Retiring in tropical Bali

Retiring in tropical Bali

For those of you 55 years and above who have fallen into an ongoing love affair with Bali after numerous holidays, why not retire here, right on this gorgeous little Hindu island in the Indonesian archipelago? Who doesn’t want to spend the last decades of their life here, living the sweet tropical island life under the sun and by the sea? You can live a comfortable life here, even on a small pension. In the meantime, the enchanting culture, the spicy food and the warm, humid weather will thrill your senses and keep you young. You can enjoy modern comforts in an exotic environment but before we start dreaming of rice paddies, waves and holiday villas, let’s look into the requirements of obtaining a retirement visa in Bali:

The retirement visa

Retiring in Bali does sound wonderful but how to arrange it? Isn’t it a big hassle with paperwork and requirements? Can anyone get it? Yes, everyone can apply for a retirement visa in Bali and yes it does take a bit of paperwork and effort but it’s not all that hard with the right help, and it is worth your efforts, too!
There are a couple of steps to follow, let’s start with a list of requirements: 

  • You have to be retired and 55 years of age or older
  • A passport valid for minimum 18 months and at least 6 blank pages
  • Copies of all the pages in your passport.
  • A bank account that shows you have enough funds to support yourself
  • A health and life insurance that covers Indonesia
  • Housing with a minimum cost of USD $500 a month
  • A statement that you will employ a local maid (locally referred to as a pembantu)
  • A statement that you will not work in Indonesia
  • A sponsor letter from an appointed agency
  • 4 photos with red background

How it works

Step 1: Apply for retirement visa through an acknowledged sponsor

First of all, you have to apply for the retirement visa, and your application has to be approved by an Indonesian Embassy. You can only apply for the visa through an appointed agency referred to as your sponsor. Your sponsor will collect all the documents needed and take it to the embassy for you. The embassy takes approximately 2 weeks to go through your application files.

Step 2: From telex to visa

Once your application has been approved, you will receive a telex which you will need to take to an Indonesian Embassy abroad to obtain your visa. Do check with your chosen embassy upfront if they require any additional documents, as this may vary.

Step 3: Visa to KITAS

The last step in the process is converting your visa into a stay permit called a KITAS. Don’t worry; it is easily fixed. All the immigration needs is to take your photograph and fingerprints, done at a local immigration office in Bali. Once you have your retirement stay permit, you can extend it every year, and after 5 years you may apply for a permanent stay called a KITAP.


With your retirement visa fixed, you can enter and exit Indonesia any time and as often as you like. You get to experience a true hassle-free island lifestyle. On top of that, you can open an Indonesian bank account, get a local driving license, and you will enjoy special kitas prices and discounts on tourist attractions and other sites of interest.


Written by Stephanie of

Robert Darnell

I’m Robert, the Grey Wanderer. After over 50 years in business, it was time for me to hang up my boots and enter the world of retirement. With so much time on my hands I decided to indulge in the two things I love most, writing and travel and so the Grey Wanderer was born.

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