This particular topic has driven me crazy, finding the correct information on the web wasn’t easy. So I decided to get in touch with the Indonesian embassy in London and clarify what was needed for my trip to Bali. Once I got all the information needed and tested everything in Bali, I decided to write a blog post for you, that hopefully will help you save time and brain cells wasted on the web.
If you are only staying in Bali for 2 months you have 2 options and I’m going to explain them step by step:
- Option 1: Visa On Arrival (30 days) and extension (+30 days)
- Option 2: Visa On Arrival (30 days), visa run and Visa On Arrival (+30 days)
Let me tell you how it works:
Option 1: Visa On Arrival (30 days) and extension (+30 days)
This is the best option if you don’t want to leave Indonesia for 2 months. However, it would be slightly tedious if you don’t want to go through the agency. This is how it works in 5 steps:
1: Book an appointment online for the immigration centre (list of offices https://balibusinessconsulting.com/services/visa-on-arrival-extension/). Make sure to book the appointment close to the 20th day in Bali to allow enough time to start the process.
2: Purchase the Visa On Arrival at the airport (or online here). It will cost you IDR 500K and it will last for 30 days (including your day of arrival).
3: On your 20th day in Bali, head to the immigration centre to start the visa extension process.
4: Come back in order to register your fingerprints.
5: After roughly 1 week you can finally collect your passport.
If you want to go through the agency, I would suggest asking your hotel or coworking space because they would be more trustworthy than a random shop on the street. They would also give you a reasonable price. I know that the coworking space Outpost would do everything for you for about IDR 500k, you would only need to show up at the immigration centre for the fingerprints.
Most of the travellers I met went through Option 1, but I decided to go for a visa run which gave me the opportunity to explore different countries and enjoy my time in Bali stress-free. If that sounds good to you, keep reading 🙂
Option 2: Visa On Arrival (30 days), visa run and Visa On Arrival (+30 days)
This is a great option if you want to explore nearby countries and spare the back and forth to the immigration centre in Bali. This path entails going for a visa run, which means leaving the country temporarily and coming back in order to apply for a new visa (Visa on Arrival). This is how you will do it:
Step 1: Open a Google spreadsheet and write down a list of nearby countries you want to explore. Check the flight prices, and accommodation prices and write them down on the spreadsheet. Now do some research for each option and think about which activities/experiences are you interested in for each country.
Step 2: Select the best destination based on price and personal interest.
Step 3: Book the flight ticket. Make sure the departure date is before the 30th day in Bali (arrival day to Bali included). Check the temperature as well! (I went to Hanoi in December and it was absolutely freezing, whilst in Bali it was 31 degrees!)
Make sure to book the return flight the Bali for the correct date. There needs to be 29 days before your arrival in Bali from the visa run and the day you leave Bali to come back home.
Practical example for Visa On Arrival (30 days), visa run and Visa On Arrival (+30 days)
Home: Buy your flight tickets for the visa run. Make sure you don’t spend more than 30 days in Bali (including the day of arrival). For example, you could arrive in Bali on the 1st of November and fly to Singapore on the 29th. Make sure to bring your flight booking to Singapore with you at the Bali immigration point at the airport. You have to prove you will leave Bali within 30 days.
Day 1 in Bali: Arrive in Bali on the 1st of November (a random day just as an example). Buy the VOA at the airport, there is a particular queue for this as soon as you arrive at the airport. The cost right now is IDR 500k (about £20). You can also get it online here. Show your flight booking to Singapore for the 29th of November (a random day just as an example).
Day 29, fly to Singapore: Enjoy Bali until the 29th of November when you will fly to Singapore. The minimum stay outside the country is 24 hours.
Back to Bali: Purchase another VOA and show your return ticket to home which needs to be within 30 days from your arrival in Bali (day of arrival included).
What if I’m staying for less than 1 month?
If you are staying for less than 30 days, you will still need to purchase the VAO (Visa On Arrival). It used to be free for less than 1 month but now you have to pay for it!
Which Visa is needed if I’m staying for more than 2 months?
You can only extend the VAO once but you can leave the country and buy a new VAO as many times as you want. If you don’t want to go back and forth you can apply for the B211A Visit Visa which lasts 2 months and can be renewed twice for 60 days each. This visa is the best one for digital nomads right now. If you are planning to work in Bali (employed in Indonesia) you will need to apply for the KITAS. This process is much longer and tedious but it will cover you for 6 to 12 months and it’s the only way you can legally work on the island.
Always make sure you have done your research. The rules would change based on the passport you hold, the length of your stay and your travel purpose. Take a quick look here for more information.
Right, now that you have your visa sorted, take a look at this blog post to find out what you need to know before going to Bali!
Ciao for now,