Need help getting an Indonesia visa on arrival or Bali visa extension? We got you covered! After many trips to Bali we know that the regular 30 day visa often isn’t nearly enough days. Luckily, if you have the correct documents in order, then you can extend your stay. Just know that it’s not as straight forward as you might think. Here’s what to know about getting a visa extension in Bali Indonesia and some important tips from our own experience.
Can You Extend Your Visa in Bali?
Yes! Yet, if you’ve been looking into the Bali visa extension you were most likely as confused as we were. While it’s not necessarily difficult to obtain, the process is one of the most complicated we’ve come across in Southeast Asia.
This is due to the fact that you aren’t simply able to go into a Bali visa office and apply for an extension. You will instead have to make three separate trips or pay an immigration agency to help.
Don’t worry though! Below we break everything down including how to get the Indonesia visa on arrival when first entering the country. Depending on the type of trip you’re on there are some pros and cons to each way.
Indonesia Visa on Arrival Rules
Before you start the Bali visa extension you’ll obviously need to enter Indonesia and get your visa on arrival. First, you’ll want to double-check the rules for your home country.
For example, the Indonesian visa requirements for US citizens may not be the same for different nationalities. At the time of our last visit, we could only get a 30 day Indonesia visa on arrival for the United States.
Once we had the initial visa, we could extend it one time for an additional month at a local immigration office. You will need to get the Indonesia visa on arrival at your first entry point in Indonesia wherever that is.
We got ours in Jakarta before continuing to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. Know that this is a very common layover for travelers heading to Bali!
After you get your Indonesia visa on arrival you will then clear customs before going to the domestic terminal. Make sure to leave yourself enough time on your layover to get the visa and make your transfer.
This is especially important in the capital city of Jakarta as it is a massive airport. You will need to take the sky train or shuttle bus between the international and domestic terminals.
Always check your flight information beforehand to confirm where you need to go. If you are on a tight timeframe you may even want to consider jumping in a taxi to make the switch.
Getting Our Indonesia Visa on Arrival
As soon as we exited our flight we headed out into the large arrivals hall. There is a small sign directing foreigners to the right corner of the room where the Indonesia visa on arrival counter is located.
Know that you don’t need to pre-book anything in advance as there is no electronic visa. The immigration line was short and we quickly made our way up to the counter.
The first step in getting your Indonesia visa on arrival is paying the fee. At the time of our visit it was a paid visa costing $35 USD.
This was a change from our last trip to Indonesia as we weren’t charged for staying under 30 days. Unfortunately, the days of a free visa are long gone! The immigration officer didn’t accept credit cards and said that we were able to pay with USD or Euros.
Thankfully, we always keep extra US dollars on us when traveling. After paying our fee we headed to the next counter and got in line again for them to process our Indonesia visa.
Be sure to check for updates and the different types of visas as they are constantly changing. As you’ll see in the next section, it’s essential to have the necessary documents for the immigration counter as well!
What to Have For Your Indonesia Visa on Arrival
Once we provided all the documents (and answered the officer’s questions) we got a sticker placed in our passport. Here’s the exact things we needed to present in order to continue through to customs.
- Payment Receipt for the visa (received at first counter)
- Ticket stub for your arrival flight into the country
- Proof of onward flight ticket out of Indonesia
- Where in Indonesia you plan to travel to next. We did not have to show proof of this.
We’ve made multiple trips to Indonesia over the years which means we’ve been through this process multiple times! From our experience, Jakarta International Airport has always been quick and easy.
Still, we recommend giving yourself plenty of extra time if you’re trying to make another flight on the same day. You’ll also want to keep note of the expiration date of your visa to avoid any fees for overstaying.
How to Get a Bali Visa Extension
If you plan to get a Bali visa extension it can be a little tricky depending on where you’re traveling to. You need to visit an immigration office that specializes in granting these.
We were on Bali where there are plenty of offices. Yet, it would have probably been more difficult on the more remote island of Sumatra where we ended up later in our travels.
If you can’t make it to an immigration office your only other option would be to leave the country and return to get a new visa processed. Hopefully, you won’t need to do this! A visa run can be time consuming and will cost you more money for flights.
Our Bali Visa Extension Experience
The first thing to know about getting a Bali visa extension is that they don’t make it easy! It’s one of the most complicated visa processes we’ve been through.
There is no online visa application and you have to physically go into an office or pay someone for the extension service. To make matters worse, they were only giving out an additional 30 days at the time of our last trip.
The most frustrating part was that we needed to travel to the visa office three different times to complete the paperwork. That means if you aren’t staying near the visa office, it will be several visits over the course of a week to get your Bali visa extension!
We always rent a scooter in Bali so it was still doable. However, as you’ll see below, the 3 step process isn’t ideal.
- First Visit: Dropping off Passport/Paperwork and Paying the Fee
- Second Visit: Taking Passport Photos
- Third Visit: Picking Up Our Visa
If you don’t want to make multiple trips to the nearest immigration office then there is another option. You can actually pay to do your Bali visa extension through a local agency.
This will cut out the 1st and 3rd steps that you would otherwise have to do at the Indonesia visa office. In this case, you will only have to go see immigration once to get your passport photos taken.
Local Agency For Our Bali Visa Extension
On the flip side, we’ve also gone through a local agency to do this. We only had about 10 days before our Indonesia visa was set to expire so we knew it was time to make a decision.
After contacting the company on Whatsapp, they sent someone within the hour to come collect our passports and Bali visa information. We paid half of the processing fees upfront and then sent out passports off with the driver.
Trust us when we say this was a bit terrifying! In all our years of travel, this was the first time we willingly gave up our passports for such a long period.
It was a slightly nerve-wracking doing this and we completely understand if you’d rather go do the visa extension in Bali yourself. We did get updates and always had quick response by someone on their team.
Below are the prices from the Bali visa extension company we used. Make sure to check their website if you decide to go with them for the most up to date prices.
Bali Visa Extension Photos
Three days later we got a message from our contact and were told to go to immigration to get our passport photos taken. Our Bali visa extension was being processed out of the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office as it was the closest to us.
The following morning we jumped in a grab taxi as we didn’t want to make the 40 minute drive in the rain on the scooter. Even though we arrived just 20 minutes after immigration opened, the office was absolutely packed with people!
We were given a ticket number and waited close to an hour to be called for photos. It was at this moment we were happy we made the choice not to do the visa extension on our own.
Just a few days later we received a message asking us if we were at our hotel. The passports were ready! Within 2o minutes of confirming this they were dropped off back at our hotel and we paid the remaining balance.
To us, it was worth it to pay the additional money and avoid making multiple trips to the immigration office. Yet, we can see the pros and cons of both Bali visa extension options.
More Bali Visa Extension Tips
Give Yourself Enough Time
As we mentioned, we started to process about 10 days before our Bali tourist visa was set to expire. You don’t want to wait until the last minute and be stressed if you’ll have to leave the country.
One thing you need to be aware of is weekends, holidays, and any other days the immigration office might be closed. If you don’t get your visa in time because you didn’t take this into account it won’t matter.
Plan to Stay in the Area
If you use an agency like we did we make sure you are booked at the same hotel for your entire stay. At the time we were staying at Davu Sundara Villa Uluwatu!
Honestly, it wouldn’t be a big deal if you were moving nearby. However, if you plan to do travel north or visit one of the islands, the company won’t deliver your passport out of their visa service area.
You could wait until you are back to grab it, but it’s not smart to be without your passport for that long. Also, who knows where they would keep your passport in the meantime.
Length of Your Stay
The Bali visa extension is a headache, especially compared to how easy the visa process is in other countries. If you’re only looking to spend a few more days over the 30 given, the cost and amount of time you will spend may not be worth it.
Consider the length of your trip and decide if it makes sense. If you’re just over the allotted time, you may want to cut back your Bali holiday to just the 30 day limit.
You’d be surprised how much you can pack into an Indonesia trip in one month or less! Check out our ultimate 10 Day Bali itinerary here with Gili Air and Nusa Penida.
Consider the Costs
From where we were in Uluwatu to the closest visa center was about $15 USD each way. Since we only had to make the trip once this was fine.
However, if you are a solo traveler planning to taxi back and forth it will likely cost you the same as going through a travel agency. Crunch the numbers for the entire process and determine the best option for your extension visa in Bali.
Where to Stay in Uluwatu Bali
Ultra Luxury – Alila Villas Uluwatu – Looking for a taste of luxury near Uluwatu Temple? Then this is the spot for you! Most villas include private pools and incredible views of the ocean.
Fun Vacation – Village Bali – Add a twist to your Bali vacation with the fun and colorful decor. This hotel has the perfect location near Padang Padang beach.
Boutique Hotel – Hari Indah Boutique Hotel & Spa – Upscale bed and breakfast in a beautiful jungle setting. On site spa & restaurant, Bali decor, and a nice swimming pool to enjoy.
Relaxing Stay – Davu Sundara Villa Uluwatu – A family run guesthouse with large rooms that overlook a lush jungle swimming pool. Quiet and relaxing area just outside of the main hustle and bustle of Uluwatu.
Is a Bali Visa Extension Worth It?
Honestly, we don’t think it’s worth it unless you plan to stay for the entire additional 30 days of the visa. If you are just doing the Bali visa extension to give yourself another week we would recommend moving on to another country in Southeast Asia.
Still, we completely understand that Bali has become as super popular spot! It’s not only a great destination for travelers, but also digital nomads who want to live and work with an extended stay. In this case, we understand getting it and not having to do a visa run.
So what happens after you get one Bali visa extension and need another? Unfortunately, if you’ve already done the process once it’s not possible to extend it for a second time.
You will have to leave Bali and fly to a city like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, or Bangkok. From there you can return to Bali and get a new 30 day visa on arrival. Once you have the new arrival visa you can once again do another visa extension.
What we are saying is that if you want to spend three or four months in Bali it’s possible. Just know there are several visa extensions and even a visa run in your future!
What If You Overstay Your Bali Visa?
One thing we want to stress is that you can’t simply overstay your visa. We can’t believe how many horror stories we’ve heard about travelers who leaned a little too hard into the relaxing Bali lifestyle and well… Just didn’t leave.
Whether it’s a few days or weeks longer, it will always catch up with you. Depending on how long you’ve overstayed you can face a daily fine, be detained by the police, deported from the country, or banned from ever returning.
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own tips for getting a Bali Visa extension? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Indonesia Travel Planning
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Bali. We recommend taking a sunrise Mount Batur hike with breakfast, an authentic cooking class in a local village, and the Ubud waterfall tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.