Indonesia Expat
Business/Property Info for Expats

Foreigners Relocating to Bali

Relocating to Bali

It’s easy to visit Bali as a tourist because most nationalities don’t need a visa to stay on the island for up to 30 days.

However, things get a little more complicated if you are there for a long-term visit or plan to settle down. You will find that the regulations in Bali are very specific. They sometimes make planning for relocating quite overwhelming. In this article, we will show you the easiest way to get your life started in Bali legally.


The low cost of living and favourable climate makes plenty of foreigners want to make Bali their home. It is difficult to determine the exact number of expats living in Indonesia, but according to a Labour Ministry report, there were 43,816 foreign workers in the country in July 2016.

Because it is a popular travel destination, it is easy to find information about Bali. As a result, travellers are mostly prepared well enough. Having said that, each country comes with its own specifications and customs.

What foreigners relocating to Bali find surprising is that processing documentation takes time. Thus, it is wise to start off with the support of a trustworthy company. Receiving the correct time and cost estimations is crucial for preparation.


A short-term relocation is perfect for travellers uncertain of the length of their journey; for example, in case you are planning to settle into a nomadic lifestyle on the island.

Which documents do you need? Depending on the exact purpose of your stay, you need either a:

  • Business visa or a
  • Temporary stay permit (KITAS) sponsored by Emerhub


A business visa is very convenient, especially when compared to a social visa or a visa on arrival. A business visa in Indonesia requires no extension and there is no need to visit an immigration office for an interview, or to give fingerprints or a photograph. The only requirement of a business visa is to leave the country every 60 days.


Having a local bank account in Bali makes life significantly easier, especially as transactions with overseas bank accounts are costly. Also, there are several benefits to having a bank account with online banking.

  • Paying for electricity
  • Buying phone credit
  • Paying for insurance
  • Paying for internet services
  • Purchasing tickets
  • Using mobile banking

Often banks refuse to open accounts for people without a KITAS or, without a recommendation given to the bank by a trusted entity. Emerhub’s strong relationships with banks allow the company to facilitate this and simplify things for foreigners wishing to relocate to Bali.


A temporary stay permit (KITAS) is a multiple entry visa. Having a KITAS in Bali is highly practical for two main reasons; It allows a foreigner to freely exit and re-enter the country and also to work in Bali. Note that it is important to have a relevant title on your KITAS. One way of obtaining a KITAS is to find an Indonesian entity to issue a sponsor letter for you. Emerhub can become your KITAS sponsor and advise on the type of KITAS you can apply for.

When choosing a KITAS instead of a business visa there is no need to leave the country. Depending on your position, you receive either a six or 12-month KITAS. The need to exit Indonesia only comes up when you pick up your telex visa from an Indonesian embassy abroad. This is a mandatory step in the application process.

Preparing for a KITAS takes longer and is also more expensive than a business visa.


When moving for a longer-term, possibly with your family, stability is likely to be top of your list. To make the island your home without any unnecessary delays and worries, consider following these three steps:

  1. Working KITAS and Dependant KITAS

Unless you plan to work in Bali, the simplest way to get started with a KITAS is to set up a representative office for a foreign trading company (KP3A).

After doing so, you will become the Chief of the Representative Office (the CRO) with a KITAS and other family members (spouse and children) can have a dependant KITAS. For the CRO and the dependants, the validity of a KITAS is 12 months.

A KITAS holder receives several benefits, including lower prices for training facilities, resorts and restaurants etc. KITAS holders may also acquire land in Indonesia.

  1. Representative Office (Including Tax Reporting)

A representative office can apply for a KITAS for all its foreign executives. For the relocation to Bali, setting up a representative office is wise because compliance costs are lower than for obtaining a KITAS via a limited liability company. To start the process, you need a legal entity incorporated outside of Indonesia.

As a KITAS holder, you can stay in Indonesia long term. After a while, you are considered a tax resident. Keep in mind the time when you must start reporting your taxes:

  • After staying in Indonesia for 183 days or more in any continuous 12-month period
  • Residing in Indonesia during the fiscal year and intending to stay here

Only KITAS holders receive a tax card.

  1. Registration at the National Manpower Security Agency (BPJS)

To apply for a KITAS, a foreigner must also have health insurance that covers Indonesia. Emerhub can help you get a better deal with health insurance providers. A CRO that relocates for the long term is also registered for a social security program. Registration takes place at the National Manpower Security Agency (BPJS). This program makes you fully eligible to receive medical care in Bali according to BPJS standards.

Overall, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. This also applies in Indonesia. The best that foreigners relocating to Bali can do is follow the country’s customs and regulations and familiarise themselves with the options they have for visas and banking.






VisaMultiple entry business visa

Stay in Indonesia for 60 days per visit for one year

One-year KITAS for you, the Chief of the Representative Office (CRO), and your dependants (spouse and children)
Open an Indonesian bank accountYesYes
Set up a Representative Office of a foreign trading company (KP3A)NoYes
Social SecurityNoEnrol yourself and your family in the local BPJS social security program
Local tax cardNoYes
Acquire land in IndonesiaNoYes

Let Emerhub assist you with taking the first steps. Either for a short-term getaway or to settle down in Bali longer term, proper documentation is where it all begins. For more information please call +6221-220-579-30 or visit our website

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