So, I just got home with a very special item: my beloved passport. For the last few days I wasn’t really sure what was happening to it, so I am very relieved that is safe and with me now. On top of that, I have more great news, my VISA extension was finally approved and Bali will continue to be home until mid/end September.
Now, I recorded a video explaining why I end up living a bit of an adventure to get my extension but on top of that I am writing the process to do it or at least what you should expect.
First of all, whatever you going to read here, it might change in the next hour ahaha truth to be told, apparently the VISA process is changed regularly and without warning or further explanation, so I am going to write this based on my own experience – August 2015.
So, with a regular tourism visa, you can stay in Indonesia for 30 days. To stay longer you will need to renew your visa through the Indonesia Immigration office – BUT you can only renew it if you pay for it when you arrive in the country. So even if your country does not require a fee, make sure you ask to pay (USD$35) so you can later renew it – this is very important.
There’s 2 Immigration offices in Bali, one in Kuta next to the airport and another in Denpassar.
My adventure happened in Denpassar.
There are a lot of agencies that can do it for you, but I was told it will cost you almost 3 times more than if you do it on your own. I decided I would do it myself, is not like I am lacking on time, plus was a good excuse to get out of my hotel… if only I knew…!
Now, what do you need?
- a big fake smile (you will use it a lot)
- a lot of time
Also, you will need:
- Your passport
- Copy of your picture page and visa page – can photocopy at the Immigration)
- RP 355,000 (apparently the cost for extending your VISA for 30 days changes all the time, this was the price in August 2015 – 3 months ago was RP250,000)
- Name and address of a local sponsor
- Address of where you are staying – you have to go to the nearest Immigration office in order to proceed to your visa extension or they will send you to the other office.
- An airline ticket that proves you are leaving – now this is the tricky one, because they don’t ask this all the time, but if they do, then you are in trouble as I was. Or you can tell what I did, which is actually true in my case, but you can pretend you are leaving overground to Timor Leste (East Timor – even tho shares boarders with Indonesia, is a separated country);
You will have to go minimum 3 times to the Immigration (I went 4), and it goes more or less like this:
Immigration opening times is 8am-12pm and then from 1pm-2pm.
I would try to get there early because as later you go more people will be there and if something goes wrong they don’t care, they will close regardless and you will have to come back another day.
This is the day you will be filling forms. Mainly your passport info and your sponsor info. Ah, and you have to use a black pen, or your forms will be refused… Had to fill it twice!
Also, you will have to leave your passport. Make sure you get your receipt. Don’t be an idiot like me that just trust away .. well I felt like I had no choice!
The person in the counter will tell you when to return.
This is when you return to pay, take a picture and leave your fingerprints – so even if you are using an agent, you will have to go yourself. You will be told when to return to pick up your passport.
The scary part, will your passport be there? Lol I kid I kid.
This is the easiest day, you basically just need to go and collect your passport with your new visa extending your stay in Indonesia for another 30 days, but remember to bring your receipt in order to be able to collect it. You will then sign a journal in which proves you have received your passport and you can then celebrate!!!! I did.
The whole process can take from 4 days to 8 days.
There you go. Just remember this is the only extension you can get as a tourist. In case you need to stay longer then you will need to leave the country. I believe the cheapest and quickest destinations are KL or Singapore. You can also try Kota Kinabalu in Borneo =) Then you come back and start the process all over again!
Should you do it yourself or use an agent?
The price that would cost you to do through an agency is roughly RP 700,000 and you have to go at least once to the immigration.
After calculating how much time I lost and money I spent on taxi back and forth for 4 days, it would be cheaper to actually use an agency – unless you are very close to the Immigration or drive a scooter…!
Hope this helps.
Also, don’t let my bad experience affect you. Many people managed to get it all happening smoothly… but guess trouble follows me.
Much love from Bali, my new home