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It can be daunting trying to decipher which visa you’ll need if you want to stay in Indonesia for longer than 2 months. The amount of information online is mind-boggling and can easily be misconstrued.


No need to tear your hair out! It’s not that difficult.
Which visa do you need if you wish to stay in Indonesia? This all depends on how long you want to stay and if you plan on working. In the last year, Indonesia has passed stricter laws regarding foreigners working illegally.

As of January 2014, these are the average wages for an Indonesian worker (provided by Wikipedia)

Keep in mind that a foreigner will only be considered for a job that an Indonesian cannot do. Most of these jobs include teaching foreign languages. If you’re interested in knowing more about visa requirements for legal work, please visit http://www.expat.or.id/info/docs.html. This is a site for expatriates living and working in Indonesia. It’s regularly updated and includes forums where you can ask questions.

I will discuss my personal visa experience in Indonesia which I hope you’ll find helpful. After squirreling away all my money while working in Madrid, I decided to move to Bali, Indonesia for about 6 months. Once you arrive at Ngurah Rai airport, you’ll have to pay 350,000 rupiah ($35) for a VOA (visa on arrival). This visa will last for 30 days. Imigrasi (immigration) will not give you any information in regards to how you can extend it. You may extend your VOA one time for a total of 60 days in Indonesia.

About 7-10 days before your VOA expires, you must initiate the visa extension by going to Kantor Imigrasi (immigration office) located in the Renon area of Denpasar. They can be contacted at tel. (0361) 227828. Everyone knows where it is, so there’s no need for an exact address. No one follows exact addresses in Bali. I would suggest checking their hours of operation before going and to see if they will be closed for any holidays. If you cannot extend your visa because the office is closed, airport immigration will be unsympathetic to your dilemma.

The fine for over staying your visa is 200,000 rupiah ($20) per day with the possibility of imprisonment if you over stayed too long!

Okay…so you’ve checked the hours of operation, now what do you do?

Bring the following documents with you:

  • Passport (Must have a copy of your photo page and a copy of your first VOA)
  • Flight Itinerary with the date you plan to leave Indonesia (must be within 30 days) This one’s tricky. You don’t actually need to purchase a flight out of Indonesia. Just choose any online flight search and put in your dates with any country. Print this off.
  • Departure card with a copy

Go upstairs and take a number. Ask for the FormulirPerubahan Data Orang Asing form along with folder.

You will make three visits to this office. On your first visit, bring the aforementioned documents with you. You’ll fill out the form (staff will help you) and drop it off. They’ll tell you when to return which is usually within a few days.

On your second visit, you will pay the VOA extension fee which is currently 300,000 rupiah ($30). You’ll receive a payment slip stating when you must return to pick up your passport.
On your third visit, the agent will give you your passport with a new extension stamp! Easy peasy, right?

So you’ve fallen in love with Bali and want to stay longer than 60 days. What’s next?

You can get a social visit visa, which will last 6 months. It is necessary to leave Indonesia to apply for it. Most of us go to Singapore because it’s a 2 hour flight away and the air ticket is cheap.


Ahhh…Singapore! Shop and eat to your heart’s content as you wait for your visa to be processed.

I’d advise you to stay for one night in case there are any visa problems, but I never encountered any. There are a lot of visa agents in Singapore, but my “go to” guy is Ismail (tel. +6596364854). Please call his office to confirm all documents needed as these requirements change constantly. His fee is $175 and well worth it. If you bring the documents before 10:30, you’ll receive your social visa after 16:00 that day!