I have recently finalized my online application for a social visa to Bali (telex). It took me less than three working hours to process it all. Naturally, this does not include the time for the immigration service to process the documents - all together more than a month. I did not use help from a Bali visa agent and did everything on my own. This is to share my experience on how to get a social visa to Bali step by step. Hope it comes in handy!
Like many people in Bali I came in March and entered visa-free (so called visa exemption). I did not need an Indonesian visa and stayed here for almost half a year on an emergency visa until the Immigration Office asked the foreigners to either convert visitor visas to social, do visa extension or leave the country. Of course, in legal terms I applied for an Indonesian visa and it is valid for the entire country, but to keep it simple let's call it "Bali visa" in this post. If you are still in Bali, just like me, and you are not sure what you need to do for your visa extension, here is a step-by-step guide.
Extend your Bali visa in 8 easy steps
1. Find a sponsor
Your sponsor is an Indonesian citizen, residing in the same province where you apply. In my case, it was the owner of the hotel where I live. By the way, the sponsor is responsible for the guest, he or she guarantees that the guest will not overstay or break the law. My sponsor agreed easily. I'm lucky - very friendly family
2. Register the sponsor
The procedure is simple: you need his or her data for the questionnaire and scans of three documents: ID, birth certificate and family certificate. We uploaded these documents together. It all took 15-20 minutes. The website is https://visa-online.imigrasi.go.id/
3. Wait for sponsor verification
The official site says that it takes about 3 days, but in reality it was 10. Then my sponsor received his username and password to enter the system.
4. Submit your documents
You need to enter your data into the system: name, occupation, contacts, address in Bali, etc. Standard information. Next, you need to upload the following documents:
copy of the application letter signed by the sponsor (Sponsorship letter) - there are many templates in Google. It took me about 30 minutes to prepare the letter.
copy and cover of your passport
return ticket. If you are not sure when you are going back, remember there is always a flexible dates option or even a refundable ticket option.
5. Wait for documents verification
In my case it took about 10 days
6. Pay the visa processing fee
It is 200,000 IDR, payment details will be sent to the sponsor's email. I paid at the post office in 5 minutes - there was no queue. You do not need to print the document for payment (although it says “print” on it). The post office agent processed the payment simply by taking the information directly from the tablet. You have one month to pay this fee.
7. Receive the approval letter
After payment within 5 days, I received the visa approval letter (telex) within one week after payment. Then I had to come to the immigration office within 3 days to pay 50 USD visa fee
8. Collect your visa at Kantor Imigrasi
While the online visa application went smoothly “like on rails”, during the simple step of coming over and collecting a visa I came across several pitfalls. But if you know about them in advance, you will have no problem. Forewarned is forearmed
In the immigration office
Here is my story. I received my telex on September 15th at night. The letter states the deadline for coming to the immigration office. In my case, the deadline was September 20. Not much time considering September 20th was Sunday. If you follow Imigrasi's instagram, you probably remember that the immigration office was quarantined for the working week from September 14 to 18. Only for those whose visa expires before September 20, the office was opened for four hours on Friday. So all those who did not manage to get a visa had to come during those four hours. "Good luck, procrastinators!" Of course, I expected a pandemonium, but it turned out to be not so bad.
What you do NOT need to do before going to the immigration
Bring your sponsor. They do not need to be there on your first visit.
Bring money. At the office, you will receive the payment details and you will pay later at a bank
Come early. It makes no sense to come before the opening to take a place in the queue. The queue formed before the opening is not observed by anyone. You get a queue ticket after opening.
What you NEED to do
Print your approval letter. Without it, you won't even be given a number in the electronic queue. The letter shown on a tablet or phone won't work.
How it was
The Kantor Imigrasi agents met me at the entrance and asked to show them the printed letter. Those who did not have the letter printed were sent to a print shop
I got my queue ticket
When my turn came, an Immigration officer took the letter and asked me to wait a little longer
After 7-10 minutes they called me by name, returned my letter and gave me the invoice for payment
Validity and renewal
The visa is valid for a month from the date the letter was issued (not the date of your visit to the office). To extend, you need to come to the office 7 days before the expiration of your visa together with the sponsor
Stamp in your passport
I did not get my passport stamped on the first visit, which was surprising of course. The passport is stamped only on the day of your first extension.
Despite the fact that the invoice offers different payment methods (post office, Internet banking, different banks), neither the post office nor commercial banks could process the payment. The billing code was not valid. My advice: do not waste time with various banks and pay only in BRI - with them the payment was easy. Perhaps because this is a state-owned bank. You need to pay 50 USD and you have 7 days to do so.
Let me remind you that I was in the office during the quarantine week, when everyone who planned to go to the Immigration service from September 14 to 18 had to come during four hours on Friday morning. Despite this, the office was not overcrowded. The social distance was respected and everybody was wearing masks. The Denpasar supermarket was more crowded than the office that morning. On normal days, there are likely to be even fewer people and faster service, I suppose.
Overall, extending my Bali visa on my own took 200,000 IDR, 50 USD, 2 hours and 20 minutes (20 minutes to upload sponsor's documents, 30 minutes to prepare a sponsorship letter, 25 minutes to upload my documents, 5 minutes to pay a processing fee of 200 000 IDR , 45 minutes at Kantor Imigrasi, 15 minutes to pay $ 50 at the bank)
I did not regret that I decided to do it myself. It took little time and effort, sometimes I spend more on social networks in one day! In addition, I had access to my personal account all the time, where I could track the status of my visa. Love having things under control! If you have any questions, let me know, I will try to help.
The article is for your information. I am not an agent and do not offer visa services. If you liked the article, check out my new Bali Travel Guide
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