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Bali Visa | Moving to Bali

The Expat’s Guide to Choosing the Right Visa Type When Moving to Bali

Have you ever dreamt about going to Bali? Or even better, about moving to Bali while making your business from there?

What sounds like an idyllic lifestyle, at first sight, can easily become your biggest nightmare. The difference between these two situations is quite tight, and a piece of advice you should always keep in your mind is—do not mess with your visa.

In this article, we will guide you through different visas in Indonesia to ensure that you know the requirements, rules and conditions. In case, you are still not sure what visa you should apply for as an expat moving to Bali, do not hesitate to contact us.

Visas Available for Expats Moving to Bali

Visa-Free Entry

The year 2016 brought a huge change into the lives of 79 nationals as they joined a list of countries that were approved to enter Indonesia with no visa for a period of 30 days. In total, foreigners from 169 countries can now benefit from hassle-free entry into the country. Nevertheless, it is important to bear in mind that you cannot extend any other visa. Also you must leave the country after 30 days. Consequently, it is not advisable to use this kind of visa if you are planning to moving to Bali.

Bali Visa on Arrival – VOA

Visa on arrival Indonesia

Another kind of visa, which is not suitable for expats, is the visa on arrival that is valid for a short period of time. You can extend your Bali visa for another 30 days from the original period of 30 days. Note that 30 days does not equal one month and in order not to overstay your visa, you should carefully count the days.

The great advantage of this type of visa is the ease of its issuing. There is no need to prepare any documents in advance; VOA is simply bought when entering the country. Please do not forget to keep the receipt as you will need it in case you would like to extend your Bali visa.

If your short visit to Bali has been decided on the very last minute, this could be the most helpful visa for you. Keep in mind however that no employment of any kind, paid or unpaid, is allowed on a VOA visit visa.

Social-cultural Visa

Moving to Bali - Cekindo

Bali has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia. It continuously attracting more and more foreigners from all over the world. As a result, foreign nationals do not come to Bali only to transact businesses or enjoy their dream holidays. But, they also “help” the country through diverse social activities.

Volunteers and digital nomads (not working for Indonesian customers) normally choose to come to Bali (neither as tourists or businessmen) with the social-cultural visa in their passport. To apply for this particular type of visa, a letter of invitation/sponsorship from a sponsor in Indonesia is required. This can be either an Indonesian individual or a company.

This type of visa allows you to enter the country for an initial 2 months. You can later extend your visa for an additional 30 days in total of 4 times. However, you can only extend your visa at a place that is stated in your sponsor’s KTP/passport. Consequently, if you are willing to stay in Bali, your sponsor must be Balinese.

You might want to read: Find the Right Visa Sponsor in Bali

Business Visa

Foreigners entering Indonesia for business purposes for a period exceeding 60 days, you require to obtaining a business visa. Please note that a business visa does not allow you to work in Bali. On the contrary, your business visa works for conducting business negotiations, short-term work assignments, and participating in training, workshops or seminars. As a result, if you wish to stay in Bali as an expat, a business visa is not the right one you should choose.

Continue reading Business Visa Bali: Answers to Your Questions

What to Choose

To conclude, the choice of which Bali visa to apply for highly depends on the conditions of each expat. For example, the purpose of visit, length of stay, or whether you have a sponsor or not. Whether you are moving to Bali or do not mind leaving Bali every two months, VOA is the answer. The majority of expats in the country choose this kind of visa. With this visa, they find it convenient not to have the need to find a sponsor as a requirement.

On the other hand, a socio-cultural visa is suitable for all expats who are able to find a sponsor. This visa is also for those who are not planning to conduct business in Indonesia. Finally, expats who are work in Indonesia must apply for a business visa, and all other legal documents (e.g. work permit). This will ensure that their stay in Bali complies with all legal requirements.


More information about visas can be found here. Do not hesitate to approach Cekindo for any inquiries, comments, or opinions that you may need. Our team is here to assist you and help you to obtain your visa easily and effectively.

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