In our previous article, we discussed the general aspects of deportation in Indonesia, which include the situations that can lead to deportation in Indonesia, the process, and what to do when one is facing deportation.
The next question that our law firm often receives is what to do after deportation from Indonesia. Can one go back to Indonesia after being deported from Indonesia?
The simple answer is yes, it is possible for one to return to Indonesia after being deported for a certain period of time, provided their name is no longer listed under the Indonesian ‘no-entry ban list’ or ‘daftar pencegahan’.
In this article, we will discuss further what to do after deportation from Indonesia. This discussion will include: what happens after the deportation, what is a ‘no-entry ban list’, how long can someone be banned from Indonesia, and what to do in case one wants to return to Indonesia.
What is deportation?
As we have provided in our previous article, deportation is a process of removing a foreign national from a country due to violations of immigration laws, committing criminal offenses, or causing a public disturbance in general.
In Indonesia, common reasons for deportation include overstaying a visa, working without proper authorization, or committing a crime.
However, in our experience, deportation decision is not only imposed by the Indonesian immigration authority on those people who are committing an obvious crime as mentioned above. Often, it could also be an infringement that is only administrative in nature, such as: not renouncing one’s Indonesian citizenship upon obtaining another citizenship.
What happens after the deportation?
As we have explained in our other article, regardless of the situations that occur that can lead to deportation, those who are facing deportation in Indonesia have certain legal rights.
These include the right to be informed of the reasons for their deportation, the right to legal representation, and the right to appeal to the Minister of Law and Human Rights regarding the deportation decision.
However, despite having the above rights, in many cases, we have seen that deportation is unfortunately inevitable. In such cases, the person who is facing deportation, by law, also entails having their name listed under the Indonesian immigration 'no-entry ban list' or blacklist (daftar penangkalan).
What is a 'no-entry ban list' (blacklist) or 'daftar penangkalan'?
The Indonesian no-entry ban list (daftar penangkalan) is a list of names of persons who are barred from entering the Indonesian territory based on immigration reasons. This list exists within the Immigration Management Information System (Sistem Informasi Manajemen Keimigrasian) alongside the no-exit ban list (daftar pencegahan). All the immigration border officers and the consulate officer shall consult this list before issuing a visa or allowing someone to enter (or exit) the country at the immigration checkpoint.
What are the reasons for someone to be included on the 'no-entry ban list' (blacklist) or 'daftar penangkalan'?
As we have mentioned above, one of the main reasons would be if one has been deported from Indonesia.
Other reasons, according to the Immigration law, would be:
known or suspected to be involved in transnational organized crime;
showing a hostile attitude towards the Indonesian government officer (e.g. police, immigration office, customs, etc.) or committing acts that defame Indonesia as a nation and state;
suspected of committing acts contrary to public security and order, decency, religion, and customs of the Indonesian people; or
using a false or falsified passport to obtain a visa or stay permit to enter and reside in Indonesia.
On top of the above, one can also be included under the no-entry ban list if:
there is a request to the immigration authority from the Representative of the Republic of Indonesia as submitted through the Minister of Foreign Affairs;
there is a request of another country so that the foreigner does not try to avoid the threat of execution of sentence in that country; and/or
there is a request from the International Court of Justice because the foreigner committed a crime against humanity or transnational organized crime.
How long can someone be banned from Indonesia?
The Immigration law provides that the banning period (periode penangkalan) valid for 6 (six) months, and every time it could be extended for another 6 (six) months with a written decision from the authorized immigration officer. In theory, if there is no decision from the immigration officer to extend it, then the banning period will be terminated by law.
However, in our experience, this often isn't the case in practice.
In such case, the banning period can only be terminated if the immigration officer has issued a decision to lift the ban, which is called surat keputusan pencabutan penangkalan.
In an extreme case, a foreigner who is considered by the immigration authority to be able to disturb public security and order can be banned for life from Indonesia. In this case, it is not possible to appeal to the immigration officer to issue a decision to lift the ban.
What to do if you want to return to Indonesia?
Regardless of the reason for the deportation in the first place, it is advisable for one to initially wait for a period of 6 months until the banning period has ended.
Afterward, one should contact the Indonesian immigration headquarters, the Directorate General of Immigration in Jakarta, specifically, the Subdirectorate of Preventing and Banning (Sudirektorat Pencegahan dan Penangkalan) (“Subdit Cekal”). Normally, it is almost impossible to contact the Subdit Cekal by email or phone, so it is recommended for one to liaise with a family, a friend, or a trusted agent or lawyer, to come directly at the Subdit Cekal to check whether one’s name is still listed in the no-entry ban list (daftar penangkalan).
In case the name is still listed there, the immigration officer at Subdit Cekal would ask the representative to prepare 2 (two) letters:
(i) a request to remove the foreigner's name from the no-entry ban list (it is best to also attach all the relevant documents to support the case, such as passport, etc.); and
(ii) a sponsorship letter from an Indonesian citizen sponsor, which is signed with stamp duty.
A sponsor, in principle, is an Indonesian citizen who is going to guarantee a foreigner’s behavior in Indonesia. The idea is considering the said foreigner has committed an action resulting in deportation, thus as a preventive measure, if they wished to return to Indonesia, then their behavior should be guaranteed by someone.
Theoretically, any Indonesian citizen can be the sponsor. However, if such a foreigner has a family in Indonesia, it is preferable to have them as the sponsor. Otherwise, the foreigner can ask his or her friend a trusted agent, or a lawyer.
After the sponsor has submitted the documents mentioned above, the immigration officer will schedule an interview with the sponsor. In general, the immigration officer will ask how the sponsor is related to the foreigner and what are the reasons that the foreigner wants to return to Indonesia. If all questions are clear and no further documents are required, the immigration officer will issue the Surat Keputusan Pencabutan Cekal. Normally, this process can take from 1 day to several weeks, depending on the load of work of the relevant immigration officer.
With the assurance of Surat Keputusan Pencabutan Cekal, then it would be safe for the foreigner to apply for Indonesian visa to return to Indonesia.
Is it possible for the Immigration Officer to deny the request?
Yes, the immigration officer can deny a foreigner’s request to remove their name from the no-entry ban list.
However, this refusal shall be provided in writing by stating the reason underlying such refusal.
In such case, the foreigner can further file an appeal to the Director General of Immigration himself. If it still gains a negative response, then the foreigner can appeal to the Indonesian State Administrative Court (Pengadilan Tata Usaha Negara).
To sum up, deportation from Indonesia and placement on the 'no-entry ban list' or 'daftar penangkalan' is a complex issue. If deported, despite having rights like legal representation and appealing the decision, one may still end up on this list. If this happens, one should at least wait for six months and then contact the immigration authorities in Jakarta to request removal from the list. In such case, one will need an Indonesian citizen sponsor to vouch for you. If your request is denied, one can appeal to higher authorities. Despite the hurdles, patience and persistence can potentially lead to the removal from the 'daftar penangkalan' and a chance to return to Indonesia.
If you have any further questions regarding deportation in Indonesian or need assistance to remove your name from the no-entry ban list (daftar penangkalan), our team of experienced immigration lawyers at Tampubolon Legal Solutions is ready to help you. Our firm’s policy offers 30 minutes free consultation, so feel free to book your meeting with us today.
Disclaimer: The goal of this blog is only educational and to help you understand some of the common and general inquiries we receive. Please do not rely on this as legal advice because legal advice is tricky and dependent on specific situations. Make sure you consult with a lawyer before using this information.