Indonesian Visa in Penang

Indonesian Visa in Penang

Here are a few notes on visiting the Indonesian Consulate in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.

The consulate is on Jalan Burma, about 4km West of the Chinatown tourist area.

The details are :
467 Jalan Burmah, 10350 Penang
Tel: (04) 2274686; 2277412; Fax: (04) 2275887
Email: info@kjripenang.org.my

The ‘just take a taxi’ folks can just take a taxi – it shouldn’t be too expensive. Cheapskates can take a number 101 bus for 1.40 MYR.

Visa_IndoPenang_06_Map-Bus-101.jpg
Click (then click again) to expand the map. The solid red line is the bus route. The dotted line is the walking part.

The bus starts at the Jetty (where the boats to Butterworth depart from). There is a bus stop on the corner of Love Lane and Lebuh Chulia (opposite the 7-11), which is nice and easy for Chinatown residents. Ask for ‘Gurney Plaza’ to get the right fare.

Jalan Burma / Burma road is a one way street (going the wrong way), so the Westbound bus goes along Jalan Kelewei. Jump off the bus near the Gurney Paragon and Gurney Plaza Shopping Malls (on the right), then skip left a block (about 200m) to Jln Burma (which has 4 lanes of one-way traffic, going from right to left). Turn right on Jln Burma and walk about another 200m West. You will pass another mall (the Midlands Park Centre) on the right (they do photographs and photocopying). The Indonesian Consulate is immediately after the big Adventist Hospital on the left.
Visa_IndoPenang_08_Consulate_P6112815.JPG

Visa_IndoPenang_90_AltMap_P6102811.JPG

The consulate opens at 9am Monday-Friday. I think that visa applications are only accepted in the mornings.

On arriving, sign-in at the security gate and collect your security pass.

The dress code at the consulate is ‘no sleeveless shirts, no shorts and no slippers (flip-flops, jandles, thongs)’. In the past, I have seen people there in long (below the knee) shorts but they were getting turned away in 2016. Wear long trousers..

The visa section is on the left.

The exact counter to line-up at changes from year to year. At my most recent visit in 2016, Malaysian/Indonesian people “queue” up at the counters near the front door, foreigners go halfway along the line of counters.,

Ask the folk behind the counter for a blank tourist visa form, go away from the counter to fill it in, then come back and hand it over with the visa fee. In 2016, a tourist visa was 190MYR. Plan to have the correct amount with you. When you have handed your form over, you will be issued a number.

When they call your number, they have checked your form and will give you a receipt which you will need when you collect your passport tomorrow.

Visa_IndoPenang_11_Form1_P6112817.jpg

Collection is from 2-4pm the next day. (in 2013. On another visit in 2014, collection was 10am the next day; then in 2016, they were back to 2-4pm next day.)

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To head back downtown, you can get the 101 directly on Jln Burma (the bus stop is about 100m West of the consulate).

I got a 60 day single entry tourist visa. I had flights booked in and out, so I can’t help with questions about their attitude to ferry transport, I’m afraid. The form does say you need air tickets. (edit: some folk have had luck showing credit card statements in lieu of air tickets – see the comments, below)

It is notable that there is no field on the form for ‘length of stay’. If it is not obvious from your air tickets, you might want to point out to them how long you are wanting the visa to be for (e.g. 60 vs. 30 days).

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I went to Penang for a visa because (around 2013) the embassy in Kuala Lumpur started getting stingy with issuing 60 day visas (they won’t issue one unless you have a sponsor in Indonesia). If you are travelling to Penang from KL – here’s a couple of travel tips:

A bus from KL to Penang is 5.5 hours and 40MYR. They leave pretty frequently from Pudu Sentral (formerly Puduraya Bus station) (near KL’s Chinatown) (edit: apparently bus departures to Penang have now been moved to Bandar Tasik Selatan terminal – see Doug’s comment below 5 Nov 2015).
Long distance buses to Georgetown arrive in Penang at the Express Bus station in the middle of nowhere (about 15km South of the tourist/accommodation areas). Taxi drivers there will try and tell you that a 30MYR taxi is the only way to get downtown. That is not true – there is a local bus stop at platform 1. Bus 401 goes to downtown for 2MYR. You might have to wait half an hour for one to show up.

If you can get a long distance bus that is going to Butterworth (on the mainland side) (rather than Georgetown, on the island), it is very easy to then take the ten minute ferry journey over to Georgetown (1.20MYR). Often, buses for Penang/Georgetown continue on to Butterworth, so check with your driver if you can stay-on the bus for the ten minute ride to Butterworth. If not, you might be able to just hop-on any passing big-bus from the Penang Express Bus Station to Butterworth station.

Georgetown’s Chinatown district (where most of the accommodation is) is a short (ten minute) walk South West from the ferry terminal where the ferries from Butterworth arrive.

Being a UNESCO Heritage area, Chinatown has some rather expensive accommodation, but there are also a few cheapies around if you hunt around the Love Lane area. One option is ’75 Travellers Lodge’ ( at 75 Lebuh Muntri) which has dorms for 18MYR and doubles for 42MYR; or Western Oriental, next door for 15/30MYR (rates correct at 2016). There are a few others with similar rates, but the average place in Georgetown is more ’boutiquey’ and costs double that.

There is lots of great (and cheap) food all around the Chinatown/Little India area.

You can rent bikes for about 15MYR and motorbikes/scooters for about 30MYR.

Info on local buses.

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Feel free to post any useful additions in the comments below. Please note that I am not an expert in Indonesian visas – it is probably best to post visa questions on travel forums like Travelfish or Thorn Tree.

Written: June 2014 Last Updated Jun 2016

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35 responses to “Indonesian Visa in Penang

  1. Thank you so much for this detailed article, it was very helpful. I went to the consulate this morning and should be collecting my visa in two days! (because the consulate is closed tomorrow)

  2. Margriet Lenkens

    Hi,
    I’m trying to find some recent official information on where and how to obtain a 60-day visa for indonesia from malaysia. I’m flying from cambodia to KL tomorrow, I already booked the flight before I knew they didnt give out these visas at KL anymore. Since the airport is 75km from KL I am now considering to fly straight to Penang after (flights are very cheap) but I need to be quite certain that I can obtain the visa there.
    I tried sending an e-mail but the address you mentioned isnt working. Any idea what the current situation is?

    Kind regards,
    Margriet Lenkens

    • As far as I know – the situation in Penang is the same as it was in the main blog post from six weeks ago. I hope you got on OK – please post details if you find anything has changed

  3. Thank you for posting this detailed information.
    I would like to obtain a 60 day visa for Indonesia. I, so far, have my inbound flight booked but not an outbound. I know I need to have an outbound booked to present upon check-in. My question is, do I purchase a flight that takes advantage of having a 60 day visa in hopes that I will be granted one or do I present a flight schedule for within the 30 days? Or do I not need to present an outbound flight since I don’t know whether or not I’ll be granted my 60-day visa?

  4. I went today and you don’t have to have a ticket. I told them I wanted to go in and out by ferry. Just take a copy of your credit cards and that suffices to demonstrate you have the firepower to pay your way out of the country! Greetings, Oxlaey.com

    • Thank you Ryan for clarifying. I found it ironic you had to purchase a ticket for a visa extension you were not sure you would even be granted. This makes more sense and is more convenient.

  5. Thanks for posting this. My family and I are planning a trip to Indonesia. Do you know if it’s possible to get an Indonesian tourist visa from KL without being resident in Malaysia? Thanks, Laura

    • Hi
      KL are pretty tight on visas lately. Either they tell you to just get the visa on entry (30 days, can’t be extended) or they might give you a single entry 30 days (can be extended once). KL aren’t giving out 60 day tourist visas. Technically, it has nothing to do with being (non) resident in Malaysia, but you still might be refused the visa in KL. You should be fine in Penang.

  6. Pingback: Applying for an Indonesian Visa in Penang 17-18 February 2015 | threewheeling.net

  7. We’ve also just got 60 day visas from Penang without onward flight confirmation. Unlike Ryan (comment above) we took copies of our bank accounts rather than our credit card as evidence of our ability to exit Indonesia. More detail on how we filled the form in and our supporting documentation can be found on our blog. http://www.threewheeling.net/applying-for-an-indonesian-visa-in-penang-17-18-february-2015/

  8. Hello,,thanks for all this easy to understand information

  9. Just did the visa process a few days ago. Bus 101 runs the route for 1.40 rm, about 30 minutes from Komtar. Return bus is available across from the adventist hospital.

    We didn’t have pictures with a red background, no problem.

    We didn’t have flights booked, they said they were required, but we told them we were going by ferry and gave a bank statement for each person and that was okay.

    60 day visa is 170 rm per person.

    You can’t pick up same day, go back next business day. Each visit was quick, in and out in about 30 minutes.

  10. You know if is possible recive also the Temporary Stay Visa (VITAS) :
    1 – 6 months RM 190. I’m trying in kl. but they told me i need the approval letter from directorarate general of the immigration. so i’m waiting from the jacarta office one answer. in case i good it but not immidiatly i’m considering to go back in penang and apply there. ( at list is cheeper living there)
    Thank you

  11. Thank you!

    In addition. I was lucky to pick it up same day. I asked for it because I needed to take a long distance bus same evening. Probably it was not too busy. Good luck!
    Laura

  12. Hi, I just wanted to know if all nationalities get visa the second day. Is there any exception for some nationalities which take longer to get visa? Thank you.

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  14. You wrote “Georgetown’s Chinatown district (where most of the accommodation is) is a short (ten minute) walk South West from the ferry terminal where the ferries from Butterworth arrive.” It should read ‘North West’.

  15. The process has changed slightly in so much as there is no longer a ticketed queuing system: just ignore all the people sitting around, make your way to a counter and join the haphazard line of people milling around there, ask for an application form, and then when you’ve filled it in, make your way back to a counter and hand it over.

    The first few questions on the form (what type of visa, your name, passport details etc) are fairly straightforward. After this we started skipping bits, notably we left the following sections blank:

    Occupation in Indonesia (this is only needed if you’re applying for a Limited Stay Visa and want to work in Indonesia)
    Address of Office/Occupation
    Address of Residence in Indonesia
    Name of Sponsor/Reference
    Address of Sponsor/Reference

    Because the form doesn’t ask about your length of stay, in the Reason For Applying section we put Tourism – 60 Day Visit, we also pointed out to the lady behind the counter that we wanted 60 days.

    For the supporting documentation we each provided:

    A photo (NB – this has to be on a RED background)
    A photocopy of our passport (info page only, not whole thing)
    A photocopy of our most recent bank statements (this was in lieu of return tickets from Indonesia – we explained we would be travelling by boat and they were happy to accept the bank statement as evidence we had the means to leave the country)

    We did NOT provide:

    Letter of Reference
    Letter of Approval from Jakarta Immigration Office
    Personal Particular of Applicant (Biodata)
    Photocopy of Return Ticket

    Photographs and photocopying can be done across the road (about 150m further along) in the Midlands Park Centre.

    Applications are accepted Monday – Friday in the morning (9:00 – 12:00) and our visas were available the next morning at 10:00am.

    It cost 170RM per person, payment upon application.

    The office was not particularly busy and even including a trip over the road to get a photocopy of our passports we were in and out in under an hour when applying, and within ten minutes when picking up the visa.

    Our visas are valid for the next 3 months (ie we have to enter Indonesia before 18-May-2015), and allow us to stay there for 60 days.

    from: http://www.threewheeling.net/applying-for-an-indonesian-visa-in-penang-17-18-february-2015/

  16. An update for future applicants:
    The visa is now190MR. When we arrived we walked directly to the 5th counter that says “formulir” to collect forms and again to the same counter to hand them in. The lady called us back a few minutes later to pay the fee and issued a receipt for collection the next working dqy from 9am. We arrived at 11.45am and the whole process took maximum 15minutes. Also there is a bank opposite if you need.
    Also, we only had flip flops but this was not an issue at all.

  17. Also, white background photos were fine! 🙂

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  19. ‎Thursday, ‎November ‎5, ‎2015

    I used the information in this post to apply for my Indonesia visa and everything worked out fine. Thank you for putting together all this helpful info.

    Just a couple of notes about things that have changed. The main change is that buses to Penang no longer leave from Pudu Sentral in Kuala Lumpur. As of November 1st, 2015, all buses to Penang (and the rest of the northern corridor) have moved to TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan). You can get there by LRT. Take the Ampang line towards Sri Petaling and get off at Bandar Tasik Selatan. There is a short elevated walkway leading from the LRT station to TBS. (Buses to Penang might still depart from other bus stations. I don’t know anything about that. But the buses to Penang that used to depart from Pudu Sentral have all moved to TBS.)

    I purchased a ticket for a bus going to the Butterworth bus station. From there, it is a short walk to the ferry terminal to catch the ferry across to Georgetown. However, for reasons I don’t understand, my bus stopped long before Butterworth. Then there was a lot of shouting and yelling and arm waving and confusion. The end result was that if I wanted to go to Butterworth, I had to change buses there. This one was going to cross the bridge and end up far away from Georgetown itself. It was confusing because my ticket was for Butterworth and the bus was clearly marked on the front as going to Butterworth. But in order to get there, I had to change buses. I only mention this in case this happens to you. Just make sure your Butterworth bus actually goes to Butterworth. But your bus driver should keep you informed if you need to change buses.

    As of November 5, 2015, you still don’t have to take a number at the embassy. The computer and ticket number-issuing machine appear to be broken. I imagine they’ll fix it one day, but for now you still just go up to the counter and deal with the clerks directly. At every stage, I just had to sit down and then wait for the women to return to the Plexiglas window and wave at me to come up again. I was the only Western person there (ie, tall white dude), so it was easy for them to pick me out of the crowd.

    They asked me for copies of my flight into and out of Indonesia, but I plan on entering by ferry, so I didn’t have them. I tried to provide traveller’s checks as proof of ability to pay, but they wouldn’t accept those. They did, however, accept a credit card. They took my credit card, and, I assume, took a photocopy of it. I wasn’t thrilled about that, but there was no way around it unless I wanted to leave and get an official bank statement.

    Other details: The bus stop across from the 7-11 does not have any bus numbers indicated, but bus 101 is quite frequent and still stops there. You just have to look for it and then wave it down. The fare to Gurney Plaza (near the Indonesian embassy) was RM 1.40, as was the return fare back. The embassy opened at 9:00 a.m. A 60-day visa cost RM 190. I was told to return the next day at 10:00 a.m. to pick it up.The dress code at the embassy is still in effect. I wore shoes and a button-down shirt and long pants, but I did see other people in flip-flops. They were allowed in, but it’s probably best to dress up if you can. The form still asks for a photo with a red background, but I handed in a photo with a standard white background, and it was accepted.

    The visa itself takes up an entire page in my passport. It’s a very official-looking sticker jam-packed with information. The visa is listed as “Visa Type 211” and the “Length of Stay” is 60 days. Plus, it is valid for 90 days, meaning that you have 90 days to enter Indonesia from the date the visa is issued and then you can stay in the country for 60 days. The friendly clerk at the embassy went over all the details with me and ensured that everything was correct (up to the spelling of my name). It was, all-in-all, the most pleasant and hassle-free visa-application process of my life.

  20. Pingback: Northern Thailand to The Mentawais: Travel Guide | Riderz Gallery

  21. I try to apple tourist visa my passport is old passport they dont accept?

  22. Hey y’all! Update on the 60-day Indonesian visa process in Penang. I stayed in Georgetown and took the 101 bus from the (Jedi/Jetti?) ferry / bus terminal. Maybe about a 30-40 minute bus ride. Get off at Gurney Drive on the corner of Jalan Pemenang and Jalan Kelawai. If you’re going in the direction of the bus and looking at Jalan Pemenang, you’re going to make a left on Pemenang. Make the first right onto Jalan Burma. It’s a one-way street and you’re going to walk against traffic. The consulate will be on the opposite side of the street so just be careful getting across. You’re going to walk a couple of blocks. It will be past the Penang Hospital. You’re going to go past the emergency room and it will be right there.

    There were a lot of people outside the gate (which the guy at my hostel said is pretty common there). Walk inside the gate and get a number from the security desk. They’re going to take your picture. You walk in, probably also will be very crowded, and go right to the passport or visa window #6-7. They’ll ask you to fill out the form and provide a passport photo with a red background (I used a white background and it was fine), a copy of your passport, your actual passport (obviously), and a copy of a return ticket going home OR bank statement. It asks for a contact name and address of where you’re staying. Also asks for a sponsor (relative, employer, whoever). I don’t have a sponsor because I’m just going as a tourist and I left that part blank. It was fine. Hand it in, get a ticket, wait for your number on the tv screen, then they’ll call you up to pay and will give you a piece of paper to bring when you come pick it up.

    I didn’t have a copy of a return ticket as I haven’t purchased it yet. But I did bring a copy of a fairly recent bank statement (1 – 1.5 months ago). It says online that you need to have at least $2000 USD in your account. But! When I called up before my arrival in Penang, they said there only has to be $150 USD in your account. So I’d call up to double check before you get there if you feel that might be an issue.

    They’re open from 9:30am – 12pm for applications. I got there at 11:45am, and was out by 12:20pm with the instructions of coming by to pick it up the following day between 9:30am – 12pm or 2pm – 4pm. It cost me 190 Malaysian Ringgit (roughly $50 USD). Make sure to stress that you want a 60-day not 30-day visa to the person behind the counter. Then on the way back to the bus stop there are lots of food stands with delicious food and iced drinks that come in bags that you put a straw in. Mmmm!!! Perfect way to celebrate a super easy, smooth visa process!! The bus stop going back to Georgetown is on the same street as the consulate but on the opposite side. 1.40 ringgit each way. Must have exact change for the bus. Good luck! =)

  23. ..Ok..I sorted my Tourist Visa in Penang today.
    All is as Lauren explained but seems you can show your credit card in lieu of any tickets or copies of bank accounts. They just sighted and photocopied my card there and then. They did ask initially to see a ticket but I said I still had no idea of the day I would fly in…or out. After all, you have three months to enter Indonesia with the visa.
    They do have photocopying facilities for you to use as well. I needed to copy my passport there.
    As for dressing correctly…they do have a notice explaining they expect you to dress ‘respectfully’…which is fair enough. But I was wearing thongs/flipflops which didn’t cause the slightest problem. Crikey..the temperature outside was at least 36 degrees. Why would they expect you to be wearing shoes?

  24. I know folks who have been turned away for wearing (long = (below the knee) shorts), better to err on the side of caution, trouserwise. Dress standard’s are even stricter at the Singapore indo embassy!

  25. I would like to know if the 60 days visa that is possible to obtain in 1-2 days in Penang is tourist visa B211. This is 60 days tourist visa that I did in bangkok several times and Once in Indonesia you can extend up to 6 months if you have an sponsor there. I need to be sure to do this one, in Kl is hard now, so I believe from all of you, that Penang is doing this visa without a problem. I also checked that i will be there on 29th August Monday, and they give you the passport next day right? Cause I am flying on 31 st from Kl to Indonesia, and I just saw that is a public holiday, so need to be sure that they give you the visa the next working day right? if anyone can help me or know about this, I really appreciated,

    • Hi Pedro. Yes – it is the 211 visa. Not sure about the “B” part. The visa is stamped “211”, which, AFAIK is extendable 3×60 days within Indonesia.

      I would think that the embassy can give you your visa on the 30th, but only they could tell you for certain! 31st is Independence (Merdeka) Day holiday in Malaysia.

    • I had my visa done this Friday and delivered this Monday August 29 2016. The cost is now 190 RM.

  26. Update as of February 7, 2017:

    The fee for the 60-day tourist visa is now 205 RM. (At least that is what they charged me. I assume it is the same for everyone else.)

    The process changed slightly from my last visit. This time, I handed in my completed paperwork (application form; copy of passport; photograph; ferry ticket out of Indonesia) and they gave me a slip of paper with a number on it. I was told to wait while my application was reviewed. I kept looking at the big screen to see my number come up, but it never did. Instead, they just called out my name when they wanted me to return.

    When I went up to the counter, they asked for 205 RM ($46 US). And they gave me a receipt for my passport and told me to return the next day AFTER 2:00 p.m.

    I was concerned about having just an undated ferry ticket (no flights in or out of Indonesia), so I also provided a bank statement showing I had sufficient funds to support myself. They didn’t ask for it or mention it at all, but I included it with my paperwork just in case.

    Also, the application form is identical to the sample included in this blog post above. There are spaces for your occupation in Indonesia, occupation abroad, address of office/occupation, address of residence in Indonesia, plus the name of reference and address of reference. I don’t believe any of that applies or is necessary if you are applying for a regular tourist visa. In any event, I left all of that blank, and it was no problem. I just filled in the basics plus my home address in my home country and my email address. All in all, it was one of the simpler forms I’ve ever had to fill out.

    By the way, for anyone making the trip up from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, there is now an electric train service. It’s called the ETS and it leaves from KL Sentral. The schedule will likely change every few months (easy to check online), but I took a 9:00 a.m. train. It’s all reserved seating and the train is new and modern with comfortable seats, lots of leg room, lots of space for luggage, and plenty of bathrooms. They provide a small snack of cookies and cake and a drink. There is also a restaurant car with limited seating where you can get hot meals, coffee and tea, drinks, and snacks.

    The train moves at a brisk 100+ km/hr and takes 4 hours to reach Penang with just a few stops along the way. The destination station is Butterworth, which is just a short walk along some elevated walkways to the ferry terminal where you can catch a ferry for the short hop across to Georgetown on Penang. The ferry costs 1.20 RM. The ticket for the ETS train seems to vary in price depending on the time and day. The Monday morning train was called class ETS Platinum and cost 79 RM ($18 US) whereas my return ticket on Thursday was for class ETS Gold and cost 59 RM ($13 US). I think both prices are higher than an equivalent bus to Butterworth, but the train is a good option in terms of the added comfort and convenience.

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