Cancellation of visa-free entry temporary: Ministry of Tourism

JAKARTA (ANTARA) – The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenbaregraf) said the decision by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham) to cancel visa-free entry (BVK) for 159 countries is temporary.

„This policy is temporary and relevant parties, including Kemangumham, will conduct an in-depth study,” Nia Niskaya, Kemanbaregraph’s deputy for strategic policy, said in a statement received in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He noted that the government has yet to assess the impact of the cancellation of visa-free entry on tourism activities in Indonesia.

„It is too early to say that the policy will have an impact on reducing the number of tourists. We have to wait at least two to three months to assess the impact,” he pointed out.

Niscaya further affirmed that his ministry is always ready to assist and cooperate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Kemangumham if they seek comments and suggestions to evaluate the visa-free entry policy.

He noted that if visa-free entry is re-implemented, the program should be implemented reciprocally, providing benefits to Indonesia and focusing on security aspects.

Earlier, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights had decided to grant visa-free entry facility to only 10 ASEAN countries and visa-on-arrival (VoA) facility to a total of 92 countries.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia granted visa-free entry to 169 countries, noted Silmi Karim, director general of the ministry’s immigration department. The facility was canceled after Indonesia was hit by an epidemic.

Karim noted that since 2021 the government has used VoA in exchange for BVK.

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Until now, the government has been gradually increasing the number of countries covered by VoA, and this year, six countries were added to the list, he noted.

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Translated by: Sinda Ambarvati, Tegar Noorpitra
Author: Anton Santoso
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