Moving to Bali

by Nick on October 4, 2007

by Nick | October 4th, 2007  

bali coastQuit your job, move to Bali, start a new life. Sounds lovely doesn’t it? Doing all that is possible and does not require special skills, connections or a lot of money. However you must get your ‘ducks in a line’ so to speak, to make your move to Bali a success. Even before your new business plan has started to take shape, there are a few things you need to get straightened out first.

Bali Visas:
You can arrive on a VOA (visa on arrival) which give you 30 days in the country, if you are from one of the 63 countries granted VOA. From there you can contact with an immigration consultant to figure out what visa best fits your situation. A Single Entry Business visa is easy to set up and requires you to pay a fee of several hundred thousand rp to set up, followed by a trip to an overseas Indonesian consulate to process. Many people go to Singapore. A Business Visa does not allow you to work in Bali, just ‘gather information’ for business and attend conferences. To work in Bali you need a KITAS which is slightly more complicated to obtain but isn’t impossible. People over the age of 55 may apply for a Retirement Visa. Although some of the requirements may seem strict (you need to employ 3 locals etc.) in practice they don’t enforce them.

Immigration Consultants:
Bali Mode
Arjuna Services
Kantor Kita

Renting a house:
Finding a place to live can be kind of fun, if you have time on your hands. Online villa operators offer luxury accommodation, but these are mostly short term holiday rentals, some going for $100 per day, other several times that. The places to look for long term rentals are warungs and cafes with bulletin boards. These will ordinarily be covered with hand-written ads for villas, cars and motorbikes. The Bali Advertiser is also a good resource for many things. You can also try consulting a land company such as Bali Land & Houses in Kerobokan but there will be an added cost for this, over finding your own place.

There are villas and places for rent that are owned by Balinese people, who for some reason do not advertise, apart from putting a sign up outside. The best way to locate these is by exploring the back lanes and alleys of the town you wish to live in by motorbike. If you don’t know your way around or how to ride a motorbike, hire a local with a bike to drive you.

– Test the plumbing, lights, AC, shower drainage etc. before you sign a lease.
– If the place you intend to rent needs work and the owner agrees to take care of the work AFTER you move in, don’t believe them. Alternatively rent the place for a month and see if the work gets done.
– Sleep in the house for a few nights to check the noise levels. If located next to a Balinese family there might be roosters / dogs, if close to nightclubs there might be loud music.
– Make sure you have a proper rental contract.

Places with large bulletin boards for villas / rooms:
Global Xtreme
Krakatoa Business Center
Cafe Moka

Getting home internet access:
Since 2003 ISP’s in Bali your options have increased significantly. As well as the old dial-up, which nobody liked, there is Global, IndoSat, CBN, Blueline, XL offering various solutions that do not require a phone line, and also Telkom (the phone company) which can provide DSL to those phone line subscribers.

Car and motorbike rental:
Long term car and motorbike rental can be arranged from the same people that the tourists use. Just suggest a rate you are happy with and be prepared to walk away. For a Honda Supra Fit motorbike, 400,000rp per month is a very good deal, 450,000-500,000rp per month is okay.

Expat Healthcare:
Most Bali expats will visit either BIMC or SOS clinics, both in Kuta, for minor emergencies. Sanglah hospital in Denpasar handles major emergencies. Expats requiring fast surgery will often choose to fly out to Australia, Singapore or other Asian destinations such as Thailand. Be sure to get set up with expat health insurance so you’ll be able to choose what clinic / hospital you can use without worrying about the costs.

When you figure all that stuff out you can get into the important work of compiling your list of Top 5 restaurants, nightspots, beaches, spas, and cafes.

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Moving to Bali | Travel Singapore Guide
October 4, 2007 at 6:33 pm


Billy Johnstone October 9, 2007 at 4:22 pm

My wife and I intend coming to Bali in January for a holiday / business trip. We are looking to source silver and costume jewelry samples from local suppliers and sell wholesale at tradefairs in the UK. Thanks for the very interesting info above Nick, I was wondering if you or any other members of baliblog could advise me on the best places to source such items and indeed the best places to enjoy our trip.
This place sounds so good we may never want to leave.

Any info or top tips most welcome !

kind regards
Billy and Pam Johnstone


Laura October 10, 2007 at 8:40 pm

Hi Nick,
My sister and I arrive in Bali in Feb with the view of staying indefinitely. We are TESOL qualified and ideally will be seeking English teaching positions.
We have heard very mixed opinions regarding the ability of such work in Bali – some say
it will be very unlikely to find a job and others say there is plenty of work if you are willing to look for it.
I know that if worst comes to worst we will easily obtain a position in east java (Surabaya, sidoarja, jember, malang etc.) but this sort of defeats the purpose of our move.
What do you think? Any advice?
Very looking forward to getting back to Bali – it feels a lifetime ago but only July last time we got home!!


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