AFTER two false starts, Australian visitors to Bali are finally set to get free entry with Indonesia announcing a new list of countries to be exempt from the $49 fee. Australia was previously included in the list but left off at the last minute because the Federal Government would not provide reciprocal rights for Indonesians.
Late last year, Canberra did flag changes in visa rules for Indonesians including the introduction of a three-year multiple entry visa and an online application tool from 2017.
The easing of requirements appears to have been enough to have appease Indonesia, which will now permit free entry for 30-days by citizens of 79 countries including Australia. Other countries added to the list include Brazil, Ukraine, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Palestine, Honduras, Pakistan, and Mongolia. No official date has yet been announced for the change to take effect.
Already, more than 1.1 million Australians a year visit Indonesia, 90 per cent of whom travel to Bali — making it our favourite overseas destination despite the entry fee.