You’ve fallen head over heels in love with the ‘Island of the Gods’. (Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us!) Can I stay forever, you ask? Unfortunately not. But you can extend your Indonesian visa on arrival to allow you to stay for 60 days. In this guide, we explain how to get a Visa Extension in Bali as of January 2020.
Before we get started, I want to clarify that this post focuses on how to extend an Indonesian Visa on Arrival from 30 to 60 days in Bali. There are several other visa options, some of which allow you to stay for up to 6 months. However, I don’t get into those here. For more information on visa options for Bali, you can check out the Wonderful Indonesia Visa Section.
After spending quite some time in Bali over the past 2-years, we’ve been through the visa extension process on a couple of occasions. I actually prefer to call it an ordeal rather than a process, as the whole system feels somewhat backward and inefficient. But it gets the job done, so who am I to complain.
The idea of this blog post is to give you all the necessary information, that will hopefully help the whole ‘process’ run smoothly. I prefer to provide you with too much information, rather than not enough. So here you’ll find all the available options for extending your visa in Bali, what you’ll need, costs, timelines, and even dress codes. So let’s get to it.
Getting a Visa Extension in Bali – A 2020 Guide
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Step by Step to Getting a 30 Day Visa Extension in Bali
I’ll start with a quick step-by-step of what’s involved in the visa extension process. I will then elaborate on each of these steps further down in the article.
- Obtain a Visa on Arrival BEFORE going through immigration at Bali Airport
- Decide if you will use a Visa Agent or extend the visa yourself
- Locate the nearest Immigration Office to where you are staying
- Prepare the necessary documentation to start your application
- Take all documentation with you to the immigration office on the first visit.
- On the date instructed, return to the immigration office to have your photo and fingerprints taken.
- On the final visit, collect your passport with the 30-day visa extension stamp.
- Enjoy a blissful 60-day stay on the Island of the Gods!
Arriving at Ngurah Rai a.k.a Bali Airport
The first and most important step for extending your visa in Bali is what you do upon arrival at Ngurah Rai Airport. As of June 2015, Indonesian Immigration implemented a visa-free policy for the passport holders of these 169 countries. What this means, is that any nationals from the list, are granted 30-days entry into the country without a visa.
While this is great news for tourists, it’s also where things could get confusing. Please be aware; If you enter Indonesia under the visa-free policy, it is impossible to extend your stay legally. If you want to stay in Bali for up to 60 days, you need to obtain a Visa on Arrival. More information on how to do this below.
Visa on Arrival
First of all, check that you are a national of the 68 countries that qualify for Visa on Arrival. If so, upon arriving at Denpasar Airport, look out for the Visa on Arrival desk in the arrivals hall. Again, DO NOT go through immigration until you’ve done this. Otherwise, you’ve entered the country under visa exemption, and you will not be able to extend your stay.
The cost to obtain a 30-day visa on arrival is 500,000 IDR (35 USD). It will later cost you at least another 500,000 IDR to get a 30-day extension, so if you’re on a budget, this is something to consider. Tell the immigration officer at the desk that you plan on staying for 60-days and pay him in cash. There are ATMs in the arrivals hall if you don’t have enough. It’s also possible to pay in other currencies such as dollars and pounds.
That’s it. You’ll be handed 2 slips to confirm you’ve paid the visa on arrival fee and directed to go through immigration. There is a dedicated queue for those who’ve paid for visa on arrival. It’s usually much shorter than the visa exemption queue, so that’s a result. When you go through immigration, the officer will keep one of the slips, and the other is to take with you to the immigration office later.
What If I’m Already in Bali?
I understand some of you may well already be in Bali. If this is the case, unless you paid for visa on arrival at the airport, it’s impossible to extend your stay. You have to leave before your granted 30-days; otherwise, you face charges of 1,000,000 IDR for each day you overstay.
Some third-party visa agents may claim they can extend your stay; however, it isn’t legal. We wouldn’t recommend taking the risk, and instead, look at a cheap visa-run to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. Visa Runs come with their own caveats, and I talk about this in more detail later in the article.
Preparing for your Visa Extension in Bali
Here is some guidance on what you will need to prepare in order to extend your 30 Day visa in Bali.
Decide Your Method
You have 2 options when it comes to extending your visa in Bali. The first is to go through a Visa Agent, and the 2nd is to do it all yourself. Now I’ll go through the pros and cons for both, to help you decide which method suits you best.
Visa Agents are a third-party organisation, who charge a fee to take care of the visa extension process on your behalf. Why would you want to do that? Well, to complete the process yourself, means three visits to the immigration office. If you extend through an agent, you only have to go once.
As you can imagine, the lines at the immigration office can be lengthy, so it can save you some time. However, It’s also argued that it’s the visa agents that cause the delays, as they often get priority in line.
Personally, we have never used an agent, so can’t speak from experience; although, we know plenty of others who have. You often pay double or even triple the cost than if you extend yourself, so we didn’t feel it was worth it. As of January 2020, agents are charging anywhere from 70-130 USD for the process.
If you decide to go through an agent, you’re best getting in touch with them directly for further instructions regarding the process. The rest of this article explains how to extend your visa yourself, which is the method we recommend.
Do it Yourself
We’ve always extended our visa in Bali without an agent, and while it’s a little more time consuming, it’s very straight-forward. Not to mention, it costs just a fraction of the price. Keep reading for our step-by-step guide on how to extend a visa at your local immigration office (without an agent).
What You’ll Need
Here is a list of things you’ll need to take with you to the Immigration Office to start the extension process:
- Black Pen
- Passport (with at least 6 months validity)
- 2 photocopies of passport (photo page)
- 2 photocopies of the Indonesian visa stamp in your passport
- 2 photocopies of your flight departure ticket from Indonesia
- Visa on Arrival Receipt (the slip you received at the airport after paying for Visa on Arrival)
- Name, Address, Email and Phone Number of your Accommodation
- 500,000 IDR in cash
- One of the forms may ask for a sponsor; however, you can leave this section blank.
Start the Process Early
It is advised to start the visa extension process 7-10 days before your visa on arrival expires. The earliest is 14-days in advance. In our experience, it takes 5-7 working days to complete the whole thing, so long as you return to the immigration office on the days instructed. While it’s not much of an issue if your visa expires during the process, we recommend allowing extra time in case of public holidays or system issues.
Locate your Closest Immigration Office
There are several immigration offices dotted around the island, so be sure to locate the one that’s closest to you. Remember, you’ll need to visit the office on three separate occasions over the space of 5-10 working days. With this in mind, decide on a location that you wouldn’t mind staying in for an extended period.
Closest Immigration Office to Ubud or Canggu (Central Bali):
Kantor Imigrasi Kelas I TPI Denpasar
Jl. Panjaitan No.3,
Kec. Denpasar Tim.,
Kota Denpasar, Bali 80234,
Tel: +62 812-4618-3838
Closest Immigration Office to Uluwatu or Kuta (South Bali):
Kantor Imigrasi Kelas I Khusus – Bali
Jl. Raya Taman Jimbaran No.1,
Jimbaran, Kec. Kuta Sel.,
Bali 80361, Indonesia
Closest Immigration Office to Lovina (North Bali):
Kantor Imigrasi Kelas II Singaraja
Jl. Seririt, Desa Pemaron,
Singaraja, Pemaron, Kec. Buleleng,
Bali 81119, Indonesia
Tel: +62 362 32174
Again, you need to visit the immigration office closest to where you are staying. For example, if you are staying in Ubud, and you try to visit the office located in South Bali, they will turn you away.
On our most recent visit to Bali, we used the immigration office located in Singaraja, North of the island. Not many tourists venture this far North, and so the queues were practically non-existent in comparison to what we’ve experienced in the South. It also took just 5-working days to complete the process. Save yourself some time and use those days to explore the beautiful North of Bali. You won’t regret it.
Immigration Office Opening Hours
The following opening hours apply to all immigration offices in Bali; however, it’s not uncommon for these to fluctuate from one day to the next. Our best advice is to arrive as early as possible. This way you’ll be one of the first inline, as well as allowing for any delays. Sometimes they don’t accept new applications after lunch, which is another reason to get there early.
Mon-Fri: 8:00 to 16:00 (closed between 12:00-13:00 for lunch)
Public Holidays: Closed
Tip: You will need to dress conservatively when visiting the immigration offices in Bali. Shoulders and legs below the knee must be covered; otherwise, you will be refused entry. We always carry a shawl & sarong when travelling in Bali for these instances.
Applying for your Visa Extension in Bali
Now, I explain what you can expect during each of your three visits to the immigration office.
Visit One: Start the Application
Upon entering the immigration office, you’ll be directed to the automated kiosks that issue you with a number. Hold on to this, as you’ll have to hand it over when they call you to the front desk.
Once called, tell them you are there to extend your visa, and they will hand over a red folder with some application forms. Listen carefully to the instructions, so you know exactly what you need to do. Usually, they’ll ask you to take a seat while you complete them.
While the forms aren’t difficult to complete, be sure to enter all of the information correctly using black ink and upper case letters. Any mistakes might cause you further delays, so take extra care to avoid the headache later.
Once you’ve completed the forms, go back to the front desk with the visa fee and all of the documentation I mentioned previously in the article. At the Singaraja Immigration Office, there was a paid service where you could get your photocopies done. I’m not sure if this is the case at all of the offices though, so it’s best to prepare them in advance.
After they’ve checked and verified your documentation, they will ask you to take a seat for a final time. Within about 10-15 minutes you should hear your name called. Be warned, it can be loud in there, and they often struggle to pronounce foreign names. So listen carefully.
At the desk this time around, you’ll be handed a receipt that acts as your passport for the duration of the visa extension process. At the same time, they’ll give you a date for your next visit, usually within 2-4 working days.
There is no need to worry. Your passport is safe. It is unlikely that you’ll need to present it during this time. However, if needs be, all local businesses and law enforcement recognise the temporary document.
Visit Two: Return to have Photos and Fingerprints Taken
Return to the same immigration office on the day they told you on your last visit. Do not try to go any earlier; it is highly likely you’ll get turned away. You can go later, but we advise you to adhere to the dates to keep the process running smoothly.
Repeat the process of collecting your number and waiting to be called to the front desk. Once called, hand over the receipt provided on your first visit and await further instructions. Usually, you’ll be told to take a seat and wait until they shout your name.
Unfortunately, this is often a tedious wait. The systems are slow and often crash, so take a book or something to keep you occupied. Once it’s your turn, you’ll be lead into another room where they’ll take your photo and fingerprints.
The officer will then hand back your receipt, along with a date to collect your passport, usually within 2-3 working days.
Visit Three: Collect Your Passport
Your third and final visit will be straight forward and hassle-free. I wouldn’t even bother getting a number this time. Just go to the front desk with your receipt for collection and take a seat while you wait.
Once they call your name, go to the desk and collect your passport which should now proudly sport a new visa stamp. Be sure to check this before you leave the immigration office and sign to confirm you have had your passport returned.
That’s pretty much it! Time for you to relax and enjoy the rest of your time in Bali.
Other Things Worth Knowing
Here are some other things worth considering when thinking about visa extensions in Bali.
It’s not uncommon for expats and foreigners to extend their stay even longer in Bali, by simply repeating the above process time and time again. Every 60-days this involves what we call a visa run, where they fly out of Indonesia, only to return a day or so later. It’s a common strategy all over South East Asia, allowing backpackers to live & work without getting a permit.
Years ago, nobody would have raised an eyebrow; however, with the surge in tourism to places like Bali, local governments have started cracking down. While there is no limit to the number of times you can re-enter Bali, there are criteria you may have to meet. Such as providing your departure flight details when checking in for your flight or extending your visa.
Having said that, there are several ways to get around the challenges faced. People do it all the time, and you just need to search the web for solid advice. Whatever you do, try to do it as legally as possible. After all, nobody wants to end up in trouble with the law.
Overstaying your Visa
Overstaying your visa won’t necessarily land you in a lot of trouble, so long as it’s only a reasonable overstay; however, it can be a costly ordeal. You will be required to pay 1,000,000 IDR for each day you overstay your visa in Bali, anywhere up to 60 days. After that, you’ll be taken to court as well as expected to pay the fine.
Multiple Entries into Bali
As already mentioned, there is currently no limit to the number of times you can re-enter Bali on a visa-exemption or a visa on arrival within a 1-year period. Although there are rumours this may change in the future, at least for the time being, it seems that is all they are.
More on Bali
Are you planning a trip to Bali? Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.
- 10 Day Bali Itinerary
- The Best Black Sand Beaches in Bali
- Gay in Bali – LGBT+ Travel Guide
- 18 Unmissable Things to do in North Bali
- The Best 3 Day Ubud Itinerary – How to Spend 3 Days in Ubud
- 7 Incredible Waterfalls Near Ubud
- Things to do in Amed & East Bali
- Trekking Mount Batur with Bali Sunrise Trekking
- Travel From Bali to Nusa Penida by Ferry
More on Indonesia
- ENCOUNTERING THE DEADLY KOMODO DRAGONS ON KOMODO ISLAND
- A REVIEW OF PINK BEACH IN LABUAN BAJO, INDONESIA
- WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN KUTA, LOMBOK – INDONESIA
- BACKPACKING FLORES – ITINERARY AND GUIDE
- 10 AMAZING THINGS TO DO ON SAMOSIR ISLAND, LAKE TOBA
- SUMATRA ORANGUTAN TREKS IN BUKIT LAWANG – A COMPLETE GUIDE
- Lost In: Sumatra – Backpacking Sumatra Itinerary & Travel Guide
Did you enjoy our Visa Extension in Bali – A 2020 Travel Guide?
Let us know! That concludes Visa Extension in Bali – A 2020 Travel Guide. We hope you enjoy your time in this magical country. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below, through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here where we share further travel advice & inspiration.
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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