Here’s why expats leaving Vietnam should consider a temporary move to Bali

While Vietnam has been outstanding at keeping the number of Covid-19 infections low, the increasing number of restrictions are causing many expats to reconsider whether it’s worth staying in Vietnam right now.

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Moving to Bali from Vietnam

It is a stressful time for many expats in Vietnam, with changes to work permits and visa renewals leaving people with few options and in some cases, a matter of days to leave the country. Fortunately, there is a way out of this uncertainty that allows an easy return to Vietnam, moving to Bali for up to six months. 

There are complications for expats moving home at short notice, from arrangements for pets and family to dealing with changing work time zones. Immigration authorities are issuing exit visas to a growing number of expats, affording them very little time before leaving the country. If you have an exit visa or expect to receive one, there are alternatives to packing up your entire life to return home.

Learn how moving to Bali might be the best alternative, offering incredible beaches and the stunning natural beauty of Indonesia, all within a short flight of Vietnam.

Why Move to Bali From Vietnam?

In Vietnam, many digital nomads, language teachers and business visa holders are finding they are not here on the correct visa and cannot extend their stay. For those on tourist visas issued after March 2020, it is unclear how long authorities will continue to offer automatic renewals. As a result, many foreigners are leaving Vietnam or looking for alternative options for the short to medium term. 

The current outbreak of Covid in Vietnam is the largest so far. Social distancing restrictions are back in most major cities and that is unlikely to change in the immediate future, given the outbreak’s severity. 

By moving to Bali you can maintain a high standard of living at a moderate cost and a lifestyle comparable to Vietnam. There is a short quarantine period and an uncomplicated application process. With few Covid restrictions in place, it is one Southeast Asia’s most open and livable destinations.

CountryQuarantine PeriodCovid Status
Indonesia /   Bali5 days Most businesses open in Bali and planning for tourism to return in July 
Vietnam21 days Varied restrictions- Many bars and restaurants closed and gatherings restricted.
Cambodia1-14 days Covid cases peaked last month. Severe restrictions in place.
Philippines14 days Severe restrictions in place.
Thailand14 days In the middle of a third wave, with most businesses closed or operating under restrictions. 
Singapore14 days Under control – Strict measures in place with expensive penalties for lack of adherence to rules.
Covid-19 considerations in Southeast Asian Countries.

How to Apply for a Visa to Bali

There are a small number of nationalities prohibited from travelling to Indonesia. For most applicants, all that is required for a long-term visa is a five-day quarantine in Jakarta and to provide Emerhub with the following documentation along with a visa application.

You need:

  • A color scan of the biodata page of your passport
  • Return flight tickets (approx. $200)
  • Address of stay in Indonesia (You will book a quarantine hotel from the approved list before arrival and then provide the address. An expected address will satisfy the purposes of further visa extensions. If you want to extend the visa outside of the stated address, you can provide Emerhub with a domicile letter). 
  • A dated (PDF) bank statement with a minimum balance of $1500.

Before boarding the flight, you must obtain a PCR test no longer than three days prior to your departure to Indonesia.

Cost of a Visa to Bali

With Jakarta a short flight away, expats in Vietnam who do not wish to leave Southeast Asia can easily obtain a six-month visa to Bali. After this period, if you want to extend your visa or attempt to return to Vietnam, Emerhub can assist in the process.

Full package: Visa Sponsorship + Visa processing: $950/person (before VAT) (includes 1 entry visa + 4 extensions – total of 180 days stay).

Entry Visa (2 months stay): Visa Sponsorship + Visa processing: $400/person and $200/extension (1 month/extension)

Express Visa service: An additional $350 if you want to receive the visa within three working days.

Quarantine must take place in Jakarta, but flights to Bali are available for as little as $40. 

Visa to Bali – How Long Does It Take?

It takes just 5-20 working days to complete the entire application process and it is possible to obtain a visa within three working days if you use the Express Visa Sponsorship Service (+USD $350 fee).

There is no need to visit the Indonesian Embassy or pick up the visa in person. It is issued electronically and Emerhub will send it to you via email. After completing the mandatory five-day quarantine period in Jakarta, you are free to travel throughout Indonesia, where Covid is largely under control.

Bali visa regulations

  1. Contact Emerhub to discuss your circumstances and eligibility.
  2. Complete a visa application, providing all relevant personal documents (passport, flight details, your bank statement with a balance of at least $1500.)
  3. Obtain a negative PCR test taken a maximum of three days prior to departure to Indonesia.
  4. Complete a five-day quarantine in an approved hotel in Jakarta.
  5. Fly to Bali.
  6. After six months, you can either extend your visa with Emerhub acting as sponsor or avail of our help to return to Vietnam, where the situation will hopefully have improved.

Cost of Living in Bali

Moving to Bali appeals to many expats due to the relaxing, tropical island lifestyle and relatively low cost of living. The cost of living varies significantly from person to person, depending on several factors and personal preferences. Typically a single person can spend anywhere from $700 to $3000 per month. Bali caters to a wide range of budgets and lifestyles. The cost of living is similar to that of Ho Chi Minh City, as we can see from the numbers below:

Average Monthly Expenses in BaliCosts(min-max)
Rent (private guesthouse vs full villa rental)$270  –   $1,300
Transportation (motorbike rental + fuel)$50    –   $100
Food (groceries + dining out with)$280  –  $900
Activities. (yoga, massages, diving, etc)$80    –  $400
Misc. (cleaner, laundry, phone, etc)$70    –  $300
Total$700  – $3000
Estimated living costs for a single person in Bali.

How Emerhub Can Help 

Emerhub has business presences in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. We have an office in Bali that can sponsor and assist you in obtaining a visa quickly and have already helped process many visit visas for our clients. 

It is not certain that we can resolve every issue that may arise with an individual application (such as restrictions on certain nationalities and those barred for pre-existing reasons).

However, we can offer a free consultation to any expat in Vietnam who wants to explore the possibility of moving to Bali. Contact Emerhub’s Ho Chi Minh Office right away to speak with one of our consultants about detailed guidelines for the visa application process. 

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