The Indonesian government waived visa requirements for nationals of Bangladesh and 78 other countries, thereby expanding its list of visa-free nations to 169.

Bangladeshi citizens who want to visit Indonesia as a tourist for less than 30 days will be able to do so without any visa requirements.

They only have to pay an arrival fee of $30 at the Indonesian airport.

This opportunity is expected to be realised at any time in April, as the Indonesian government is now finalising the modalities of the decision. Once that is complete, the law will be implemented, granting visa-free entry to an extra 79 countries including Bangladesh, told Nazmul Quaunine, Ambassador of the Bangladesh embassy in Indonesia, to the Dhaka Tribune.

Earlier, a statement released on March 18 from the Indonesian cabinet secretary said President Joko Widodo had signed the decree into law, granting visa-free entry to tourists of these 169 countries.

The statement said the presidential decree will come into effect once it is ratified, adding that the Legal and Human Rights Ministry authorised it on March 10.

Another statement released on March 18 from the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Jakarta said the waiver was made to continue government efforts to boost foreign visitor numbers.

The government seeks to fulfil a target to attract 20 million foreign tourists every year by 2019, in order to boost economic growth.

“Last year alone, 9.73 million tourists visited Indonesia,” it said.

Till now only Bangladeshi diplomatic passport holders were able to enter Indonesia without a visa.

From now on, any Bangladeshi citizen who does not wish to stay more than a month can travel with a valid passport and return air ticket.