Here in Indonesia most travelers can visit with a free 30-day visa that you get upon arrival. They’ve made it all incredibly easy. But what if you want to stay longer than 30 days (such as myself)? Then you have to jump through some hoops.
So here I go … beginning of the hoop jumping.
At the very beginning of this process, I had three options to renew my visa:
- Do the process myself which includes taking two days out of my schedule to wait around at immigration that’s essentially the DMV of visas.
- Buy a roundtrip flight to Singapore to get a new 30-day free visa.
- Find a reliable agent who will handle all of my paperwork for me. This also includes handing over my passport to a stranger.
All of my options didn’t sound super appealing. Several days ago I was talking to my scuba instructor about my options when he suggested I work with the agent that the scuba diving company uses.
That wasn’t a half bad idea, right there. A reliable source? Someone who probably won’t sell my passport on the black market? (probably…)
So I figured that was my best bet. I dropped off my passport with the company, paid my fee, and said a little prayer that I’d see my passport again.
So this morning I got a text from my contact asking if I could make a quick appearance at the immigration office for finger print scanning and a photo.
So I grabbed a taxi to the immigration office and texted my agent to let him know I was there. My agent found me at the entrance and immediately led me to a door. As I opened the door, I felt like I was completely wrong. In front of me were seven officials at computers who all looked up at me.
Ah ….. hi?
I was told to sit down, got my prints scanned, photo taken, and handed a paper.
And that was it.
I gave the paper to my agent who told me that he’d call me when my passport was ready. Either tomorrow or the day after. So far, I don’t regret this decision at all. But I’ll feel 100% better when my passport is back.
I then went from immigration to my new hostel. Because I was so busy through the day, I didn’t eat lunch. Instead, here’s my well-balanced meal: