Alright, listen up ladies and gents. We’re here to ease your Bali Visa on Arrival as well as your Indonesia visa extension worries. Needing to know how to apply for a Bali visa on arrival or how to extend your visa while in Indonesia?! Hey, we got you.
First things first, we will break down the options you have. Indonesia can be a bit confusing on obtaining Visas and Visa extension, boy do we know it! We were scrambling last minute to figure all this out, so we decided to write a post about it to help you guys avoid what we went through 🙂
Bali Visa on Arrival & Indonesia Visa Extension
How Long Can You Stay in Indonesia?
We spent nearly two months in Indonesia so if you ask us, we say, stay 60 days! However, knowing most tourists only have a month or less, 60 days may be a bit hard to swing for some.
Nonetheless, 30 days is an ample amount of time to spend visiting Indonesia and all the beauty she holds. If you are only venturing to Bali, 10 days to 2 weeks is a great amount of time.
Depending on which Indonesia Visa you obtain, you are eligible to stay in Indonesia for either up to 30 days or up to 60 days.
Do you Need a Visa for Bali?
So, the answer to this questions depends on three things: 1) the length of your stay 2) purpose of your visit and 3) your nationality
Bali offers a free Tourist Exemption Visa for those travelers
- Staying in Bali / Indonesia for 30 days or less
- Visiting Bali/Indonesia as tourists (aka not conducting business)
- Hail from the list of 160+ countries Indonesia deems as acceptable for free admittance
If you qualify for the above, you don’t have to do anything prior to arriving into Bali. Once at the airport, head to the immigration counter where you’ll be stamped into Bali for free for up to 30 days.
Booking Onward Travel from Bali, Indonesia
A friendly heads up that on your way to Indonesia, you could encounter a hiccup if you only have a one-way ticket. If you have a round-trip ticket, you’ll be fine.
If you only have a one-way ticket, your fate rests in the hands of the Immigration Officer or Airline Attendant for admittance into Indonesia.
Some countries require proof of onward travel and the enforcers of this rule are (you guessed it) the Immigration Officers and/or Airline Attendants.
Some airlines will not let you board the plane without showing proof of onward travel. The reason countries want proof of your onward travel is because they don’t want you staying in a country illegally.
So, how do you show proof of onward travel? You either…
- Actually have a flight, train, boat, etc ticket that shows you are leaving the country before your visa is up
- You fake it till you make it with a ticket you can cancel and get a full refund back
Loads of people, us included, buy a legitimate tickets from an airline that has a 24-hour free cancellation window.
Buy the ticket the day you depart for your journey. That way, when the flight attendant asks you to show proof of onward travel, you have it. Once you are through the gate and/or landing in Indonesia, cancel your plane ticket for a full refund.
Indonesia Visa Fee
If you qualify for the visa exemption, your visa fee is $0.
However, if you wish to extend your visa and stay longer than 30 days, you’ll need to pay for the Visa on Arrival which is $35 USD per person.
You must pay for your Indonesia Visa in cash, not card. The country of Indonesia accepts currencies from 15 different countries – the US, UK and EU being the most popular choices for tourists.
Is An Indonesia Visa Free?
The only free Indonesia visa is the Indonesia Visa Exemption or the Tourist Visa. This visa allows tourists free entry into Indonesia but for only for 30 days.
If you are staying in the country longer than 30 days, and you wish to extend your visa while in Indonesia (aka not do the visa run) you’ll need to pay the Visa on Arrival fee ($35 as talked about above) or apply for a “Social Visa.”
Indonesia Visa Exemption – Free Visa
FREE! Yes, that sweet beautiful word, free. For the 160+ countries that qualify (US, UK, Australia India and Canada – just to name a few) can enter Bali and the rest of Indonesia FOR FREE on a free visa exemption for up to 30 days.
The visa exemption for Indonesia is for tourists and social visits ONLY. If you are conducting business, you’ll need to apply for a business visa.
A word to the wise that you’ll need to get you butts outta the country before the 30 day mark hits….or else.
Duration: 30 days | Cost: Free | NOT Eligible For a Visa Extension
Do I Need A Indonesia Visa Extension?
If you don’t apply for the 60-day Social Visa ahead of your entry into Indonesia AND you plan on staying in Indonesia longer than 30 days, yes you will need a visa extension for Indonesia.
How Do I Get A Visa Extension for Indonesia?
When it comes to extending your stay in Indonesia, you have two options. Both will take some effort on your end so it’s personal preference on whether you want to do a visa extension within Indonesia or outside of Indonesia.
1) The Visa Run
Your first option on extending your visa for Indonesia is a “Visa Run”. How do you do a visa run you ask? We’ll, it’s pretty simple.
- First, you’ll need to book a flight and exit Indonesia before your visa expires
- Second, spend a few days in that destination
- Finally, fly back into Indonesia where you are then eligible for another 30 days.
TIP: Spend a few days (1-2) in whatever new country you go to so you don’t run into any issues with reentry back into Indonesia.
2) Indonesia In Country Visa Extension
The second option for an Indonesia visa extension is extending your stay while you remain in the country of Indonesia.
You can extend your visa at the immigration offices, the most popular are the immigration offices in Yogyakarta and Denpasar (Bali).
A in country visa extension for Indonesia will take about a week to ten days, so make sure you have enough time allotted in the city you plan to extend your visa in.
KEY STEPS: There is a super important step that is needed to ensure you are eligible for a in country visa extension. Read below to get all the details.
Indonesia Visa On Arrival
Now this sucker, the paid Visa on Arrival, is the visa, you need to get if you WANT TO extend your visa within the country of Indonesia and NOT do a visa run. Get the details on how to do this below….
A critical step is needed to make sure you are eligible for a visa extension within Indonesia. WE REPEAT, a critical step is needed to make sure you are eligible for a in country visa extension!
What is it? You must pay the $35 entry fee at the airport when you arrive into Indonesia. Doesn’t matter if you are eligible for a free visa, PAY THE $35 VISA ON ARRIVAL FEE!!
Why? Because the free 30-day Indonesian visa cannot be extended or changed in any way while in Indonesia.
If you don’t pay the $35 visa on arrival fee, you are out of luck and you will need to leave Indonesia (visa run) before your 30 days is up. By not paying the $35 entry fee, you are not eligible to extend your visa in the country of Indonesia.
Again, the paid visa on arrival can be extended, the free visa cannot be extend. So, pay that $35 entry fee once you arrive at the airport.
Duration: 30 days | Cost: $35 | Eligible For a Visa Extension
NOTE: You’ll have to pay $35 at the airport and then another $35 once it comes time to extend your visa bringing your total 30-day Visa On Arrival with the 30-day extension fee to $70 USD
Indonesia Visa on Arrival Document Requirements
In order to be eligible for an Indonesia Visa on Arrival, you must provide the following documents and documentation.
Please note, when applying for your Indonesian Visa on Arrival, nothing needs to be done in your home country ahead of time. Everything is done once you arrive at the airport into Indonesia.
- Be valid for the next six months
- Two blank passport pages (amendments and endorsement pages don’t count)
- Can’t be torn, separating, or altered in any way
Indonesia Visa Photo Requirements
- Passport photos must be taken within the last three months
- Printed on high-quality photo paper
- Taken against an all white background
- Be two inches by two inches
- Full frontal view of your head with your face centered in the middle
- No smiling
- You cannot wear eyeglasses, hats or headwear (except for religious purposes)
- Do not affix your photos to your application
Visa Process & Fee
- Once you arrive, head to the visa on arrival counter in the arrival hall at any Indonesia international airport
- Fill out the form the agent provides
- Pay the $35 Visa on Arrival Fee
What Is Visa on Arrival (VOA)?
Visa on Arrival or VOA as abbreviated is a visa for entry option for tourists arriving into a foreign country.
Visa on Arrival means that once you arrive into a new country, you….
- Head to the visa counter at the airport
- Apply for the visa and pay the visa fee on the spot
- Head to immigration and get stamped into the country
Some countries offer free Visa on Arrivals to certain nationalities while other countries require a flat Visa on Arrival entry fee.
It’s worth noting that you cannot get a Visa on Arrival just anywhere. Countries usually only offer Visa on Arrivals on select airport, border crossings or seaports, so prior to arrival, make sure your port of entry allows for Visa on Arrivals.
Indonesia Visa on Arrival Airports
Below is a list of airports that offer Visa on Arrivals to tourists coming into Indonesia. The most popular in-terms of tourist traffic are bolded for easy reference.
|1.||Sultan Iskandar Muda (in Banda Aceh, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam)|
|2.||Polonia (Medan, North Sumatra)|
|3.||Sultan Syarif Kasim II (Pekanbaru, Riau)|
|4.||Hang Nadim (Batam, Riau Archipelago)|
|5.||Minangkabau (Padang, West Sumatera)|
|6.||Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II (Palembang, South Sumatra)|
|8.||Halim Perdana Kusuma (Jakarta)|
|9.||Husein Sastranegara (Bandung, West Java)|
|10.||Adi Sucipto (Yogyakarta)|
|11.||Ahmad Yani (Semarang, Central Java)|
|12.||Adi Sumarmo (Surakarta, Central Java)|
|13.||Ir. Juanda (Surabaya, East Java)|
|16.||Sam Ratulangi (Manado, North Sulawesi)|
|17.||Hasanuddin (Makassar, South Sulawesi)|
|18.||Ngurah Rai (Denpasar, Bali)|
|19.||Lombok (Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara)|
|20.||El Tari (Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara)|
Indonesia Immigration Offices
In addition, we’re told you can extend your visa’s in Jakarta, Medan and Sulawesi, but not having done this ourselves, we can’t speak to if this is true or not.
Yogakarta Immigration Office
Hours of Operation:
7:30am – 4:00pm (Monday – Thursday)
7:30am – 4:30pm (Friday)
Closed (Saturday and Sunday)
Bali Immigration Office
Hours of Operation:
7:30am – 4:00pm (Monday – Thursday)
7:30am – 4:30pm (Friday)
Closed (Saturday and Sunday)
Indonesia Visa Application Process
You will need to allot 7 – 10 business days for your Indonesia visa extension to be processed.
For us, we visited the Indonesia Immigration office 3 separate times, so make sure you stay in the area.
Below is the three-step process you’ll need to go through to extend your visa within Indonesia:
- Application & visa extension payment ($35USD)
- Pickup your visa extension & passport
Another thing to note is that your current 30-day visa cannot run out while you are waiting for your visa extension to process. Our recommendation is to apply for your visa extension with the 2 weeks left in your current 30-day Indonesian visa.
About The Indonesian Visa Extension Interview
If you just read “interview” you probably are freaking out a little like we were. However, let us tell you that the Indonesia visa extension interview isn’t anything to freak out about. You need to take it seriously, but by no means should you dread it.
During The Interview
The interview will last a few minutes (seriously, like 2 – 3) where you’ll be asked a handful of questions around why you want to extend your visa. Answers like “I want to see more of the country” are perfectly acceptable.
Just remember there truly isn’t a right or wrong answer and it’s best to be completely HONEST with the Immigration Agents when giving your answers. Remember, you need them to grant you your extension, so be kind, be honest and dress respectful (knees, shoulders, cleavage covered).
After The Interview
After your interview is done, that’s it. You can leave the immigration office and head home. You’ll return in a few days to pick up your freshly stamped passport that grants you an additional 30 day stay in Bali and the rest of Indonesia.
What Happens If You Stay Longer Than Your Visa Allows?
Every day you stay past your 30 day or 60 day mark, you’re fined 1,000,000 IDR PER DAY! Yes, per day. That’s about $72 USD per day, so best get your butts out of Indonesia or do your due diligence of going through the Indonesia Visa Extension process.
Where tourists can easily be confused and accidentally stay longer than their visa allows is not understanding the following:
- Day of arrival counts as day one
- Day of departure counts as full day
- The visa’s work in days, not months – For example, you can’t stay for the month of March as there are 31 days in March.
Additional Types of Indonesia Visas
Outside of the free Visa Exemption and the paid Visa on Arrivals we discussed above, Indonesia offers three other types of visa’s for visitors to apply for.
We will say that the below visa’s are more expensive, require more paperwork and effort than the free Visa Exemption or the Visa on Arrival options.
Indonesia Social/Cultural Visa
The Social/Cultural Indonesian visa allows foreigners to stay in Indonesia for up to 180 days (6 months).
It’s important to call out that this visa requires you to apply prior to arriving into Indonesia. Meaning, you cannot get a Social/Cultural Visa while you are within the country of Indonesia. Nor can you pick up your Social Visa within the country of Indonesia.
If you are in Indonesia on a 30 day or 60 day visa, you’ll need to fly to Singapore to start and complete the Social/Cultural visa process.
About The Social / Cultural Visa
- The Social-Cultural Visa is a Single Entry visa, meaning you cannot leave the country of Indonesia for 6 months
- If you do leave the country of Indonesia within that 6-month timeframe, you’ll have to start your Social/Cultural process all over again
- With a Social/Cultural Visa you are not permitted to apply for any type of employment or conduct any type of business while in Indonesia
- You’ll have to pay two service agent fees. One for Indonesian Service Agent and the second for a Singapore Agent. Both agents work together to get you your 180 day Social Visa
Indonesia Business Visa
To stay in Bali longer and enter the country of Indonesia multiple times to conduct business will require you to have an Indonesia Business Visa.
You’ll have to organize your visa outside of Indonesia and it’s best to go through a visa agency. If one wrong document is inaccurately filled out, your business visa will automatically be rejected or delayed.
While the word “business” is in the title, the Indonesian business visa does not allow you to work or earn money while in Indonesia. The business visa is solely for conducting business trips or business meetings within Bali or the country of Indonesia.
Working Visa (KITAS)
If you wish to work in Bali, you’ll need to apply for a working visa for Bali. The Indonesia Working Visa, or KITAS as it’s called, allows individuals to work and earn an income in Bali.
First, you’ll have to to get an Indonesian company to sponsor you. From here, this company will have to apply for a KITAS (limited stay card) and IKTA, which is the actual work permit for you.
As you can imagine, the paperwork, processing time and over all back and forth to get approvals is a process (to say the least).
Our best advice, having not gone through the KITAS process ourselves, is to contact a Visa Agency to learn more or start your KITAS process.
Indonesia Visas Agency & Applications
To apply for an Indonesian Social/Cultural Visa, Business Visa or Work Visa (KITAS) contact Visa4Bali. Visa4Bali is a visa assistance agency that helps travelers apply for the Indonesia visas we want.
For easy reference, a recap of the types of Indonesia Visa’s are below:
Our Indonesia Visa Extension Story
Arrival Into Indonesia
From Singapore, our Indonesian entry point was at the island of Sumatra, in the city of Medan. Our plan was to stay in Indonesia for 2 months, so we needed the paid Visa on Arrival to ensure we could do a in country visa extension.
Upon our arrival in Sumatra, the Customs Officers did not seem to know what we were talking about when we asked to pay $35 for our visa. They kept saying it wasn’t possible and we were eligible for the free visa exception. A feeling of “shit we’re screwed” started sinking in but we didn’t give up!
Lauren whipped out her phone to show proof of onward travel which was well after the 30-day mark.
Finally, the custom officers understood and brought us to a station in the airport where we paid the $35 making us eligible to extend our visas in country.
After we paid, we were given a receipt and from there, we were taken to a separate room where a special stamp was filled out and given in our passports – we are officially in country visa eligible!
Visa Extension in Bali
From here we continued throughout Sumatra, onto Yogyakarta and then finally onto Bali where we extended our Visa at the Denpasar Immigration Office.
Like we stated above, we had to visit the Immigration office three separate times.
- The first time, to apply for our application and pay for the extension ($35 for an additional 30 days).
- The second time, to have an interview and picture taken.
- The third and final time, to pick up our extension.
To warn you, they will take your passport for this 7-10 day period, so don’t fret when they ask you for it. You are still able to travel around Indonesia without having your passport in hand, so again, no worries 🙂
TIP: We made had a digital copy of our passport just in case it was needed while the Immigration Office had our passports for processing.
We had absolutely no problems applying and getting our visa extension in Bali.
The only issue we ran into was paying the $35 entry fee at the airport in Sumatra. Which, as we remind you, is the first and most critical step in being able to extend your visa while being in the country of Indonesia.
Be diligent and don’t leave the airport without paying!
From Sumatra to Java to Bali to the Gili Islands all the other amazing cities, towns and islands there are to experience in Indonesia, check out the latest places and prices below to secure an unforgettable Indonesian accommodation.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)