NgurahRai International Airport is the gateway to the Indonesian island paradise of Bali, Indonesia where arriving passengers from all corners of the globe kick off their holidays. Many come from half-way around the world, enduring flying times of well over 20 hours. It’s often after these incredibly long flights when the feeling of coming so far, and being so close to enjoying the surf, sun and sand must be put on hold due to forgetting to fill out a form or not carrying enough money for a Visa.
Your mission to ensure all paperwork is correct should begin at least one week before your Bali holiday by checking the validity of your passports. Your passport must be valid for at least another 6 months from the date of arrival in order to enter immigration. If your passport is expiring within the coming 6 months, you most likely will not be allowed to board the aircraft.
To save time, travellers should fill out their Indonesian arrival card prior to landing. It is important not to lose this as this vital document will need to be kept in a safe place during your stay and handed to an immigration officer on departure. Travellers who lose this document may be faced with a fine (official or unofficial).
According to Indonesian visa regulations, arriving passengers from North America, Europe, South America and Australia must pay US$25 per person to purchase a 30-day Visa On Arrival. Visitors who plan to stay for one month should check the expiry date of the visa and remember that the Visa is 30 days and not 1 month. A two to six month Sosial/Budaya (Social/Cultural) Visa can be obtained at the Indonesian embassy in Singapore or consulate in Perth. The 30 day Visa cannot be extended or converted into any other form of visa.
When in the immigration area, travellers should do the following.
1. Purchase a Visa On Arrival at the counters in front (This is a procedure which takes 3-5 minutes per person).
2. Join the queue and wait for your passport to be stamped.
Couples can save time at Denpasar Airport’s immigration hall by lining up for the Visa On Arrival and Passport Check individually, while single travellers have to brave the long queues.
Citizens of Brunei, Chile, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore do not have to purchase a Visa On Arrival. Holidaymakers from other countries which do not have access to the Visa Free or Visa On Arrival option must apply for a visa at the nearest embassies or consulate in Singapore or Darwin.
The waiting times of Passport Control at Bali Airport depend on the time of day and the number of flights arriving. At busy times when four or five flights touch down at around the same time, queues at immigration can snake back quite a long way, with waits expected lasting more than an hour.
Once the passport is stamped, it’s time to hit the home straight, collect the bags, head to the hotel and down some refreshingly cool Bintangs to sooth the nerves from the frustrations of immigration.
After you’ve had your hair braided, bought the “real” Rolex from the man on the beach who said he will post the warranty in the mail, fallen off a motorbike, it’s time to head back home. Homebound travellers will face with dealing with immigration one more time before the long journey half-way around the world. International departing passengers should hand in their Departure Card to the immigration officer and remember to pay 150,000 Indonesian Rupiah aside per person for the International Departure Tax.
If travellers follow this simple and easy guide, the immigration process at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport will be a breeze.