Depending on the length of your stay in Bali, you may be required to purchase an Indonesian Visa. One of the most common visa’s used by tourists is the Visa on Arrival also known as VOA. The Visa on Arrival allows you to extend your stay from 30 days to 60 days. When arriving we were initially unsure if we were going to stay in Bali for more than 30 days however purchased the Visa on Arrival at the airport, just in case. As we are a family of 4, I chose to do the Visa on Arrival extension myself by visiting Denpasar Immigration Office. After a few mishaps, the visa took around 1 week to complete. Below is the process, along with a few tips to help you along the way!
What Visa Do I Need Traveling to Indonesia?
Visiting Indonesia for less than 30 days
For those on their holidays or time-limited trips, you have 30 days to enjoy yourself in Bali, on a free visa. This option is available for around 160 countries. However, if you are having too much of a good time and want to extend your trip (past 30 days), this is not an option on a free visa.
Visiting Indonesia for between 30 to 60 days
Visa on Arrival (also known as VOA) has been the most popular way for tourists wanting to stay in Bali for longer than 30 days. One thing to be aware of is the fact the VOA has a more limited list of countries that can apply, unlike the free holiday visa, allowing you 30 days for free.
If your country qualifies, the Visa on Arrival gives you the choice to extend your stay in Bali for a further 30 days from the 30-day expiry. Meaning you can have blissful 60 days to relax and enjoy yourself, without the worry of time constraints.
Because you do not have the option of extending the holiday visa, it is important that you purchase the Visa on Arrival at the airport if you think there will be a remote possibility of wanting to extend your stay.
Visiting Indonesia for more than 60 days
If you want to stay longer in Bali longer than 60 days, one way to be able to do so is by applying for a social visa. This visa allows you to stay up to 60 days. It can then be extended when you are in Bali (or anywhere in Indonesia) a total of 3 times. Each extension is valid for 30 days. The most important part of a social visa is the fact that you will need a sponsor letter from an Indonesian citizen living in Indonesia.
TIP: Check with locals or at your hotel reception to see if there is a public holiday on the day you go to immigration. (Yes, we made this mistake!!)
Indonesia – Visa On Arrival (VOA)
Where to get your Visa On Arrival (VOA)
For those considering extending your stay (more than 30 days) make sure you pay for your visa on arrival at the international airport before immigration. This also speeds up passport control/immigration as you can enter the queue for locals and those who have paid for VOA which is usually a bit shorter.
How much does a Visa On Arrival (VOA) cost?
Visa on Arrival costs $35 USD and you have the option to pay using numerous different currencies. But only in cash! One thing is to make sure you have more than 6 months on your passport. Both adults and children are required to purchase the visa, with no discounts offered for children.
Bali Visa Agents
You can extend your Visa using an Agent or you can do this yourself. Using an agent will set you back around 600,000 RP and you will still need to attend the Immigration Office at least once either way. The process is not very hard. I completed this for all 4 members of our family first time without any problems. If you are using an agent, you will be handing over your passport so please make sure you do your due diligence before handing anything over and beware of scammers.
TIP: When extending your VOA visa, you are required to leave your passport with the immigration office or Visa Agent. Therefore make sure you have a photocopy of your passport just in case!
How do I extend my Visa On Arrival (VOA)?
If you want to extend your stay in Bali, for longer than 30 days you will need to purchase your visa when you arrive at the airport. Alternatively, for other visas, you can arrange before you arrive in Bali, from your home country by visiting the local Indonesian embassy.
If you have already arrived and are on the free holiday visa the only option for you is to leave the country before your 30 days is up. Please beware of overstaying your visa as this will incur a 1million RP fine per day.
You cannot extend your visa until 14 days before its 30-day expiry. However, try and allow as much time as possible to arrange your extension. Indonesia has a lot of public holidays (as we learnt the hard way) and you will have to wait for several days between each stage of the application.
VOA Day 1 – Application
Preparation is key, so I’d recommend getting all the documents ready before you head down to the immigration office if you can. If you are staying at a hotel or similar maybe ask reception if they can photocopy or print your documents for you. There are also places to photocopy at the office, but this will save you time.
The documents you will need
- Proof of outbound flight (leaving Indonesia)
- Photocopy of Passport Picture Page
- Photocopy of Passport Page with Visa
- Address of Residence in Indonesia
- Black Ink Pen
We personally visited the Denpasar Immigration Office which was the closest to us in Seminyak. However, we later realised this was not the correct office for our area and should have attended the Ngurah Rai office. We heard it’s best to arrive at the immigration office as early as possible. However, we not only made the mistake of attending the immigration office on a Monday, following a public holiday but also with elections the previous week! Therefore, on arriving at just after 08:00 the immigration office was already full.
On arrival, you’ll need to pick up a ticket from the machine and wait in the seating area for your number to be called so that you can collect your forms.
When you go to the counter, they may ask you some questions, for example where you are staying. One thing to be aware of is that each office covers particular regions within Bali. This is not necessarily the office that is closest to your address. If you are not at the correct office, have a plan B and read my tips below!
You’ll then be given your forms, which you’ll need to take away and complete, there are a few resting areas where you can do this. The documents have to be completed in Black Ink Pen and there are 3 documents to complete. There is A LOT of repetition, especially if you are completing these for 4 people but by the end, you’ll know your passport details off by heart!
The 3 documents to complete
- the Pink folder (front page) the titles are not in English but you can figure out what they mean from the other documents (in English). In this folder, you will place all your photocopies, passport and completed documents.
- Single white sheet which involves completing your name, passport number and date of birth, address of where you are staying, etc.
- Double-sided white sheet which involves completing your name, sex, passport details, issuing date and office, date of expiry, address where you are staying, details of a family member abroad, occupation abroad, sponsor details, signature and reason for extending.
If you haven’t already made your photocopies or if you discover you’ve made a mistake (like I did) there are places to do this to the rear of the Denpasar office. They are very good and experts at what you need, so you won’t have to explain this to them. This cost us 2,000 IDR per copy. Also to the rear of the office are some shops for snacks and drinks, in case you have a long waiting time.
A few things to be aware of
- You can leave the sponsor section blank, this is not needed for this type of Visa.
- If you have children and are completing on their behalf, under occupation you have to enter something. I personally entered ‘Tourist’.
- We were told by the immigration officer that they would require our hotel booking confirmation which was not required.
Once you have completed your documents, collect another ticket, have a seat (if there’s space) and wait for your number to be called. The officer will check all your documents (in our case for all family members) and let you know if they are okay or need any revisions.
They will then take away all your documents and you will be provided with a paper slip and date to return back to the office. This is for your photographs and fingerprints to be taken. In our case, this was 3 days later. They also keep hold of your passports. As this is the only reference you have to them make sure you keep them somewhere safe. We also took photographs of ours on our phone just in case.
You do not have to pay for your visa on your first trip to the Immigration Office. This is required on Day 2.
TIP: If you are traveling as a family or in a group you do not all have to attend Application (day 1) or Passport Collection (day 3), simply nominate one adult to go.
VOA Day 2 – Photos & Fingerprints
On your second trip to the immigration office, you can go straight to Counter 4 without having to take a ticket from the machine. You will then need to provide the officer with the slips you had kept safe from your first trip and they will ask you to take a seat.
The officer at the counter will call your name after a short time and ask you to check the slip. They will then request you make the full payment for your Visa. This payment is made outside in what looks like the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo and is signposted ‘Postal Payments’.
The payment for your visa needs to be made in cash and costs 355,000 IDR for both adults and children. They do provide change, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t have the exact amount. In receipt, you will be given a slip to confirm you have made payment.
You can then go directly back to Counter 4 and hand in your slip where you will be given a numbered ticket for your photograph and fingerprints to be taken. It’s also worth listening out for your name in case its called out by the officers. We were really lucky and were called earlier than our ticket number (maybe because we have children and it was close to lunchtime).
Once called, you go into a room where you will have your photograph taken initially and then each of your fingerprints. Children do not need to provide fingerprints, but an adult will need to provide a signature for them.
We were personally not ‘interviewed’ or asked any questions. Maybe because they were in a rush or because we were there as a family, but we did hear other visitors being asked reasons for their stay, etc. When you’re all done you’ll be provided with another stamp and given a date and time to return for your passports. Nearly all done!
TIP: Try and arrive as early as possible. Most offices open from 8:00 (Friday 9:00) and waiting time is shorter (also traffic isn’t as bad!)
VOA Day 3 – Passport Collection
On your third trip, you can collect your passports on the date and time provided on your second trip. When you collect your passports you can go straight to counter 4 and hand in your slips. You then need to simply wait for your name to be called. The officer will ask for you to check the passport is yours, check the new visa expiry date and sign a register.
If you are travelling as a family or in a group you do not all have to attend on Day 3, simply nominate someone to go. Unfortunately, in my case, I drew the short straw so that I can go through the experience and write this blog for you today!
Now with your passport stamp and Indonesian Visa extension, you’re then all set for a further 30 days!
Overstaying your Indonesian visa
As of 3rd May 2019, overstaying your visa by a single day will incur a 1 million RP fine! This applies to anyone staying 60 days or fewer. Anyone overstaying in Indonesia for longer than 60 days will be deported and blacklisted.
So if you failed to pay for your VOA and want to extend your stay? Unfortunately, the only other option is the old fashioned visa run. This means you have is to leave Indonesia (possibly to the likes of Singapore) re-enter and start a new visa all over again!
Our initial thought of extending your visa on arrival is a daunting prospect, however, we found the process simple enough. Yes, there are 3 visits. Yes, there is some waiting, although we didn’t wait any longer than an hour at any visit. And yes it is pretty mind-numbing. Wait times may be longer during high season, we visited in April. But the alternatives for us were either to leave Bali within 30 days or spend money on a Visa agent (someone you’ve never met before, who you needed to trust enough to leave your passport with) and then we’d still have to go to the office at least once anyway! So for us, doing the visas ourselves just made sense.
How much did our VOA cost?
The actual costs we spent on our Visa on Arrival in Indonesia and the extension were;
- $35 USD/ 500,000 IDR each (x4)- Visa On Arrival at the airport
- $25 USD/ 355,000 IDR each (x4) – Visa Extension
- $0.15 USD/ 2,000 IDR Photocopy – 1 page each (x4)
- $10 USD/ 140,000 IDR – Grab Taxis (including tips) to/from Seminyak and Denpasar Immigration Office (x3)
Therefore the total for our family of 4 with travel included was $270.00. However, if you are looking at an individual cost, this will be around $60.00 per person before travel costs.
Visa On Arrival Extension Tips
- Each person will have their own folder. So if you are travelling as a family, ensure that you have 1 copy of everything for each person (i.e. Flights).
- Try and arrive as early as possible. Most offices open from 08:00 and waiting time is shorter (also traffic isn’t as bad!)
- The office closes from 12:00 to 13:00. Therefore longer waiting times are to be expected around this time.
- You can only pay for your Visa Extension with cash.
- Check with locals or at your hotel reception to see if there is a public holiday on the day you go to immigration. Or check out this list!
- If you attend the incorrect immigration office, don’t worry. Think fast on your feet and say you are going to be staying in a region that is covered (as we did). We then booked accommodation (on Agoda.com) with free cancellation and used this address for our forms (Not Recommend).
- If you are travelling as a family or in a group you do not all have to attend Application (day 1) or Passport Collection (day 3), simply nominate one adult to go.
Do you have any tips or recommendations? Let me know and put them in the comments below!
Bali Immigration Offices
There are 3 different immigration offices in Bali. Each immigration office will cover different regions within Bali. Make sure you are attending the correct immigration office for the area that you are staying in.
Immigration Office of Denpasar
Immigration Office of Ngurah Rai (South Bali)
Address: Jl. Raya Taman Jimbaran No.1, Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
Phone: (+62) 361 035 1038 / (+62) 361 846 8395
Fax: (+62) 361 935 7011
Email: [email protected]
Immigration Office of Singaraja (North Bali)
Address: Jl. Seririt, Desa Pemaron, Singaraja, Pemaron, Kec. Buleleng, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81119
Phone: (+62) 362 32174
Fax: (+62) 362 31175
Email: [email protected]
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