A beautiful island in Indonesia, Bali is well-known for its tropical climate, breathtaking landscapes, and pristine beaches with surf-worthy waves. Whether you wish to clear your mind and soul at a yoga retreat, visit fascinating temples and learn more about the local culture, or enjoy Bali’s thriving nightlife, this popular vacation destination offers something for every traveler.
Bali is a lovely island with so much to discover and experience, that sometimes the 30-day tourist visa simply is not long enough for travelers who wish to explore every corner of this paradise island. Therefore, we decided to put together an article that focuses on different visa options.
Traveling to Bali is easy and the visa process for tourists is pretty much straightforward. However, you should keep in mind that the criteria for Bali visas can change quickly. For up-to-date information, always check with the closest Indonesian embassy. Without further ado, here is our guide to “Bali, How Long Can You Stay”.
General Information about Visas for Bali
There are many visas available for visiting Bali. Deciding on which visa to apply for depends on how much time you wish to spend here. For instance, the typical Bali tourist visa allows you to spend 30 days in this beautiful country.
However, there are other types of visas for Bali. Some last between 30 and 180 days, while others allow you to retire in Bali indefinitely. If you are thinking of moving to the country for six months or more, you’ll need to obtain a KITAS (something that we will come back to a bit later). Some of the ways you can get this type of permit include being marring to a native, owning a business in Bali, sponsorship by a local company, or being ready to retire.
Another way to stay in Bali for a longer period once your visa expires is to do a VISA run. It’s basically leaving Indonesia to somewhere nearby and then returning to Indonesia. But again, this definitely falls into the grey zone category and legal implications to this that could land you in a lot of trouble. Having said that, it’s not something we would encourage you to do.
Types of Visas for Bali
A foreigner can choose between a range of Bali visas and permits. Visas for Bali that last between 30 and 180 days include Free Visa, Visa on Arrival (VoA), or the Social, Tourist, or Cultural Visa. The most popular visa with digital nomads is the Cultural Visa. If you are thinking about spending six months or more in Bali, you’ll want to turn to a temporary permit called a KITAS. Here is a breakdown of the most popular visas for Bali.
- Visa on Arrival
- Tourist Visa
- Multiple Entry Visa
- Social and Cultural Visa
- Limited Stay Permit (KITAS)
Visa on Arrival
The first you need to check is if you are on the list of countries that have a Visa on Arrival option. If you are eligible for (VoA), simply land at Denpasar airport in Bali and look for the Visa on Arrival counter. There is usually no line at this counter and it all happens pretty fast. This visa is valid for 30 days and will set you back about $40. Keep in mind that they accept cash-only payment for the visa. If you don’t have cash with you, there is an ATM super close to the VOA counter.
The great thing about Visa on Arrival is that you can extend it for 30 days in Bali, which makes it 60 days total. The requirement for this type of Bali Visa includes a return airline ticket and a passport that is valid for at least six months from the day you enter Bali.
The Tourist Visa for Bali is your average 30-day visa. Unlike (VoA), the Tourist Visa cannot be extended for an additional 30 days. The good news is that this Bali visa is free of charge.
It is for travelers coming for holiday or any short-term event. The application requirements include a passport with two blank pages which must be valid 6 months from entry date and a return flight ticket.
Multiple Entry Visa
The Multiple Entry Visa is basically a business visa used for business purposes. However, the visa can be used for other purposes such as visiting Bali for art and culture events, seminars, or family visits. The multiple-entry visa is valid for 1 year and remains valid when a foreigner travels outside Bali.
Keep in mind that a tourist visa and visa on arrival become invalid after a foreigner leaves the country. The multiple entry visa allows travelers to have multiple 60-days visits during the 12-month validity period of the visa.
How to obtain a multiple entry visa? You’ll need a passport that’s valid for 18 months and a sponsorship letter from a local Indonesian citizen or organization. Travelers should know that this visa doesn’t allow foreigners to work in Indonesia. The visa will set you back about $110.
Social and Cultural Visa
The Social and Cultural visa allows you to stay in Bali for between 60 and 180 days. It is actually a popular choice for digital nomads. This visa is also often used among people visiting Indonesian friends or going on a cultural exchange. The Social and Cultural Visa is valid for 60 days but can be extended by 30 days four times.
For this visa, travelers will need 12 months on their passport. They will also need to apply for a visa at an Indonesian embassy in their country. The visa itself costs $50 (single entry) or $110 (multiple entries). You can ask a local agency to assist you with obtaining the visa, but expect to pay agency fees.
There are 2 types of Social and Cultural Visa: B-211 and D212. D212 grants you multiple access for 60 days at a time, while B-211 is a single entry visa which means you can use it only if you are not planning to leave Indonesia.
Limited Stay Permit (also known as KITAS)
The limited stay permit (ITAS / KITAS) is more geared towards long-term living in Bali. There are a few types of stay permits, each offering something different. Keep in mind that foreigners cannot use 2 visas at the same time in Bali. In case you obtain a new visa, the old visa automatically becomes invalid.
The limited stay permit (ITAS / KITAS) is the best option for travelers who decide to stay for several years in Bali. It has a validity period of up to 2 years, but it depends on the type of stay permit you are applying for. The limited stay permit also allows for extensions within the country.
Types of Stay Permits (KITAS)
- Temporary Stay Permit (Working Visa)
- Student Visa
- Retirement Visa
- Family Visa
The Temporary Stay Permit allows travelers to stay and work in Indonesia. What’s the catch? There is no catch actually, but you must deal with a lot of paperwork. You’ll need to obtain a work permit for the local ministry of manpower, as well as a stay permit from immigration. This visa is usually used among foreigners working for companies in Indonesia.
In order to obtain a Family Stay Permit, one needs to be married to a person from Indonesia. This type of stay permit allows you to move and reside long-term in Bali. However, this visa doesn’t allow you to conduct any business in Bali. In order to be able to work on this visa, you’ll have to request a work permit from an Indonesian company.
So, you are getting old and want to spend the rest of your life enjoying pristine beaches and delicious cuisine in Bali? If you have reached 55 years of age, you can apply for a Bali Retirement Stay Permit. This type of permit doesn’t allow you to work in Bali, but it does allow you to enjoy retirement in this fabulous country. What about the requirements? You have to be over 55 and your passport needs to be valid for more than 18 months. You should also have health and life insurance and an income of $1500 per month in pension funds.
There is also the Student Stay Permit which allows you to spend 1 year in Bali. This visa is for students and scholarship participants and can be extended up to 5 years. The requirements for the Student Stay Permit include a passport that is valid for 6 months, your CV, application form, medical report, and a sponsor letter from a school in Indonesia.
Penalties for Overstaying
Spending a few days longer than allowed in Bali can really get you in trouble. If your stay permit has expired, but you still haven’t left the country, you will have to deal with penalties for overstaying.
In 2019, Indonesia has significantly raised the daily penalty for overstaying a visa. Starting from May 2019, travelers who overstay their visas in Bali will face a daily fine of $70 per day. So, for instance, if you have overstayed your visa for 10 days, you’ll need to pay $700. Besides a hefty fine, overstaying your visa can also affect your ability to get visas for Bali in the future.
These penalties only apply to travelers who overstayed their visas for less than 60 days. In case you have spent more than 60 days in Indonesia without a valid visa, things are about to get more complicated. If you overstay by more than 60 days, you will need to go to court and can face deporting and blacklisting. A prison sentence and an additional fine may be given to you.