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Indonesia to End Visa-on-Arrival for Iranians

Citing Visa Abuse by Iranian Tourists, Indonesia to End Visa-on-Arrival for Iranian Nationals Effective August 20, 2013

(7/20/2013) The Jakarta Globe reports that effective August 20, 2013, Indonesia will withdraw the visa-on-arrival facility currently extended to Iranian passport holders visiting Indonesia.

The move has been announced with Indonesia citing problems and abuse of the 30-day-visa-on-arrival facility in the past by Iranian nationals. The change in visa policy coincides with an announcement from Australia that their doors have been shut to asylum seekers with boat people and illegal immigrants to now be sent to Papua New Guinea for resettlement.

Herawan Sukoaji, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Immigration Department told the press: “Many times we found Iranians misusing the visa. They claimed they only wanted to visit the country, but they brought along a lot of friends wishing to seek asylum.”

After August 20, 2013, Iranian visitors will need to apply for a visa in their country of residence before entering Indonesia. “Without visa on arrival, they cannot fly to Indonesia before Indonesian authorities review their intentions and grant them approval,” explained Herawan.

Claiming no formal notification of the change in visa policy has been sent to the Iranian government, the Iranian Embassy in Jakarta has refused comment at this time.

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