Bali is one of the most popular destinations in the world for digital nomads. Remote workers flock here for months on end to stay on this beautiful island, grow their businesses and explore their spirituality at a low cost of living while diving into the super active digital nomad community. Many end up extending their stay or returning to their favorite places in Bali again and again. And quite a few end up staying for good.
Bali is just that amazing.
To stay in Bali for an extended period of time, you need to be aware of immigration regulations. There are different types of options and Indonesian visas for staying in Bali. Read on to learn all about them and how you can extend your visa in Bali.
Bali Visa Extension Options
First, let’s have a look at the different options you have for staying in Indonesia in general.
30-Day Visa Waiver
The easiest and cheapest option to enter the country, is to go as a tourist for a maximum of 30 days. To do this, simply stand in line for foreigners at immigration when you land at Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar, and get your 30-day visa waiver.
Find out if your home country is included in the 169 nationalities that are offered a free visa entry into Indonesia here.
Warning: These 30 days include your arrival and departure day! Meaning if you arrive in Indonesia on August 1st, you must leave the country at the latest on August 30th. This Bali visa waiver isn’t extendable, so you have to leave the country after 30 days.
60-Day Visa on Arrival (VOA)
If you’re looking to stay for up to 60 days, it gets a little bit more complicated. At the airport, instead of heading to the main immigration desk and getting your 30-day visa waiver, you have to buy a so-called “visa on arrival” (VOA). You have to buy the VOA at the desk in the middle of the large immigration hall, behind the ‘Welcome to Bali’ sign – before going through immigration.
The VOA costs 500,000 IDR (there are also ATMs off to the left where you can withdraw money) or 35 USD in cash. The desk takes both Indonesian rupiah and US-dollars, and you receive the paid visa and payment receipt. Take the visa and your passport to the express immigration area further to the right of the hall – not the main immigration counters. Because fewer people pass through here, the lines are often far shorter, and you get through quickly.
With this VOA, you are now allowed to stay in the country for 30 days – and it’s an extendable visa (unlike the 30-day visa waiver). A one-time extension by another 30 days is now possible. So you’ll be able to stay in the country for up to 60 days.
You now have two options for extension:
- Go through the steps for the visa extension yourself, or
- hire a local agent service to do most of the work for you.
Whichever way you choose, we recommend getting started with this process soon after arriving in Bali. The whole visa extension process can take up to fifteen business days and, if you’re doing it yourself, involves three trips to the immigration office (which is also why most people prefer the option of hiring an agency to do most of the leg work for them).
Let’s have a look at the extension options more closely.
DIY Visa Extension
To extend the VOA yourself, you’ll have to make at least three separate trips to the immigration office. There’s one at the airport in Denpasar and one in Nusa Dua. Always go to the one closest to where you’re staying, as this will be the one responsible for you.
Day 1 – Extension Application
Show up at the immigration office before 11 am with the following documents:
- 2 copies of your passport photo page
- 2 copies of the visa extension page in your passport
- Name, address, email and phone number of your accommodation
- Provide one copy of your plane ticket for departure, as proof of you leaving within 30 days from the date of your extension.
It’s also always a good idea to bring a black pen, just in case the office has run out (happens more than you may expect).
At the front counter they will confirm that you have all the correct paperwork and copies. You just have to fill out the paperwork they provide, grab a ticket and wait for your number to be called to turn in your paperwork.
Day 2 – Photo And Fingerprints
Before you arrive on day 2, you’ll have to pay a fee of 355,000 IDR. This is possible at banks like BCI and BRI, any Indonesian Post office, or at the immigration office in Nusa Dua, where there’s a post van parked right outside for you to pay the fee.
Once you’ve paid the fee, head to Counter C and give them your payment receipt. They’ll give you a ticket with a number. When your number is called over the loudspeaker, go into the photo room and hand over your ticket. They will take your photo and scan your fingerprints, then stamp your paper with a date on which you can return to pick up your passport.
Depending on the masses and whether the photo booths are working that day or not, this can be a time-consuming, full-day event, so make sure you free up the entire day – just in case.
Day 3 – Passport Pickup
You don’t necessarily have to pick up your passport on the specific date stamped onto your ticket. Any day after that works, too. Show your ticket at window 3 and wait for your name to be called, at which point you can pick up your passport with the visa extension. Always check to make sure the dates are right (mistakes aren’t unheard of).
Hiring a Local Agency
Going with a local agency is a bit more expensive but saves you a lot of hassle. Instead of going to the immigration office three times, you only have to go once to get your photo taken and fingerprints scanned (see Day 2). A good agency will do the rest for you and keep you informed every step of the way. Most of them even provide transportation to and from the immigration office closest to you for around 200,000 IDR.
At WiFi Tribe, we’ve had great experiences with Visa4Bali. You buy the extension package online, provide them with your WhatsApp number or email address, and your assigned visa agent contacts you to take you through the process step by step. At Visa4Bali, a VOA regular service extension costs 800,000 IDR (ca. 58 USD) and takes 10 – 15 business days. In case you’ve left things too late and you need a last-minute extension, they also offer an express service extension that costs 900,000 IDR (ca. 65 USD) and takes 7 – 9 business days.
One caveat: If you go with an agency, you will have to hand over your passport to them for about two weeks until the end of the extension process. That might seem a bit dicey, so make sure to choose an agency with a sound reputation, like Visa4Bali.
Staying Longer Than 60 Days
To stay in Bali longer than 60 days, you can either go through the VOA and extension process by repeating it over and over in between visa runs (see below). Or you can apply for a social visa, 60-day tourist visa, multiple-entry business visa, or a KITAS (limited stay work permit). We’ll take a closer look at the KITAS, since this is the visa most relevant for digital nomads in Bali.
There are four types of KITAS:
- Working Visa KITAS (work permit)
- Family Visa KITAS
- KITAS for Students
- Retirement Visa KITAS
In order to obtain a working visa KITAS, you have to be employed by a company that will sponsor your stay and provide the necessary documentation. Alternatively, you can also open your own company in Indonesia. The working visa is valid for six months and allows multiple exits and entries of the country during this time.
The application process for the KITAS can take anywhere between two to four months, so make sure you start early enough. An agency can help here, too. Check out Visa4Bali’s KITAS offer here.
Note: Technically, this is the visa you need to be allowed to legally work in Bali. The government of Indonesia wants to make sure that foreigners only hold jobs for which there are no available Indonesian employees. So most remote workers living in Bali on 30-day visa waivers or the VOA are working in a legal gray area.
The Indonesian government and immigration are taking more and more measures to better define those gray areas, and special visas for digital nomads are being discussed. For now, we suggest you always state “vacation” as the reason for your visit when asked at immigration.
Bali Visa Runs
Now you know what it takes to stay in Bali for 30 or 60 days, or even six months. But what happens when that time runs out?
The good thing about Indonesia is that there’s no limit on how many days per year you spend in the country. It’s not like the Schengen zone for European countries, where most non-Europeans are only allowed to stay for 90 out of 180 days. For Bali, or Indonesia in general, this means that you can fly back into Bali on the same day you flew out – and get the same type of visa as before, or any other one.
Which is why the so-called visa runs have become popular among people wanting to stay in Bali long(er)-term. For a visa run, most people fly out of Indonesia in the morning, pass through immigration at their destination (to make sure they’ve officially left Indonesia), and fly back in on the evening of the same day, receiving a new visa as they enter the county. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen in one day; if you want to take a few days to explore another country anyway, a visa run is a great opportunity to do so.
Popular visa run destinations from Bali are Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore. Flights there and back usually cost somewhere between 100 – 250 USD.
Singapore caveat: A rising number of people are reporting that Singapore immigration is cracking down on travelers arriving from Bali and heading back there on the same day. People on an obvious visa run have been detained and not allowed on the flight back.
If you’re planning to do a one-day visa run, it’s better to pick Kuala Lumpur as your destination. So far, nobody has had problems there. If you’re planning to explore Singapore for a few days while you’re there anyway, then go for it. That doesn’t seem to be a problem at this time.
What Happens If You Overstay Your Visa?
If you stay in Indonesia beyond your allotted number of days on any visa type, the penalty is 1,000,000 IDR (ca. 70 USD) per day. Yes, it gets expensive fast. Furthermore, you’re only allowed to overstay for a maximum of 60 days. Overstaying beyond 60 days will end up with you in court, a possible prison sentence and additional fines.
Please note: Visa requirements are constantly changing and all info was correct when this article was written. We are not responsible for any issues with visas as a result of the advice on this site. It’s always your sole responsibility to double-check the latest visa requirements for Indonesia and your passport.
Proof of Onward Flights
No matter with which visa you’re planning to enter Indonesia, always remember to be able to provide proof of an onward flight. In most cases, immigration wants to see that you have a flight booked out of Bali within the number of days your visa of choice will allow.
You will often be asked for this proof at check-in for your flight to Bali. If you can’t provide it, the airlines might not let you board the plane. You’ll end up buying a more expensive ticket that you’ll probably never use out of Bali at the counter just to get on the plane.
Check out our ultimate guide to proof of onward travel flights to find out what options are available to you.
Join the Tribe in Bali
If you’re tired of figuring out how to extend your Bali visa all by yourself and going on this remote professional journey alone, come join WiFi Tribe!
We’re a group of intrepid remote workers and adventure lovers who co-work and co-live together at different locations around the world on a monthly basis, building a wise and supportive community that love to gather information such as this to make lives easier for its members.
And Canggu in Bali has been one of our favorite and most popular chapter locations since the very beginning. Here’s how we co-live and co-work in Bali for several consecutive months every year, and don’t hesitate to apply. We can’t wait to have you join us.