Bali Governor Proposes Revoking Russia and Ukraine VoA, Immigration Reviews

The Director General of Immigration at the Law and Human Rights Ministry Silmy Karim said he is reviewing the proposal to revoke visas on arrival (VoA) for Russian and Ukrainian citizens landing in Bali.

Bali Governor, I Wayan Koster, requested the revocation of the VoA to Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi.

This policy, said Koster, was important given the widespread reports that foreigners from the two countries committed violations in Bali under the guise of making tourist visits to Bali. Apart from that, the conditions in the countries that are currently in conflict have made citizens of the two countries want to find comfort in Bali.

“We don’t do it for other countries (submitting VoA revocation) because the violations are not as many as those committed by foreigners from these two countries,” said Koster during a press conference at the Regional Office of the Bali Law and Human Rights Ministry on Sunday 12th March 2023 afternoon.

Based on Ngurah Rai’s Immigration data, the number of Russian citizens who came to Bali reached 43,622 people in January-March 2023, while in 2022 in total there were 59,854 people.

Furthermore, the Bali Tourism Office’s data states the number of Russian and Ukrainian foreigners who visited from 2022 to January 2023 was 90,833 people.

The Bali Provincial Government is currently still waiting for an answer from the Law and Human Rights Ministry to be confirmed so that tourists who come to Bali respect the laws and customs of the Balinese people.

Koster added that the revocation of the VoA for foreigners may not only apply to citizens of the two countries.

“The Law and Human Rights Minister will discuss with the Foreign Affairs Minister whether these are the only two countries that will be subject to the new policy or several countries because now there are 86 countries that have been given VoA,” he continued.

Separately, the Head of the Regional Office of the Bali Law and Human Rights Ministry Anggiat Napitupulu said that Koster’s proposal was a reasonable suggestion as a form of evaluation of the VoA application issued by the Ministry.

“However, this is also a national policy so that later evaluations from the regions will be evaluated centrally,” commented Napitupulu.

The policy is a cross-sectoral policy for ministries, including the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry. Therefore, said Napitupulu, to revoke or review the VoA, requires input from the Foreign Affairs and the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministries so that it does not have an effect on other sectors after the regulation is revoked.