September 17, 2007

Circumstantial inconveniences

Do you consider yourself to be a patient person? If so, are you always patient or does the particular situation make a difference? I guess I am a mixed bag, I have the patience for children and animals but I am really impatient when it comes to being sick, I don’t like being confined and restricted from my normal activities, I don't like waiting for the teller at the bank, I get agitated when being caught in traffic congestion. However, when it comes to circumstantial inconveniences such as dealing with government bureaucracy, I recognise the phrase "holding on" ... that is because
there is no point in fretting about something I have no control I won't.

Earlier this week, I have just got my SKCK / Surat Keterangan Catatan Kepolisian (Police Certificate) as part of the PR visa requirements to Canada. It was quite an ordeal getting this paper because individuals can only request a police check through the police service in the territory where their ID are being issued. If you think you can take one or two hours off from work, run into the police station, and get the paperworks done in one day, you're wrong! That won't happen in this country. Time required can take up 2-3 days if your KTP/Kartu Tanda Penduduk (Indonesia Identity Card) is from Jakarta, it will take longer if the ID is from the province like mine.

Before describing it, though, in Indonesia all citizens must carry an identity card (KTP) to apply for a job, to apply for a passport, driving license, withdraw money from a bank, or obtain official documents from state institutions or perform a multitude of other tasks. It is issued by the subdistrict head but must bear the signature of the district head . People aged between 17 and 60 years are required to have a valid KTP always. Applying for a KTP, which in theory should be simple and free of charge, has become a moneymaker for officials at the neighborhood and subdistrict levels. Many officials have gone out of their way to complicate procedures for issuing IDs, in order to squeeze even more money out of applicants. There is no specific fee how much you have to pay, but a small tip will help expedite the process.

Now, back to the process of getting the SKCK (Police Report), I'll spare you the details.

1 # First off, I needed the letter from the Head of Neighborhood to get the signatures from the sub-discrict head and the district head to obtain the SKCK. In order to get this, I had to submit copy of ID, family card, passport photograph 3x4cm & 4x6cm @1 pce each and then head to the Polsek (sector police), get the paper in 10 minutes and paid some administration fee.

2 # Next stop, I took the signed and stamped certificate from the Polsek (sector police) to the Polres (the resort police), along with copy of ID, family card, 3 passport photographs each size 3x4cm & 4x6cm. In Polres I had to fill out some forms about physical appearances (facial shape, hair color, blood type) and some other silly questions such as where were you when the communism revolution in Indonesia happened? were you belong to political organization etc? , got my finger prints taken and within one hour I got the SKCK from the Polres and the little card with information about my height, weight, hair color, hair type and my fingers print formula. I paid some money for the finger print and the SKCK letter. As usual, no receipt!

3 # From Polres, I headed to Polda Bandung (Bandung Regional Police Headquarter), brought along the same docs (copy ID, family card, and passport photograhps), and the SKCK from the Polres. In this office I had to fill out some forms which are pretty similar with the ones from Polres but without physical description. I also told them that I needed to obtain SKCK in English from Mabes Polri (National Police Headquarter) in Jakarta. Just like in Polres, I also paid some money here.

4 # In Mabes Polri (National Police Headquarter) in Jakarta, I only needed to submit the original SKCK from Polda Bandung, copy of passport, KTP (Identity Card), family card, birth certificate and 3 passport photographs 4x6cm. No more forms to fill out but there's no same day service or you bring in today and pick it up the next day. Interestingly enough, in Mabes Polri, the service is free of charge!

Morale of the story - red tape is frustrating and it is the same everywhere.


Mrs. Baasje said...

Will you move to CAD ?

elyani said...

Right, Ellen. Am currently still doing the paperworks.

Belle said...

you are right, this red tape is true everywhere. just keep your cool, patience is virtue, you know. am hoping that soon you will get reunited with G for good and live happily ever after.

i find that strange that they didn't issue you receipts for your payments. did you insist on it?

elyani said...

Thanks Belle, in Indo it is common money change hands without receipt esp. when it has things to do with bureaucracy. It is considered as tipping for the services provided.

Anonymous said...

Is there any 3rd party who can do this for us? We living abroad. Thank you.

Elyani said...

@To Anonymous : am not sure if you can obtain the SKCK thru a third party. Why do you need a SKCK when you're in overseas? If that is really important, perhaps you can visit Mabes Polri website and send them an email. Mabes Polri is the place that issued the SKCK.

Anonymous said...

It is for immigration to Australia. Embassy could not issue it. That's why we ask if there is a third party who can do that. A third party asked for 7 mio to do it, unbelievable.

Elyani said...

@Anonymous : that is insane, I spent less than 300,000 Rupiahs to get this SKCK, but the process is quite tedious. First off, you must have a valid KTP and KK (kartu keluarga), then you will need your finger prints taken at the Polres that will issue a finger print card that bears your physical description (height, weight, eye/hair color, religion and current address, and the finger print formula. From Polres, you will be directed to go to Polda (depending where your KTP is being issued), and then Mabes Polri in Jakarta. To obtain the SKCK from Mabes, you will need to bring a copy of birth certificate and a copy of valid passport. Mabes Polri does not charge a single cent and won't take under table money. The process is one day service and it has a validity of 6 months from the date they issued the certificate.

I would suggest that you visit and email them to ask what is the right procedure for immigrant living in overseas. I will not trust any calo who will promise you the moon but at the end only wasting your time and money. Good luck!

Therry said...

Mmmhmm... Indonesian bureaucracy ...

Uang keamanan

Uang terima kasih

Uang suka rela

Uang kesadaran

Uang rokok

what else?

Everything is about MONEYYY

Elyani said...

Therry : kalau ngurus sendiri ga mahal, cuma harus sediakan waktu. Karena prosedurnya kalau untuk kepentingan keluar harus sampai Mabes Polri. Nah, yang mengesankan di Mabes tidak dipungut bayaran sama sekali, cuma ga bisa ditunggu. Dokumen masuk hari ini, besok ambil. Di pintu ruangan pengurusan SKCK nya Mabes malah tertulis dilarang memberikan tip. Jadi yang kerja juga ga berani minta.

irene thomas said...

ruwet juga ya untuk ndapetin skck, tadi aku baru dari polda,trus masih harus ke jakarta ke mabes,gak kebayang sebelumnya klu ribetnya kayak gini.
el boleh gak aku mo nanya2 klu ngurus spouse visa u/ ke canada,bisa lewat email? thx

Elyani said...

@irene: memang prosedurnya gak praktis..tapi kalau sudah sampai Mabes cepat kok. Satu hari kerja sudah bisa diambil dan gak pakai bayar. SKCK berlaku selama 6 bulan sejak tanggal diterbitkan. Jangan lupa syarat2nya dibaca ya! Untuk pertanyaan lain silahkan email ke