Which Visa Do I Need For Bali?
So you’re going to Bali or planning to go in the near future…first of all, good choice, second of all do you need a visa?
It all depends on how long you are planning on staying in Indonesia.
This process can be either really simple or extremely complicated.
But First, The Simple Way:
If you are traveling to Bali/Indonesia for vacation and plan on staying less than 30 days, once you land you walk straight past all of the “Visa Upon Arrival” signs at immigration and just get a stamp in your passport. No money and no hassle, but here’s the catch; this stamp means you must leave the country before 30 days is up or pay approximately $30/day each day that you overstay your visa limitation. There is no way to extend your visa going this route.
And then, of course there is the complicated way, because Bali has to have at least one downfall.
Complicated Way For Extended Stay:
If you plan on staying 30 days or more in Indonesia, you can purchase a visa upon arrival for around $35 and then pay another $25 for it to be extended for another 30 days (after which point you have to leave the country and re-enter all over again unless you have a work visa).
After a long, frustratingly complicated and corrupt process of extending our visas (as shown below in the image from the immigration office) we would highly recommend against this route.
But what if I want to stay longer in Bali!? You say
If you are planning on being indonesia for a while, for 30 days or longer you can do one of two things:
- Get the 30 day stamp when you arrive for free instead of the visa upon arrival, and then do a weekend trip somewhere else in Asia right before your 30 days runs out and then proceed to re-enter Bali once again for another free 30 days. Flights around Asia are insanely cheap, get out and go see another areas for a few days (fly from Denpasar to Singapore, Malaysia, Perth or Thailand for between $20-80).
- Buy the visa upon arrival for $35 and then pay a visa extension company around $60 to navigate the complex visa extension process for you (even paying a company to handle it involves making a trip to the immigration office in Denpasar to get your picture and finger prints taken, and you must pay for transportation to the office and also sit in the waiting area for hours like you would at the DMV until they call your number). This process still can take anywhere from 7-16 business days, and knowing now how many holidays they have in Bali I would get started early. Another important thing to note is that this process involved sending in your passport, so you will be passport-less until the entire process is over with.
Good luck out there!