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Old 24 Apr 2011
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Timor Leste Visa

Hi everyone,

even though I was very sure I posted this yesterday already (senile at 21, where's that supposed to end? ) I will do it again. If it was deleted by a mod or admin than sorry, don't know what was wrong with it and didn't get a warning:

Yesterday I was driving a few comfy hours through beautiful sunshine until I got rejected at the land border between Indonesia and Timor Leste. They told me I need this magial piece of paper called Letter of Approval. I have not even thought about that Visa as problematic at all, never heard about problems, so that was a massive and unwelcome surprise.

"New Rule, very dumb." was the very comforting thing the Indo-officer told me when I turned around, apparently having to return to Kupang.

With a big 4 Leter word written in red in front of my face I made it back to the first Indo town with Internet and googled for this magic paper.

It actually is true: Tourist & Business Visa | Immigration Service of Timor-Leste

So now I have two options:

- either apply online and get a letter e-mailed after "10 days". (Reports I found online were more settling for 30-40 days, if at all answered.

-or drive back to Kupang and eiher get a visa or the letter (Reports differ greatly on the consulate in Kupang, some say they are helpful, others say they are as corrupt as it gets, and others still said,they just don't do anything at all.

So my question is, does anyone have any experience with the consulate in Kupang, the visa, the letter or an unmarked trail over the border and contacts with a stamp for the carnet ?

Oh and of course, just to make matters worse my Indo Visa will expire, and I have extended it already until the 6 month maximum.

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Old 24 Apr 2011
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Location: Melbourne / Oz
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Hi Tim,

I went the other way, but heard about this visa on arrival procedure change. I met a guy who was rejected at the border, he rode back to Kupang and got the approval letter very quickly.
We used a small border crossing in the south. But you still need this approval. Crossing was very quick and border staff on both sides friendly and helpful. The border on the East Timor side was only container offices...

Sorry, can't give you better information about the "approval letter".

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Old 24 Apr 2011
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enjoy kupang

hi tim,

you definitely need that visa-applikation.
the border (last year) is not korrupt and you need the indo-exit-stamp no?
1 day overstay in indo is 200.000 ir and it takes 6 hrs ride to the border.
me (and i heard from other travellers) got the letter after 24 hrs but you have to write more emails where you describe your situation, the consulate in kupang is not responsible for that letter.

good luck!
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Old 25 Apr 2011
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24hrs sounds far more promising. Thanks for the fast replies.

But as it is eastern (of course I had to do this during national holidays ) and Kupang ain't to far from Atambua or whatever town was I stayed in for a night of thinking and some mild swearing, I drove back to Kupang as I can also write my e-mails here but on top I have the chance to pick up a Visa.

Consulate is obviously closed for easter-monday (still tried it though).

I talked to Timor Travel and Hofmin Meda, the Lavalon Guide, and they both say a Visa takes 3 days. If that prooves to be true I will not even bother with the letter, pick up the Visa and leave the next day straight through to the border. If all goes as planned (yeah yeah call me naive, it's the youth) I still have one more day as a backup for breakdowns.

Fingers crossed. And thanks a lot for the fast help.

At least I do the waiting in a town with great food.

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Old 25 Apr 2011
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Location: Glasgow
Posts: 19
Hi Tim,

I did exactly the same as you at the end of October last year. Seems they changed the rules about visas being issued at the land border at some point during 2010. The good news is that the guy in the consulate in Kupang was helpful and I didn't need any letter, just scanned copies of the completed visa forms and a copy of my passport.

The process for this was to email these documents to 2 people, Mr Gomez and Ms Moriera who then processed the visa application. They still tell you it will take 10 days but I spoke to Ms Moriera who was really helpful and I got mine in 3. I also heard of another guy who got his in 2 days so as long as nothing has changed in the last 6 months you should be on your way to Timor Leste in no time.

Enjoy Kupang (again)
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Old 28 Apr 2011
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I will receive my visa on friday, which is just early enough, and that already needed a lot of talking.

They officially say 5 days, which cause of the weekend would have meant monday. But after talking them deaf for around 2 hours they agreed to hand me the thing, for it is not a visa, on friday. The real visa you still get at the border. So it is probably still just this letter of Approval. But it is free.

So it gets a little tight, but I will make it out before the visa expires.

thanks to all of you
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Old 16 Feb 2012
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Timor leste border crossing

I was trying to cross the border recently with no letter and they turned me back to Kupang. Next day I brought printed out and filled application in person to Timor Leste consulate there and was told, to come back after 3 days. Same day I applied over internet and had confirmation with info that they will answer within 10 days. Next day I appear in consulate again asking to speed up the process a little due to extraordinary situation. They tell me to come 3 hours later and then issued authorisation letter for me strait away. They literally printed it out using data from my passport. With no checking anything or calling to anyone at all. I crossed the border same day with no problem.

I think consular is in power to decide who to give a letter to if any, all this waiting time is just the rubbish making the whole procedure more official.

3 weeks later I got email from Timor Leste Ministry of Foreign Affairs that to issue authorisation letter for me they need to see copy of booked flight out ticket. They didn't know about decision of consulate in Kupang, they didn't contact each other and no one had checked who crossed the border and when. The crossing has no internet or even telephone fitted, it's just a container.

By me it's all about officially looking sheet of paper. If I printed out one myself I would probably crossed the border with no problem too.

More details on my blog
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