Dreaming of Moving to Bali? Here’s What to Know If You’re American

published May 7, 2022
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Even if you’ve never visited Bali, you may be familiar with its laid-back vibe. Known for its ancient temples, lush rainforests, and vast coastline, this Indonesian island beckons folks from far away to experience the action of premium surfing or the relaxation of a spiritual retreat.

Although some enjoy visiting for a while and returning to their fast-paced lives, others feel called to stay in Bali to retire, work remotely, or simply linger for a time. If you feel the call of this gorgeous island, you may be considering moving there. Here’s how to move to Bali if you’re an American. 

Can U.S. citizens move to Bali? 

Although moving to Bali is appealing, getting the proper documentation before heading overseas is essential. First, you’ll need a U.S. passport, which must have at least two unmarked pages and be valid for at least six months after you arrive. Additionally, you will have to obtain an entry visa. Finally, for stays longer than 30 days, you need to contact the Indonesian embassy and get an extended visa before you arrive in Bali.

Obtaining the correct visa for your length of stay and purpose is critical, as you can be fined, jailed, or deported for overstaying or getting the wrong type of permit. Additionally, no matter how long you’re in Bali, always have your passport, visa, and any licenses — employment or residency — handy, as Indonesian authorities are known for conducting routine inspections. Additionally, Bali is strict on allowing pets into the country because of the many stray animals on the island and the potential for rabies. 

How much money do you need to immigrate to Bali?

Though Bali is one of the most expensive South Asian destinations, it is an economical place to live when compared to the cost of living in the United States. Like any destination, the price also depends on the type of lifestyle you want to lead. On average, expect to allot $750 to $2,000 per month to live in Bali. Of course, this is greatly influenced by the type of accommodations you secure and whether you choose to cook at home or eat out often.

Where wellness is concerned, if you’re in poor health you may want to keep in mind that the medical infrastructure is not on par with the U.S. Many expats head from Bali to Thailand if they need procedures or treatment, which means that traveling is an additional cost on top of medical expenses. No matter how long you stay, be sure to have good insurance if you decide to live in Bali. 

Can I move to Bali without a job? 

Unless you can support yourself, it’s best to secure employment before leaving the U.S. Remote work is ideal as it’s difficult for foreigners to find employment in Bali. Still, if you want to find a job there, you’ll have to apply for a special work permit. In addition, if you are unemployed or planning on retiring, you will need to prove that you can support yourself while in the country.