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  • Getting MERP without an agent

    This is a follow up to my post about this subject (entitled 'How many photocopies of passport....'), in which someone, who I suspect is one of the agents who lurk on this forum, responded that it can't be done without an agent! I reiterate... Oh yes it can, and it can't be easier! I did it in a couple of days... and my Indonesian speaking ability is limited, to say the least!!

    So this post is aimed at people with limited ability in Bahasa who may have been put off trying because of this, and are consequently paying exorbitant agent fees.

    Please note that in the following procedure I am talking about Kantor Imigrasi, Jl Gatot Subroto Km 6.2, No. 268A, Medan. Procedures in other offices may be slightly different, or more complex.

    Step 1
    : Just inside the gate is a kiosk-type building with two windows labelled photocopies and one labelled Koperasi. Go to Koperasi and ask for the file for Multiple Exit Re-entry Permit application. (I wrote this out on paper and handed it over so there were no language misinterpretations). The file costs Rp6000. There are three documents inside. Just check that this is so BEFORE you leave the kiosk.

    Step 2: Go home, make a cup of coffee (or open a beer) and relax.... Now fill in the forms:

    For Perdim 25: Fill out the doc and sign it. NB: Any sections containing the word 'LOKET' will be completed by Imigrasi, so you leave those spaces blank. I knew most of the terminology on the form (tempat lahir, etc) but used a dictionary to sort out anything I was doubtful about (TGL DIKELUARKAN: Date of issue / BELAKU S/D: Date of expiry, etc). However, an Indonesian friend or colleague could help you with this.

    For Perdim 27: Ignore section 1 - this will be completed by Imigrasi. Fill out relevant sections as you did with Perdim 25. Sign the doc. NB: There are two spaces for signatures - ignore the one on the left, as this is for the parent/guardian of people under a certain age... you sign on the right.

    SURAT PERMINTAAN DAN JAMINAN: This document is the authorization from the sponsor. Your sponsor fills in the top section with his/her details and the bottom section with your details (It is better if you fill in the bottom section, to make sure that details correspond with those on the other two documents). Affix a 'METERAI TEMPEL' (My boss did this - but I believe they can be bought from any Kantor Pos, or the little kiosks outside that sell envelopes, etc. The cost is Rp6000). The sponsor signs across the METERAI TEMPEL.

    Step 3: Now you are ready to gather all your documents and return to Imigrasi. You will need:

    Original Passport and ONE copy of the information page and the page showing your current ITAS.
    Original ITAS and ONE copy of both sides of this.
    Original Blue Book and ONE copy of information page and page showing you current ITAS.

    Original of Sponsor's identity card and ONE copy of this. (I'm not sure if the original is necessary if your sponsor is part of the company you work for, e.g. the boss or someone like that. My boss was happy to hand over the original of his card. However, Imigrasi hardly seemed to glance at this and just pushed it back over the counter.

    If you have time to spare, and don't mind an extra trip if they insist on seeing the original, you could try with just having the photocopy and report back to us what happened!! Or have the original with you, but only produce it if they ask for it. I would be interested to know what happens, because I can envisage a situation where someone doesn't want to part with the original of this document, even for a short time.).

    Step 4: (For Medan office):

    Return to Imigrasi. Go through front entrance and turn left. Go up the stairs. This is the department dedicated to Foreigners. Go straight to the window even if there are a lot of people hanging about. Hand over your file with a smile! The young lady there (who speaks English if you need it) will go through the documents to make sure everything is there. She will then give you a paper telling you when to come back. (I went on a Friday at about 11a.m. and was told to return on Monday at 10a.m. when everything would have been processed). At this stage she will probably hand your originals back to you and ask you to bring your passport with you on the next visit.

    Step 5: When you return on the designated date you hand over your passport and the relevant payment (In Medan office they are still working on the SERP and MERP system, with MERP for 6 months, 1 year or 2 years (@ Atlantis: I know it is supposed to be different now - but I am sure they will catch up sooner or later!). A word of warning: Even if the validity of your ITAS is only a couple of weeks under one year, the boss in Medan will not authorise a 1 year MERP. I know because asking for a one year permit was the only slipup that I made! Save yourself time and frustration by going for the 6 month permit from the get go. The cost for 6 months is Rp600,000. The cost for 1 year is Rp1,000,000.

    Step 6: Go home and definitely treat yourself to a congratulatory drink, or piece of cake, or whatever! You have just successfully negotiated your way through a government procedure without having total command of the language!! Well done!!!

    And that is it! Total cost: Rp600,000 for 6 month MERP + Rp6,000 for file + Rp6,000 for Meterai Tempel (Rp612,000). Total time: Koperasi: 5 minutes + First visit to hand in documents: 15 minutes + Pay and pick up permit: 10 minutes. However, time your visit to Imigrasi carefully. All appointments are timed for 10a.m., whether you need to just pick up documents or need to see an official, so the office is usually full from 9.30 - 11.00a.m. If you don't need to see anyone, as in this case, turn up between 11.00 - 11.30a.m. You will normally find the office is either empty or virtually empty at this time.

    THE MORAL OF THIS STORY:

    DIY
    cost Rp612,000 (total processing time: 30 minutes).
    AGENT cost Rp1,800,000 (total processing time including visits to Imigrasi: probably less than you, as the agent will hand over several applications at the same, and will not have to hang around for checking, as Imigrasi knows the agent). Hence, that is an incredible markup for just handing over and collecting some documents!!

    Agents provide a valuable service dealing with the more complex and complicated procedures. However, if they continue to charge exorbitant fees for their services just because people are intimidated due either to their lack of ability in Bahasa Indonesia, or vague knowledge of the nuances of the immigration laws, they (the agents) cannot be surprised if people start deciding to give it a go themselves.

    Foreign departments of Immigration offices have started cleaning up their acts, thus making it easier for people to negotiate the procedures. This is particulary true of the Medan office, for which I have nothing but praise! I think this development is going to continue, and if agents are not careful, they are going to price themselves out of huge chunks of business!!

    Phew! Sorry folks... when I started this post, I didn't intend to go on for so long!!

  • #2
    Adding to that , I think you can do EVERY personal Indonesian document by yourself (as far as the sponsor , when one is required , cooperates) , except a "Retirement Visa" (Retirement KITAS) which is sponsored by an agent , and obviously the agent is interested to do it all .

    Talking specifically about exit/reentry permit , this is what Pekanbaru's office requires :

    PERMOHONAN IZIN MASUK KEMBALI
    Persyaratan :
    1. Untuk orang asing pemegang izin terbatas ( KITAS ) dan izin tinggal tetap ( KITAP ) yang berdomisili di wilayah Kerja Kantor Imigrasi Pekanbaru.
    2. Mengisi formulir pendaftaran ( Perdim 25 ).
    a. Surat permohonan diri sponsor / perusahaan ( bagi yang bekerja ).
    b. Asli dan foto copy paspor yang sah dan masih berlaku.
    c. Asli dan foto copy dokumen Imigrasi (KITAS/KITAP, buku pendaftaran orang asing).
    d. Membayar biaya imigrasi sesuai tarif.

    Permohonan dan Perpanjangan Izin Tinggal Terbatas, Pendaftaran Orang Asing dan Permohonan Izin Masuk Kembali, dapat dilaksanakan sekaligus
    dalam 1 Berkas ( MAP )

    KANTOR : KANTOR IMIGRASI KLAS I PEKANBARU
    Alamat :
    Jalan Teratai No. 87 Pekanbaru
    Telepon +62 761 21536
    Faximili +62 761 40393
    Last edited by marcus; 24-11-11, 11:12.

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    • #3
      Great summary, Phiss, for most people. My problem is that my sponsor is my agent.

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      • #4
        Yes waarmstrong, I realize that this is a problem for some people. I am just hoping that Immigration continues the positive trend towards making the procedures accessible to us mere mortals, and continues the trend towards employing staff in the Department for Foreigners who can speak English, and are able and willing to advise people on each step of the different procedures. This is definitely what has happened in the Medan office. It is unrecognizable from the office of only two years ago, where none of the staff spoke English... and where many of the staff were surly and uncooperative to say the least!

        Hopefully, another change in the future will be that the sponsor for visas such as the retirement visa does not have to be an agent. I have seen many people say that the sponsor does have to be the agent.... but, is this actually the law? Perhaps Atlantis could come in on this point...

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        • #5
          I am hopeful, as well. Hopeful that the new regs for the recent immigration law update does away with the requirement of an agent sponsor for a retirement visa. If that comes to pass, I would be in hog heavan, immigration-wise.

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          • #6
            Well done Phiss to your intelligent and sensible approach to getting the 6 months MERPS. My own personal regret is that I applied and got the 12 month MERPS (less a week or so) at one million cost and then my documents including the MERPS of course were stolen a short while afterwards, so i had paid out a million for something which I was never able to use or get a duplicate for without making application again.

            I assume Phiss that you are proposing to make more than one exit from Indonesia during the six month period to justify having the MERPS instead of the SERPS. The procedure for the MERPS is pretty much exactly the same at Bogor Immigration. I would just restate it as first drop off, second visit to pay, third visit to pick up. In other words, they never take the money first time unless they have actually processed things. The letter from the sponsor should NOT be overlooked and should follow the same format as the letter given by the sponsor to get the KITAS.

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            • #7
              You are assuming correctly Mr Cibubar... much more than one exit in a 6 month period. The letter from sponsor is the third document in the file... why would anyone not complete this???

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              • #8
                Phiss, it is fortunate that the sponsor letter was inside the Map Folder handed to you. At other Immigration offices such as Bogor, it is not, in fact, you are expected to produce a typed version of it in a precise format. any mistakes and you are asked to retype it. Once you have done it once or twice for VOA and SOSBUD, it follows the same format for all the other applications and Atlantis has alluded to it in one of the many Posts.

                The Sponsor letter is NOT to be confused with the JAMINAN Form which is also completed and signed by the Sponsor. Bogor Immigration take things in terms of processing to extremes but I have made my point.

                reasons why a Sponsor would not for example complete a Sponsor letter have also recently been discussed on this Forum.

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                • #9
                  Many moons later... thanks to phiss for the very helpful information on this. I am in Medan too so it is especially helpful for me.

                  On my first KITAS, I only left the country one time, in June of last year. I asked my sponsor to apply for a MERP but because of some issues that could not be agreed on, the sponsor wanted to get me a SERP only, to which I agreed. (Although the 2011 Immigration Law says that SERPS are no longer to be issued, yes, I got a SERP. Of course I would much prefer to have a MERP for reasons which I'm sure have been discussed many times on these forums, e.g. cost, convenience and ability to leave the country on short notice in case of truly exigent circumstances.) With the agent's fee plus "penalty" for having less than six months validity remaining on my KITAS, the final amount I was charged for this SINGLE USE permit was approximately equal to the *actual cost* of a one year MERP. Needless to say I was none too happy about this and it was one reason I have avoided leaving the country again since then.

                  However as it looks like I will be staying another two years under the same sponsor, and I do want to take several trips outside during those two years... does the following seem fair?

                  1) Tell my sponsor that in future I am willing to pay the *actual cost* of each permit required, but all agent fees are requested to be paid by sponsor;

                  2) If sponsor doesn't wish to pay the agent's fees, they can supply me with the necessary documents e.g. sponsor's letter and ID, and my WNI spouse and myself will apply for the permits ourselves when we need them.

                  I don't want to interfere with the "friendly cooperation" between my sponsor and the agent, but I don't want to support the same at my own (needless) expense...
                  Last edited by Mister Bule; 10-03-13, 14:00.
                  [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Warden: "What we got here ... is failure to communicate."

                  The Dude: "Oh yeah? Well that's just, like, your opinion, man."[/FONT]

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                  • #10
                    Indeed. Thanks to Phiss. I discover the thread that I never read before. Great good job, worth being stickied.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for this Phiss. Just an update from Pekanbaru. Collected my folder ( and formula ) letter yesterday from our Immigration office and imagine my suprise when it is now FREE!! The folder has " Gratis " printed on it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dazzer View Post
                        Thanks for this Phiss. Just an update from Pekanbaru. Collected my folder ( and formula ) letter yesterday from our Immigration office and imagine my suprise when it is now FREE!! The folder has " Gratis " printed on it.
                        It is free, all over the archipelago and for any immigration document requested, since the end of January 2013.

                        See here for more information: http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.or...FREE-of-charge

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                        • #13
                          Is a MERP mandatory for work kitas, spouse kitas, spouse kitap. IN fact, is a MERP mandatory for KITAS/KITAP sponsored in all particular ways or only some? Thanks

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                          • #14
                            No, not mandatory.

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                            • #15
                              one can do any document for immigrations yourself, and saving money, but... you will need first of all have lots of time, understand the language 100 percent, be polite and cooperate, it works more slower and different overhere, it took my immegrations paper 1 month from start to finished without a agent, but since i speak Bahassa and my wife is from here, and sponsored me, it is no problem at all, i myself saw horrible stories about this procedures, but i must say the immegration office in South Jakarta is very well organized, polite and do not take bribes dont even try, they get very angry about this, so progress !!! well done.. noot : i would not open a can of beer in the immgration office in Medan lol

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