In 2017, Joseph (43, Canada) and Hald (29, Denmark) were working as diving instructors in Singaraja, Northern Bali.
Their tropical dream job got an abrupt end when the couple was arrested for violating their residence permits (KITAS) and were soon after deported from Indonesia.
According to the local officials, the two expats had work permits for being a president director and a sales manager when in reality, they were working as diving instructors.
There are thousands of stories like Joseph and Hald’s. We at Emerhub want to make sure that expats can enjoy living and doing business in Bali without having to be afraid of problems with the Immigration.
However, if you are already experiencing visa troubles in Bali, Emerhub can help you.
What are the consequences of visa problems in Bali?
In the case of tourist visa overstays in Bali, deportation, and fines are likely. While some may consider these penalties manageable, overstaying could affect your future chances of re-entering the country.
For work law violations, however, the official penalty is five years of imprisonment or a fine of IDR 500 million (~US$ 35,000).
How does the Immigration know who work without a KITAS?
Local immigration officers perform regular site inspections and passport checks all over the island.
However, in many cases, the Immigration authorities already know about the KITAS violations because their competitors have reported them.
What to do when the Indonesian Immigration holds your passport to investigate a visa violation
The most common reasons why foreigners in Bali fall under investigation is because they are:
- Earning income from Indonesia without a work permit
- Freelancing in Bali while holding a tourist visa
- Renting out property in Bali without a company or a KITAS
- Holding a different position than listed in their KITAS
- Working in multiple companies with a work permit from only one company
Keep in mind that if the Immigration wants to penalize a foreigner for any of these reasons, they have to take the case to court. In the case of work permit violations, it may prompt more investigation into company licenses, which could have a knock-on effect on the entire organization.
Whatever the case, remember that Emerhub can help with your immigration problems in Bali. We will meet the immigration officials on your behalf to:
- find out what your violation is
- negotiate the fine
- help you settle the situation before it escalates into a lawsuit
Not sure whether you are staying and working in Bali legally? We can check your documentation and help you avoid visa problems in Bali. Reach out to us via [email protected] for a complimentary consultation.
What to do when you have overstayed your visa in Bali
Another common immigration breach in Bali is overstaying one’s visa. Regardless of the reason, staying after your visa or stay permit expires, is a grave breach.
By doing so, you will risk with fines, blacklisting, or deportation, like happened to the Czech tourist who had ‘such a good time on the island’ he did not notice he’d been overstaying for 60 days.
If you have stayed in Bali for longer than your visa allows, the consequences depend on how many days you have overstayed.
If your overstay in Bali is less than 60 days, you must pay a fine of IDR 300,000 (~US$ 21) for each day. For example, for a 59-day overstay, you would pay IDR 17,700,000 (~US$ 1,250).
However, once your overstay in Bali reaches 60 days, the immigration will investigate you very thoroughly. Consequently, you will be deported from Bali and blacklisted from entering Indonesia for a certain period.
Keep in mind that if you have found yourself in this situation, it is crucial to stay humble and show your regret.
Any other kind of behavior will only get you into more trouble like happened to the infamous British woman who slapped an immigration officer in Bali after she was asked to pay a fine of US$ 4,000 for overstaying her visa for 160 days.
As a consequence, she was sentenced to prison for six months for assaulting the immigration officer.
How to get out of the blacklist when you’ve been deported from Bali
If your visa problems in Bali have led to deportation from Indonesia, you will get a deportation stamp in your passport, and your name will be blacklisted.
The minimum blacklisting period in Indonesia is six months. For grave violations, such as drug offenses, the blacklisting is permanent.
Note that your name will not be automatically removed from the blacklist once the blacklisting period ends. On the contrary, your status as blacklisted will renew until you request for removal.
Based on the Indonesian Immigration law, you need to send a request letter to the main office of the General Directorate of Immigration in Jakarta to clear your name from the blacklist.
It may not be as an easy process as it sounds. Immigration officials do not always approve the removal requests. For this reason, it is better to have a local representative in Indonesia to submit the blacklist removal request for you. Emerhub can help you on this matter as well.
How to avoid visa problems in Bali
For long term tourists, the solution is simple: extend your short stay visa in Indonesia, so it matches the length of your stay in Bali.
However, moving to Bali permanently as an expat requires more thought. Planning is particularly important when you want to earn income on the island.
Want to stay in Bali, but don’t have a job, a company, or a local spouse in Indonesia? Learn how to obtain a KITAS in Bali via our employer of record service.