In a year full of travel bans, long lockdowns, and cancelled plans, people around the world have been looking forward to their next tropical vacation with eager anticipation. However, with so many restrictions in place, actually getting to these dream destinations can present a serious hurdle. Luckily, Bali has long been an extremely welcoming spot for tourists, and even during the pandemic, they were quick to begin allowing visitors to return to the island.
If you’re planning a Bali holiday, by far the easiest and most efficient way to secure the necessary visa is through one of the many agents that offer such services. After all, navigating the Indonesian immigration system on your own can be challenging (to say the least), and inevitably requires many trips back and forth to your local office.
Currently, only business and sometimes social (family) visas are available for travellers who want to enter from outside the country. To apply, not only do you need to pull together lots of standard paperwork, but also a sponsor who will be responsible for your activities while you’re in Indonesia. If you don’t have any close friends or family with Indonesian passports who are willing to sponsor you, an agent is the only option. Your agent will provide you with a sponsor letter and handle all the communication with immigration. All you have to do is provide your basic information and hand over your passport.
Agent fees start at as low as IDR 3 million if you’re able to find one through word of mouth, however you run the risk of ending up with a less-than-reliable sponsor. To work with more established visa agencies, like Bali Visas, you’ll end up paying 6 million IDR for slower service (6-7 business days) and 8 million IDR for expedited service (1-3 business days). For other agencies, business visa costs rise to around 10 million IDR all-in. Some higher-end services also include airport pick-up and a guide to take you through immigration and customs.
Either type of visa will secure you a 60-day stay upfront. If you want to extend, you’ll have to do so every 30 days, with a maximum of four extensions total. All in all, that gives you a six-month Bali holiday. Without an agent, that means you’ll make at least two visits to the immigration office each month–one to refile paperwork and drop off your passport, and one to pick it up two weeks later. With an agent, you’ll simply pay approximately IDR 850,000 per month for each extension and they’ll handle all the logistics for you.
Ultimately, while it does tack on a bit extra to your bill, working with a visa agent will save you many hours, headaches, and long lines at (as well as long drives too) the immigration office. Best of all, they’ll make sure that your Bali vacation is exactly as easy and breezy as it should be, and ensure that you’ll spend most of it on the beach where you belong.