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Newbies to Indo must know this
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Bule_Gila



Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 67
Location: Samarinda, Indonesia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:04 am    Post subject: Newbies to Indo must know this Reply with quote

If you are like me, you want to come to Indonesia to teach ESL. Most teachers who come to Indonesia come as tourists, while looking for work. If this applies to you then you need to know the fllowing NEW information

1. Before you leave your contry of origin, be sure to get a complete medical check up (including an HIV test). Also make sure you have a copy or transcript of this medical examination before leaving your country. New teachers in Indonesia are being asked to submit a medical certificate before they can be employed in Indonesia. If you come here without one, you will have to return to your country of origin to obtain one because immigrasi will not accept a medical certificate fro any other country than your own.

2. Take advantage of the exchange rates. In indonesia, the banks and money converters do a really poor job of keeping exchange rates up to date. I would advise you to exchange your money into either American dollars or British pounds because tese currencies selll for a ridiculously high amount. Make sure the bank gives you new notes that are in mint condition because banks and money converters in Indonesia will NOT accept old bills and you will get a lower rae for bills that are worn or written on.

3. New regulations on the Visa on Arrival. Since February 2010, the Indonesian Government has changed the visa on Arrival. Before, it was only good for 30 days but now it is good for 30 days with one extension of 30 days. The fee for the visa is the same ($25 USD) and be sure to have exact change for this visa. If you give them $50 or $100 USd you will be given change that is in Rupiah and the rate offered by immigration is a joke, so carry $25 USD for this visa. If you want to extend the visa you have to go to Immigrasi and pay a fee of Rp 250,000. The waiting period can be anywhere from a day to a week so do this before your initial 30 days expire. Also, you may think that it is a good idea to have a representitive from the school that wants to hire you, accompany you and speak on your behalf. THIS IS A BAD IDEA! If immigrasi finds out that you are waiting for a working visa, they will NOT extend the visa for you. You are better off taking care of this on your own. Lastly, the immigrasi at the airports still use the old system. When you get your visa on arrival it may say NOT EXTENDABLE, but believe me, it is. Just ask the immigrasi officer that issues the visa if you do not believe me.

4. The waiting period for your working visa is, on average, 3 months. This is one month beyond the validity of the visa on arrival. You should fly to Singapore, East Timor or Malaysia before the visa expires. Once you arrive in the country of your choice you can buy a ticket ad head right back into Indonesia on the same day. If you do this make sure you bring your return ticket because you will not be able to buy a one way ticket back into Indonesia or get a new visa on arrival unless you can prove you intend to go back to your country of origin (this is why I suggest you get a 6 month or a 1 year open ticket. You can easily get a refund on the return portion when you arrive in Indonesia).

5. Do not teach while your work visa is being processed. You can work to make money but you are taking a huge risk. If immigrasi finds out they will arrest you, and deport you back to your country. Your name and fingerprints will be black listed so you will not be allowed back into the country. If you decide to teach while waiting for your ork visa and immigras catches you, the best thing to do is lie and tell them you are volunteering as a teacher until your work visa is completed. In order for this lie to work, your employer must NOT document anything on you (payments, work schedule, class schedules, etc). Make sure you make this clear to your employer before you take this risk.
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malu



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 1344
Location: Sunny Java

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hardly much new information there, and a few inaccuracies.

Quite why anyone would pay to change another foreign currency into USD or GBP in order to change it to Rupiah once here is quite beyond me. You will lose less if you bring your EUR or AUD and convert it directly.

No reason to lie low for three months while your work visa is processed, either - simply have your employer start the process before you travel to Indo. Bit of a no brainer, really.
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Bule_Gila



Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 67
Location: Samarinda, Indonesia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:24 am    Post subject: For Malu Reply with quote

I'm not too sure about the rest of Indonesia, but here in Kalimantan Timur, the exchange rates are grossly inaccurate. Example:

$1 USD = Rp 10100
$1 CDN = Rp 7200

I am Canadian and know for a fact that the Canadian dollar is practically at par with the USD (a difference of about 1.5 cents between the two)

It would make sense for me to exchange my Canadian dollars in Canada, where the exchange rate is practically at par and then bring the USD to Indonesia to convert it to Rupiah.

SO I guess that this would apply to Canadians only

Also, waiting for the work visa is ideal but you have misread what I said at the very beginning of the post. This is for ESl teachers who travel to Indonesia as TOURISTS to look for a job, not for those who already obtained a work visa prior to arriving so i do not know what you are talking about!

Can you please tell what inaccuracies i have made in my post? You say it but you don't PROVE it! Big difference my friend
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basiltherat



Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 952

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Do not teach while your work visa is being processed. You can work to make money but you are taking a huge risk. If immigrasi finds out they will arrest you, and deport you back to your country.


well, what a great improvement.

does this mean that these immigration clowns can no longer be 'financially persuaded' to overlook such a transgression ?

best
basil Smile
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Bule_Gila



Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 67
Location: Samarinda, Indonesia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Basiltherat

Indonesia still has a long way to go before it can consider itself modern or up to global standards but there have been small improvements. Immigrasi here will not hesitate to deport you if the suspect something is not right. Before a bribe could make all your worries disappear but it is much harder nowadays to run into an immigrasi officer who is willing to take a bribe in exchange for a favor.

I mean, it was only a few months ago that they finally realized that tourists may want to stay longer than 30 days, thus they offered a possible extension for an additional 30 days lol. Still many backwards things happening here though!
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travelNteach



Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe somebody forgot to update the sign, but if u can find anyplace in indonesia giving more that 9000 to 1, i would go there tomorrow and change 5,000 dollars. try this website for up to date exchange rates. banks and money changers will offere slightly different rates http://www.xe.com/ucc/
1.00 CAD = 8,576.35 IDR 1.00 USD = 8,970.00 IDR

it is inaccurate that it takes 3 months to process a work visa. more like 3 weeks, at least in jakarta. the list of approvals comes out 2x a month. either kalimantan immigration is really messed up or your school is aiming for a risk-free probation period. btw, it is illegal to have probation periods in contrats for expats, but they are pretty routine at lanugage mills like EF.

hadnt heard that news about a medical checkup before. are u sure they wont accept medical checkups for indonesia? most teachers come here from a country other than they home country. and what are they gonna do when people want to renew their kitas? make all of them go home?

you dont need a plane ticket to your country of origin, just an ongoing ticket. so if u went to singapore to do a visa run for another tourist visa, u could get an airasia return ticket back to singapore. also, if u dont advocate someone teaching on a tourist visa, why the info about doing visa runs? very few teachers have to funds to pay for housing and food while waiting around for the suppposed 3 month approval period while not working or making an income. did u finally get your kitas and work permit?

how long have u been here? are you french canadian?

the blacklist is only 1 year and by passport number, not fingerprints. maybe somewhere down the line they will get a centralized computer. as for now, the fingerprints at the airport are just downloaded in case of criminal activity or injury, not run against a national or international database for criminals. deportation process takes several months while u are sitting in a detention center/jail.
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Bule_Gila



Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 67
Location: Samarinda, Indonesia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ TravelNteach

It sounds like I should've gone to Jakarta for an ESL job lol.

To answer your question, I'm not a French Canadian, I'm from Toronto, Ontario. I first came to Indonesia in 2004 and left in 2006. I returned to Indonesia in June 2010 and am currently in Samarinda.

It would appear that things here are much more different than Jakarta. My DOS told me that when she was managing in Java, it only took about 3 weeks to process the work visa. I'm not to sure why it takes longer here. The last time I was here, in 2004, it took about 3 months as well. I guess location has something to do with processing times.

The exchange rates here ARE IDIOTIC, AT BEST! Yesterday the rate was $1 USD = 10200 IDR, today when I went to the bank it is set at 8900 IDR. Like I said, they do a poor job updating the exchange rates. Another good example pertains to the Canadian dollar. In any other country it is worth more than the Australian dollar but here in Kalimantan, you get about 500 to 1000 IDR more for $1 AUS than $1 CDN.

I am not too sure about what happens with the medical check up when you want to re-new the KITAS but it is becoming common for new teachers to Indonesia to provide a medical checkup. I am only guessing that the reason they will not ccept an Indonesian one is because it is possible to bribe the doctor to "fix" a medical examination for you, if you catch my drift. In my opinion this is nothing more than a formality or hollow regulaton, but they may request it nonetheless.

Quote:
you dont need a plane ticket to your country of origin, just an ongoing ticket. so if u went to singapore to do a visa run for another tourist visa, u could get an airasia return ticket back to singapore.


An ongoing ticket would be your return ticket. Would it make any sense to buy an ongoing ticket to another country for the sake of showing it to immigrasi if you already posess a return ticket? When I arrived in SIngapore and tried to buy a one way ticket back, the agent told me that you need show either a KITAS or a return ticket (since it is assumed that you are going to re-apply for a Visa on arrival). This was with Mandala air, not too sure if the same rules apply for Air Asia or Silk air. Anyways, when you return to Indonesia and apply for the new visa on arrival, immigrasi may ask to see a return ticket to your country of origin, since it is a tourist visa and it is assumed that you intend to leave Indonesia once the visa expires.

I did not know the Blacklist lasted for a year only, thanks for the info.

Also, I dont advocate working on a tourist visa but if you are desperate for funds you can do so at your risk. This was what I was saying in my original post. If you are working illegally for a school, while waiting for a KITAS, you should be making enough money to travel out of Indonesia once for a new visa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The average payment for ESL teachers is set at about 9 to 12 million rupiahs, depending on location, qualifications, etc, so there should be no problem with spending some of that money to travel out of Indonesia for a day my friend.
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travelNteach



Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

usually only dodgy schools take 3 months to porcess the paperwork. they either want a free probationary period or the want an extra 3 months of work. either way, they should be the ones paying for your flight if they are having u work on a tourist visa.

ticket to country of origin would mean canada for u. return ticket would be back to the country u are currently in, and on-going means to another country outside of the country u are entering. i think newbies reading this might be confused if we keep interchanging them as if they are the same thing. one reason u might want an ongoinbg ticket is if it is cheaper. refundable tickets are very expensive and usually have a refund penality. it is much easier to buy the cheapest air asia promo ticket and just bin it. remember that the flight must be scheduled to leave within 59 dyas. when u enter indoneisa, that is considered your first day, so u must leave within 29 or 59 days depending whether u extend it or not.

kalimaten is pretty expensive isnt it? 9-12 million doesnt sound like a good salary to me. those miners there on expat packages really drive the prices up.

good luck with your new job
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wailing_imam



Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 502
Location: Malaya

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samarinda. I was there last year. Can't say I liked it much, but i arrived after a long overnight bus from Banjarmasin where rainwater had seeped into the luggage hold and soaked everything I had making my first few hours rather grumpy ones.

How do you find like there? Much to do? Do the stares get to you? How often do you get to Balikpapan?
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basiltherat



Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 952

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi

talking of conversion rates, do the moneychangers there still have this absurd idea about giving different rates of conversion depending on the condition of the notes ?

i still recall 'ironing' a few 20 pound notes just to get the higher rate. it worked.

i wasn't going to let them get away with it.

best
basil
Smile
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malu



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 1344
Location: Sunny Java

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once insisted that the Rupiah notes they gave me had to be similarly in top notch condition. The moneychanger hunted all over the shop for the best Rp100ribu notes!
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travelNteach



Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome malu.

basilthreat, they still do that in jakarta, at least for USdollars. and lower rates for smaller denominations.
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basiltherat



Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 952

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I once insisted that the Rupiah notes they gave me had to be similarly in top notch condition. The moneychanger hunted all over the shop for the best Rp100ribu notes!


well, that's in improvement, too.

a few years ago, they would have simply told you to go 'bleep' yourself.

best
basil Smile
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Bule_Gila



Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 67
Location: Samarinda, Indonesia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:52 am    Post subject: Hello Reply with quote

To answer a few questions

They still try and gove you lower exchange rate on notes that are worn or have writting on them, the difference in exchange between mint notes and worn notes is a couple hundred Rupiahs.

Samarinda is a small city but it is on the brink of growth. There are new facilities being built everyday and they are still in the process of building an International Airport (which would be divine, as I have to take a 2.5 hour taxi ride to Balikpapan everytime I want to travel).

I've been to Balipapan a few times but prefer traveling to other places like Tarakan or Bontang, as merchandise there is much cheaper than Balikpapan. I enjoy staying here because the travel expenses are cheap. Since Kalimantan is shared by Malaysia and Brunei, it is really cheap to fly to these places. Flights to Singapore are really cheap as wee, about 200,000 to 500,000 each way from here.
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Henry_Cowell



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 3350
Location: Berkeley

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Hello Reply with quote

Bule_Gila wrote:
Since Kalimantan is shared by Malaysia and Brunei....

I think you mean Borneo, not Kalimantan. The latter is simply the name given to the Indonesian parts of the island of Borneo. Cool
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