The West Live: How Aussie expats can stay in Bali after pandemic visas end

Peter de KruijffThe West Australian
VideoStrange COVID-19 punishments in Bali

Australians being told to leave Bali may be able to get around the situation by flying to another nearby country and then heading straight back to the tourist island for a new visa.

Indonesia Institute president Ross Taylor told The West Live that the thousands of Australians on the island with tourist visas should just come home but there was another method which was legal despite not being in the general spirit of things.

The Indonesian government has told 7000 Australians expats and 3000 visitors they will need to leave by August 8 when their visas expire.

“They could jump on a flight and go to for example Singapore, which is only an hour and half away, jump off the flight turnaround and get a flight back and as you come in of course you are offered a visa on arrival,” Mr Taylor said.

“The problem is of course Singapore has a lot of problems with COVID-19, trying to get flights and it’s expensive.

“The better option would be for Aussies to do what they perhaps should have done … is to get on a flight back home but when you consider Garuda Indonesia are the only airline flying between Bali and Australia and they are down to about one or two flights a week covering all capitals.”

Ross Taylor chairman of Indonesia Institute
Camera IconRoss Taylor chairman of Indonesia Institute Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Foreign nationals in Indonesia had been issued “emergency stay permits” since March but the program is set to end with the South-East Asian country looking to revert to its normal visa system as Bali looks to welcome back international tourists from September.

Mr Taylor said this had left thousands in a situation where they needed to leave the country because they were only on limited 30-day visas.

There are several tourist visas for Bali with the most common being a free permit that allows you to stay for 30 days without renewal while other paid options allow for extensions.

Anyone who overstays their visa will face fines of up to $100 a day.

Mr Taylor said the current situation meant there were people in Indonesia without work visas who basically had 30 days to get out of Bali.

“The question for them is how do they get out,” he said.

“The problem we see here is if you have hundreds and hundreds of Aussies trying to get on that one flight it is going to be quite chaotic.

“At the moment there would be about one flight a week only from Denpasar to Perth.

The Indonesian government has told 7000 Australians expats and 3000 visitors they will need to leave by August 8 when their visas expire.
Camera IconThe Indonesian government has told 7000 Australians expats and 3000 visitors they will need to leave by August 8 when their visas expire. Credit: Supplied

“Those flights are very full and, dare I say, they are very expensive.”

Mr Taylor said Australian authorities were working on the problem.

There is one flight from Indonesia into Perth this week which arrives on Thursday at 4pm but is leaving from Jakarta.

Australians who arrive in WA from overseas will need to pay for their own hotel quarantine from July 17.

International arrivals into New South Wales will need to pay similar costs from July 18.

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