Bali is a beautiful island with so much to discover, that the usual 30-day tourist visa sometimes isn’t quite long enough. Whether you are a digital nomad wanting to stay longer in Bali or a traveller wanting to see more of Indonesia, we will show you how to stay longer in Bali with our Indonesia Visa Extension Guide from our own experience.
How To Stay Longer In Bali: Visa Options
There are three main ways to stay longer in Bali.
The first one is to pay for a Visa on arrival, even if you are from a country that is allowed visa-free entry, and then extending this visa in Bali for another 30 days. Once this 60 day period is up you can not extend this visa further.
The second option is to apply for a 60-day tourist visa for Indonesia before arriving in the country, which will mean your visa will be organised before you get to Bali and you don’t need to do anything further in Bali. This is not extendable.
We have done both options and they both have pros and cons. But we will go into all the details of each below.
If you want to stay for up to 180 days in Bali, then you will need to get a social-cultural visa which allows you to stay in Indonesia for 60 days but then you can extend this four times for a total of 180 days stay in Indonesia. We have not done this type of visa so we won’t go into detail. But we do know that this requires a sponsor letter and a little bit more documentation. You can obtain a sponsor letter through the Bali visa agents as well, and you can also do the extensions through agents which follow much the same process as what we will outline below.
Another way to stay in Bali longer is to leave Indonesia when your visa comes to the end, fly to somewhere nearby (Singapore is a popular choice), and then return to Indonesia. This is sometimes referred to as a Bali visa run. But again, this is something we haven’t done so won’t be going into detail here, just wanted you to know what your options are. But it’s worth noting that with re-entering the country so quickly, there is always a chance they may deny you entry or question why you are back so soon.
Option 1: VOA + Extend in Bali
We avoided this option the first time we wanted to stay in Bali longer and went with option 2 below instead because honestly, we thought this would be a pain. We can only talk about our personal experience, but we did this process a couple of months ago, and we found it to be pretty simple and straightforward. That is, of course, if you go through a Bali Visa Agent, which will cost you 2-3 times more than if you do the entire process yourself. So here’s the process:
What You Need To Extend VOA With An Agent:
- 500,000 IDR ($50) AUD for VOA
- 800,000 – 1,150,000 IDR ($80 – $120 AUD) payment to Bali visa agent to extend your visa in Bali
- Transport to Immigration Office in Bali for one trip
Step 1 – Get a Visa On Arrival before going through immigration in Bali
This is really important, if you don’t get a Visa On Arrival, then you can’t extend your visa in Bali. Even if you’re eligible for visa-free entry to Indonesia for 30 days, you will still need to pay for a Visa On Arrival if you want to extend.
As you arrive at the airport, and before you go through immigration, you will need to go to the Visa On Arrival desk (VOA). There is usually no line here and it all happens pretty fast. They will put a visa on arrival into your passport. They accept cash-only, but there is an ATM close to the VOA desk so it’s easy to get it out in IDR when you get there. At the time of getting our VOA (October 28th, 2019), it cost 500,000 IDR per person.
Once you get your VOA, they will direct you to the KITAS immigration line, which is usually much much shorter than the normal immigration line, so the added bonus of this is getting through immigration nice and fast. At immigration, just make sure they stamp your passport with the correct Visa on arrival stamp and date, so as to not cause any issues later on.
Step 2 – Contact your Bali Visa Extension Agent to arrange to pick up your passports
Although it’s recommended that you start this process at least 7 – 10 days before your Visa runs out, we think it’s best to just get it done immediately when you arrive in Bali. That way, you don’t need to worry about public holidays, delays in processing the extension and you don’t need to think about it once it’s done.
We researched and asked some friends who they had used to find a Bali Visa Agent. We went with Bali Viza and in our personal experience, thought they were great. Everything happened the way they said it would and we were in contact with them over WhatsApp which made it really easy.
So we actually got in contact with Bali Viza a week before we got to Bali as we wanted to start the process immediately. We arranged a time for them to collect our passports from our accommodation on the day we arrived. Someone came and picked up our passports on a motorbike in Uluwatu. Here they took our details and passport and said they would be in touch with a time for us to go to immigration for photos and fingerprints.
Step 3 – Go to immigration for photos and fingerprints
Your Bali Visa Agent will send you a message with your time to go to the immigration office. We could choose between Denpasar and Jimbaran immigration office when we first got in contact with Bali Viza and chose Jimbaran as it was much closer to where we were staying in Uluwatu.
As we didn’t have a scooter, we arranged transport with our visa agent who picked us up and took us to the Jimbaran Immigration office and also dropped as back to Uluwatu for 200, 000 IDR.
We got a message the day after they collected our passport for an appointment the next day.
When we arrived at Jimbaran Immigration we were met by our Bali Visa Agent who told us to get a ticket and then our photos and fingerprints would be taken. This whole process took about 5 minutes, which was fantastic. Afterwards, we gave our paper that we received to the visa agent and went back to Uluwatu.
We have heard that this can take longer as sometimes there are issues with the fingerprinting system, or if there has been a public holiday the day before. But, we had no issues and it was all smooth and much faster than we thought it would be.
Step 4 – Your passport with Visa extension is dropped off at your accommodation
The next day we got a message from our Bali Visa Agent to say our Visa extensions were complete and they would drop them off the following day. So our passports were picked up on Monday afternoon, we went to the immigration office on Wednesday morning, and got our passports delivered back to us on Friday. We paid when they were delivered back to us and the process was complete. We paid with cash, which I believe is the main way to pay.
So basically, this meant that within our first 5 days in Bali, we were able to complete the process of our Indonesian Visa extension, so we didn’t need to think about it for the rest of our stay. This gave us 60 days in Indonesia.
Should you use a Bali visa agent to extend your Bali visa?
If you don’t use a Bali Visa Agent to extend your Bali visa you will need to make 3 visits to immigration, and will not be able to speed up the process. It will be much cheaper to do it all yourself, I believe it says 355,000 IDR per person. But it may take a lot longer and you will also have to deal with the paperwork and every step in the process. This will take more time out of your Bali holiday, and you may not know exactly how long the whole process will take until you visit immigration. You will also be paying for transport for three trips to immigration rather than one.
So you really need to decide what’s right for you, but now having done it with a Bali Visa Agent, we would choose this way every time.
Why did we choose the express service even though we had so much time?
So why did we go with the express service when we started the process immediately and had plenty of time? Well, usually when you check into new accommodation you need to show your passport so they can register your stay. As we were only spending one week at our first accommodation, we wanted to make sure we could get our passports back by the time we checked out and checked into new accommodation. There may be ways around this, but perhaps contact your accommodation to see what they can do or if they will accept a photocopy. I also think your Visa agent may be able to provide you with a letter. But we just wanted to make it all clean and simple.
Do you need to have your flights out of Indonesia booked?
If you do the process by yourself you will need to have flights booked out of Indonesia. But if you do this with a Visa agent, then you don’t need to have your flights booked. The only exception would be if the airline you fly in with requires you to show you flights out, but we haven’t had this happen in Bali before.
Things to keep in mind – Public Holidays
The immigration office will be closed for public holidays and therefore these days won’t be counted towards your processing time. A day here or there won’t make a huge impact but if you are visiting during Ramadan definitely keep this in mind and be as organized as possible and start the process as soon as possible to make sure it can get done in time.
Option 2: 60 Day Indonesia Tourist Visa Prior To Getting To Bali
If you want to get the 60-day tourist visa for Indonesia then you have to do this in your own country or at a consulate or embassy outside of Indonesia, before you arrive. You cannot get a 60-day visa on arrival in Bali and it cannot be extended. We went to the Indonesian consulate in Sydney, Australia. I am not entirely sure which countries or consulates offer this, so your best bet is to contact the one you intend to go to and check in advance. So here is the process we went through:
- Passport Photo
- Application Form
- Copy of flights out of Indonesia
- $80 AUD payment
- Transport to Consulate/embassy or mail passport and all forms
Step 1 – Visit an Indonesian Consulate or Embassy to start the visa process
On our first visit to the Indonesian Consulate or Embassy, we were there to drop off our passports and the application form. We got the application form from their website and filled out our forms prior to getting there but I’m guessing they will have forms there too. You will also need a passport photo to attach to your form and a copy of your flights out of Indonesia. The website states that you will need proof of finances or a recent bank statement, but we did not have to provide this. It also mentions a sponsor/invitation letter but also says this is not compulsory, and we did not have to provide this.
We waited for some time and then handed in our application, passport and were given a timeframe to come and pick them up. We also paid for the visa at this time. The cost of the 60-day tourist visa is $80 AUD per person and you can only pay via EFTPOS or credit card.
Step 2 – Go back to the Indonesian Consulate or Embassy to pick up your passport and visa
You will be given a timeframe on your first visit, which is usually a minimum of 4 days but it may be longer, after which you can go back and pick up your passport which will have your visa in it. It’s as simple as that. When you arrive in Bali you continue through immigration and show your 60-day tourist visa.
Should I Get a 60-Day Tourist Visa In Advance or Extend My Visa-On-Arrival In Bali?
The first time we wanted to stay longer in Bali we chose to get a 60-day tourist visa in advance as we thought this would be way easier. It was pretty simple, but it still required two trips to the Indonesian Consulate, filling out forms, and getting together some documents like copies of flights out and passport photos. In terms of cost, it is now $80 AUD per person along with petrol costs to get there and back twice.
The second time we wanted to stay longer in Bali we were already travelling so we thought it would be easier to get a VOA and extend. We were a little bit concerned that this process would be a pain but it was super easy and simple. As we went through an agent, which is what we would recommend, it did cost a little bit more, around $120 AUD per person for the express service (it’s about $80 AUD per person for the normal service), plus the cost of the VOA which was around $50 AUD per person. Transport to the Immigration office once was around $20 AUD for both of us. But we didn’t need to have our flights booked out of Bali and we didn’t need to fill out forms or provide additional documents. And we only had to visit immigration once.
So as you can see both options have their pros and cons, and I’d happily do both options again. What will we do next time, now having done both? That’s a tough one because I think it really depends on your circumstances. If we were in Sydney for a couple of weeks before we were going to Bali, I’d consider getting the 60-day visa again. But if we were travelling before going to Bali, or in Australia but not near the consulate, then I’d definitely just get the VOA extended through an agent. So I think unless popping into a consulate or embassy before you go to Bali is super convenient for you, then you might find it easier to extend a VOA with an agent in Bali.
What was your experience of staying longer in Bali? Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below…