Bali Short Visa Long Stay

2 minute read Updated

Exploring the depths of Bali using a short-term tourist visa.

“Duah tahun setengah,” I replied to a pair of grinning Indonesian men just beyond the gate of a modest homestay in northern Bali. They were “kepo” to know how long I’ve been living in Bali. And though I’ve been here just over two-and-a-half years I’ve been doing so freely using a short-term tourist visa called a VoA.

Who wouldn’t want to live on an island in the tropics given the opportunity? And that opportunity became apparent in late-2016, the first time I set foot in Ubud. “What kind of magic place is this,” I remember thinking. The desire to move came strong, and my intention manifested accordingly.

It’s been two-and-a-half years since I moved to Bali. And even without a typical long-stay visa I’ve managed to make things work using bi-monthly flights, and appreciate being able to communicate it to others more with each passing day.

Update 23 Oct 2020: Due to Oct 2020 changes to immigration procedures a new e-Visa online system is being created. According to VoA in the new online system a VoA, it states, may only be renewed one time. A personal conversation with Imigrasi Singaraja suggested obtaining a social visa before related laws comes into force in November 2020.

Not everything has gone as smoothly as I envisioned. Like the time when when US ICE officials detained me in LA on the way to a conference in Mexico. Or the time Robinhood, LLC. froze $800 of assets then terminated my service after breaking the news on Reddit. Or that time I was deported from Singapore, detained in Bali airport for 8 hours and told I’d have to fly out and back in again.

Despite the hiccups deciding to make a long stay in Bali with a short-term tourist visa was a choice I’d remake in a heartbeat. Immigration is straight-forward to do alone and costs are reasonable periodic travel considered.

Living in Bali? Please drop by and come say halo.

With any luck I’ll be sharing more stories about this great place over the next duah tahun setengah as I level up my language skills and become even more smitten with the cheerful, open and friendly people I’ve come to meet here.

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