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INDONESIA – New Rules to Counter Illegal Working in Bali


Effective 20 October 2015 until 31 December 2015, foreign nationals who have entered Indonesia more than twice in a year, or who have stayed in Indonesia for more than four consecutive months, on a visa on arrival (VOA), a tourist visa or a visa-free short visit, are to be denied entry into Bali.

What Does This Mean?

At a meeting of government and tourism organisations on 17 October, complaints were made about the increase in foreign nationals working illegally in Bali. Subsequently, the Immigration Bureau in Jakarta issued an instruction to the immigration authorities in Badung District in the southern part of Bali, tightening the rules for foreign nationals entering Indonesia through Bali with a visa on arrival, a tourist visa or a visa-free short visit (nationals of 75 countries may qualify for the latter).

Foreign nationals entering Bali from other parts of Indonesia do not normally need to go through immigration checks, but may still be investigated by immigration officers under the new stricter regime which aims to clamp down on foreign nationals working without the required authorisation.

Note that nationals of the following countries can enter Indonesia visa-free for a short stay for business purposes, and may be affected by this new rule: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, Chile, Morocco, Peru, Vietnam, Ecuador, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Hong Kong and Macao. However, the change should not affect business visa holders or holders of temporary residence visas/permits.

Action Items

  • Ensure that foreign national travellers to Bali have not already entered Indonesia twice or more, or stayed in Indonesia for more than four months, in the last twelve months with a visa on arrival, a tourist visa or a visa-free short visit.