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Most common questions for getting the social visa in Bali

passportI frequently get asked various questions about applying for the social visa, so I thought I would make a compilation of the most common questions. If you still have a question, feel free to ask it in the comments.

What is the social visa for?

The social visa is intended for people to visit family or friends in Indonesia. The reality is many people use it as a way to stay for extended periods of time in Indonesia.

How long does the visa last for?

The visa is initially given for 60 days (and sometimes 30 days) which you can then extend each month, four times for a maximum stay of 6 months.

Where can I apply for the visa?

You can apply for a visa at any Indonesian embassy or consulate (outside of Indonesia of course).

Can I do it myself or should I use an agent to apply?

Singapore has some agencies that will apply for the visa on your behalf, such as Ismail Visa service. In all other places you will need to apply in person.

What do I need for the visa?

To apply for the visa, you will need a passport photo, completed application form (which you can get at the embassy or consulate and is not needed if you use an agent), sponsor letter and a copy of your sponsor’s KTP (identity card).

What needs to be written in the sponsor letter?

Here is a sample:

Just copy and paste the text into your favorite word processing program and add your own details to it. Don’t forget to get your sponsor’s signature.

====================================================

Br ADD YOUR SPONSOR’S BANJAR
Desa ADD YOUR SPONSOR’S DESA
Bali
Indonesia

ADD ADDRESS OF THE IMMIGRATION OFFICE TO WHICH YOU WILL BE APPLYING, FOR EXAMPLE

Kepada Yth
Bapak Pimpinan Imigrasi
Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia
Di Bangkok, Thailand

OR

Kepada Yth
Bapak Pimpinan Imigrasi
Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia
Di Singapura

21 December 2009 ADD CURRENT DATE

Dengan Hormat

Yang bertanda tangan dibawah ini saya

Nama : ADD YOUR SPONSOR’S NAME
Umur : ADD YOUR SPONSOR’S AGE (Kelahiran: ADD YOUR SPONSOR’S PLACE & DATE OF BIRTH)
Alamat : ADD YOUR SPONSOR’S ADDRESS
Pekerjaan : ADD YOUR SPONSOR’S OCCUPATION
Nomor KTP : ADD YOUR SPONSOR’S KTP NUMBER

Dengan ini menyatakan bahwa,

Nama : ADD YOUR NAME
Kebangsaan : ADD YOUR NAME NATIONALITY
Normor paspor : ADD YOUR PASSPORT NUMBER
Tempat – Tgl lahir : ADD YOUR DATE & PLACE OF BIRTH AS IN YOUR PASSPORT
Pekerjaan : ADD YOUR YOUR PROFESSION

Adalah kenalan saya yang akan ke Indonesia untuk mengadakan kunjungan kepada keluarga saya.
ADD YOUR NAME AS IT APPEARS IN YOUR PASSPORT, sejak lama kenal sebagai orang yang berkelakuan baik dan tidak pernah tersangkut urusan Kepolisian Republik Indonesia. Selama kunjungannya kepada saya, ia akan menjadi tanggung jawab dan dibawah pengawasan saya.
Demikian pernyataan ini saya buat dengan sejujur-jujurnya, agar menjadi perhatian Bapak seperlunya.
Untuk itu saya mengucapkan banyak terima kasih.

Hormat saya

======================================

Do I need a return ticket?

When I have applied in Singapore or Malaysia for a social visa, I have never had to show an airplane ticket. In Australia however, I have heard that you need a return ticket. Some airlines will also demand to see a ticket at least out of Indonesia. It is possible also for immigration to ask for this when enter the country. The shortest international flight out of Indonesia is from Medan in North Sumatra to Penang in Malaysia.

Where do I apply for an extension to my social visa?

You generally need to apply for the extension at the closest immigration office to your sponsor’s address. So it is important to choose a sponsor that lives close to where you want to live. There is an immigration office in Denpasar just up from the main post office in Renon, one close to the airport and one in Singaraja, on the main road heading towards Lovina. The cost is about 250,000 rupiah for each extension.

An extension can take three visits to the immigration office to complete, one time to apply, the next to pay the fee and the third to pick up the visa.

What about using an agent?

Having an agent handle this for you makes life easy, but you can pay double or triple the usual fee. Don’t rely on agents however to remind you when to do the renewals. Some agents recommend applying for your extension two weeks before your current one ends.

Here is a list of visa agents in Bali.

Can I work on the social visa?

Definitely not and this includes both paid and unpaid work. If you want to work, you will need to obtain a working visa.

Is there any limit to how many social visas you can have?

There is no specific rule or law, but immigration may start wondering how you are making your income in Bali.

social-visa-extension

Photo credit

Comments

comments

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12 Responses to Most common questions for getting the social visa in Bali

  1. Deborah June 6, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    HI Mike,

    Deborah again – I will be heading back to Bali in a few days for one month this time – to try and arrange some longer term accommodation. Thanks for your blog – again, lots of fabulous information with every possible perspective covered. I think the golden rule is “eyes wide open” Anyway – the reason for my question today is that I will be staying for 30 nights this trip – from 8 Jun – 8 July. I sent an email to the Indonesian embassy in Canberra asking about whether I need to extend for the one day. I have a flight booked on the afternoon of the 8th July. I have not had a response – this is something I have come to expect, however, I thought that just to be safe I would go to the immigration office a few days after arrival to make sure about what I need to do. Can you shed any light? Thanks again Mike – Best Regards

    Deborah

  2. Mike June 6, 2013 at 3:38 am #

    I believe immigration would count that as 31 days and if didn’t extend your visa, then you would be overstaying 1 day and would have to pay a fine of 200,000 rupiah. If I was you, I would play it safe and either get a 60 day tourist visa or extend your visa when you get to Bali.

  3. Natasha April 1, 2014 at 5:40 am #

    Hi, thank you for the clear information. I was wondering if you could help clear something up for me with regard to applying for a Social visa in Kuala Lumpur. The information on other site is confusing as was my visit to the immigration office in Bandung, Indonesia. I am here in Indo on a Visa on Arrival, but plan to apply for my sosbud later this month in KL. I have a friend who will sponsor me. I had read on in a couple of places online that the paperwork must be filed in Jakarta if you apply in KL, but other places say you just apply directly at the Embassy in KL or Singapore. Can you tell me which is true? Do i need to visit Jakarta? Or does my sponsor have to go to Jakarta for some kind of request/approval before I apply in KL?

    Thanks again for providing such clear info. We less-experienced travelers appreciate it!

    Natasha

    • Michael Henry April 1, 2014 at 5:58 am #

      You should apply directly at an Indonesian embassy or consulate. In your case, KL (or Singapore). No need to visit Jakarta. No need for your sponsor to go to Jakarta. You should get a 60 visa. When you wish to extend, contact the immigration closest to your sponsor’s address. Your sponsor shouldn’t have to visit immigration (unless they want to help you).

  4. Celia August 30, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    Hi Mike
    I am very interested to facilitate workshops and retreats in Bali and have not been able to find which visa I might need to do this. This could become quite a regular occurrence. I have great connections with Balinese families and the social visa looked very appealing but still does not allow financial transactions. Even though Retreats will be hosted and arranged from Australia brining people to Bali I had heard there might be a crack down on this in relation to which visa would be appropriate.
    Thanks Regards Celia

    • Michael Henry August 31, 2014 at 12:16 am #

      Maybe you could do this on a business visa. I am sorry though, I cannot say for certain. You really need to check with immigration, that you are not breaking any laws. A visa agent might also be able to help.

  5. Fred Roland November 14, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Hi Mike
    I am British and my passport is full no more room for visas i phoned the consulate for four days to get an appointment but the phone is always engaged.
    So i went there but they won’t let you in even to make an appointment
    The guy on the front gate said i should phone Jakarta for an appointment seems stupid but he might be right
    I did try the website its being rebuilt and the pages i want are not available
    I do have a visa for two months but i have wasted over a week trying to get an appointment on the phone and it will take at leased a month to renew my passport
    Should i go to Jakarta ? is that quicker than trying to phone
    the consulate in Bali for an appointment ?
    Any ideas would be most helpfull
    Cheers Fred

  6. Jenny December 14, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    Hi,

    I’m off to Indonesia in a couple of weeks for around 6 months, I’ve had both VOA and social visa’s before for Indonesia but have only had to renew once as I was there more short term.

    I am now down to 3 blank pages in my passport and am wondering if I need to get a new passport before I go.

    My question is does each visa renewal take a whole page, or do they just stamp the original full page?

    Many Thanks

    • Michael Henry December 18, 2014 at 1:33 am #

      It would save a lot of trouble getting a new passport before you leave if you are from the UK.

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