Bali at a Glance
Working in BaliiStockphoto
The Balinese economy is mainly supported by the tourist industry.
Bali is a mixture of extravagant holiday resorts sprawled along pristine sandy beaches and, unfortunately, local poverty. Most people working in Bali are employed either in the tourism industry in the south of the island, or work in subsistence farming and agriculture. For expats who plan on working in Bali, the hospitality industry would be the most pragmatic choice. As the cost of living in Bali is relatively low in comparison to other countries, most expatriates working in Bali find themselves living a comfortable, almost luxurious lifestyle.
Working in Bali: Economy
Everyone who starts working in Bali will quickly become aware that the largest industry on the island is agriculture. The most important agricultural products are rice, coffee, tea, cacao, soy beans, and tobacco, among others. However, the major contributor to Bali’s GDP is the tourism sector.
In the 1970s, the Balinese government realized that they could not avoid the huge torrents of tourists streaming onto the island and decided to be proactive in this matter. Instead of rejecting the onslaught of tourism, they turned it around to make the island one of the first cultural tourism hotspots. This resulted in Bali becoming the showcase of Indonesia, making the Balinese island the wealthiest in the entire archipelago to date.
Working in Bali: Jobs for Expats
Expats who consider working in Bali will find most opportunities at international companies, as an English teacher, or in the tourism industry. If money is not your motivation for working in Bali, there are also several volunteer organizations based in Bali.
If you aren’t sent to Bali on a foreign assignment or don’t decide to retire there, a good way to begin the search for a job in Bali consists in finding out in which areas the Balinese economy requires specialists. As previously mentioned, the tourist industry is booming again: if you are qualified for a hotel or restaurant jobs and bring outstanding experience with you, working in Bali may not be too difficult for you!
It is important to note that finding a job once you are in Bali is usually more difficult than having one before you move there, especially as far as visas and permits are concerned. Therefore we highly recommend you begin your job search long before your intended moving date.
Working in Bali: Work Permits
Acquiring a visa for working in Bali is a slightly complicated process. This is due in part to the fact that many Indonesian companies prefer employing locals to hiring non-Indonesians. In Indonesia, companies are required to have what is called an IMTA, which is a work permit given to companies interested in hiring foreign employees.
Of course, that does not mean that working in Bali as a foreigner is impossible: On the contrary, there are many foreign nationals working in Bali. However, it is important to be aware that legally working in Bali can be more difficult than expected. It would be beneficial if you hire either an immigration agent or find a confirmed job offer before entering the country.