Step-by-Step: How I travelled to Bali via the Visa On Arrival program

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DISCLAIMER

This guide is based on my personal experience in travelling to Bali on 30 March 2022 as a Singaporean.

Border requirements are ever-changing. ALWAYS check the latest information listed on official websites of Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism, Immigration Authority and IATA (Timatic) before your trip. I also found the website from Bali’s Hotel Association helpful.

If you have any questions that are not answered here, I’ll be happy to answer them as best I can in Suitesmile Chat Telegram group.

I’ve just arrived in Bali and would like to share my experience in entering the island internationally, through the Visa On Arrival (VOA) program.

I had personally used my APEC card to enter Indonesia visa-free, while my partner used a VOA. The only key difference between the two was just the additional IDR 500,000 (S$47) VOA fee.

The requirements are not overly complicated but let’s go through what you need to do, step by step. Plus, some tips to make your journey more stress-free.

Key points to note about VOA in Bali

  • Foreign tourists can now enter Bali quarantine-free through the VOA program.
  • Only tourists from selected countries can enter Bali with VOA.
  • Tourists with qualifying nationality can fly into Bali from any country.
  • You have to be fully vaccinated for 14 days or more.
  • Minors under 18 years old do not need to be vaccinated.
  • Visa On Arrival allows you to stay for up to 30 days and is extendable to 60 days.
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The entire process

Step 1: Fulfill vaccination requirement

To qualify for VOA, you need to be fully vaccinated for 14 days or more and have a physical or digital vaccine card/cert. You are not required to have a boosted dose.

According to Bali’s Hotel Association, minors under 18 do not need to show proof of vaccination.

Step 2: Book the right flight to Bali

To enter Bali with VOA, your flight needs to fly internationally into Denpasar, Bali (i.e. no transiting in other Indonesian airports like Jakarta or Surabaya).

However, you are allowed to transit in another country. For example: Flying Singapore Airlines from Los Angeles to Singapore (transit), then, onward to Denpasar, Bali.

At the moment, these are the airlines flying internationally to Denpasar, Bali regularly:

  • Singapore Airlines
  • Scoot
  • Jetstar
  • Qatar Airways
  • Turkish Airlines

Step 3: Book a flight out of Indonesia

To qualify for VOA in Bali, you will need to have proof of an outbound flight out of Indonesia.

Step 4: Purchase travel insurance

To qualify for VOA in Bali, you will need to have travel insurance with a minimum coverage value of US$20,000.

Here’s a couple of good travel insurance options to consider. The prices reflected are for a traveller (under 70 years old) going to Indonesia for 7 days.

Click on the “Apply” links below to qualify for the respective cash rewards.

Insurance
company
Plans (with
COVID-19
coverage)
Promo
code
Cash
reward
Total
(after
discounts)
Starr
TraveLead

(Apply)
AllSSVTL35
(35% off)
$10 via
PayNow

(min. $30)
$14.30
(Silver)
MSIG
TravelEasy

(Apply)
AllAutomatic$10 via
PayNow

(min. $60)
$31.20

Step 5: Book accommodation for the entire duration of your stay

To qualify for Visa On Arrival, you will need to provide proof of accommodation booking for the entire duration of your stay in Indonesia.

You do not need to book any special packages. Even Airbnb is fine!

To prevent unnecessary headaches if your PCR test returns a positive result, I urge you to be smart about this and try to book accommodations offering free cancellation and without any prepayment.

I do not see any rules saying that you are not allowed to make changes to your travel/accommodation plans.

Step 6: Take a pre-departure PCR test

You are required to take a PCR test within 48 hours before your departure to Bali.

If you are in Singapore, the cheapest next-day PCR test that you can find at the moment is at swabstation.sg for S$88. PCR tests done before 5pm will have the result ready by 3pm on the next day.

As I was in Kuala Lumpur before flying to Bali, I booked my pre-departure test for MYR 230 (S$74) for a home/hotel service via Doctor Anywhere Malaysia.

Step 7 (optional): Download PeduliLindungi app and submit e-HAC

PeduliLindungi is a contact-tracing mobile app in Indonesia, similar to Singapore’s TraceTogether and Malaysia’s MySejahtera.

There is an e-HAC (Health Alert Card) that you can submit through the PeduliLindungi app.

You do not need to prepare this prior to departure but I highly recommend doing it after getting a negative pre-departure PCR test result.

Having your e-HAC ready will save you a lot of time at Denpasar airport!

Click on EHAC in the PeduliLindungi app

Step 8 (optional): Pay for on-arrival PCR test

Although this is optional, paying for your on-arrival PCR test in advance will save you a lot of time as there was a separate lane for passengers with prepayment receipts.

PCR test prices in Indonesia are heavily regulated by the government and it costs just IDR 275k (S$26) for this express test.

Step 9 (optional): Prepare some Indonesian Rupiah

As mentioned earlier, you will have to pay for VOA and it costs IDR 500,000. It’s great if you can prepare some local currency for this purpose.

You are also allowed to pay in some foreign currency like USD, SGD and MYR with mark-ups of over 10% or with a credit card with a 3% fee.

Step 10: Prepare your documents

These are the documents that you need to prepare before heading to the airport to fly to Bali:

  • Vaccine certificate or card (see step 1)
  • Proof of flight leaving Indonesia (see step 3)
  • Travel insurance (see step 4)
  • Proof of accommodation booking for the whole duration of your stay (see step 5)
  • Negative PCR test result (see step 6)
  • Optional: On-arrival PCR test payment receipt (see step 7)

Step 11: Document checks at the airport (before flying)

I flew Singapore Airlines from Kuala Lumpur and was asked for the following documents during check-in:

  • Vaccine certificate
  • Proof of flight leaving Indonesia
  • Travel insurance
  • Proof of accommodation booking for the whole duration of your stay
  • Negative PCR test result

I did not have anything printed but all the PDF files were ready in my phone.

Step 12: Arrival process in Denpasar, Bali

The arrival process at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali was very organized. Every staff was very friendly and helpful during the entire process!

Step 12a: Initial document checks

All passengers will be directed to a large area for document checks. There were rows of chairs and you will move forward to the next chair until it is your turn. When it is your turn, you can go to the table with your partner.

The staff will need to scan your submitted e-HAC. If you have done so in advance, the staff will request for some of your documents and pass you a QR code on a piece of paper to ps to the staff in the next station.

Passengers who have not filled and submitted their e-HAC typically spend about 10 minutes here.

Queue for initial document checks

Step 12b: Pay for PCR test

If you have prepaid your on-arrival PCR test (see step 8), head to the left-most lane to show your receipt and hand over the QR code paper that you received earlier.

If not, join another row of chairs to pay for it.

Empty prepaid lane

Step 12c: Barcode for PCR test

Next, head over to the PCR testing area. Show your QR code paper at the desk and you will receive a barcode to hand over to the staff just outside the PCR testing station.

Step 12d: PCR test

There was 1 nasal swab and 1 throat swab done and they were both very gentle!

Step 12e: Pay for Visa On Arrival

As mentioned in Step 9, you can pay IDR 500k for VOA in the local currency or selected foreign currency with a hefty mark-up. Credit cards are also allowed, with a 3% fee.

Step 12f: Clear immigration and customs

This is just like pre-pandemic times when the immigration officer may ask random questions like your travel plans and how long you will be in Indonesia.

Step 13: Transport to the hotel

You do not need special transport to go to the hotel that you have booked. However, I have always disliked over-aggressive taxi drivers in Bali waiting to prey on arriving foreigners. Booking through Grab or GoJek apps will give you lots of problems too as there will be countless drivers questioning you the whole time.

For that reason, I usually pre-book airport transfers through Klook for about IDR 60k to 100k, depending on distance. Contact the company via WhatsApp at least 1 day in advance to get the actual driver’s contact number.

Let your driver know when you are at the luggage belt and he will wait for you right at the exit of the Arrival area.

You’ll love the peace of mind of having a prebooked airport transfer!

Step 14: Receive PCR test result

You will receive the PCR test result 2 to 3 hours after the test and will be free to explore Bali or other parts of Indonesia after that!

My PCR test result
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Best hotels in Bali

I’ve written reviews of 35 hotels in Bali. Most of them are very good and are still going for well below pre-pandemic rates.

Here are some quick recommendations:

Best quality (above US$100)

Cliff Private Pool Junior Suite at The Apurva Kempinski Bali

Best value (under US$100)

Massive beach directly connected to Grand Hyatt Bali

As shared in a previous article, Grand Hyatt Bali and Hyatt Regency Bali are now Category 1 Hyatt hotels. Which means that you can stay in any of those properties for as little as 3,500 Hyatt points on some nights. It’s mind-blowing, really.

Look out for the next sale of Hyatt points!

Bottom line

It wasn’t like pre-pandemic times but it was fairly easy to travel to Bali right now as a tourist, as compared to what I had previously experienced in Thailand and Malaysia.

This is because, to travel to Bali, I did not have to apply for any prior approval/pass/permit from any Indonesian authority. This means that I can fly to Bali as soon as a couple of days from now if I want to!

The staff at Denpasar airport were all extremely friendly and it really helped make the process easy for travellers.

I do hope that the PCR test requirement can be switched to Antigen instead, in the near future.

Other than the PCR cost in your home country, having a holiday in Bali is still a lot cheaper than what it was before the pandemic. Plus, the streets are less chaotic and beaches are less crowded and cleaner!

If you have any questions that are not answered here, ask in Suitesmile Chat Telegram group and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Safe travels! šŸ™‚

7 thoughts on “Step-by-Step: How I travelled to Bali via the Visa On Arrival program”

  1. Thank you very much for this very clear and structured step by step description on how to enter Bali on a VOA!

    Reply
    • Hi Bent, You’re right! I still saw it as a requirement on welcomebacktobali.com when I wrote the article. Have updated it now. šŸ™‚

      Reply

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