Indonesia Opens Its Doors: Visa Reforms Pave the Way for a Thriving Arts and Sports Scene


In a bid to bolster its status as a global hub for sports and arts events, the Directorate General of Immigration of Indonesia has introduced simplified visa procedures for sports and music and arts activities. This announcement comes ahead of a series of high-profile international events scheduled to take place in the archipelago.

Director General of Immigration, Silmy Karim, unveiled this positive development during a press conference held in Jakarta on Thursday, September 14th, 2023. The new sports visas and music and arts visas aim to facilitate international participation in sporting and cultural activities within Indonesia.

Karim highlighted the significance of these visa reforms in light of the impending international events set to grace Indonesian shores. "We are taking this momentum. Soon, many international events will be held. In October, we have MotoGP, and in November, we have the Coldplay Concert and the U-17 World Cup," Karim stated.

The primary objective of these new visas is to streamline the application process for foreign athletes and artists, eliminating the need for onerous documentation requirements such as labor permits, Police Record Certificates, and certificates of five years of work experience. These changes are grounded in the understanding that foreign athletes and artists typically engage in short-term projects in Indonesia. Moreover, it acknowledges the competitive nature of these industries and the positive impact international participation can have on the local workforce.

Prospective applicants for sports visas and music and arts visas can conveniently submit their requests through the dedicated online platform,, making the process more efficient and accessible.

Director General Karim emphasized the necessity of these reforms by using notable examples: "Is it necessary for an athlete of Cristiano Ronaldo's caliber to require a Police Record Certificate to play exhibition football in Indonesia? Or is it reasonable to expect Coldplay to have five years of work experience to perform in Jakarta? These are the irrelevant requirements that we have removed."

The introduction of these streamlined visa procedures is expected to usher in a new era of international sports and arts events in Indonesia. Karim expressed his hope that Indonesia would become a magnet for foreign tourists, attracting not only holidaymakers but also those seeking to witness international sports matches and music concerts within the country.

In recent years, Indonesian citizens have flocked to neighboring countries like Singapore, Thailand, Australia, and Japan to attend international concerts and sporting events. Karim believes that by simplifying the visa requirements, Indonesia can entice event organizers to choose the archipelago as a prime destination for their activities.

"So many foreigners come to Indonesia to watch shows, which can bring in foreign exchange. From the Indonesian side, there's no need to fly overseas to attend concerts or sporting events," Karim concluded, expressing optimism for the future of Indonesia's cultural and sports tourism industry.

With these progressive changes in place, Indonesia aims to position itself as a welcoming and attractive destination for international sports and arts events, fostering cultural exchange and economic growth on a global scale.

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