Working in Bali in 2021

Working in Bali in 2021 – that will be the topic of today’s article.

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The island of Bali has long been associated with many travelers with a paradise where you can enjoy the transparent clear sea, spacious beaches and tropical landscapes. Therefore, it is not surprising that many people decide to come back here again, but not for a couple of weeks, but for several years.

Bali Island is the perfect vacation spot. Several million holidaymakers from all over the world come here every year, and in terms of the number of foreign workers employed, Bali is the largest employment center. 

This is due to the promising prospects of Indonesia and Bali, in particular in the service sector, tourism, economic sectors and other industries that require knowledge of the English language and higher education. 

There are no specialists in Indonesia who could cover the requests of public and private companies for employees. This is a great opportunity for foreigners to relocate to Bali in order to find work. Anyways, this type of migration has its own nuances and peculiarities, about what we will talk about next.

Where to look for a job in Bali?

One of the most effective ways to move to Bali is to find a job on the island and apply for an appropriate visa. Indonesia is not the most prosperous country in terms of employment. In some regions, up to 10% of the local population is unemployed. 

Taking into account these indicators, the country’s authorities have tightened measures for hiring foreign citizens. Due to the high competition in some areas, it is simply impossible to break through, given the fact that highly qualified specialists are rare for Indonesia. 

Toughened laws against foreigners significantly discourage candidates from looking for work on the island. The fact is that, according to the employment policy in Indonesia, the authorities provide maximum employment for the local population. 

Only if there is no suitable candidate on the labor market, a foreign candidate is hired. The competition is huge, so it is very difficult to find a job without knowledge of the specifics of the labor market.

Work in Bali is one of the most demanded in the country. The island is now a major resort and popular tourist destination, and receives several billion dollars annually from the tourism sector. 

Most of the island’s territory is provinces. The main socio-economic center is the capital Denpasar. The largest number of infrastructures where you can find work is concentrated here. In order to get a job in an Indonesian company, you need to know the language. If the applicant speaks Indonesian, this is a huge plus. All international companies and large holdings use English as the main language for communication with subordinates and clients. Without knowledge of English at least at a basic level, it is impossible to find a job in Denpasar or other cities of Bali.

Indonesia is a rapidly developing country in terms of economy. Attracting foreign investment and cooperation with foreign partners forced companies to reconsider their views on hiring foreigners. 

Different ethnic groups live in the country and it is a multinational state, so it is quite possible for Europeans or Asians to get a job in Bali, but this must be done legally. If you do not have a work permit, you can get a term of up to 5 years in prison or a fine of 500 million rupees for illegal employment.

In order to get approval for a work visa, you must first find a job. Since foreigners from some countries do not need a tourist visa to visit Bali, many tourists first test the waters and then think about migration. 

The most suitable cities for employment are Denpasar, Kuta, Ubud and Nusa Dua. In these cities there are many job offers for foreigners. Freelance, that is, remote work, is not the last in the list of job offers, but for employment, you will also need a work visa.

Obviously, it is more profitable for local authorities to hire Indonesians than visiting expats. Nevertheless, there are sectors where you simply cannot do without foreigners:

  • Tourism and sports recreation;
  • Electronics;
  • Automotive;
  • Chemical production;
  • Medicine;
  • Education.

According to Indonesian law, foreign workers must be experts in their field. In practice, this means that each applicant is required to have a higher education and at least 5 years of work in their professional field.

Work in Bali for some Europeans is mainly focused on tourism and business. There are many different schools on the island for surfing, yoga and other outdoor activities. Such companies need professionals who can work with tourists from your country.

However, proficiency in additional languages ​​is required. Ideally, of course, Indonesian is great, but learning it from scratch in a short amount of time is difficult. Therefore, you will have to communicate with employers in English.

In general, work in Bali is ideal for those who are tired of the cold winter and noisy cities. As for Jakarta, there are more offices of large companies, however, the mood can be darkened by traffic jams and dirty streets.

But note that job search is one of the most difficult stages of labor migration. You need to start with an overview of the job market. As in any country, Indonesia has online portals where up-to-date job offers are posted. 

It makes sense to choose a job on the social network Vacancies from different fields are published on this portal, so first you need to analyze the supply and demand market, and then proceed to the registration of permits. 

There are jobs in Indonesia that are ideal for foreigners. Many companies specifically send requests to different countries to find foreign specialists, especially in the IT field. In Bali, there are many companies opened by foreigners, where compatriots are welcome. If you cannot find a job on your own, then you can contact a recruiting agency for the selection of personnel.

Popular Jobs

According to the latest data, 18% of the working population of the island of Bali are foreigners. The most promising on the island is the service sector. Since Bali is a resort, it is clear that most of the island’s population is engaged in services, namely in hotels, inns, travel agencies and restaurants. 

Tourism is the main area of ​​employment in Bali. The salary level depends on the position and profession. Since tourism is a promising sector of activity, excursions are a profitable business. The service sector employs 48% of the population, of which 26% are foreigners.

Most of the locals are involved in agriculture, rice paddies and terraces. It is the main income sector for the Balinese, especially for those who live in the provinces of the island. Finding a job in Indonesia is problematic, but there are popular vacancies where foreigners from exact countries are in great demand. These areas include:

  • service, tourism and hotel business (administrators, cooks, waiters, bartenders, etc.);
  • financial management and insurance (bankers, financiers, insurance agents, etc.);
  • petrochemical and mining industry;
  • automotive and transport;
  • logistics and management;
  • higher and vocational training.

Young foreigners can find work in the field of education, for example, as an English teacher. Half of the foreigners work in this area. There are many schools in Denpasar where vacancies for teaching in English are open, but priority is usually given to native speakers with education and experience. Foreigners can find employment in this area only if they have TOEFL or IELTS certificates confirming the level of knowledge of the English language.

Salary and freelance

The desire to “live on one salary” is definitely not positive when it comes to Indonesia. Locals earn about US $ 200 a month here. For foreign specialists, the situation is a little better, with earnings ranging from $ 500 to $ 1,000.

This is probably why life in Bali for expats is often associated with freelancing or passive income. If you have a good job on the Internet, you can live on the islands in Indonesia for years without worrying about finding a job. In addition, remote work allows you to fully relax from the bustle of the city, as well as enjoy the sea and tropical nature.

For a freelancer, a tourist visa is perfect. You can get it upon arrival, or contact the embassy in advance. A tourist visa usually costs $ 25 and entitles you to live anywhere in Indonesia for a month.

Of course, this is too little time for longsters. Therefore, after 30 days, they go to the local immigration office and renew their visa for another month – for the same $ 25. According to local regulations, such renewals can be made four times in a row. In total, it turns out that life in Bali for 5 months is guaranteed.

Advantages of a social visa

Of course, not everyone can find work on the Internet right away. In addition, to immediately come to Indonesia and start working is far from the best option. Ideally, it takes some time to get used to the new environment, visit different islands and just relax a little.

That is why the so-called Social Budaya, or social visa, is ideal for many travelers. She allows you to live on the Indonesian islands from two months to six months. During this time, you can acclimatize and, without rushing anywhere, find a suitable job in Indonesia.

A social visa has a number of characteristic features:

  • In Indonesia itself, it is not issued. You need to contact the embassies that are located in other countries. Both the Indonesian embassy in Moscow and the representative office in the Asian region, for example, Singapore or Thailand, are perfect;
  • This type of visa implies permanent residence in Indonesia for the entire period of validity. If you fly to another country, the social visa will immediately lose its validity when crossing the border;
  • From a formal point of view, a social visa “works” only for two months. In the future, it must be renewed – every new month for $ 25. Since four extensions are allowed in total, the result is six months of life in Bali and other paradise islands;
  • To apply for a visa at the embassy, ​​you must pay a fee of $ 45. Unfortunately, cashless payments are not possible: embassies only accept cash.

And if you want to continue your vacation on the paradise islands, then you can fly using the visa centers to the nearest countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos or Cambodia.

If you decided to apply for a social visa for yourself, you will need to acquire the following documents:

  • Passport, which must be valid for at least another six months;
  • Sponsorship letter. An Indonesian citizen must send it to you. For this document, you can contact the hotel where you are booking a room.
  • Two questionnaires that are filled out directly at the embassy. If you are applying for an Indonesian visa somewhere in Singapore or Thailand, you will have to write in English. So it’s better to take a mobile device with you with some kind of translation app;
  • Two 3 x 4 color photographs.

If you apply for a visa in the countries of Southeast Asia, then you may be required to return tickets. Moreover, the date of the return ticket does not take into account possible extensions and comes in two months. Of course, in practice, you can extend your visa and not fly anywhere from Indonesia, however, you still have to present a ticket.

In addition, in Asian countries, you may be asked for a bank statement. According to the rules, you must have $ 100 for one day of rest.

And if in the case of tickets the formal period of two months complicates the situation, then upon presentation of an extract, on the contrary, it simplifies. Because savings should be counted on the basis of only two months, not six months.

Work permit

In order to find a job for a foreigner in Bali, you need to have a work permit. Illegal work is strictly prohibited in Indonesia, but still, many foreigners earn money as guides, nannies and tutors. For official employment in Bali, you need to issue a work permit. 

This is where the labor migration of foreigners begins. To obtain a permit, you will first have to find an employer and conclude an employment contract with him. 

Alternatively, you can contact your local office of the Ministry of Human Resources (Kanwil Kemenakertrans). This organization is responsible for recruiting foreigners. Here you can find a list of positions and vacancies that are available for hiring foreign candidates.

After concluding a contract with an employer, he undergoes strict control. If the Ministry of Human Resources approves the candidate, then he is issued a permit (IMTA) and a work visa. A work permit is issued for a period of 1 year, less often for 3-5 years. 

Many companies are required to conduct special trainings to educate local residents so that they can in the future take the position of a foreign candidate. Indonesian immigration legislation annually tightens the conditions for labor migration, making it difficult for foreigners to find work.

After the permit is issued, the foreigner must apply to the consulate to obtain a work visa. Within 7 days of entering Indonesia, you need to contact the regional office of the Immigration Service in order to obtain a Temporary Residence Card (KITAS). 

The document is issued no more than 14 days and is valid for 1 year. If a foreigner has lived in Indonesia for 5 years without leaving, then he can apply for a permanent residence permit (KITAP). A work visa costs $ 1,200 and you have to pay $ 150 annually for a work permit.

A well-deserved pension in Bali

As you know, the islands of Indonesia are a paradise not only for professionals and freelancers, but also for retirees who want a calm and measured rest away from the hustle and bustle. If you are over 55, you can live in Bali without any visa problems.

To do this, you need to issue another type of KITAS – pension. In addition to the already well-known photographs on a red background, insurance and copies of a passport, for a retirement visa you will need:

  • Marriage certificate;
  • Completed application form;
  • Bank statement for the last six months. The optimal amount is considered to correspond to USD 100 for each day. That is, over the past six months, about $ 20,000 should be credited to the card;
  • Lease agreement for a house or apartment in Indonesia. The term of the contract must be valid for at least one year.

It is important to take into account that the name “retirement visa” is rather arbitrary. It is absolutely unnecessary to really be a retired person, and even more so to present any certificates from the your country’s pension fund. The main criteria for obtaining a retirement visa are the appropriate age and financial security.

Life hacks for safety in Bali

Let’s imagine you have already moved to Bali and found a good job, but Bali is not the most safest country in the world, and there are a few tips that will definitely be useful for you, let’s see.

Choose ATMs located in bank branches. Avoid the freestanding ATMs at the intersections and busy streets of Bali. Visually check the ATM for foreign installations on the card capture reader and keyboard.

Use two cards. One is for basic savings, and the other is for cash withdrawals. Top up the second card with exactly the amount you want to withdraw.

If you have one card, then create a deposit on it and withdraw small amounts from the deposit that you plan to cash out or spend.

Don’t take your phone out when riding your bike in the evening. In the dark, robbers, with their lights turned off, catch up with tourists and grab their phones or bags. Very often, in Bali, criminals grab the phone from the passenger of the bike when he makes his way through the navigator or takes pictures.

They regularly rob houses and villas that are rented by tourists and video surveillance does not help. It will be very good if there is a safe in the house where you live. The safe must be bolted to the wall tightly with anchor bolts. Leave all valuables in the safe – this will make your life in Bali a little more relaxed.

It is better not to settle in a villa near which construction is underway. It is believed that villas are often robbed by visiting guest workers from the island of Java. In general, the Balinese blame all the problems with crime on newcomers.

Never, under any circumstances, leave valuables in your car or bike trunk. Even if you only leave for 5 minutes. Even if the car remains in your line of sight.

When meeting with the police, do not take out your wallet, do not show them that you have money. Better to put a small amount (100,000 rupees) in a separate pocket and appeal to the cops that there is no more money with you.

If you are planning to move and live in Bali, then it is best to do ASEAN with an open category A.

This is all we have prepared for you, working and retiring in Bali could be a good option for those who are seeking a relaxed atmosphere and all year round summer season.

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