We are a couple from the North of England who quit our jobs to travel the world. We want to give you a realistic and honest insight into backpacking and give you tips and advice on what we have picked up along the way. All whilst living off the money we have saved! So follow us on our adventure!
When we decided to extend our Bali Visa for another 30 days, we didn’t really have any idea of how to go about it. We tried to find up to date information about the process online but it was few and far between.
Most websites will advice getting a Visa agent to do all the dirty work for you because as you will find out, its a little more time consuming than anyone would like!
The Visa costs 355,000 Rupiah. However, Visa agents will charge twice as much (if your lucky! Some charge 3-4x) and you will still need to visit the immigration office at least once!
If you don’t have the time or can’t be bothered to go yourselves and have more disposable cash than you know what to do with then the benefits of a Visa agent are as follows
Only one visit to the Visa immigration office..
That is pretty much it!
Without a Visa agent, you will need to visit the Visa office 3 times. Granted, its incredibly frustrating as the whole process could easily be done in a day but for some reason this is how the Government want to do it, but you’ll save yourself a whole lot of money this way.
Before we even start, you’ll need to obtain a ‘Visa on Arrival’ when you enter Indonesia, not the Free Visa that many countries can now acquire, as this Visa CANNOT be extended. If you already have a ‘Free Visa’ in order to stay any longer in Indonesia you will have to go on a ‘Visa Run’ which means leaving Indonesia, getting stamped out and back in again. Sorry!
A ‘Visa on Arrival’ can be acquired before immigration at Denpasar Airport. Just go to the desk labelled ‘Visa on Arrival’, explain that you wish to stay longer than 30 days, state your purpose (just say tourism) and pay $35 or the Indonesian equivalent. Simple as that. This now makes you eligible to extend your stay in Indonesia.
Visas can only be extended 14 days before their expiry and a minimum of 7 days is needed for the process to be completed. It actually took 8 days for our visa to be processed from start to finish. So we urge you to start this process as soon as possible. In addition, there are a number of Indonesian holidays were the Visa office is closed so make sure you check this beforehand because the Immigration office will not take this into account if you overstay.
The process goes like this;
Day 1 – Collect your forms, fill them in, hand in your passport and collect a receipt
Day 2 – Hand in your receipt, collect another receipt, pay your fee, get yet another receipt and get your photograph taken, then get (you guessed it) another receipt
Day 3 – Hand in your receipt and collect you passport with your visa extension! (literally just a stamp when someone has written the date…)
It’s extremely tedious but if you can take anything from this, it will be the smug sense of superiority that you’ve saved a bunch of money!
As you can see, its a lot of messing about and it can get very confusing. No-one really explain to you what to do when you get there so we have provided you with a step by step guide with everything you need to know to hopefully make the process as painless and stress free as possible!
There are 3 separate Visa offices in Bali. We used the Denpasar one so from now on, the process will only be relevant to this office.
Kantor Imigrasi Kelas
JI. D.I Pandjaitan No.3 Dangin Puri Kelod
Depasar Timur, Bali 80235
Things you’ll need before Day 1
- Details of onward travel – Unfortunately, whether you intend to leave after your extension or not, you will need proof of onward travel. (We brought a copy of our plane ticket)
- A black pen
- A copy of your passport picture page
- A copy of your passport Visa page
- Your Passport
- Name, address and telephone of the Hotel/hostel you are staying
- The patience of a saint (optional)
Our advice is get here as early as possible, it gets very busy, very fast!
Once you get to the visa office you will enter the car park on the left hand side, go straight down past the side of the main building to where the motorbikes are parked. This is the actually entrance to the office. You may see people queueing to get into the building but you won’t need to do this. The foreigners office is actually inside to the right, all the way past the picture counter. Just keep walking until you can’t go any further.
The first thing you will need to do is get a ticket with a number on it. The machine is blue and is on the left hand side as you enter the foreigners section (See below picture). Sit down and wait to be called. Once you hear you number eg. A11 go up to the desk in front of you, either Counter 1 or 2 and take the form which will be given to you in a Pink folder.
Fill out the sections relevant to you. You will NOT need a sponsor if you are extending for 30 days only (this is as of February 2018, however, Visa regulation changes often so we can’t be sure whether this will have changed by the time you are reading this).
Once you have filled out your forms, add in the copies of your passport, visa page, proof of onward travel and your actual passport and take it back to the counter. You won’t have to take another ticket, just go back up when the counter is free. The lady/gentleman will check over everything and then give you a receipt with a time and date on. This will now act as your temporary passport so DO NOT LOSE IT!
The date on the receipt will usually be 1-2 days later.
The whole process shouldn’t take more than half and hour depending on how early you get there!
Left is the ticket machine – In front is Counter 3
This will be your longest day so be prepared. The machine than takes your picture breaks often, so much so that there is now an automated message that plays explaining this and apologising for the delay. We have also heard that often the department won’t start taking pictures until around 10am, despite opening at 8am. However, still get there for 8am, as a very long line will have already formed if you leave it until 10am!
Take your receipt to Counter 3, the far counter. It should be the one straight in front of you when you enter the foreigner section. There will probably be a number of people waiting at the counter, these are more than likely Visa agents and each one will have 20-30 receipts that they are waiting to be processed. Don’t wait for them, politely make your way to the desk and give your receipt to the person behind it, otherwise you will be waiting for an extremely long time!
You will then receive yet another receipt but this one will have a barcode on it. This is an invoice for your visa, its now time to pay. For some strange reason you can’t pay anywhere inside the Visa office, you will need to go just outside the main entrance to the orange van you’ve probably passed 2 or 3 times now. This Van is actually a mobile bank and where you can pay for your Visa. Again, you will see a number of people milling about with stacks of receipts, if you can, politely make your way to the front, hand in your barcode receipt and pay your 355,000 rupiah. Then make your way back, with your now-stamped receipt to the same counter as before (3) and hand this in.
Mobile bank to pay your fee
You’ll be given a number and told to wait until it is called. This is where you will wait for the longest. By now the audio will have been playing for a while explaining to you that the machine is broken…just wait it out for as long as you can. We waited around 1 hour, which we were told was pretty fast! If you really can’t hack it you can take your ticket back to the counter, get your receipt back and return another day, but we really wouldn’t recommend this.
By the time your first few grey hairs have grown, you’ll be called to get your picture taken, again its not very clear where to go. There is a room just to the left of counter 1, right next to the machine where you take your ticket on the first day. When your number is called go straight through that door and hand your receipt to one of the two people who are sat behind the desk. You’ll get your picture taken and fingerprints scanned. I have no idea why they don’t just stamp your passport there and then and let you get on with your life. But they don’t.
They give you..you guessed it! ANOTHER receipt, for another day at another time. For us this was an unfathomable 5 days later!
The final, quickest but most hectic day.
The time you will be given will most likely be in the afternoon (for us it was 1-3pm). Go back to Counter 3, however, by this point you won’t even be able to see Counter 3 with the hoard of agents and tourists that have amassed in front of it. It may seem rude (especially for us Brits were cueing is basically an olympic sport) but push your way to the front, otherwise you will quite literally be queuing all day! Instead of giving it to the cashier, you will see a number of receipts on a spike on top of the desk, just add yours to this pile and have a seat. Eventually, your passport will be found and given to the cashier who will call out something that resembles your name. Go and pick it up, sign the register (no idea what this is for) and Congratulations! You’ll have yourself the most tediously acquired Visa ever! But you’ll have saved a shed load of money that you can spend on beers, smoothie bowls or whatever takes your fancy!
We hope this helps and mades this process a little clearer!
If you have any questions, comment below and we will hopefully be able to answer them!