So you had a great holiday in Bali and have now returned home and would like to know how you might be able to live in Bali on a permanent basis. I will start off by saying Bali is a great place for a holiday, but not an easy one to earn a living. If have often written that Bali is very different when you are living there on a permanent basis than for a short holiday. Some things are worse, but of course there are many things to love about living in Bali as so many expats have discovered.
The main considerations for living in Bali include: income source, visa, insurance, accommodation and transport (somewhat in that order). The biggest consideration obviously is income. Where and how you generate your income will decide the other considerations.
If you are wealthy or on a pension, then you probably don’t have much to worry about. If not then the options you have for making money include:
FIFO (fly in, fly out)
This is where you have a job in a remote location and you have a schedule such as 2 weeks work and 2 weeks off. It is common in mining and oil and gas industries. The salary tends to be high and employers often pay for flights back to the workers “home”. Many FIFO workers choose to live in Bali for its low cost of living.
Since most FIFO workers aren’t working in Bali, many just use a tourist visa when they enter Indonesia. If you work on a mine in Indonesia, then you will need a working visa.
Visa required: tourist or business visa. See also: Visa options for FIFO workers
Finding work in Bali
Finding a job in Bali is perhaps the most difficult option. Jobs for foreigners are few and far between. The Indonesian government makes it very difficult for foreigners to work in Indonesia. The requirements are very strict and the visa is expensive for employers. One of the advantage of having a job in Bali is that the employer will, or should take care of your insurance and you will be entitled to join the government’s BPJS insurance scheme. Some options include: teaching at international school, hotel management and dive instructor.
Visa required: Working. See also: Work and Jobs in Bali
Finding a job which you can do remotely over the internet
Thanks to the internet, many jobs can be done online and you can be located anywhere in the world to do them. Some jobs will require you to work at least some hours to a specific time zone, to take customer calls or have meetings with the home office. It could mean some late nights, but on the upside you have your days free to do what you want. Some jobs that you can do online include: website design, programming and teaching English. Weworkremotely is one of many sites where you can find remote jobs.
Visa required: Since you are not working for an Indonesian company, if you keep your job under wraps you can get away with a tourist, business or social visa.
Starting your own business in Bali
Since it is difficult to find a job in Bali, some foreigner make their own job by starting a business. Starting a business in Bali can be very challenging and can require a fairly substantial amount of capital to get started. It can also be a very rewarding experience if you can reach profitability.
Visa required: Working. See also: How to Start a Business in Bali
Running or starting your own online business
The advantage of starting an online business is that it requires less start up capital and you can run it from anywhere in the world where you have access to the internet. It is great for anyone with a entreprenurial streak. It can take time however to get started before you start earning enough to live comfortably. Some examples of businesses you can run online include: drop shipping, selling on Amazon, blogging and affiliate marketing.
Visa options: Similar to working remotely, if you keep your business under wraps you can get away with a tourist, business or social visa.
Once you have a job or income sorted out then you will know which visa to apply for. If you find a good job in Bali, your employer may help you to find accommodation, ideally it should be close to your job to cut down on the commute. With any of the online options, you will need to organize everything yourself, but you have the flexibility to choose where you want to live.
If you have any questions or ideas for living in Bali on a permanent basis, please leave them in the comments.