How to Extend your Visa on Arrival in Lombok, Indonesia
When I first traveled to Asia I was a bit discouraged by the visa policies for most Asian countries. For a quick three week holiday you’re mostly good with a free tourist visa on arrival (VOA). For extended travelers like me, arranging a (tourist) visa can be time consuming, costly, and let’s be honest: down right frustrating. In this post I’ll tell you exactly how to turn your visa extension into a rather quick and pain-free, walk in the park experience!
Before you extend
Most countries (169 to be precise!) are exempt for needing a tourist visa and can stay in Indonesia for up to 30 days for free. Australia, the US, Canada, the UK and most other European countries are included on this list. However, if you wish to stay longer than 30 days you have to either arrange your visa at the embassy or consulate outside Indonesia, or PAY for your visa on arrival. The cost for a visa on arrival is 35 USD, and has to be paid in cash. A free tourist visa on arrivals can not be extended!
Extending your visa in Lombok
What you’ll need to bring:
- Although there are pens available, bring your own black inked pen. You’ll thank me later!
- Your Passport
- A Photocopy of your passport picture page
- A Photocopy of your passport page with the visa
- A photocopy of your plane ticket departing Indonesia (within the 30 days of your extension)
- A Photocopy of your plane ticket entering Indonesia
- 355.000 Rupiah
Filling in the forms you’ll also have to provide the address, phone number, and email address of your local accommodation. For a 30 day VOA extension you don’t need a sponsor, so you can leave that section blank.
Extending your visa
Day 1. Applying for extension
Important! Dress appropriately. People get denied access on a daily base. There’s also more than one sign making it clear that women and men need to be covered up. No shorts, tank tops, and preferably no flip-flops. This may sound unreasonable to you, but Lombok is predominantly Muslim and the locals place a high value on dressing appropriately, this includes Bule’s (foreigners, especially from European descent).
The (brightly blue painted) immigration office is located conveniently along quite a busy road, and can’t be missed. If you arrive on scooter, parking NEXT to the actual office building is free. Parking in front of the office, they’ll ask you to pay when you leave. At the gate security will hand you a pass for entering the building.
- Walk straight up to the second floor
- Ask for the red application file at the counters 1,2, or 3 on your right hand side
- Fill in the forms (here’s where you thank me for bringing your OWN pen, ha!)
- Hand in the form, photocopies, and your passport at counter 1, 2, or three
- You’ll receive a printed ticket with a date to take fingerprints and photos. Guard this ticket well, as it is your ticket to hassle-free visa heaven!
Day 2. Finger printing and taking pictures
- Again, walk straight up the stairs to the second floor
- Hand over the printed ticket at counter 1,2, or 3
- Wait. When your name is called you’ll receive a number
- Wait until your number is called, and get ready for some finger printing and photo taking
- Go OUTSIDE, in front of the building, where an orange Pos Indonesia van is parked, and pay your fees (355.000 Rupiah)
- Return the same day to pick up your nicely stamped passports!
We arrived at 10.30 am and were out at 11.30 am. Picking up our passports was scheduled for 3 pm. We decided to spend a few hours in Mataram, instead of going back and forth to our hostel. Bare in mind that Mataram can be a crazy ride, traffic-wise! Having that said, the traditional markets Pasar Kebon Roek and Cakranegara are both worth a visit. Both sell fresh produce, clothing, and hand-crafted items. Pasar Kebon Roek is an authentic Asian market buzzing with people, live stock, and horse-drawn carriages. For unwinding, Mataram’s water palace Mayura is a great option. Feel free to bring a picnic blanket, and nap away along the waterside. Entrance is upon donation.
How to get there?
The immigration office in Mataram is pretty easy to find. It’s located along the busy Jalang Udayana road that’s convenient to reach by car, or scooter. Opening hours are from Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 4 pm. I suggest getting there early. Also, due to Muslim call for prayer the traffic can be madness around 12’ish!
Coming from Senggigi?
By far the easiest way would be to take the coastal Jalang Raya Senggigi and turn left at Jalang Adi Sucipto. Turn right at the roundabout and follow Jalang Udayana. You’ll pass the local park at your right hand side, and a bit further the immigration office at your left hand side.