Indonesia tightens entry restrictions

Posted by Imogen Searra on 23 January 2019

Getting a new stamp in one’s passport is always exciting. It marks the beginning of entering into a new country and the start of an adventure. Passports holders who travel often will naturally have books that look a bit worse for wear. Unfortunately, this may now result in them being denied entry into Indonesia.

In an attempt to stop illegal immigration, the country has clamped down on its entry restrictions, introducing a rule wherein the holder of a passport in poor condition can be denied entry. It is unclear what exactly is the acceptable condition of a passport, and what level of damage is tolerated.

Indonesia has tasked airlines to use their own discretion as to decide what is acceptable, and airlines will be fined A$5,000 (R4,961,975) if access to travel is granted to those with dishevelled passports.

There have been many travellers recently whose passports weren’t – excuse the pun – up to scratch. A couple on their honeymoon were sent back to London after the man presented a passport which had been chewed on by their dog. An Australian teenager who flew in to Bali was denied entry as the spine of her passport was slightly damaged. An AirAsia spokeswoman confirmed the new enforcement and said, ‘Passengers are responsible for ensuring they have the correct documentation for travel and that there are no signs of damage, especially to the ID pages and biometric chip.’

The new rules seem to have affected many Australian travellers, with the island being in close proximity to the land Down Under. Since before Christmas in December 2018, over 20 incidences of entry denial to Australian passengers have been reported. Aussies frequent Indonesia throughout the year, and over a million Australians visited Bali in 2018.


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