As I’ve just moved back to Bali, 3 days ago, and I thought I would make a quick post on the process of moving back to Bali in 2020 or 2021…hard to believe this horrible year will finally come to an end in a few days but man who knows what lies ahead in 2021.
Everyone I know keeps asking me, “Is Bali Open?” or “Can you REALLY travel to Bali right now?” and those are the type of questions I’m going to answer with this post.
How to apply for a business E-Visa for Bali in 2021
VIDEO: How To Move To Bali in 2021
After 4 amazing months in Mexico, I was still missing Bali (my home for the past 3 years) and started looking into options to getting back if possible. I saw many of my digital nomad friends flying back over the past few months so I contacted a Bali Visa Agency that I’ve used before called Bali Visas.
They told me there’s a new E-VISA for Bali that allows people with a business interest in Bali to move back here for up for 6 months. It’s sort of like the old social visa, but it’s more like a business interest visa – for people who have a business interest in Bali and would like to stay / live here long term.
The visa process was surprisingly easy – I needed to submit an application form, some bank statements, a scan of my passport, the fee of 6 million Rupiah or 350 euro and few other things they requested and my visa was actually processed within 1 week.
Then you have 90 days from the day its approved to enter Indonesia. I decided to stay one more month in Mexico, as there were a few places I wanted to explore, then flew to Bali just before Christmas, arriving in December 20th.
Flying to Bali, Indonesia in 2021
Finding flights was actually very difficult as obviously there are very few flights operating, I was coming all the way from Mexico, and I didn’t want to get stuck in a country that was going into a lockdown such as the UK or Ireland, and I also was not allowed fly Via the USA (which would have been easiest) due to Trump travel restrictions.
Also, no international flights are allowed land in Bali right now, so you must fly into Jakarta and then buy a domestic flight with a local airline to Bali. This means that if your flight arrives in the evening, you will need to spend the night in Jakarta airport so keep that in mind when planning.
Even if you see (and even pay) for a flight to Bali via Skyscanner, it WILL NOT OPERATE. And you might lose your money. So only book your flight as far as Jakarta.
I ended up flying with 3 different airlines – Lufthansa to Frankfurt then Turkish Airlines from Frankfurt to Istanbul to Jakarta. Then Air Asia from Jakarta to Bali on December 20th.
What’s needed to enter Indonesia in 2021
There are a few types of visa you can apply for to move back to Bali, but right now the easiest and most common is the Business interest E-Visa mentioned above. It’s the quickest and cheapest by far, and seems open to all nationalities (from my understanding).
Negative PCR Swab test
To enter Indonesia right now, you need to present a Negative PCR Covid test valid for 7 days. I took my test a few days before leaving Mexico, got the results 2 days before my flight and it was JUST ABOUT still valid on arrival in Bali 3 days later.
They check this health document form (they give it to you when you get off the plane in Jakarta) and your printed negative covid test about 6 or 7 times…it’s quite intense.
Mine was in Spanish so I was a little anxious but once they saw “NO DETECTADO” all was well and they never questioned it.
Some airlines are not up to date on current rules so I suggest having the absolute LATEST Indonesian government regulations saved on your phone to show to airline personnel.
Indonesia eHac Health form
You must also fill in an online health declaration (linked here) which they ask for proof of when entering Indonesia. I also had to fill one out in Germany but they only asked once about it.
2021 Restrictions on entering Bali, Indonesia
About 3 days before flying Bali announced that to enter Bali from anywhere in Indonesia you would need a test taken to longer than 48 hours ago. So I thought I would need to do another PCR test, available at all 3 airports I passed through btw, but then they changed the rules again the day before I flew to say 7 days was still okay.
The rules seem to change ALL THE TIME so you really need to be staying up to date. And the rules are different in Bali than the rest of Indonesia. In fact every state or island has its own rules you need to read up on.
There’s a FB group called Law and Regulations in Indonesia that is very helpful and also my visa agent @balivisas shares a lot of info on their Instagram every day to try keep you updated.
Other documents needed
Immigration at Jakarta airport (and check in staff in Frankfurt) asked how long I was planning to stay in Indonesia (the visa is valid for max of 6 months, but technically its only 60 days to start with and you just renew each month after that) so I had booked a sort of fake airline ticket with a company for 12 euro which showed I would be leaving Bali end of February. They didn’t ask for proof of this, but many airlines do, so I always have one of these temporary return tickets just in case.
I also had screenshots and print outs of my travel insurance, the accommodation I had booked for my first few weeks, my E-visa and invitation letter from the visa agency (they did not ask for any of these but best to have them in a document wallet just in case.)
Most of the paperwork is done in Jakarta and checked before boarding your flight to Bali. So it was a real feeling of relief boarding my flight and watching the plane land in Bali…knowing after all the stress and anxiety I was finally home and would not have any issues entering Bali.