How to find a job in Bali

Updated 2022-09-26 12:36

The multi-faceted island of Bali offers many opportunities for those who wish to move from tourist to expatriate status. But what about employment for foreigners? While the promise of living and working in a paradise-like setting is tempting, it is important to understand that finding a job in Indonesia requires patience and perseverance, not to mention a strong CV. Immigration laws were tightened during the pre-pandemic years, but the government is expected to loosen the legislation again to help the economy recover.

If you wish to work in Bali, you will be required to have a long-term visa to stay in Indonesia. People who work without permission or with only a tourist visa risk severe penalties ranging from jail to deportation and/or corporal punishment. It is important to be informed about the administrative procedure that you will need to undertake in order to be allowed to work in Indonesia. There are several types of visas that allow you to seek employment and earn a salary in Indonesia, depending on how long you want to stay, the type of work you will be doing and your professional status.

After being granted long-term residency in Indonesia, you will be able to apply for your right to work. More specifically, in order to be eligible to work in Bali, you must first obtain a work visa or KITAS (Kartu Tanda Tinggal Sementara), which is a temporary residence permit for Indonesia, that requires sponsorship either from a foreign-owned company (PMA), or an Indonesian limited liability company (PT) or from the representative office of a foreign company. The minimum validity of a KITAS is six months and the maximum is 12 months. The administrative fee is approximately USD 1,200 per application.

Also, note that not all Indonesian limited liability companies are allowed to sponsor a foreign worker. To reverse this, the company must meet specific financial requirements.

You should be aware that Indonesia is a developing country and is constantly adjusting its bureaucracy. For example, with the current government taking the fight against corruption very seriously, even the smallest administrative hiccup can cause a huge delay in any process. So make sure that all your papers and identification documents are valid and in order.

Good to know

The KITAS (right of residence) from a marriage with an Indonesian spouse does not confer the right to work in Bali, the marriage KITAS and work KITAS being two separate documents. However, a marriage KITAS readily gives you the right to apply for a work permit. As mentioned, it is mandatory to apply for a work permit in order to work in Bali, even if it may seem a rather tedious and expensive process.

In Bali, where many tourists flock, the immigration department is always vigilant about illegal workers. Immigration officers often raid companies to check the validity of the work visa of their foreign employees. Failure to do so results in heavy fines for the company and deportation for the expatriate.

Consequently, fewer and fewer companies are willing to sponsor foreigners unless the person has crucial skills that no Indonesian can produce. The sponsorship process is not only expensive but can also put the company at risk if something goes wrong.

Looking for a job in Bali

It is highly recommended to first find a job in Bali before moving in. It is worth mentioning that a job offer open to expatriates in traditional media such as newspapers, radio or television is a very rare commodity. However, be aware that even if you do come across an ad, the recruitment process can take several months.

That is why most expatriates in Bali prefer to browse through specialized online job boards. For example, you can check our list of available jobs in Bali. Other websites that post jobs for English-speaking professionals include Glassdoor, JobStreet, LinkedIn, oneworld 365 and concordservices, to name a few.

If you do not have time to do your job search yourself or if you feel lost in the administrative paperwork required beforehand, you can choose to hire an immigration agent. They will take care of all the paperwork for you and should generally be able to provide you with a list of potential jobs that match your professional skills, salary expectations and requirements.

Sectors that are recruiting in Bali

Around 80% of Bali's economy is based on tourism. The island has one of the highest densities of spas in the world (about 1,200), which makes it easier for foreigners to find jobs in this sector, usually in high-level positions (hotel management, executive chefs, etc.). Several agencies offer such services in Bali, such as or This will cost you more, of course, but you will save yourself a lot of administrative hassle compared to those who do it themselves.

You can also work as an English teacher without necessarily stepping on the toes of local teachers. Applicants for this type of job are welcome in kindergartens, high schools and universities. Salaries can vary depending on the qualifications of the job seeker and the hiring institution. For example, an international school will pay more than a foreign language center.

Bali is undoubtedly one of the best expatriation destinations to teach yoga, scuba diving and surfing, especially if you have the necessary qualifications and skills. Ubud, the spiritual wellness capital of Bali, is the ideal place to be an instructor, while Nusa Lembongan and its wild beaches are perfect for surfing professionals. With Bali being considered the surfing capital of the world, there are many surfcamps across the island. These establishments offer room and board to tourists who want to learn to surf, as well as lessons for different levels and transportation to the many local surf spots.

If you're a model, photographer, musician or dancer, there are also plenty of opportunities thanks to the many events, festivals, films and commercials organized and filmed locally. Live entertainment, discos, bars and nightclubs also abound in Bali, feeding the need for DJs and musicians. Otherwise, bartenders, restaurant and bar managers, and waiters are among the most required professionals in Bali.

Some of the most popular jobs for foreigners in Bali are:

  • scuba diving instructor
  • foreign language teachers
  • various restaurant and hotel jobs
  • construction managers
  • yoga instructor
  • various jobs in the art sector
  • entrepreneurship (with start-up founders).


As a job applicant, always ensure that your potential employer applies for the work visa that which you are qualified for.

The fastest and safest way to obtain a work visa is to start your own business in Bali, which allows you to sponsor your work visa. Many expats choose this route by opening a restaurant or an import-export business. In return, be prepared to invest a lot of time and money. If possible, enter a local partnership or get help from the Balinese people, as this should make things much easier, especially in terms of administrative tasks. However, be sure to partner up or use people you trust.

If you are a digital nomad, there comes the good news. Bali is also riding the new technology and start-up wave. As a result, many coworking spaces have sprung up there and offer good service. However, many of these spaces have closed their doors following the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in Indonesia. It's best to check online before you go looking for a space that will suit you.

However, there are some conditions attached to being a digital nomad in Indonesia. For example, you will not be allowed to work for local companies or receive commissions from companies related to Indonesia. Your clients must be from other countries and have no interest or investment in Bali. That's why only freelancers who have a good international network before emigrating and are already well established financially can live well in Bali. If you want to start from Bali, make sure you secure a solid client base that will provide you with a regular and decent income before you start.

How to find a job in Bali?

Bali is a relatively small destination, perfect for networking and taking action quickly. Be active by registering on expat job boards, join communities and forums specific to your field on social networks, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Remember to read our article on Bali's networking etiquette. Balinese customs and traditions are sometimes very particular, and you might offend some people without meaning to if you are not familiar with some local practices.

In addition, reach out to festival and event organizers and start making contacts in your chosen industry. For example, if you are a yoga teacher, go to the Bali Spirit Festival and attend the event, or email the organizers to learn more about the local yoga scene.

Once on the island, do not hesitate to submit your CV directly to companies or upload it to job websites in Bali.

Also, note that many international hotel chains tend to hire internally. If you are in the industry and work for a chain that has business in Bali, why not request an in-house transfer? Many expatriates in Bali work for international chains such as Club Med, Radisson Blu, Intercontinental and others, Most of them have applied for a transfer to work for a few years on the island of the Gods.

It needs to be stressed out that the tourism sector has been strongly impacted by the economic crisis related to Covid-19. But since the end of 2021, things have kept improving. For example, as of March 7, 2022, sanitary measures have been eased out, and new arrivals are no longer required to undergo quarantine before being allowed to travel to the island, provided that their vaccinations are up to date and that they undergo regular tests. While the COVID crisis had triggered a 9.5% drop in tourist arrivals to the country between 2019 and 2021, Indonesia is pushing hard to welcome 3.6 million targeted foreign tourists by 2022.

If you are a teacher, contact international schools in Bali. And if you're interested in teaching English as a foreign language, sign up on teaching forums such as Dave's ESL Cafe, or apply to language schools such as English First.

Useful links:

Glassdoor - for those looking for a job or English speaking in Bali

JobStreet Bali

Bali Jobs - Facebook group

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.