Retirement Visas in Indonesia: Your Options

Alexis
Modified on December 27, 2023

Retiring in Bali can be scary once you look at the visa situation. Here are your main visa options to consider as a retiree in Indonesia.

Retiring in Bali: Why Not You?

Many people visit Bali during their active years and ponder the question: what if I retire here?

After all, Bali and Indonesia, in general, have many advantages for retirees:

  • The climate is warm all year round: no more winter!
  • The cost of living is relatively low, making it a good option for modest retirees.
  • Indonesians are very welcoming, and their culture is diverse across the islands.
  • Bali remains a tourist destination with many services and activities for Westerners, along with a real community of expatriate retirees.

But, of course, to access all these benefits, you need to go through the visa process.

Visas for retirees in Bali: 3 main options depending on your situation

What is the best visa for retirees in Bali? The answer is... it depends on your situation (it would be too simple otherwise!).

There are actually three main visa options for retirees in Indonesia, depending mainly on the type of retirement you envision in Bali:

  • Visa B211: It's not strictly a retirement visa, but it's a long-term tourist visa that allows you to stay in Indonesia for 6 months.
  • Retirement KITAS (or KITAP): This is a real residency permit that makes you an Indonesian resident.
  • The new KITAP "second home" visa, allowing a 5-year stay if you have a certain amount of money to invest in Indonesia.

Let's see when one is preferable over the others.

The B211 Visa option: The simplest solution for part-time retirees in Bali

Many retirees only spend a few months a year in Bali without fully (and officially) settling here.

Whether it's to avoid a gloomy winter in Europe or simply to escape for a few weeks to another culture, there are obviously no obligation to settle 100% in Bali.

You are retired after all, do as you please!

If you stay in Indonesia for less than 180 days per year, you don't really need to bother with the KITAS or KITAP (the long term visa that make you an official resident) process for retirees.

The B211 visa can be a sufficient, with much less hassle and even less expensive than a retirement residency visa.

Pros of the B211 for retirees in Indonesia

  • Easy to get (you just need to apply and prove you have enough funds)
  • Up to 6 months stays (2 months initially + 2 extensions of two months)
  • Open to all ages and all countries
  • Cheap, even with an agent

Cons of the B211 for retirees in Indonesia

  • After 6 months of stay, you MUST go out of Indonesia
  • The B211 is not multi-entry: if you go out of Indonesia during its validity, you'll lose it and have to start over
  • You are not a resident of Indonesian, just a long term tourist
  • You'll still be officially tied to your home country

For more information, read the guide on the B211 visa.

The Retirement KITAS: The "real" visa for retirees who want to relocate in Bali full-time

The retirement KITAS is a "real" retirement residency visa and is the best option for those eligible who want to spend their golden years in Indonesia.

The retirement KITAS has many advantages and some disadvantages compared to a B211 visa.

Advantages

  • The retirement KITAS is valid for 1 year.
  • You can enter and leave Indonesia as you wish (you are a resident), which is not the case with B211 visa
  • You can open a bank account or get a local driver's license.
  • You can apply for a hak pakai for your house/villa.
  • You can be fiscally resident in Indonesia (with potential pros and cons depending on the situation).
  • You can switch to a retirement KITAP after a few years, a visa that allows you to stay in Indonesia for 5 years.
  • In the long run, a retirement KITAS is cheaper than a B211 visa.

Disadvantages

  • Getting a retirement KITAS or KITAP involves (much) more paperwork than a B211 visa.
  • You need a retirement income that exceeds a certain threshold.
  • Not all countries are eligible for a retirement KITAS (long story short, it's mostly for "first world" countries : UE, US, UK, Australia and so on).
  • You must currently be in Indonesia with a B211 or another KITAS to apply for a retirement KITAS (impossible from abroad).

Who Can Apply for the Retirement KITAS Visa in Indonesia?

The retirement KITAS has some fairly strict conditions:

  • Be over 55 years old.
  • Have a retirement income of $1,500 per month or $18,000 per year.
  • Have health insurance.
  • Have a residence in Bali.
  • Have a letter indicating that you employ two local staff members (maids, drivers, gardeners, etc.).
  • Have a sponsor (your agent).
  • Be a citizen of one of the eligible countries.

These conditions pose many limitations, especially for those with small pensions and/or those who are citizens of ineligible countries.

The Second Home Visa: Another visa to consider for retirees with financial means

The second home visa (and its cousin the Golden visa) is clearly to attract the wealthiest individuals who won't work in Indonesia (as in not compete with local work force) but will live there and contribute to the local economy. That includes:

  • Wealthy retirees.
  • Digital nomads and other remote entrepreneurs.

The amounts required to be eligible for the "second home" visa are much higher than the current retirement visa (2 billions rupiah, or around 200K USD "ready to invest"), which excludes by default many middle-class retirees that mostly live on their pension.

However, it allows staying for 5 to 10 years with less paperwork than the current retirement KITAS, and is eligible to citizen of all countries.

What is the Cost of a Retirement Visa in Indonesia (regardless of your visa pick)?

B211 visa: budget 100€/USD a month + potential visa run

If you opt for a B211 visa for your retirement, the total monthly cost (including extensions) will be around a hundred dollars or euros per month, for a maximum of 6 months.

After these 6 months, you'll need to leave Indonesian territory for a few days and obtain another visa if you didn't plan to leave Indonesia so soon. It's better to add the cost of this visa run if you intend to stay more than 6 months.

Keep in mind though, that visa isn't multi-entry. If you get out of Indonesia before its term, you'll have to start it over, which can surely add up in terms of costs.

Retirement KITAS: around 100€/USD a month depending on several factors

The cost of a retirement KITAS visa is also around $100/month for the first year and around $70/month for subsequent extensions.

In the long run, the retirement KITAS, even though it takes slightly longer to obtain, is cheaper than a B211 visa and offers much more in terms of security and comfort if you want to spend your entire retirement in Bali.

The new "second home" visa promises to be even cheaper in the long run, as it will cost only $2700 for 5 years, which is less than $45 per month. However, to be eligible, you'll need to prove that you have 2 billion Indonesian rupiahs in a local bank account, thus excluding many people.

Where to Start to Get a Retirement Visa in Indonesia?

Regardless if you pick a B211 visa or a more permanent retirement KITAS, if you're currently outside Indonesia, you'll need to first enter Indonesia with a B211 visa. You can apply here with Celerity, one of the most trusted (and centrally located) visa agent in Bali.

Good luck for your visa and enjoy your retirement in the island of the Gods!

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