Visas are constantly the cause of much headache for many foreigners coming to live in Bali.

When it comes to Visas for living in Bali, there is very little official information from the Indonesian government available online. And on top of that, the laws are always changing as well.

They are many different types of Visas to choose from. Thankfully there a few that fit almost everyone.

Sosial Budaya Visa

The majority of expats living in Bali are here on what is called the Sosial Budaya Visa (Social Culture Visa), also referred to with the index of 211. This visa is valid for a term of 60 days (not 2 months) and can be extended four times for 30 days (not 1 month) each.

These extensions you can do yourself or for a little bit extra you can hire an agent to do it for you. If you decide to do it yourself you will spend almost one day a week in the immigration office doing paperwork so it usually better that you allow an agent to do it. An agent can handle this for around rp 500,000 – 650,000 a month which is not terribly more than you would pay to do it yourself although you will save yourself a big headache.

The Sosial Budaya visa requires that you have a local sponsor with a valid ID (KTP) for Bali. If you do not have a sponsor while applying for your visa at home, then you should apply for a 60 Day Tourist Visa, which you can then change into a Sosial Budaya within those 60 days once you are in Bali and find someone to be your sponsor.


If you are going to be on a sort of rotating schedule and never spending more than 60 days at a time in Bali, then you can simply get your visa in the airport when you come in. The 30 Day Visa On Arrival (VOA) which costs $25 USD can now be extended for an additional 30 days either at the airport immigration or the immigration office in Renon. The extension will cost you another $25 USD and you will save yourself the visa troubles for the most part. Overstaying your visa will cost you $25 per day however.


Business Visa

Another visa that many foreigners hold is the Business Visa. There is a bit of confusion surrounding this visa and whether or not it gives the foreigner permission to work while in Indonesia.

The short of it is, you do not have any rights to work while on a Business Visa, although you may conduct business for your foreign affairs while in Indonesia. They may sound a bit the same but they are different. What it basically boils down to is that you are allowed to meet with clients, buy materials and talk business, but if you are caught actually working then you will find yourself in big trouble.

There are two type of Business Visas, single-entry and multiple-entry with the single entry being very similar to the Sosial Budaya and the multiple-entry visa requiring you to leave the country once every 60 days even if just for a couple of hours or so.


For a foreigner in Bali, the KITAS is king

The KITAS is something like a permanent residency card and gives you privileges like local prices on things where there is a clearly marked dual pricing system, and the ability to own vehicles in your name, but not land. Most KITAS holders obtain their KITAS by being employed by an Indonesian company although you can also obtain one by being married to a local, although that one will not permit you to work in Indonesia.

If you have found a job, make sure they are willing to provide you with a KITAS. If they are not willing then do not accept their offer because they are putting you at a huge risk by asking you to work without the proper visa. Most good jobs will not only provide but pay for your KITAS as well, which is around 1200 USD per year.

Working with a KITAS

Note that when you have a KITAS, you are only allowed to work for the employer that has sponsored your KITAS, it is NOT a work permit to work wherever you see fit.

If you are caught working in a place that is not specified in your KITAS then it is just as bad as working with no visa at all. There are a few different lengths for the KITAS but the large majority of them are valid for one year.


Help from an agent

If you would like to seek out the help of an agent like mentioned above, there are many places you can do this with many independent visa agents located all over the place in Bali. If you feel more comfortable knowing that your passport and visa are safe in the hands of larger reputable businesses then the two most popular choices are:


Bali IDE
Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai No. 100
Pesanggaran – Denpasar – Bali
Phone : +62 361 726 200, 726 500
Fax : +62 361 726 271

Bali Mode
Head Office

Jl. Sriwijaya No. 7 Legian – Kuta – Bali
Phone : +62 361 – 765162
Fax : +62 361 – 763562

Ubud Office

Jl. Raya Hanoman No. 27 Ubud – Gianyar – Bali
Phone : +62 361 970288
Fax : +62 361 970288

They are both great for when you are trying to get information on the process of getting your visa made and what sort of visa you should be on, but after that they are a bit expensive to handle your extensions. There are many cheaper options for Visa Extension Agents.


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  2. I\\\’m a Taiwanese who are going to be hired by an company which based in China.
    The Boss in an America.
    He is going to do Villa renting business in this year.
    Buy villas, rent the villa to guest from China or western in Bali.

    In this case,
    what kind of visa should I apply?
    At least one-two years planning to stay in Bali.
    And also there will be one of my partner(Tawaniese)she is going with me,
    But she is not one of the employee,
    What kind of visa will be suitable for her?
    Or she can also apply KITAS?
    also how to solve our medical insurance problem?
    Bank account…..
    Are this all based on having KITAS or not?

    Should my Boss also need to apply a working visa?
    (He is not going to stay in Bali, but for sure will come to check his asset frequently)

    1. Will your boss have an Indonesian company that all of these operations will happen under? If so, you should certainly get a KITAS and not accept any work without one. As for your boss, he might be able to get away with a multiple entry business visa provided that all he is really doing is just checking in from time to time. If his work is more involved then he should also be on a KITAS to play things safe. As for your wife it would be hard for her to apply for a KITAS and since she is not working a Sosial Budaya (211) visa is just fine. Your medical insurance should have no bearing on your KITAS although a bank account will so make sure to get your KITAS sorted out before applying for an account.

      Hope this helps!

  3. My husband and I are toying with the idea of retiring to bali. However he is over 55 but I am not. How does that work? I intend to return to australia for 3 months (3 one month blocks) every year to work. Any ideas would greatly be appreciated.

    1. If you will return to Australia 3 times within the year then I imagine you won’t ever be in Indonesia for more than 6 months at a time. If so your best bet is the Sosial Budaya visa which is valid for 60 days and can then be extended 4 times for 30 days per extension. This can be applied for each time you are back in Australia at the Indonesia embassy.

  4. I am Pakistan national and planning to visit Bali, Indonesia during my Holidays.
    Today I went to Indonesian consulate to apply for visa but they are asking for Authorization from the Minister of Justice of The Republic of Indonesia, c.q. Directorate General of Immigration.
    Can anyone give me any agent details who can provide me authorization for visit visa.
    If there is any cost to get above authorization then I am ready to pay the same.

  5. Hi Raja,

    Thanks for this info. Would you be able to tell me anything regarding the documents required for a KITAS, and process for applying? Specifically, I’ve been told that I’d need to surrender my original passport for a time in order to process the visa, and was interested in finding out more about that.

    Thank you again!

  6. I am married to a balinese for 20 years and have 2 sons with dual citizenship australia/indonesia .We are thinking of buying a business in Bali ,what visa would I need to legally work there .Last time we had an extended stay in Bali I had spouse Kitas ,but did not work .Thank You

  7. My partner and I have online businesses and are planning on making the move to bali towards the end of this year, not sure what type of visa we should go for, I was thinking the business visa as we are not working for Indonesians but conducting business abroad (is this still considered working as we will be making an income?). Was wondering what type of visa you use as you have an online business? Appreciate your help, and bought your book last night, so much useful info!!

  8. My wife and I are planning to retire and live in Bali. What are the suitable options or visas as I would prefer not having to travel back and forth to Australia every few months. Appreciate the help.

  9. Im irish man living in austraila
    Married to Indonesia women
    Can I apply for kitas for when I go over there

  10. Hi, Does anyone know if you need a working visa to lease out a villa while you are not in Indonesia. I am planning on leasing a villa for one year, but want to sublease when i am not there.
    Thank you

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