Visas for Bali: All Visas for 2024 Explained

Alexis
Modified on February 1, 2024

Visas you need for Bali can be a confusing matter. Here is a complete overview of the main visas types in Indonesia and when they should be used.


Visa Comparison

Visa How easy to get Need for Indonesian sponsor Price Max Duration Multi entry Work
Visa Exemption Very easy (ASEAN citizen only) No Free 30 days total. Impossible to extend. No Forbidden
Visa On Arrival (VOA) 30 days Easy (for eligible nationalities). Straight at the airport. No 35$ on arrival, 35$ extension + agent fees 60 days total. 30 days initially at the airport. 30 days extension possible at immigration office. No Forbidden
E-VOA 30 Days Easy. (online) No 35$ / 500K IDR. Same for extensions. 60 days total. 30 initial days online. 30 days extension doable online. No Forbidden
E-VOA 60 Days Easy. (online) No 100$ / 1.500K IDR 60 days. No possible extension. No Forbidden
Visit / Social Visa B211 Quite easy with an agent. Yes 275$ for 2 months + 100$ per 2 months extension 60 days. 2 additional 60 days each extensions possible. No Forbidden
Residence Visa (KITAS / KITAP) -Spouse/Family: quite easy - Investment: average - Retirement: average - Work: hard Yes Depends on visa & sponsor need 6 months to 1 year for most KITAS. 5 years for KITAP. Yes Sometimes possible depending on your work permit.

Visa Exemptions for Bali: or when you don't even need a visa

Visa exemptions have been suspended during Covid for many countries that used to have it. Currently, only citizens of the ASEAN, so Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam can access Indonesia (and therefore Bali) via visa exemptions.

All other citizens must purchase a Visa On Arrival (VOA) or an e-VOA to enter Indonesian territory.

Advantages of Visa Exemptions

The main advantage of using a visa exemption to travel to Bali is, of course, that it is much simpler to get there since no paperwork is required.

You arrive at the international airport, hand your passport to the immigration officer, and you can enter Indonesian soil.

Disadvantages of Visa Exemptions

The main disadvantage of the visa exemption is that it lasts only 30 days and is non-renewable. In other words, you cannot extend your stay beyond 30 days, and you are obliged to leave the territory after 30 days.

The current disadvantage is that it is only offered to ASEAN citizens. Will it be offered again in the future? No one can predict that with certainty.

Visas On Arrival (VOA) for Bali: the visa you buy at the airport

The Visa On Arrival, often abbreviated as VOA, is a typical tourist visa in the region and offers some additional advantages over the visa exemption.

It is also a fairly simple visa to use since it can be purchased directly upon arrival at the airport. It is also economical as it costs only $35 for 30 days.

Advantages of VOA

The only real advantage of VOA is that it can be renewed for an additional 30 days beyond a visa exemption, for an additional fee of $35.

In summary, for $70, you can stay in Bali for 30 to 60 days.

Disadvantages of VOA

The VOA has some disadvantages:

  • It is not free, unlike the 30-day visa exemption.
  • It can only be renewed once for an additional 30 days. You must leave Indonesia after 60 days. For simplicity, you can extend it with an agent.

Want to know how to renew a VOA? Read this article.

E-Visas On Arrival (e-VOA): the tourist e-visa you order a few weeks before your trip

Tourism e-visas, known as e-VOA and e-visitor visas, are online counterparts to VOA. Unlike the classic VOA, e-visas must be applied for up to 3 months before your departure. Applications can be made on this site.

There are two types of e-VOA:

  • One valid for 30 days with the option to extend for an additional 30 days
  • The other valid directly for 60 days

Advantages of e-VOA

The advantages of e-VOA compared to classic VOA are as follows:

  • Less queue at immigration upon arrival (you already have your visa)
  • Possibility to get a 60-day visa directly
  • Possibility to extend online, thus avoiding going through an agent for the extension, having to hand over your passport, and go to immigration

Disadvantages of e-VOA

The current disadvantages of e-VOA are that the process is new, online, and therefore less proven than the usual offline options. In case of any problems, which unfortunately occur regularly, you are more at risk of being on your own. You can ask an agent to help you fill out your application in case of any issues.

Otherwise, e-VOAs have exactly the same disadvantages as offline VOAs.

B211 Visas: the touristic visa for stays up to 6 months

Visits visas, locally known as B211 visas offer several advantages over visa exemptions and VOAs but are also more challenging to obtain.

Advantages of B211 Visit Visas

The main advantages of visit visas are that they can be renewed for a longer period than VOAs. Their basic duration is 60 days, but extensions of 60 days can be done twice.

So, in total, it is possible to stay 180 days in Bali and the rest of Indonesia on this type of visa.

To learn more about the B211 visa, read this article: B211 Visa for Indonesia: The Complete Guide.

Disadvantages of Visit Visas

The visit visa, whether social or business, is more restrictive than a visa exemption or a VOA.

The main difference is that you need a sponsor: an Indonesian or an Indonesian entity who vouches for you to immigration and ensures that the reasons for your trip are justified. It is a visa that must be applied for in advance and can take a few days to obtain.

Despite their fairly long duration, you are not an Indonesian resident with a social or business visa. It is therefore absolutely forbidden to work in Indonesia.

Finally, visas in this category are not multiple-entry. You lose your visa as soon as you leave Indonesian territory, and you have to start the paperwork from scratch as soon as you re-enter.

However, with an agent as a sponsor, getting a B211 visa is still quite simple and allows you to stay 6 months in Indonesia, which is not bad!

This is one of the options chosen by digital nomads who don't have clients on-site and by some retirees who don't spend the entire year in Bali.

Residence visas in Bali (KITAS/KITAP): when you want to live in Bali

Residence visas, often called KITAS and KITAP, are a bit like the Holy Grail of visas for staying long-term in Bali. Unfortunately, they are not always easy to obtain, can be expensive, and may potentially change your legal and tax status.

Advantages of KITAS and KITAP

The main advantage of a residence visa is that it allows you to stay freely in Indonesia. Their duration varies from 6 months to one year for KITAS and can go up to 5 years for KITAP. Renewal is, therefore, much less frequent than other visas.

Most of these visas also come with multiple entries, so you can enter and exit Indonesian territory as you please. As long as the dates remain within your visa period, you don't have to redo your visa.

A residence visa like KITAS or KITAP is a bit like a resident card. It opens up certain rights (and responsibilities!), such as the right to be employed (subject to obtaining a work permit) and to benefit from the Indonesian healthcare system aka BPJS.

Since KITAS and KITAP make you an Indonesian resident, you also become a tax resident in Indonesia in many cases, which can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your situation.

Disadvantages of residence visas

The major disadvantage of residence visas like KITAS and KITAP is that they are complicated to implement and are often (very) expensive.

The conditions to obtain them are not always straightforward:

  • Working KITAS are particularly challenging to obtain because you need to be sponsored by an Indonesian company that must justify that employing a foreigner is legitimate and then pay specific taxes in addition to higher salaries than locals to legally employ them.
  • Investor KITAS or those for business owners require substantial investments in Indonesia to be obtained. However, they do not always allow work.
  • The new KITAP Second Home, sometimes called a visa for digital nomads, allows staying for 5 to 10 years tax-free in Indonesia but requires an investment of about 130,000 euros on-site.

Being a resident in Indonesia is also not beneficial for everyone, especially for tax and legal reasons.

The easiest way to get a KITAS is to go through an agent. Some may even sponsor you if you don't have a company or spouse in Indonesia.

Why is it important to choose the right visa for Bali?

It is important to revisit the reasons for choosing the right visa and, above all, to recall some consequences that often occur when choosing the wrong one.

Choose a visa long enough not to be forced to leave the country

Choosing a visa with a duration too short for a tourist visit to Bali often results in two unfortunate consequences:

  • Doing a "visa run" to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur to re-enter Indonesian soil with a new visa.
  • Being in overstay, costing 1,000,000 rupiahs per day of overstay, or about 65 euros, and exposing you to more severe sanctions, such as being blacklisted from the country if the overstay is very long.

In short, when choosing a visa, it is (very) important to carefully count the days, and ideally opt for a visa that covers the duration of your stay, or alternatively, plan to exit the territory.

Do not put yourself in an illegal situation

Each visa has a specific purpose. Some activities are only available on a particular type of visa, and not adhering to these principles often results in your expulsion from Indonesian territory, usually with the added consequence of a ban from re-entry for some time.

Working on the wrong visa, overstaying for several months, or failing to fulfill certain duties that come with your visa can end badly for you.

Which Indonesian visa is most suitable for you?

Choosing a visa for Bali depends primarily on what you want to do there. Here are the main scenarios.

If you are going to Bali for a stay of less than 30 days, the visa exemption is sufficient if you have an ASEAN passport

Currently, if you do not have a passport from one of the ASEAN countries, you have no choice but to opt for the VOA, even if you stay in Bali for less than 30 days.

If you have an ASEAN passport, lucky you, you don't need any visa to go to Bali, as long as you stay less than 30 days.

For tourist stays in Bali under two months, pick for a VOA or an e-VOA

The VOA is useful if you know in advance that you will stay in Bali for a duration less than 60 days.

If you stay less than 30 days, the regular VOA is sufficient, although you can still apply for an e-VOA for less than 30 days to avoid the queue at the airport. The e-VOA also has the advantage of being extendable for an additional 30 days online, unlike the "offline" VOA, which requires a visit to an immigration office for renewal.

If you stay between 30 and 60 days, the new 60-day e-VOA is probably your best option, saving you the need for a visa renewal directly.

A 30-day VOA costs $30, and its extension for an additional 30 days costs an extra $30. If you go through an agent for the extension, count on about $60, so a total of around a hundred dollars for two months.

The 30-day e-VOA also costs $30 (IDR 500K). The 60-day e-VOA is priced at $100 (IDR 1,500K).

Don't miss my article on extending a VOA in Bali if you stay between 30 and 60 days.

Choose a B211 visit visa for stays in Bali between 2 and 6 months without work

Social or business visit visas (B211) are perfect for stays between 2 months and 6 months. Keep in mind that you cannot leave Indonesia without losing your visa during this period (and therefore have to start all over again if you insist on leaving).

In addition, your visa agent or your company will need your passport to do extensions every 60 days.

For everything you need to know about the B211 visa, read this article.

Turn to a residence visa (KITAS) for long-term living in Bali or for working in Indonesia

If you plan to live long-term in Bali, residence visas (KITAS/KITAP) are still preferable, even though they are costly and challenging to set up.

As an Indonesian resident, you can:

  • Make money in Indonesia
  • Open a local bank account
  • Have a local driver's license
  • Pay taxes in Indonesia
  • Join the social security system
  • Simplify many procedures with Indonesia and your home country
  • Establish yourself much more stably in Indonesia

And most importantly, you don't have to constantly leave the country or do monthly visa extensions.

During the early days of the pandemic, many people who lived in Bali long-term without being on the right visas (either VOA or visit visa) had to leave the country and couldn't re-enter since only Indonesian residents and citizens were allowed to cross borders.

This example perfectly illustrates the difference between a tourist or visitor and a resident, and their legitimacy to reside in the territory, regardless of their length of stay.

If you have your whole life in Bali, have rented a house for 10 years, have your spouse, a child, or pets there, it is much safer for you to have a real residence visa like KITAS or KITAP.

How long does it take to obtain a visa for Indonesia / Bali?

Quick reminder: most visas are valid only 3 months after their date of issue. So, you usually have to make your requests within 3 months before your entry into Indonesia. No need to start the paperwork for a tourist visa if you're leaving in a year!

Furthermore, the time to obtain a visa for Bali or the rest of Indonesia depends on several factors:

  • Your type of visa (e-VOA, B211, KITAS...)
  • The time it takes you to pay your agent

For visas that require an application (so all visas except VOA and exemptions), you generally have to wait a few days after submitting your application for visit visas (e-VOA and B211), but KITAS can take several weeks or even months if you don't have the right papers and documentation to obtain it.

Note, no serious agent starts visa application processes without receiving your money (it's logical but good to remind: no money no honey). International transfers to Indonesia being quite complex from Western banks, I strongly recommend using Wise rather than your usual bank.

Not only will the money arrive much faster (often instantly, rarely more than 24 hours), but the transfer will also cost you infinitely less. If you go through this invitation link, your international transfer will even be free for the first 500 euros.

Enough to get your agent moving quickly, get a visa easily, and at a discount!

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