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Living in Bali: Guide to Moving to Bali as an Expat

  • Which visa to choose when moving to Bali?

  • Starting a company in Bali

  • Living in Bali

  • Ready to move to Bali?

If the question ‘how to move to Bali’ has ever crossed your mind, you have come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, you will get an overview of the fundamental things you need […]

If the question ‘how to move to Bali’ has ever crossed your mind, you have come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, you will get an overview of the fundamental things you need to know about how to become a Bali expat, including:

  • What type of visa to choose

  • When you need a work permit in Bali

  • How to buy property, open a bank account, and get a driver’s license in Bali

  • How to start a business in Bali

For any specific questions about living or doing business in Bali, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at for a personal consultation.

Which visa to choose when moving to Bali?

The first thing to do when considering moving to Bali is to find out what type of visa you need. This depends on your plans in Bali.

Keep in mind that the Indonesian visa policy is often changing. Therefore, it is essential to be up to date with the latest visa requirements to ensure the legality of your stay in Indonesia.

#1 Short-stay Bali visa

For shorter visits to travel in Bali, there are two options of short-stay visas in Bali available:

  • Free short-term visa (valid for 30 days, non-extendable)

  • Visa on Arrival (valid for 30 days, extendable for 30 days)

Tourist visas are issued upon your arrival in Bali. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to work in Indonesia nor receive any income from Indonesia while holding a tourist visa.

One of the most common reasons why foreigners get into immigration troubles in Bali is working or freelancing in Bali on a tourist visa.

#2 Business visa in Bali

For people preparing to start a business in Bali or attending seminars and conferences, there are two types of business visas available.

Single-Entry Visit Visa (i.e., Social or Social Budaya Visa)

The length of a visit with a single entry visit visa is 60 days, and you can extend it 3 times, 60 days per extension. Hence, the maximum stay is roughly half a year. It is a single-entry visa; therefore if the visa holder leaves the country, the visa is automatically canceled.

#3 Limited stay permit KITAS

If you are planning to live in Bali for a longer term, you’re going to need a limited stay permit called KITAS. There are different types of KITAS available, and you can choose the most suitable one depending on your plans in Bali.

Working in Bali as a foreigner

If you want to work in Bali, you must first obtain a working KITAS. The main prerequisite for getting a working KITAS is to have a sponsoring entity in Indonesia, either a:

  • Foreign-owned company (PT PMA)

  • Indonesian limited liability company (PT)

  • Representative office of a foreign company

Note that if an Indonesian limited liability company wants to sponsor KITAS to foreigners, they must fulfill specific capital requirements.

The minimum validity of a KITAS is six months, a maximum of 12 months. There are no limitations to the number of KITAS a limited liability company can sponsor.

If you are a shareholder of a foreign-owned company and fulfill the criteria, you can apply for an investor KITAS. The requirements for shareholding are different, depending on whether you are just a shareholder or also a director or commissioner in the company.

The main benefit of an investor KITAS is that an investor KITAS can be granted for two years and you are not required to pay the Ministry of Manpower the government a fee of USD 1,200, which is mandatory for working KITAS.

For more information on the process of getting a working KITAS, read our guide to limited stay permit KITAS in Indonesia

Spouse-sponsored KITAS

Being married to an Indonesian allows you to apply for a spouse-sponsored temporary stay permit (KITAS).

However, marrying an Indonesian grants you a temporary stay permit which allows living but not working in Indonesia. If you wish to work in Bali, the company you are working for must sponsor the KITAS for you.

After two years of marriage, you can apply for a permanent stay permit (KITAP). A KITAP allows working in Indonesia as an independent advisor or a consultant but not for any specific company.

Retiring in Bali

Retirement visa in Indonesia is available for anyone from the age of 55. It is initially valid for one year, but it can be extended annually to a total of 5 years. After this, you can apply for a permanent stay permit KITAP.

Keep in mind that you cannot work in Bali with a retirement visa and it is possible to hold only one permit at a time – either a retirement visa or a work and stay visa.

General requirements for a retirement visa:

  • Minimum age 55 years

  • Copy of your passport that will be valid for at least 18 months

  • Health insurance

  • Lease agreement valid for one year and the documents related to the leased property

  • Having an Indonesian maid

Want to live in Bali, but don’t have a company, job, or an Indonesian spouse? See how to get a KITAS in Bali via the employer of record service.


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