Living in Bali for Long Term – What are the Alternatives to ITAS?

living-bali-staying-indonesia-ITAS-alternatives

Long-Term Living Alternatives for ITAS in Bali

Living in Bali is on the wish-list of many foreigners. When foreigners decide to move to Bali to live and stay there for a longer term, they must decide which type of permit or visa they will use to stay there. Obviously, foreigners can apply for a work permit and stay permit. These permits allows them to stay in Bali for periods of up to 12 months and can be extended easily. However, such work permit and/or stay permit (ITAS) are often expensive. Moreover, they are subject to strict application requirements. Therefore they may not always be the best solution in every case.

Foreigners have the following options available to them to live for a longer period in Bali without ITAS or work permit:

  • Visa exemption
  • Visa on arrival
  • Single entry visit visa
  • multiple entry visit visa

Because each of the above visas has its own pros and cons, it is important that foreigners clearly understand the difference between each visa, before deciding on what type of visa they will enter Indonesia.

Living in Bali using a Visa Exemption

The visa exemption is the easiest way to enter Bali. Foreigners do not need to arrange anything before departure to Indonesia. Once the foreigners arrive at the airport, they can immediately walk to the immigration counter where they will receive the visa exemption stamp. The visa exemption is free of charge and is valid for a maximum 30 days and is not renewable. Therefore, foreigners will need to leave Indonesia after 30 days.

The visa exemption is available to citizens of 169 countries. Please find here a list of the 169 countries which are eligible for visa exemption.

Allowed activities

The visa exemption does not allow foreigners to work in Bali. In case they wish to work in Indonesia, they require a work permit under an Indonesian company. The activities of the visa exemption are limited to the following activities: tourist purpose, family reunification, social activities, art and culture events, seminar attendance, business meetings and some other activities.

Strategy for living long-term in Bali

Foreigners on a visa exemption can make monthly visa runs to nearby countries. For example, close to the expiry date of the visa exemption, they will fly to Singapore. Then, from Singapore they will fly back to Bali to receive a new visa exemption for 30 days. This process can be repeated on monthly basis.

In case a foreigner stays less than 6 months in Indonesia, the visa exemption may be the right option. If foreigners use the visa exemption for a period of more than six months, immigration may start questioning them. This may ultimately lead rejection of entry into Bali.

Living in Bali using a Visa on Arrival

A foreigner can buy a visa on arrival at the airport before going to the immigration checkpoint. Similar to the visa exemption, the foreigners do not need to apply for the visa on arrival beforehand. They can purchase the visa on arrival directly at the airport without any prior application procedure. The visa on arrival is valid for 30 days and can be extended once for another period of 30 days. So, the visa on arrival allows foreigners to stay in Bali for a maximum period of 60 days.

The visa on arrival is only available to citizens of 67 countries only. Unfortunately, most Indonesian government websites have not updated their list of eligible countries. Therefore, please refer to the list of eligible countries below:

Algeria18 EstoniaLithuaniaSaudi Arabia
Andorra19 FijiLuxembourgSeychelles
ArgentinaFinlandMaldivesSlovakia
AustraliaFranceMaltaSlovenia
AustriaGermanyMexicoSouth Africa
BahrainGreeceMonacoSpain
BelarusHungaryNetherlandsSuriname
BelgiumIcelandNew ZealandSweden
BrazilIndiaNorwaySwitzerland
BulgariaIrelandOmanTaiwan
CanadaItalyPanamaTimor Leste
ChinaJapanPapua New GuineaTunisia
CroatiaSouth KoreaPolandTurkey
CyprusKuwaitPortugalUnited Arab Emirates
Czech RepublicLatviaQatarEngland
DenmarkLibyaRomaniaUnited States of America
EgyptLiechtensteinRussia
last updated: 22-Jul-2020

Allowed activities

The Visa on Arrival allows foreigners to perform similar activities as the visa exemption in Bali. In addition, with a visa on arrival foreigners are allowed to follow short courses or training or be join non-commercial sport events. The visa on arrival does not allow foreigners to work in Bali.

Strategy for living long-term in Bali

Visa on arrival holders can extend their visa once in Indonesia, which allows them to stay for a total period of 60 days in Indonesia. After these 60 days, they must leave Indonesia to avoid an overstay penalty of 1 million rupiah per day. In order to stay for a longer period in Bali, foreigners can make visa runs to neighboring countries. Upon their return, they can enter Indonesia again on a new visa on arrival, which allows them another stay in Bali for a period of 60 days.

This option can be used for foreigners who are staying in Bali for up to 8 months. To avoid questioning by immigration, foreigners should opt for another option when staying more than 8 months in Bali.

Living in Bali using a Single Entry Visit Visa

Foreigners using a single entry visit visa (often referred to as Social Budaya Visa) must have a sponsor. This sponsor can be either an Indonesian company or Indonesian national. The single entry visit visa is valid for 60 days and can be extended for four times. Each extension grants an additional period of stay of 30 days. Once foreigners leave Indonesia, the visa will be cancelled. In contrast to the visa exemption and the visa on arrival the single entry visa is open to all countries and therefore nationals of all countries can apply it.

The sponsor must apply for the single entry visit visa, before the foreigner enters Indonesia. Once the application is accepted by the Indonesian authorities, the foreigner can collect the visa sticker at nearest the Indonesian embassy. The embassy will place the visa sticker in the passport of the foreigner. This sticker must be shown to the officer at the immigration checkpoint at the airport, who will then place a visit visa entry stamp in the passport of the foreigner.

Allowed activities

The single entry visit visa holders can perform the same activities as visa on arrival holders. In addition, the visa allows the holders among other activities to:

  • Provide training and counseling
  • Conduct audit at company branches for a maximum period of 1 month
  • Shoot non-commercial movies, after receiving a recommendation from the respective government authority

Also the single entry permit does not allow the foreigner to perform any work activities in Bali.

Strategy for living long-term in Bali

The single entry visit visa is especially interesting for foreigners who stay in Bali and do not have frequent international travels. The visa allows foreigners to stay in Indonesia for a period up to 180 days, as long as they do not leave leave Indonesia during this period. Upon expiry of this 180 days, foreigners can apply for a new single entry visit visa. They will then need to leave Indonesia and enter Indonesia again on the new single entry visit visa. With this new single entry visit visa, they can then stay another 180 days in Indonesia. The advantage of this visa is that the foreigners only need to make a visa run twice per year. In addition, the single entry visit visa allows foreigners to live and stay in Bali for a longer period without running into problems with immigration.

Living in Bali using a Multiple Entry Visit Visa

Multiple entry visit permit require a corporate sponsor in the form of an Indonesian company. This company can either be a group company, a client or a third party sponsor. A multiple entry visit visa is valid for a period of 12 months and during the validity of this visa foreigners can stay in Bali for periods of up to 60 days. There is no option to apply for in-country extensions, which means that foreigners must leave Indonesia no later than 60 days after their arrival in Indonesia. Since the visa allows for multiple entries into Indonesia, the visa will not be cancelled upon departure from Indonesia. The multiple entry visit visa is open for all countries and therefore all nationals can apply for this type of visa.

Similar to the single entry stay visa, sponsors must apply for the multiple entry visit visa before foreigners enters Indonesia. Once the application is approved, foreigners can pick-up the visa at the Indonesian embassy and enter Indonesia showing the visa sticker. The officer will then place a stamp in their passport which allows them to stay up to 60 days in Indonesia.

Allowed activities

Under a multiple entry visit visa foreigners are more limited in their activities as compared to the single entry visit visa. One important difference is that the multiple entry visit visa cannot be issued for tourist purposes. In addition, foreigners cannot provide any training or counseling or conduct audits at group companies under this visa. The multiple entry visit visa is allows among others for the following types of activities: business meetings, family reunification, social purposes and attending seminars or exhibitions. Similar to the other types of visas, this type of visa does not allow a foreigner to work in Indonesia.

Strategy for living long-term in Bali

The multiple entry visit visa is interesting for foreigners who are frequently traveling in and out of Indonesia during a year. Since the visa cannot be extended in-country, foreigners can only stay for a maximum of 60 days consecutively in Indonesia. Because it is a multiple entry visit visa, foreigners can use the visa to enter and exit Indonesia for as many times as they want during the validity period of the visa. Foreigners can use this type of visa for a long period without being running into problems with immigration.