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Living in Bali long term – what are the visa options?

Long term living in Bali: and overview of the available visa and stay permit options for foreigners

Long term living Bali options
STAYING IN INDONESIA LONG TERM - AVAILABLE OPTIONS

A foreigner can choose between a range of visas and permits for their long term stay in Bali. Generally the following types of visas are available to foreign travelers:

  • Visa Exemption
  • Visa on Arrival
  • Single Entry Visa
  • Multiple Entry Visa
  • Limited Stay Permit (also known as ITAS or KITAS)

Each visa has its own purpose. In this article we will focus on the visas which are more geared towards long term living in Indonesia. The visas which can be used for long term stay are the single entry visa, the multiple entry visa and the limited stay permit (ITAS / KITAS).

It is important to note that a foreigner cannot use two visas at the same time in Indonesia. In case a foreigner applies and obtains another visa during the validity period of the first visa, the first visa will automatically become invalid.

STAYING LONG TERM IN BALI USING THE SINGLE OR MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA

Generally there are two types of visas available to foreigners who intend to stay long term in Bali or Indonesia. The single entry visa which has several sub-categories, and the multiple entry business visa.

SINGLE ENTRY VISA

The single entry visa is one of the favorite options for medium to long term stays in Bali. The visa allows for stays of up to 6 months in Indonesia. After this 6-month period, foreigners can apply for a new single entry visa again for another period of 6 months. This process can be repeated several times. However, foreigners may face scrutiny from immigration authorities if they repeat this process too often.

The procedure for obtaining a single entry visa is straight forward and the fees for obtaining the visa are low as compared to the limited stay permit (ITAS / KITAS). There are several types of single entry visa. The most used types are:

  • Social single entry visa (sosial budaya visa), which is usually sponsored by an Indonesian citizen and allows foreigners to engage in social activities.
  • Single entry business visa, where an Indonesian company needs to act as sponsor. This visa allows foreigners to have business meetings in Indonesia.

In Bali, the single entry visa is often used by digital nomads to work from Bali on their remote jobs. However, single entry visas do not allow foreigners to work in Indonesia. In case foreigners work in Indonesia, they require a work permit and a limited stay permit (ITAS / KITAS).

MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA

The multiple entry visa is mainly used for business purposes, however it can also be used for other purposes. These other purposes include family visits, attending seminars and art and culture. The visa is valid for 12 months, and during this 12-month period foreigners can travel and stay in Indonesia for up to 60 days per visit. Since the visa is a multiple entry visa, it allows foreigners to have multiple 60-days visits during the 12-month validity period of the visa.

The multiple entry visa is therefore a good option foreigners who intend to stay in Bali long term, but travel frequently outside Indonesia. The multiple entry visa remains valid when a foreigner travels outside Indonesia. This is not the case with a single entry visa, which will become invalid after a foreigner leaves Indonesia.

The multiple entry visa can only be sponsored by Indonesian companies. And similar with the single entry visa, the multiple entry visa does not allow foreigners to work in Indonesia.

STAYING FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD IN BALI USING A LIMITED STAY PERMIT (ITAS / KITAS)

The limited stay permit (ITAS / KITAS) is the best option for foreigners who decide to stay for a number of years in Bali. The limited stay permit has a validity period of up to two years (depending on the type of stay permit), and allows for in-country extensions. In addition, limited stay permit holder obtain a multiple re-entry permit. This allows them to travel in and out of Indonesia without impacting the validity of their limited stay permit.

TYPES OF STAY PERMIT

There are several types of limited stay permit, which we will briefly explain below:

  1. The working stay permit, allows foreigners to work and stay in Indonesia. The foreigner obtains both a work permit (from the ministry of manpower) and a stay permit (ITAS / KITAS) from immigration. Foreigners who are working for a company in Indonesia usually apply for the working stay permit.
  2. The investor stay permit, applies to foreigners who own shares in an Indonesian limited liability company (PMA). The investor permit has a few advantages. Firstly, it waives the requirement to obtain a work permit from the ministry of manpower, which saves up to USD 1,200.00 per year in government costs. Secondly, the permit is valid for two years, as compared to a one year validity for other types of stay permits. Since foreigners only have to renew their permits once per two years, it saves them in processing fees.
  3. The family stay permit, requires an Indonesian spouse as sponsor of the foreigner. Using this type of stay permit, a foreigner can reside long term in Indonesia, but cannot work. In order to be able to work, the foreigner requires a work permit from he or she company it works for.
  4. The retirement stay permit, is available to foreigners who have reached 55 years of age. The permit is sponsored by a company that is accredited by the directorate general of immigration. The retirement stay permit does not allow foreigners to work in Indonesia. It merely allows them to stay in Indonesia to enjoy their retirement.