To legally volunteer with us in Bali, you are required to obtain a Social/Cultural visa before your placement is scheduled to commence. Even though there is no "volunteer visa" for Indonesia, the Social/Cultural Visa is what we have been instructed by the government to obtain for our volunteers. 

Regardless of the fact that you are obtaining a Social/Cultural Visa, please don’t mention that you are taking part in a volunteer programme or about any of the work that you will be doing in Bali, as this can lead to unnecessary complications at Immigration. We find it’s far easier to just let Immigration know about the exciting things you have planned for your weekends; you know, beaches, scuba diving, climbing stuff and seeing the gorgeous island.

All our Placements in Bali run for a total of 28 days. This process for getting this visa can be slightly different depending upon which country you are applying from, so it is worth taking some time to get your head around this now. Please read the following information, in its entirety, and let us know if you need further assistance or clarification.

Getting prepared 

This handy list gives you all the information you need to make sure you're on track to receive your visa in time for your placement. 

+ Four months before your placement date

Fill in the Online Social Visa Form on your SLV.Global Portal and upload a clear copy of your passport picture page as instructed in the document. Make sure your passport is valid for more than six months after your placement concludes. If your passport is due to expire, or you lose your passport, please get in touch with us ASAP as this may affect your place on the team.

For US applicants, please check that the state where you are based is in the juristiction of the Indonesian Embassy or Consulate you choose in your form. You can find this out via the Embassy website. For example if you are based in Florida, you must choose the Embassy in Houston, Texas, and are unable to apply via the Embassies in New York or Washington.

Please note, your passport needs to be in good condition in order to be granted entry into Bali. If your passport is damaged or torn, you will need to get this replaced.

+ Three months before your placement date

SLV.Global will submit your details to our visa sponsor in Bali. Once your details have been processed you will be issued a sponsorship letter with your name on it which allows you to continue your application. In the meantime you can begin gathering the additional supporting documents you will need for your application.

If you need to apply for a new passport, and this does not match the information you have uploaded to your SLV.Global Portal, please let us know ASAP or you may not be able to join the placement.

+ Two - three months before your placement date

We’ll email you a copy of the sponsorship letter. Congrats! You can now submit the letter, with the rest of your supporting documents and apply for your Indonesian Social Visa at your closest Indonesian Embassy. See more info below on the application process.

+ Four weeks before your placement date

You should now have your Social Visa. Please upload a clear copy/photo of the visa to your SLV.Global Portal.

+ One week before your placement date

Please photocopy your visa, along with the photo page of your passport and the sponsorship letter and pack those to take with you to Bali.

+ One + day(s) before your placement date

Fly to Bali and keep a copy of your outbound flight details and a copy of the visa letter somewhere in your carry-on luggage so you can access it. Immigration may want to see it.

Other travel plans 

+ Travelling before your placement?

Applying for your visa is slightly different based on which country you are applying from. If you are travelling before your placement, and you are unable to get your visa before you leave, you will need to make arrangements to collect your visa whilst on your travels. You will need to make sure you check the requirements for the Indonesian Embassy you want to collect your visa from. If you need help please contact us on [email protected].

+ Travelling after your placement?

The visas we obtain for you are valid for 60 days, so feel free to stick around and see as much as you can!

How to apply for your Social/Cultural Visa 

You can apply for your Social Visa in person at your closest Indonesian Embassy/Consulate or by post. To figure out where your closest embassy is we recommend Googling it and then gauging if visiting or posting your application is most feasible for you. Either way, please read on for step-by-step instructions on how to apply for your Social/Cultural Visa. 

+ Supporting documents

You can apply for your Social/Cultural Visa once we e-mail you a copy of your visa sponsorship letter mentioned above.

You will also need to submit a number of additional documents supporting your application, which may vary slightly depending on which country you are applying from. Generally, however they will all require the following:

  • Letter from Indonesian Sponsor granting you permission to apply for a ‘Social Visa’. You cannot apply for this visa without this letter so please wait for us to email this to you first.
  • Sponsor's ID Card example - This is an example. Your Sponsor's ID will be added to your Portal. Please colour print to include with your application documents.
  • If your embassy's visa application form requires you to state the address of your Indonesian sponsor, please use the address written on your sponsor letter. See below, if you need help understanding your Sponsor letter:

Social Visa ID Help

  • 2 Passport Photos: 4.5 x 3.5cm
  • £50.00- (about $60 USD, $80 AUD or €50 but this is embassy dependent so may vary). If you are applying via the UK you will need to pay via cards, postal order or bank transfer, they do not accept cash. You can pay by card at your local Indonesian embassy/consulate or complete a bank transfer (please input payment reference number in the application form). If paying via postal order, you will need to arrange this at your local post office. Please check directly with the embassy for their preferred payment method. You can find their bank details on their website. They do not accept cheques.
  • Social Visa application form – These are embassy dependent and will vary slightly based on which embassy you apply from. These can be found on your closest Indonesian Embassy website and can be in a paper or online format. If your closest Embassy is in London, UK, your form is online. We have some templates in the section below to help you.
  • Your Passport - valid for 6 months from date you leave Indonesia
  • Outbound Flight Details – proof you are going to be leaving the country.
  • Depending on which embassy you are applying from, your visa application form might also request an address in Bali. If so, please use the following address which is the address of one of our SLV.Bali partners in the village where you will be staying for your programme:

Siadja Gallery, Jl. Raya Mas, MAS, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, 80571, Indonesia

This list is not exhaustive, please make sure to research your embassy for the full list of documents.

+ Application form templates

We have filled in a few templates of the most used embassies to try and help you fill in your visa application form. However you can find most of the information you need from these templates even if you are applying from elsewhere.

+ Applying in person

Please allow 7 - 10 working days for your visa to be processed. Please bring all of the above documents, plus the fee stipulated on the embassy's website and collect it at the time they advise. Your visa will be inserted into your passport.

+ Applying via post

If you‘re posting your application this will take 10 - 14 working days, as you need to account for the time it will be in transit. It’s essential you send your documents Special Delivery. Remember to include an additional pre-paid, pre-stamped Special Delivery envelope with your address on it for your passport to be returned in. Without this, the embassy will NOT return your passport to you. We’ve learnt this the hard way!

Mistakes We understand mistakes happen, but if you’ve made an error resulting in us having to re-apply for a sponsorship letter on your behalf, you will be charged an extra administrative fee of £45/€50/$60. This will cover the sponsorship application fee, and also any further transport or staffing costs incurred by this. So please follow the instructions carefully!

+ Filling out your Arrival Card and your address

When you land at the airport you will be asked to fill out an Arrivals Card. Under the purpose of visit section please check the box marked ‘Holiday’. Under the accommodation section please check the box marked ‘apartment’. For the address in Indonesia section, please use the address SLV will email to you 1 week before your placement start date. Alternatively, should you be arriving to Bali before your placement start date please use the address of the accommodation you have booked.


+ Can a friend or family member collect my visa for me?

Yes! As long as you send them with a note like this confirming their name, your name and your signature you can have someone collect your documents on your behalf.

+ Can I arrive, and travel, in Bali before my placement starts?

Of course! We think it's a really good idea to do this to get used to the time difference and the climate.

+ If I post my documents, how long should it take to get them back?

The usual processing time is 10 business days, so please chase up your documents if you have been waiting longer than this by calling the Indonesian Embassy you used. Please ensure you send a new, self-addressed Special Delivery envelope with your documents or your documents will not be returned to you.

+ What happens if I lose my passport or it gets stolen?

Oh no! This is unfortunate. You will need to get a new passport and get in touch with us ASAP with your new details to make sure there is no delay in processing your application on the Indonesian side.

If we've already sent your details off you'll need to pay an admin fee of £45 so that we can order you a new sponsorship letter.

+ What does my visa look like?

Your visa will come back to you already inserted into your passport. It is purple and will take up a whole page.

+ How do I find my closest Indonesian Embassy?

Firstly: decide where you'll be when you apply. So, for example, if you're at university in Germany, but live in the UK and are going on placement in the summer, the likelihood is that you will be back in the UK when you apply. Next: Google "Indonesian Embassy" and the city where you live to get the full address and opening times/details. If you are still unsure, please feel free to contact, Shannon, on [email protected].

+ How do I fill in my Social Visa application form?

We have filled in a few templates of the most used embassies to try and help you fill in your visa application form. However you can find most of the information you need from these templates even if you are applying from elsewhere.

+ What happens if I overstay my visa?

Our best advice is to not do this. Overstaying can result in fines, deportation and even prevention from entering the country, and neighbouring countries. Check your flights and placement dates carefully to make sure you're not overstaying.

+ My friends and family are coming to visit me, will they need a Social/Cultural Visa too?

Nope! As your friends and family won't be working with us they are free to grab a Tourist Visa on arrival. Even though they'll be hanging with you at the weekend they're still tourists.