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Image: The new rule in print. Credit: Imigrasi

Several expatriates could not hide their disappointment hearing about the new Rp 1 million per day overstay penalty fee. According to detik.com, they felt the Rp 1 million a day is right over the top. “It’s too expensive. It’s more expensive than a European penalty fee. Many tourists won’t be able to pay it and they will miss their flights,” said a Belgian man, Olivier Decoster, in Bali on Wednesday.

He also complained about the socialization of the new policy, because he only heard about it on Facebook and Twitter posts from expatriates who lived in Bali and not from the authorities.

“They didn’t socialize the new policy, either. Immigration should inform people about the new policy on social media with English language. The first thing I thought was that many foreign tourists would be stunned when they left Indonesia when it comes into effect,” he said.

He doubted that foreign tourists could pay the penalty fee. “I once overstayed my visa for six days. It’s not uncommon. But others, who don’t know about this change may have to ask other people to pay it for them because Immigration doesn’t even receive payments via credit card. It’s going to be a mess,” said the man who has stayed in Bali for nine years.

Meanwhile, Josh, an American who has lived in Indonesia for 10 years, said that the new policy will cause a negative impact on Indonesia tourism. “I thought it would be dangerous for Indonesian tourism, especially for remote areas. The 30 day visa policy has already been complicated for foreigners and that’s why they only visited popular destinations like Bali,” he said.

“Indonesia is a big country, it would need a longer time to explore it. Singapore and Malaysia, which are smaller, have a 90 day visa. It’s a bad policy. Moreover, the domestic flight rate is expensive at the moment. I don’t think the tourist visit target will be reached,” said the man who stays in Kerinci, Jambi.

He also said that the previous Rp 300 thousand a day is more than enough to punish the overstayed tourist. “They won’t overstay for a long time when they knew that they have to pay Rp 300 thousand a day. I hope the Immigration/Ministry of Law Departments coordinate with Ministry of Tourism to evaluate the impact of this new policy,” he added.

The new policy was stated in Government Regulation no. 28 of 2019 about Type and Tariff of Non-Tax Income to Ministry of Law and Human Rights. The Head of Immigration General Directorate Public Relation and Data, Agung Sampurno, said that the new policy was applied to punish overstaying foreigners. The new policy will be applied started from May 3, 2019. That’s today!