Expat Visas Relaxed, Domestic Travel, India Halts AstraZeneca Exports, Battery SOE Launched
Mar 29, 2021 | AmCham Indonesia
New Regulation Relaxes Expat Visa Rules
The Ministry of Law and Human Rights has released the Director-General of Immigration Circular Letter IMI-0661.GR.01.01/2021 regarding Visas and Stay Permits, relaxing some visa rules. It replaces earlier circulars.
The Circular Letter allows for some visas to be issued abroad in certain situations. AmCham Indonesia has been advocating for this change for some time on humanitarian and business grounds.
“This change should make it easier for companies to do business and is a welcome relaxation,” said AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann.
Applications for Limited Stay Visas no longer require a health certificate containing a statement of being free from Covid-19. Another important point is that foreigners who hold a visit residence permit originating from a Visa on Arrival, a one-time visit visa, a multiple-trip visit visa, or APEC Business Travel Card in Indonesia may now apply for an extension of their stay permits at the Immigration Office.
For humanitarian reasons, such as visiting sick family members, a one-trip Visit Visa can be issued by immigration officers at Indonesian embassies or consulates abroad. However, how this will be implemented is still unclear.
The Ministry of Law and Human Rights also posted on Instagram that Visas on Arrival are still not available. Visitor visas may only be granted for these reasons: urgent and emergency work, business negotiations, probation periods for incoming foreign employees, and food and medical assistance work. Click here for the post.
The post also specified the types of foreign workers who would be eligible for a Limited Residence Visa – expert staff, foreign employees working in Indonesia for a probationary period, and foreigners conducting inspections or audits on company branches in Indonesia. The government may also provide visas for non-working foreigners for the following purposes: foreign investment, family reunification, and elderly international travelers.
Despite a lack of clarity on how the process will be handled in practice, AmCham sees this as a positive update. The inability to apply offshore for visas has been causing big problems for companies and expatriates across a broad array of businesses.
The Covid-19 Task Force has released Circular Letter 12/2021 on Domestic Travel during the Covid-19 Pandemic, which includes allowing the use of the domestically produced GeNose test results for domestic travel. Filling in the Indonesia Alert Health Card (e-HAC) has also been made compulsory for air and sea travel, as well as for travelers going to Bali through all routes. Filling in the e-HAC is not compulsory for land travel, but highly encouraged.
The circular letter also changed the time limit on rapid antigen tests for travel to Bali, from a maximum of 24 hours before departure to a maximum of 48 hours before departure. The requirements outlined in the circular letter will come into effect on April 1.
India has temporarily halted delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) to Indonesia and other nations, and allocated more vaccines for domestic use due to rising Covid-19 infections in India. Indonesia was scheduled to obtain 2.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 22 and another 7.8 million next month, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said. Indonesia has already received 1.1 million doses of the vaccine this month.
Due to India’s halt, Indonesia will only have around seven million doses of Sinovac-made vaccines for April. Should 500,000 doses be given per day, Indonesia’s supply for April will run out in two weeks, Budi added.
Indonesia Battery Corporation Starts to Operate, Who Is in Control?
The government inaugurated the Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC), a state-owned holding company to handle the development of batteries for electric vehicles and other uses, on March 26. IBC is a joint venture of four state-owned companies – Indonesia Asahan Aluminum (Inalum) or MIND-ID, Aneka Tambang Tbk, Pertamina, and PLN. It is unclear which entity is in control of the new company.
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In February of this year, Kraft Heinz Indonesia donated healthy food packages for families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Daan Mogot, West Jakarta, in collaboration with its NGO partner, Foodbank of Indonesia (FOI). The donation included two packs of ready-to-cook vegetables and a bundle of other products. In total, there were 2,000 boxes donated which reached around 14,000 beneficiaries.
Other than Daan Mogot, the donation was also distributed to informal workers and families through the Foodbank of Indonesia Dapur Pangan, a public kitchen that provides food for people in need with a focus on children and the elderly. Dapur Pangans are located in 105 sites in greater Jakarta and actively provide food to hundreds of people every day.
This donation is part of the company's mission to provide 1.5 billion nutritious food donations to people in need by 2025 globally.
Refinery Fire Will Not Affect Fuel Supply: Pertamina
The massive fire at Pertamina’s Balongan oil refinery will not affect fuel supply, the company has said, as it already has a high volume of stock on hand.
It is unclear what caused the fire, which broke out in the early hours of this morning, March 29, although there were reports of lightning strikes at the time.
CEO Nicke Widyawatic told a press conference the fire has not damaged the refinery’s processing capabilities and expected operations to return to normal in the next five days.
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In these difficult times, our hometown English language newspaper, The Jakarta Post, is more important than ever. Given the difficulties of physical circulation and the economic slump, the Post needs to boost its online subscribers – a goal we heartily support at AmCham Indonesia. Quality English language news is vital for our businesses, our home offices, and the flow of information out of Indonesia. It is for this reason, that we are urging all of our members and readers to subscribe to JP! Information is what will help get us through this crisis. Below is information about how to sign up.
The AmCham Office is on work from home status and all face-to-face meetings and events have been postponed. We are having a number of meetings online using the Zoom platform. You will be notified of virtual meetings as they are scheduled.
What is Your Company Doing on COVID-19?
Please let us know what measures your company may be taking in the form of donations and other assistance to help Indonesia during this time of confusion and concern. Contact [email protected] with your news. We would like to publicize the ways that our AmCham companies are pitching in.
Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.
AmCham Update is AmCham's regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis and other issues in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor