Whether you’re visiting Bali for a spiritual detox or surfing an endless summer, there are millions of reasons to want to hang out longer. But will your visa let you?
Bali might boast a calm and relaxed island vibe, but its visa process is a little less breezy – if you’re thinking about staying more than 30 days, that is.
FREE VISA ON ARRIVAL
169 countries are eligible to receive a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival in Indonesia, Australia among them. (However, things can change, so we always reckon it’s a good idea to contact your local Indonesian embassy to check for current and up to date information before travel.)
After 30 days on a free 30-day tourist visa it’s time to skedaddle, and there’s no getting around that. Tight visa rules and regulations are standard throughout the entire country of Indonesia and overstaying your visa can result in hefty fines and travel bans.
30 Days might be all you want, but let’s say the you get bitten hard by the bali travel bug? How can you linger longer?
OPTION 1: EXTEND BY RE-ENTERING THE COUNTRY
While the 30-day tourist visa is easy for Aussies to get on arrival – most likely at Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai airport, this visa is unfortunately only valid for 30 days and it absolutely cannot be extended within Indonesia. Visa extensions must therefore be done outside the country. Enter the quick border hop to Singapore, the closest and often cheapest country to reach from Bali.
By leaving and re-entering Bali you’re not technically extending your visa, but rather regaining a free 30-day tourist visa. To do this, it’s best to leave a few days before your visa expires. (As soon as the visa is issued on arrival in Indonesia, the clock starts ticking because the first day and last day count as full days.)
With time to spare, also check that your passport is still valid for at least 6 months with enough pages (it should be if you’ve only recently arrived in Indonesia). Once you’ve been stamped out of Bali, it’s just a matter of flying into a new country, and then returning to Bali, where you’ll be greeted by a new 30-day tourist visa.
OPTION 2: EXTEND BY BUYING A PAID VISA ON ARRIVAL
While most travellers to Bali take the free 30-day tourist visa route upon arrival in Indonesia, there’s another way. Choose to buy a 30 day Visa on Arrival (VOA), and not only are your papers valid for 30 days, but they also allow an extension of another 30 days – without having to leave the idyllic shores of Bali.
Again, you’ll need a valid passport with up to 6 months remaining, available pages, and approximately 460,000 IDR in cash to pay for the visa fee. On arrival at the airport tell the immigration desk you wish to stay for 60 days.
Pay the VOA visa fee and take the two visa slips from the immigration officer. Keep this slip handy and proceed to the immigration line. Make a beeline for the ‘paid visa on arrival’ line as it is much shorter than the free visa line. The immigration officer will then take one of the visa slips and give the other one back to you to keep. In addition, a visa sticker will be stamped into the passport. Keep the visa paper slip in a safe place as it’s way too easy to misplace.
EXTENDING YOUR ORIGINAL 30 DAYS PAID VISA
Now, should you wish to outstay your 30 day welcome, extending your paid-for visa is a lot simpler than skipping the country. It can be a bit time consuming though – roughly a three-day process at an immigration office (kantor imigrasi). You’ll find an office at Nusa Dua (South Bali), Renon (Denpasar, Southeast Bali) and Singaraja (North Bali).
Allow plenty of time before your visa expires (minimum 7 days) and bring the following with:
- Photocopy of your passport page and your visa page
- Visa payment receipt (as above)
- Proof of onward travel – a printout, not just a screenshot or email on your phone.
- Dress to impress – that is, neatly, covering shoulders and knees, and wearing closed toe shoes (not flip flops).
The first day involves filling out the visa extension application form, giving the officer your passport, two recent passport photos and photocopies of your passport. Pay the fee on the second day. This fee is slightly less than the initial visa on arrival fee you handed over at the airport. Pick up your passport on the third day.
To avoid all of this, it’s possible to hire a reputable visa agent to take care of business. However, make sure to compare rates and fees before committing to one that’s come recommended from fellow travellers.
After staying a total of 60 days, you’ll need to leave Bali and re-enter. Currently, there is no limit to repeating this process.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain