I got a lot of really useful information and guidance from a website/persons blog. However it was a little out dated, so I spent 20 minutes posing a comment with my first hand updated info for people like me. As it was a bit of effort and could end up useful in the future, I thought I would add a 2nd blog for the day with a copy and paste of it;
I'm currently in Bali and have successfully just renewed my 'Visa on Arrival'. This site was really useful in giving me some idea what to expect, despite being a bit outdated. I thought I'd try and help others with the most up to date info. Most of it correct, but heres a 'quick' outline of what I encountered. Hope this is useful..
Firstly, as mentioned, it is possible to pay an 'agent' to do the whole thing for you. Friends of mine paid between $60-$90. It is much less hassle, providing all goes to plan. However if it doesn't or the 'agent' messes you around they have your money, passport and numerous other documents.
If you decide to do it yourself then here's what I did;
- take the documents mentioned above with you 7 DAYS before the date your Visa on Arrival is due to expire. (Mine happened to be on a Saturday and I found out the hard way they are closed Saturday+Sunday. In this case go BEFORE the 7 day period, not after or they will ask you a lot of questions).
- If you don't have a photo copy of all the relevant documents, they won't help you until you do...again I found out the hard way. (You may assume they have a photocopying facility at a price, but the don't. However I was directed to a little place 5 minutes away where you can get anything copied).
- You pay R5,000 for a folder and paperwork you have to fill out.
- You then wait to be called up to hand it in. They will ask you general questions about why you want to stay longer and you'll be free to go. (In my experience an iPod is an absolute life saver!!).
- Before you leave they will give you a receipt telling you the Date and Time to return with your payment. (I think 2 days is pretty standard).
- Those 2 days later you turn up with R250,000 , wait around and give them your money when called up.
- Again before you leave you will be given a receipt with the Date and Time to return and pick up your passport with renewed Visa stamp. (Now I assumed this would be another 2 days later which I gather is normal, but in my case it was much longer. I happened to apply in the middle of a national holiday time, and actually had to wait 6 days before I was asked to return).
- When you go back at the designated Time and Date, however long that may be, it's simple. Again you wait around a while, then you are simply given your passport back with a new stamp in it extending you Visa for another 30 days. You will not be given back any of the photocopied documents or the folder you lodged your application with.
I must state that I have no idea how it works if wish to renew the Visa for a second time. It may or may not be exactly the same process. I have heard of people staying for 3/4/5 months but I'm not sure if it's a case of simply renewing over and over again.
In summary it would save you a fair amount of time getting there and back 3 times, and the waiting around, to pay an 'agent'. There do appear to be plenty of reputable ones around, and they stick out like a sore thumb with their Hawiian Shirts when your actually in the Immigration Office. However like I mentioned earlier, if it does go wrong you could be in trouble. Also if there are any complications which need your answering, you wont be there to sort it. Up to you!
(Photo - Bali plug).