Antara, Jakarta – Bali Governor Wayan Koster asked the Ministry of Law and Human Rights to cancel the Visa on Arrival (VoA) policy for Russian and Ukrainian citizens in Bali.
"I have written to the Law and Human Rights Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minister to revoke visas on arrival for Russian and Ukrainian citizens who wish to visit Bali," said Koster on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
The proposal was made after considering the increasing number of public reports regarding the citizens of the two countries who often violate the regulations in the province and the high number of violations committed by Russian and Ukrainian citizens.
The most recent case was two Russians deported for misusing their tourist visas by working as photographers. There were also three Russians deported for violating tourist residence permits by working as prostitutes.
Another reason, according to Koster, was that the two countries are in an ongoing conflict, which causes their citizens to seek comfort in Bali. "Because the two countries are at war, they don't feel comfortable in their own country. So they come to Bali," Koster added.
The provincial government is still waiting for the Law and Human Right Ministry's response. The request was aimed at encouraging tourists to respect local regulations and customs.
Koster said the VoA policy revocation might not only apply to citizens of the two countries. "The Law and Human Rights Ministry will discuss with the Foreign Affairs Minister whether there are only two countries subject to the new rule or there will be other countries because there are 86 countries that have been given visas on arrival," Koster explained.
Meanwhile, Head of the Bali Regional Office of the Law and Human Rights Ministry Anggiat Napitupulu said Bali Governor Wayan Koster's proposal was reasonable as a form of policy evaluation.
According to him, although the visa on arrival was issued by the Law and Human Rights Ministry, it is a cross-sector policy so the ministry needs to discuss it with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry to prevent negative effects on other sectors if the policy is revoked.