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I want to go to Indonesia, so I booked a round-trip ticket with CheapOAir.

Travel: one week

Purpose: tourism

Citizenship: USA

I was sure I didn't need a visa to Indonesia since I have a US passport. However when I booked the ticket CheapOAir prompted me to buy a visa for $70.

I tried calling them but only got a vague answer. It's called a CIBT visa. I'm confused. Do I need to apply for a visa? Or can I get one when I arrive?

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CIBT is not a visa; it's a company that provides visa services.

US citizens (and citizens from most countries in fact) can enter Indonesia visa free for up to 30 days for tourism and certain other purposes if you meet the requirements. That period cannot be extended. There's also a $35 visa-on-arrival for 30 days, which can be extended once. You can also review the visa information provided by the US State Department. And according to Timatic, the database used by airlines for visa information:

The following are exempt from holding a visa:

Nationals of USA for a maximum stay of 30 days.

This does not apply when traveling for journalism visits.

Visa issuance:

Nationals of USA can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days if their passport contains at least half an unused visa page and if they have at least USD 1,000.- or a valid credit card. They can apply to extend their stay for an additional 30 days.

Passengers can apply for a visa on arrival at Balikpapan (BPN), Banda Aceh (BTJ), Bandung (BDO), Batam (BTH), Denpasar-Bali (DPS), Jakarta (Halim Perdana Kusuma (HLP) and Soekarno-Hatta (CGK), Kupang (KOE), Lombok (LOP), Medan Kuala Namu (KNO), Makassar (UPG), Manado (MDC), Padang (PDG), Palembang (PLM), Pekan Baru (PKU), Pontianak (PNK), Semarang (SRG), Surabaya (SUB), Surakarta (Solo) (SOC) or Yogyakarta (JOG).

Additional information:

Passengers exceeding their permitted stay will be fined (Note: The day of arrival in Indonesia is counted as the first day of stay).

If you are staying for a purpose that requires a visa or staying longer than the visa free period, you'll need to obtain a visa in advance. You can use a service like CIBT to assist in that process, or apply for one yourself through the Indonesian Consulate.

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