So far, in March, the number of VoA and e-VoA holders from Russia and Ukraine has reached 5,196 and 566 respectively.
Indonesia must immediately make the baby steps and strike while the iron is still hot.
"Korea is very well aware of the leadership of Indonesia as we've seen this year as chair of G20 summit."
Embassy in Seoul Cont. to Pursue Visa-Free Deal for Indonesians
TheIndonesia.id - The Indonesian Embassy in Seoul has confirmed that talks with the South Korean government on a visa-free program are still ongoing, as it seeks to close a deal similar Japan’s visa waiver.
Speaking to journalists during an Indonesian Next Generation Journalist Network on Korea workshop initiated by the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) and Korea Foundation in Seoul, South Korea, last week, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Zelda Wulan Kartika said representatives from the two countries are still discussing the possibility of a visa-free deal for Indonesians who wish to visit the East Asian country.
“We have not been granted that facility by the Korean government, so we’re still pushing for it,” Zelda said.
She continued that one possibility proposed by Indonesia is a visa waiver for citizens who hold the electronic passport (e-passport). This option has been adopted by Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for “Indonesian nationals, based on a system of registering e-passports” since 2014.
Despite the continued attempt, Zelda emphasized that no timeline has been set by the embassy on a completion of a deal.
After the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea targeted 300,000 Indonesians to visit the country in 2022, close to the figure recorded in 2019. If a visa-free deal is approved, the number is expected to rise even higher.
Meanwhile, the two countries are celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year. Asked whether the sought-after travel program is in commemoration of the long-standing bilateral relations, Zelda said the initiative had been presented even before the pandemic.
“It has been a target since a few years ago. However, there was a pandemic, so this matter couldn’t be pushed forward,” she explained.
In the coming period, the Indonesian Embassy seeks to advance the discussion, especially with South Korea’s immigration office.
“I’m not saying that it has to be completed within this year, but we are pushing for it.”
(Contributor: Diana Mariska)