With considerable frequency, discussions come up on this forum relating to the range, level and disparity one can encounter with various visa agents who also act as the applicant’s sponsor. Often it is commented that their fees are too high…after all, the agent is merely handling paperwork and including their name as sponsor, so why the high charge?
Often overlooked, or simply not understood, is the fact that sponsors have legal responsibility for those they sponsor for visas, and that even includes private Indonesian citizens who decide to sponsor a foreigner for a social/cultural visit visa. That legal responsibility can run from being held liable for unpaid bills of the sponsored foreigner, right up to criminal liability for crimes conducted by that person.
The later, and potentially far more serious liability of a sponsor just recently came to light with the events that unfolded in Canggu, Bali earlier this week. In that event a French national killed a Balinese police officer, stabbing him eight times before he himself was brought down in a hail of police gunfire. As it was, that French national was not under a sponsored visa, rather he was under a tourist visa, albeit expired as of last September. However, had that person been under a sponsored visa, and now dead himself, his sponsor would be sitting in jail as I type.
As already mentioned, the range of the total fees for handling visa applications and taking on sponsorship varies considerably from agent to agent. So, shopping around is advisable to be certain. However, one can improve their chances of getting a somewhat reduced fee by taking a few simple steps like dressing nicely when calling on your agent, and presenting yourself with good manners and polite demeanor.
Just from my lunch time discussions earlier today, I know that some visa agents on Bali are taking time to rethink and reconsider who they agree to sponsor.