indonesia and its awkwardness. as indonesians, we need to check on our passport expiry date carefully. indonesians cannot do travel abroad when our expiry date is less than 6 months from what is written in that tiny little green book. if you want to do travel and back here by january 1st 2013, you should have a passport expiry on june 1st 2013.
indonesian immigration is quite “strict” in this issue. i, myself, prefer not to go abroad if i dont have 6 months remains to that written date. its better to play safe. renew it with proper price instead of doing it with quick service. quick service costs 3.5 times higher than its normal cost.
my last singapore trip was chaos because of this issue. one of my travel mates found that her passport will be expired on january 23rd, 2013. our return ticket is july 24th, 2012. one day missed. we bought lion air tickets, at that time, lion air said that she needs to renew the passport and cannot guarantee that she will pass the immigration. they recommended not to issue her ticket until she renews her passport.
this is crazy. our flight was on the next saturday. lion airlines found that passport problem on friday. made a quick search on website for “quick passport renewal service”. some (travel agent) websites offer 3 days service for 900.000 idr. normal price is 255.000 idr for a week service. wow. just, wow. i tried to collect more info about this flash service. unfortunately, they dont have authority to determine the date for photo and interview session. the 3 days counts after photo and interview session. ok. great.
normal ways, means doing it by ourself, we can apply online through indonesia immigration website. fill the form and attach the papers. the next day we can go to nearest immigration from our place and we can get to online row with shorter queue than offline submission rows. and if we are lucky, we can get photo taken and interview session on the same day. then we can go back there to get our new passport 4 or 5 days after. and as i said before. it costs us only 255.000 idr.
with a help from a friends mother, my travel mate tried to apply passport renewal via insider. they came to immigration in bogor. they failed. they cant find insider who is able to help them. one of empoyee there gave an info that they can do fast service in depok. so they moved to depok. entering the “koperasi” and voilà, they found what they are looking for. fast service for 1.000.000 idr. it was tuesday. with that price, they can get the new passport by wednesday. one day service.
lesson learned. if we dont have extra money for unpredictable situation like this, be sure to renew your passport 6 month earlier. you can keep around 700.000 idr. it happened to me last year. i took 3 days service. it was 700.000 idr.
living in awkward country needs to update about these kind of awkward regulations.