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How to Work in Bali

How to Work in Bali

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Working in Bali

If your heart is set on working somewhere with an equal work-life balance… 

Moving to and working in Bali, Indonesia is highly recommended for you. 

The Island of The Gods, Bali has been a popular Indonesian tourist destination since the 70s

From the welcoming locals, fascinating rich local culture, amazing culinary scene, to beaches and green rice fields…

Bali is a vibrant melting pot full of opportunities; every day is an adventure, and you never know what opportunities are waiting for you just around the corner. 

Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? What if we told you that living AND working in Bali is a possibility?

How do I work in Bali? What is it like to live in Bali? How do I move to Bali?

Keep reading to get the complete guide on how to secure life and a job in Bali

1. What’s Living in Bali Like?

Bali has the best of both worlds.

Before the day has even started you can get your surf on, work out, or simply take a walk on the beach.

This magical island is home to many, and a huge percentage of those have sworn that it is the island that inspires business creation or a fresh approach to looking at solutions. 

Bali is home to individuals from varied backgrounds, each with their own life stories and personal values. 

This combination is the reason why living here is so incredibly dynamic and makes you feel so alive. 

You never know what (good) surprise is waiting just around the corner.

What is there to do in Bali?

  • On the weekends, you can go island hopping to awesome places, like Nusa Lembongan (our regular spot)
  • Ubud is known as the Zen part of Bali, a place where the culture of the island is most accessible
    • It shares the island's most beautiful rice fields; the perfect place to get some needed R&R after a long week's work
  • North and West Bali are thinly populated but have the kind of diving and surfing that makes any journey worthwhile! 
    • Catch up on deadlines with the sound of waves crashing and melting on the shore
  • Making friends has never been easier 
    • You will find yourself meeting new, genuine people almost every day – and then before you know it, you’ve got yourself a second family, a home away from home!

At the end of the day (which is the start of the day for some here, because of different time zones around the world), it's common for work colleagues who are like ‘families’ to socialize in the buzzing towns like Canggu.

Looks like fun? That’s because it is fun! 

Welcome to Bali!

Work-Life Balance in Bali

  • You get to meet interesting, eye-opening individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Work opportunities are endless – with an office-based career, you can still spend time on your passion projects!
  • You get to work on a tropical island, where you can catch the sunset after work, or surf during lunch break
  • The most important: the opportunity to connect and network here is infinite, everyone knows someone 
  • Take it from us, just by reaching out or asking to be connected can lead to long-term, fruitful opportunities. 

2. Why Should I Work in Bali?

Copyright Balishoot

Why work here?

Because Bali has something to offer for everyone!

From corporate organizations to the top restaurants.

From lush rice fields to turquoise shorelines. From the best beach clubs to modern coworking spaces.

But what are the benefits of working in Bali? Can you just show up and get a job? Where do you apply for work in Bali?

We are positive that there is an opportunity in Bali, just waiting for you.

Here’s why…

The Modern Influence in Bali

  • In recent years, Bali has become a place where skilled workers continually migrate from different parts of the world, setting up their lives here
  • Entrepreneurs continue to arrive in the hundreds, and the local governments have started to take notice!
  • Many (including our Kosong Satu Group team) have referred to Bali as a magnet, with the Island continuously providing and creating work opportunities, to stay here for the long-term
  • Sandiaga Uno, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy recently announced plans for a long-term visa which will benefit many entrepreneurs here.

The list continues…

  • Nearly all of the towns and cities in Bali now have a high-quality WiFi Internet connection
  • If you are new to Bali, here’s the good news: most people speak English here. However, we strongly recommend getting a good Indonesian teacher and learning the local language 0361229060
  • The numbers of international companies that are well established on the island show that the standard of living has made Bali a top choice for a place to work
  • A lot of companies here in Bali are extremely innovative and forward-thinking
  • Not to mention, Bali’s incredible coworking places!

Sounds impressive right?

That's because it is!

3. How Do I Work in Bali?

Now that you know the perks of living and building your career in Bali, you might be wondering – where do I start?

The dynamics of working and living in Bali are very different in comparison to traveling to Bali for a vacation or the ‘typical’ job hunting process back in your home country.

There are strict legal processes you need to do before you start working legally.

We would highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations. Unfortunately many have been caught out by Immigration for not having the correct work permit. This applies to both the candidate and employer.

Working on this island is a dream for many, and it is possible if you follow our tips and tricks!

How to Get a Work Permit in Bali

To get a job on the island as a foreigner, you need to have a KITAS and an IMTA.

How do you obtain them?

You will need to be sponsored by the company you are working for!

 Curious about what the process is like?


  • The company that is hiring you should apply for a KITAS on your behalf
  • KITAS in Indonesian is short for “Kartu Izin Tinggal Sementara”, which translates to – Temporary Stay Permit Card.

Types of KITAS

There are different types of KITAS, each one has its work purpose.

It doesn't matter what profession you are working in, whether it's self-employed or working for an Indonesian company, you must have the correct work permit/visa to match your work type.

  • Working KITAS Planning to work and earn money in Indonesia? Have you got a sponsorship from your company? Apply for this KITAS!
  • Investor KITAS Are you an investor or a shareholder of a business in Indonesia, planning to live in the country? Investor KITAS is the answer for you.

There is common confusion about KITAS and work permits.

A KITAS is not a work permit! The actual permit is called IMTA.


  • The work permit is IMTA, short for Issuance of Expatriate Employment Permit in Indonesia
  • You must obtain an IMTA before entering and working in Indonesia.

This might seem complex and time-consuming. The legal side of signing a contract can always be a bit daunting, especially if it isn't your native country.

Lucky for you, we have a trusted, reputable legal consultancy that we've worked with for years!

Meet Legal Legends, Bali’s top Visa, Business, and Property Consultant.

From work permits to property needs, they will handle everything for you. So you can focus on the real task at hand, stress-free. Whether it's starting a new role, or onboarding your new employee.

Getting a Job in Bali

How to apply for a job in Bali?

The answer:

With the right help, with the right recruitment agency!

  • While it’s rare to stumble upon a job advertisement for foreigners in Bali on social media, they do exist; you just need to know where to look
  • High & Low Headhunters regularly advertise on our website, Instagram, Facebook & LinkedIn
  • With High & Low Headhunters, you will get connected to the best job opportunities available in Bali, coming from reputable, established companies
  • We will do our utmost to assist you in finding the perfect position that matches your abilities and interests!

We can also assist you if you are a company and want to get in touch about hiring your next team member.

Networking in Bali

What comes to mind when you think about networking?

Many of us associate the term with awkward occasions where people stand around with an agenda and strike up small talks with strangers.

Did you know that managers are more likely to hire someone that they have met and interacted with before, compared to hiring a stranger they just met through an interview?

The bottom line?

When it comes to networking – whether online or offline, it is something everyone should be doing.

It has been proven to be incredibly valuable if done properly!

Why is Networking Important?

Many recruitments and career consultants believe that networking is the most crucial and successful strategy to get your ideal job.

Why? Because networking makes it easier for you to speak to the right people in your industry, and connect with the professionals who will be able to give you a referral. OR you may just end up speaking to the hiring manager or even better the owner.

Is this achievable? Yes, most people you speak with in Bali, will tell you their story of how, by getting themselves out there, they managed to get their dream job in Bali.

It is as simple as getting yourself out there.

You are expanding your network reach, which helps when it comes to meeting “the right people”!

Networking can also provide advice and open doors for opportunities that you would have never come across or even considered.

Not only that, having a strong network will help you through personal challenging situations or career transitions; it will give you the confidence and support when you go on your job search.

How to Network The Right Way

When done correctly, networking can have positive repercussions. The bigger your network, the bigger your chance at finding the next big opportunity!

But how does one network efficiently?

  • Choose the approach you are comfortable with. If approaching strangers at gatherings makes you nervous, consider focusing your efforts on one or two people
  • Go to events that interest you. These events are perfect as not only do you get to learn more about a topic you’re passionate about, but you also get to meet like-minded people!
  • Online networking. You can have powerful networks built online through sharing of ideas, supporting the work of others, and reaching out for advice
  • It’s a two-way street. Take time to help where you can, refer people who contact you to others who can help. ‘What goes around comes around’ is important when it comes to networking!
  • Be patient. The truth is, networking takes time. Networking is all about building relationships, so it’s important to maintain a consistent effort.

How to Network In Bali?

  • Utilize social media to connect with opportunities and business owners, and attend events that are relevant to your field of interest
  • Don’t feel shy and be yourself (but keep it professional!). Show them what you’re capable of!
  • Give back! Being genuinely curious and kind will not only help you make a good impression but also lead to interesting conversations and long-lasting connections down the line.

4. Moving to Bali

In so many ways, Bali is a wonderful place to live and work, as we have mentioned in this post.

With its sandy beaches, copious amounts of restaurants, events, and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder so many people fall in love with the island.

However, moving your life and living permanently in Bali has its challenges.

There are many factors you need to consider and get adjusted to before you set into the “Bali Living” mindset.

Scroll down to get the gist of it!

Things to Know in Bali

  • Bali’s tourism infrastructure is well established… TIP: always carry a little cash with you, as some places don’t take cards
  • Get your vaccinations, health is wealth
  • You can’t drink the tap water! There are lots of eco-shops that sell sustainable water bottles
  • The weather is summer-like almost all year long; a good sunscreen is a must!
  • While the average wage is lower than most western countries or Indonesian cities, the cost of living is considerably affordable
  • There is always a good deal, any day of the week at restaurants. Our sister brand Bali Model Agency has a lucrative club called BMA Club, which offers exclusive cardholder deals
  • If you want to buy imported groceries, particularly dairy products such as high-quality cheese, be prepared for a higher import cost.

Accommodation in Bali

  • Accommodation in Bali costs depends on location, style, and size of course!
  • Most expats live in a “villa” or a stand-alone house
  • You can get a two-bedroom villa furnished for 1500US$ per month; sometimes cheaper. The sky's the limit!
  • Nowadays apartments are being built and made available for monthly rental, many with a communal pool.

Transportation in Bali

  • Unlike other places in the world, public transport is not a thing in Bali
  • You have two options: rely on the apps (the affordable Indonesian Uber, called GoJek or Grab) or drive a motorbike/car yourself
  • A car is an easy transition for most, but traffic can be a nightmare, and many prefer to drive a scooter/motorbike for this reason
  • Gojek/Grab is a very cost-efficient and fast way to get yourself around Bali safely
  • Just remember to always wear a helmet!

5. Working in Bali

Bali is a prime destination for sun-seekers, honeymooners, friends, travelers, and many other reasons.

With stunning natural geography to explore and gorgeous beaches to relax on, it might not be the place that comes to mind when you think about working, starting, or continuing your career, but the facts are that it is a popular destination for many who want to live and work abroad.

While the promise of working and living in paradise is very tempting, there are things you need to know before you set your expectations!

Like any major life change, having a career in Bali can take some time to get used to.

From the work culture, time-management, to local etiquette, here are the things you need to know about Bali and working on the island.

Working in Bali: What to Expect

  • Because of the work permit process, you need to secure employment that sponsors your KITAS and IMTA on the island before you move to Bali
  • Depending on your current job, you might be able to work remotely…
  • Your salary may wildly vary depending on the position and your skill-set. It’s on you to negotiate and present yourself as a competent worker.

Bali Business Etiquette

  • Understanding and researching the local business etiquette is important before you land your job in Bali
  • Specifically, remember the religious holidays and don’t set up meetings or work-related events on these days
  • Just because it’s Bali doesn’t mean you can wear beach clothes to meet clients, dress appropriately
  • Like other countries, a right-handed, firm handshake will do for work meetings
  • Refer to people with their title instead of first name (Bapak / Mr, etc)
  • Be aware that it’s not customary for Indonesians to talk “straight” (too much directness is often considered rude). Be verbally open, yet gentle!

Where Can I Work in Bali?


Famously known as the surfers’ paradise of Bali, Uluwatu offers the best of Bali’s natural attractions. Uluwatu is a great spot to live in due to its more laid-back environment, surrounded by beaches, and filled with cultural spots and activities.

More of the creative type?

Working as a photographer in Uluwatu will make it easier for you to capture your best photos yet, thanks to its majestic cliffs and breathtaking sunset view. Not only that, the grand temple of Pura Luhur and the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue are two of the most famous places in Bali, located in Uluwatu; made to be captured.

There are also lots of excellent hotels and beach clubs, opening the door for a career in hospitality.


Canggu offers you the best of both worlds; it is the trendiest area of Bali where everything is happening. From always buzzing late-night speakeasy bars to modern offices, Canggu has it all.

Looking to work in Canggu?

Bali’s economy relies heavily on tourism, and in the area of Canggu, there is always a new bar, restaurant, or beach club opening, therefore hospitality jobs come around often.

Canggu is also a hotspot for offices, with international schools in the area, it's a place where business owners have made their base.


The main attractions of Denpasar, Bali's provincial capital, include several sites of historical and cultural significance. These range from ancient temples spread throughout the town to museums that house unique artworks and centuries-old treasures.

Unlike the popular beach resort areas around the island’s south, Denpasar offers a blend of rustic touches and urban features. Denpasar central has a rather bustling scene. Hence, you can get better opportunities for office-based and corporate jobs in the capital city!


There's something more going on than just self-healing and meditation in the town of Ubud. Living here you get to test some new ways of living, where you brush up against nature and entrepreneurs, digital nomads, yogis, and local Balinese people and culture.

If your preferred job is online-based, Ubud is a fantastic digital nomad destination if you like being in nature but don’t want to miss out on the dynamics of a city! Also, life in Ubud is about 90% centered around self-care and relaxation; so your other best bet when it comes to work is focusing on the F&B scene or the hospitality industry.


Now it’s your turn to share your experiences.

We would love to hear about your experiences of working in Bali!

Or, maybe you are thinking about packing your suitcase and making a move to Bali and have some questions?

Either way, leave a comment below!

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