While Indonesia’s Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli has announced that Australia would be added to the list of countries on its visa-free policy by October 2015, there is still some doubt as to whether or not Australian travellers will be able to travel visa-fee free.
Currently Australians travelling to Indonesia for 30 days or less for tourism purposes have to pay a visa on arrival fee of US$35. The sticking point to adding Australia to the list of countries entitled to a fee-free visa, is that Australia will not extend the same policy to Indonesians visiting Australia. Currently, the visa charge for Indonesians wishing to enter Australia is $130 and requires the completion of a 15-page form.
On the issue of granting reciprocal fee-free visas, Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop said, “Australia remains committed to a universal visa regime, which requires all non-citizens to hold a valid visa to enter Australia. There is no intention to provide visa free access for any country”.
According to the Indonesian statistics bureau, Australians accounted for 12 per cent of visitors to the country in 2014, third only to Singaporeans and Malaysians.