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The Indonesian authorities have deported 47 people as tourist destination Bali cracks down on foreigners misusing their visas to work.

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Bali has set up a task force to stop tourists working illegally.

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Taking jobs illegally negatively impacts local entrepreneurs.

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Bali deports 47 in crackdown on tourists

13 April 23


From The Straits Times: The 47 people, of whom 13 are Russian, were deported for violating their stay conditions and misusing the residence permit. 

One Ukrainian citizen is undergoing court process after being found holding a fake Indonesian national ID, said Mr Anggiat Napitupulu, the regional head for the legal ministry.

Bali is stepping up law enforcement against foreigners, even banning them from riding motorcycles after a string of deadly accidents. 

Over the weekend, hundreds of law enforcement officers kicked off a five-day operation to crack down on criminal activities, especially among tourists, ahead of the Balinese day of silence on Wednesday.

Deportation remains the last resort, Mr Napitupulu said. “If someone does not wear a helmet, should they be deported? If the same foreigner keeps doing that, maybe,” he added. 

The government is still welcoming Russian and Ukrainian citizens to enter via its visa on arrival programme, despite public calls to revoke their permits. 

Indonesians have called out foreigners for traffic infringements, including unruly behaviour on roads and not wearing helmets, as well as for illegally working while on tourist visas. 

 SOURCE: THE STRAITS TIMES

MORE FROM NEWS.COM.AU

Bali is not holding back when it comes to keeping tourists in line with its latest mission targeting those who work illegally.

In the last few months, the holiday hotspot has proposed a ban on tourists using motorbikes, called for a campaign to educate foreign guests amid unruly behaviour, talked about a tax on tourists – and now it’s targeting tourists working illegally.

A special task force has been set up, made up of local officials and the immigration office, to monitor foreigners’ activities.

Bali Chamber of Commerce and Industry chair Made Ariandi said non-citizens were not allowed to work, and that starting businesses or taking jobs illegally negatively impacted local entrepreneurs.

“It is never too late. We have confidence, sincerity, togetherness and collaboration with all stakeholders,” he said.

It’s reported that while many visit Bali for tourism purposes at first, some end up opening businesses illegally.

Mr Ariandi said this has been especially seen after the pandemic and can be attributed to the visa on arrival (VoA) and the second home visa policies.

“[Foreigners] live very cheaply in Indonesia. The fear is that the world community who travel here ‘feels like’ living here. If they stay, they will open businesses or work,” he said. 

Indonesia’s VoA program allows foreigners to visit Indonesia for 30 days for tourism and is open to more than 80 countries. It costs about $50.

Overstaying the visa can lead to fines of $100 per day, or being detained, deported or banned from Indonesia for a specific period.

A second home visa is a non-work visa that came into effect in Bali in December 2022. 

It is granted to foreigners and their families who want to live permanently in Indonesia for five or 10 years.

The visa program aims to attract wealthy foreigners, where applicants must show proof of funds to live on and a further 2 billion rupiah, or $A200,000, to be placed in an Indonesian government-owned bank. 

Another option of eligibility is owning property of a similar value and while foreigners cannot own land in Indonesia, they can lease land and own a property on it.

It’s also not legal to make an income from any home while living in Indonesia on the second home visa.

“The 2 billion rupiah is not for investment but to ensure visitors can stay two to three years without starving,” Mr Ariandi said.

“If they have money, they won’t starve and won’t take up someone else’s or [a] local’s job.”

The second home visas are about attracting wealthy tourists who can afford to live in Indonesia and contribute to the economy by spending, not working.

Bali Kadin of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: “The tourists need to be aware. [The second home visa] does not mean they can spend millions of rupiah then run out of money and become motorcycle taxi [ojek] drivers, gymnastics, and yoga teachers, diving coaches, and anything else.”

Bali Tourism Office head Tjok Bagus Pemayun recently said Indonesia has a strict working visa policy that must be followed by foreign nationals, as any violations of the working regulation will harm locals in Bali

“I cannot determine [the sanction], but we will follow all regulations. Any deportations will be done if necessary. We have no target, as our focus is to follow all regulations,” he said. 

The Manpower and Energy and Mineral Resources Office head IB Setiawan also said the task force would screen the foreign nationals’ data, as one challenge in the monitoring works is to assess the incoming and outgoing data.

Meanwhile, according to The Strait Times 47 people, including 13 Russians, have since been deported for violating their stay conditions and misusing the residence permit.

One Ukrainian citizen is also being processed through the courts after allegedly being found holding a fake Indonesian national ID, the publication reported. 

It comes as Balinese officials also crack down on Russian tourists – who are the second biggest group of foreigners visiting after Australians.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster revealed this month he was asking the Indonesian government to stop Russian and Ukrainian tourists from being allowed to get a visa on arrival in the country.

At a news conference in Denpasar, Mr Koster said Russians and Ukrainians were coming to Bali to escape the war, and were not just there for leisure but to find work. 

He claimed the two nationalities made up the highest number of violations among foreigners, according to local media.

The founder of a luxury shoe brand in Bali, Niluh Djelantik, said: “We opened our doors, we opened our arms, and we welcomed them with a big smile. But our kindness has been taken for granted.”

“There are many visa violations, like tourists who take jobs, economic crimes, overstays,” Mr Koster told the Wall Street Journal, speaking of Ukrainian and Russian visitors.

“Whenever we get reports about a foreigner behaving badly, it’s almost always Russian,” a local police officer in Kuta told CNN.

“Foreigners come to Bali but they behave like they are above the law. This has always been the case and it has to finally stop.”

A Russian man, who goes by the name of Yuri, will allegedly be deported for violating immigration rules after he posed semi-naked on a sacred site.

He shared a now deleted post to Instagram posing on top of Mount Agung with his pants and underwear around his ankles.

 - AUTHOR: SHIREEN KHALIL

 - SOURCE: NEWS.COM.AU

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE



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