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Visa Runs Through Batam

To save money, you can travel through Batam on your next visa renewal run to Singapore. Here are the details:

1. Fly to Batam from Jakarta

Garuda has a flight in the morning. Remember it's one hour later in Singapore. So time does matter. Check with a travel agency to price the flight on one of the budget airlines. Or spend the night in Batam and enjoy a night out in NED - Nagoya Entertainment District.

2. Travel to Singapore by Ferry Boat.

The boat trip will take approximately one hour and costs Rp 200.000 for a return ticket (9/08). Take a taxi when you arrive in Batam to the "Batam Center Ferry Terminal" for Rp 50.000. Buy a return (round-trip) ticket which is valid for one year, and accepted as an outgoing ticket. Note: if you leave on an ITAS visa make sure you have a current exit permit before you leave your city of residence. The fiscal tax from Batam only costs Rp 500.000, not Rp. 1.000.000 as it does when departing from Jakarta's international airport on an overseas flight. Take the first ferry to the Singapore World Trade Center (now called Harbourfront).

3. Meet your broker

Then take a taxi, to meet your broker at a pre-designated meeting point. He will accompany you to the Indonesian embassy to apply for the visa. When the visa is issued, your broker will pick it up, around 13.30 Singapore time.

4. Return to the Ferry terminal

After you get your passport with the new visa from the broker, take a taxi to the World Trade Center and catch the next ferry back to Batam. You shouldn't experience any problems at Immigration; you smile and they also smile ;) Take the next flight to Jakarta. Of course it's best is to book beforehand and reconfirm the flight.

As the Batam to Jakarta flight is a domestic flight, you have already passed through immigration so you just walk out of the airport with ..... no problems at all.

If you do not use a broker and pay an "express fee", the wait will be three days for the visa processing. Enjoy your time in Singapore! Don't forget you must wear shoes and long pants to enter the Indonesian Embassy.

One popular Singapore broker is Maju Travel Pte ltd,60 Eu Tong Sen St,"#01-16, Furama Hotel Shopping Centre Tel. 6535 6222. Mr Gan HP-65-9615 8622. Take the MRT from the WTC and get off at Clark Quay station, from where yu see the light blue Furama Hotel building.

Multiple Entry Visas (MEV)

Foreigners who are members of approved clubs in Batam can get a one year Multiple Entry Visa, valid only for Batam. With this, you get a 60-day non-renewable visa, valid for all of Indonesia but only obtainable at Batam entry points. You can get this MEV from any Batam Golf Club or from Golden Image services tel Batam 0778 761777 / Singapore 65-6737 1312. Golden Image is the company that arranges Batam Smart Cards and Riau Islands Sailing Permits. Marsel from Lucy's Oarhouse can help arrange the necessary "MEV Recommendation Letter" for Sing$100. Simply email him a photocopy of your passport and a passport photo two weeks before you come to Batam. Pay when you arrive. On the Singapore side, take this letter to the Indonesian Embassy in Chatsworth Road, pay $140 at the embassy consulate counter and wait 3 days for it to be processed. Or Mr Gan will do it in one day for S$240. Marsel also arranges Batam driver's licenses valid for three months for Rp 600,000 and ten-year International Driving Permits for S$100.

Our thanks to Robby and Evan for sharing these details with us!