Indonesia eyeing tourism and trade boost with visa upon arrival facility offered to Seychelles
(Seychelles News Agency) - Indonesia is making available visa on arrival facility to Seychellois passport holders traveling to the Asian nation, in a bid to strengthen economic, trade and social ties with Seychelles.
In a press statement issued on Friday, the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport said the visa will be valid for a maximum stay of 30 days, regardless if the Seychellois national is there on business, holiday or for social and cultural purposes.
The foreign affairs ministry has said however, that the visa on arrival “cannot be extended or converted into another immigration permit.”
According to the Indonesian Honorary Consulate in Seychelles, nationals of the Indian Ocean archipelago travelling to Indonesia were before required to apply for a visa three weeks prior to travelling. A $50 fee was applicable for each application for a visa, which was processed in Nairobi, Kenya.
With the new regulation, only a $35 fee is payable for a 30-day visa.
“The applicant’s passport must have a clean page for the VOA [visa on arrival] sticker: passengers having a passport without a clean page are routinely rejected. The applicant’s passport must also be valid for at least 6 (six) months from the date of entry,” reads the press statement.
Information posted on the website of the Seychelles consulate in Jakarta, reveals that Seychelles has now become the 69th country worldwide and only the 6th in Africa to obtain visa on arrival to Indonesia.
“The visa on arrival will encourage the Seychellois people to travel to Indonesia and enhance greater people to people contact, trade and tourism between the two countries,” said Nico Barito, Honorary Consul of the Seychelles in Indonesia, in the press statement.
According to statistics provided to SNA by the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, 154 Indonesians visited the archipelago in 2014 while January till July this year has seen some 112 tourists from Indonesia to the Seychelles shore.
With regards to travelling to Indonesia, 219 Seychellois nationals went there in 2014, while Indonesia was a destination of choice for 123 Seychellois from January to July this year.
With regards to trade, the island nation imports mostly potato and motor vehicles from Indonesia.
Seychelles and Indonesia established diplomatic ties in December 1985.
An infographic published by GOOD Magazine last year, which ranked countries according to the number of countries their passports can enter either without a visa, or with a visa on arrival, revealed that Seychelles passport holders have access to 126 countries, making it the African passport with the best access to the world, sitting in 28th position worldwide.
Since then, more countries have added to the list, including the United Arab Emirates and Palau.
A visa waiver agreement for all passport holders which Seychelles signed with the UAE came into force in July this year, while a short stay visa waiver agreement between Seychelles and Palau was signed in June this year during the official visit of the Palauan President to the Indian Ocean archipelago.