

One peculiarity to note is that visa-free and visa-on-arrival visitors must enter Indonesia via specific ports of entry. Entry via other ports of entry will require a visa regardless of whether you are a visa-free or visa-on-arrival national or otherwise.

It should also be noted that the days a visa holder is within Indonesia are counted with the day of entry being day 1, not day 0. This means that by 24:00 hours 12 midnight on the night of the day of arrival you have been in Indonesia for one day. If you enter at 23:59 11:59 PM then 2 minutes later you have been in Indonesia for 2 days.

Customs in Indonesia is usually quite laid-back. You're allowed to bring in one liter of alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 gm of tobacco products, and a reasonable quantity of perfume. Amounts of money carried in excess of 100 million Rupiah, or the equivalent in other currencies, have to be declared upon arrival or departure. In addition to the obvious drugs and guns, importing pornography and fruit, plants, meat or fish is technically prohibited. Indonesia imposes the death penalty on those caught bringing in drugs.

Indonesia Immigration maintains its own website ( The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore KBRI Singapore ( also has some good information on Customs and Immigration requirements.

By road
By road

From East Timor: The main crossing is at Mota'ain between Batugade in East Timor and Atambua, West Timor.

From Malaysia: The only formal way to enter by land from Malaysia is at the Entikong-Tebedu crossing between West Kalimantan and Sarawak, Malaysia on Borneo. The crossing in on the main route between Kuching, Sarawak and Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan. As the crossing is listed only as a visa-free entry point, nationalities who do not qualify for this will have to apply for visas beforehand.

From Papua New Guinea: The only recognized crossing into Indonesia is at Wutung, between Vanimo in Sandaun Province in Papua New Guinea, and Jayapura, the capital of Indonesian Papua.

Note: It is not guaranteed that you will be able to enter Indonesia through these crossings and non-Indonesians are required to apply for visas at the nearest Indonesian Embassy or Consulate.

By ship
By ship

Ferries connect Indonesia with Singapore and Malaysia. Most connections are between ports in Sumatra mostly in Riau and Riau Islands provinces and those in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, although there is also a ferry service between Malaysia's Sabah state with East Kalimantan on Borneo. Onward boat connections to Jakarta and other Indonesian islands are available from these ports. See the pages for each city for more details.

From Singapore

Frequent ferries to/from the various ports of Batam Sekupang, Batu Ampar, Nongsa, Marina Teluk Senimba and Batam Centre.

Frequent ferries to Tanjung Pinang and Bandar Bintan Telani Lagoi Bintan Resorts on Bintan.

Several ferries daily to/from Tanjung Balai in Karimun Island.

One daily ferry, increasing to two during weekends, to/from Tanjung Batu* in Kundur Island.

From Peninsular Malaysia

Daily ferries run from Penang to Belawan, the port for Medan, Sumatra not operating anymore.

Daily ferries go from Port Klang near Kuala Lumpur to Dumai in Riau, Sumatra and Tanjung Balai Asahan in North Sumatra.

Daily ferries between Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan and Dumai in Riau province, Sumatra.

Daily ferries link Malacca with Dumai and Pekanbaru in Riau province, Sumatra.

Frequent ferries go from Kukup, Johor to Tanjung Balai* on Karimun Island in the Riau Islands.

Frequent ferries link the Johor Bahru with Batam and the capital of Riau province Tanjung Pinang at the Island Bintan in the Riau Islands.

Regular ferries also link Tanjung Belungkor in Johor with Batam.

From Sabah, Malaysia

Daily ferries link Tawau with Nunukan* and Tarakan*, both in East Kalimantan province on Borneo.

Visa-free/visa-on-arrival is available at all ports above except those tagged with *, which require a visa in advance, though there may be exceptions for visa-free visitors.