Schengen Visa Exemption for Indonesian Citizens

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We are writing this petition in order to support the inclusion of Indonesia into Schengen Visa Waiver recipient list. For the past five years, the 'Schengen Group' has officially provided visa-free facility to over a dozen countries but unfortunately Indonesia has never been on the list. Yet, Indonesian diplomatic and service passport holders are already exempted by almost all of the countries comprising the Schengen Area.

On 10 July 2015, the Foreign minister of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi and the European Commission Vice President, Frans Timmermans, discussed possibilities for Indonesian passport holders to get visa-free access to the Schengen Area. They noted that the visa rejection rate for Indonesian citizens is low at 1.1% in 2014 and again in 2017, where it was at low 1% in the year of 2016. Immigration violations by Indonesian citizens are also very low. Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland are some Schengen members who gave their support to Indonesia for visa-free access to the Schengen Area.

During the side-line of the EU-ASEAN ministerial meeting in Luxembourg on 5 November 2015, the European Commission reportedly included Indonesia in a list of countries proposed for review by the European Council. Indonesia's proposal will be submitted to the council in early 2016. The European Council then ask three main entities (Frontex, Europol and the EASO) to study and review Indonesia's eligibility. If the study results are positive, then the Council and the European Commission will propose new regulations for Indonesia's Schengen visa waiver.

On 25 February 2016, Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Arrmanatha Nassir, claimed that Indonesia has already received a green light from the EU Commission and almost two-third of Schengen countries to get the visa-waiver status. However, the implementation will not happen in the near future, because the visa-waiver procedure in the EU is quite complex and there are new migration issues in the region. Meanwhile, Patrick Herman, ambassador of Belgium to Indonesia, is confident that the visa waiver agreement will be reached as soon as possible as all stakeholders are working to finalize the necessary agreements.

(April 2017) Up to this date, there has been no 'clear sign' for Indonesian citizens to be exempted from Schengen Visa requirements and yet there have been a few meetings since the new Indonesian government took office in late 2014 with regards to the visa waiver agreement.

(December 2017) EU Ambassador to Indonesia, Vincent Guerend, acknowledged that Indonesia has brought forward a proposal so that the citizens could be exempted from having to obtain the Schengen visas. The Ambassador was reported to mention that such proposal has not been processed yet and that Indonesia will still have to wait for further follow-up, as the Union is still embracing the bodies for internal migration issues, as well as flow of asylum seekers into the Union.



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