Moving to Bali as a family - a few questions

mkarasu

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Hi Everyone,

I'm a Turkish citizen married to a Brit with a dual citizen baby (UK and Turkish) and we're planning on moving to Bali as the current economy and political situation in Turkey is getting worse everyday.

My wife has a BA in Fine Arts and Photography, a TEFL certificate and has been teaching in one of the best primary schools in Turkey for the past 5 years. I have a BA in Film Production and work as a videographer, content creator and cinematographer for an ad agency with about 8 years of experience shooting and editing all sorts of videos.

So here are my questions:
  • I believe my wife's qualifications should suffice to apply for teaching jobs but is there anything else we should know before applying?
  • Do schools provide housing or housing allowance for expat teachers?
  • How hard would it be to find a job prior to relocation? For my wife as a teacher and for me as a videographer?
  • Would our salaries be enough to cover rent and other expenses if the schools won't provide housing? We normally live a modest life, usually cook at home, go out for drinks and dinner a few times a month, see a movie etc.
  • How safe is it considering we have a baby and plan on living in Bali for a long time?

Thank you all so much in advance and hope to meet you if/when we manage to move.
Best regards,
Mustafa
 

mkarasu

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Thank you for your reply. Do you mind expanding it a little? Would it be difficult finding jobs or sustaining a life style with the salaries etc?
 

snpark

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Your passport and occupation plus Bali is more limited than a city unless you somehow become a wedding photographer which is probably illegal since not on the approved list for foreign workers
 

snpark

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Have you ever been to Indonesia or Bali before? Why Bali? What makes you think it's such an idyllic paradise? Just curious.
 

Ruserious

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Please look for the job first, get it and then move. Do not just turn up and look for a job. Even if your wife gets a job after arriving it is likely to be lower paid and potentially not fulfilling all of the legal requirements for visas etc.
 

snpark

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Since you're married to a Brit why not move there. The Government will subsidize housing and income. Here you get nothing. Also there you both more likely to find decent jobs especially if she's a teacher.
 

Helpful Herbert

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I think your wife would have a good chance to get a job there, although Corona has damaged the finances of schools quite a lot (students leaving, new expats not arriving).
Unfortunately you can't work legally as a freelance photographer or video editor. Having said that, Bali is full of video content creators (it's just they are not doing it legally, like being employed by an Indonesian company with work permit).
You do really need to spend some time in Bali and do research on all these issues while onsite, particularly in terms of work, before you think about a permanent move. It is not a place that would solve all one's problems, and it is difficult to live there long term if not married to an Indonesian.
 

mkarasu

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First of all thank you all very much for taking the time and answering my questions.

Have you ever been to Indonesia or Bali before? Why Bali? What makes you think it's such an idyllic paradise? Just curious.
Yes my wife and I have been to Seminyak and Ubud. I realise travelling and living somewhere are two very different things, hence researching and asking questions in expat forums. I never claimed it's an idyllic paradise, but with several international schools and language institutes for my wife to apply to and with such a touristic appeal, several companies, hotels, resorts, diving schools etc are bound to need video content, which is what I do for living, I thought it would be a good option to consider. Furthermore, I also happen to be a scuba diver with underwater videography experience and want to build on that. The nature, climate, culture etc are of course other factors we have considered.

Since you're married to a Brit why not move there. The Government will subsidize housing and income. Here you get nothing. Also there you both more likely to find decent jobs especially if she's a teacher.
Even though my wife is a Brit, we can't just move there. She needs to provide an income for several months before she can sponsor me to immigrate. Also it's notoriously difficult to find a job prior to moving since I'm not a citizen. We also want to get away from metropolitan living and all the hassle it brings. I think this pandemic proved that it's not a good idea to have millions of people live on top of each other.

I think your wife would have a good chance to get a job there, although Corona has damaged the finances of schools quite a lot (students leaving, new expats not arriving).
Unfortunately you can't work legally as a freelance photographer or video editor. Having said that, Bali is full of video content creators (it's just they are not doing it legally, like being employed by an Indonesian company with work permit).
You do really need to spend some time in Bali and do research on all these issues while onsite, particularly in terms of work, before you think about a permanent move. It is not a place that would solve all one's problems, and it is difficult to live there long term if not married to an Indonesian.
I have come across certain companies offering digital marketing internships with the promise of permanent employment. Do you think it could be a scam looking for free labour and then never hiring? Also is it possible to start my own ad agency like a home office to begin with? I believe I'd need a local partner correct?
 

mkarasu

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Please look for the job first, get it and then move. Do not just turn up and look for a job. Even if your wife gets a job after arriving it is likely to be lower paid and potentially not fulfilling all of the legal requirements for visas etc.
Yes that's what we're thinking as well. One of us has to find an employment before moving, we wouldn't consider just showing up both of us empty handed.
 

harryopal

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Bali, like everywhere else is in a very uncertain state with collapsed and struggling businesses. You describe these factors as appealing.... " with several international schools and language institutes for my wife to apply to and with such a touristic appeal, several companies, hotels, resorts, diving schools etc are bound to need video content, which is what I do for living, I thought it would be a good option to consider. Furthermore, I also happen to be a scuba diver with underwater videography experience and want to build on that. The nature, climate, culture etc are of course other factors we have considered. "

Most of these kind of places are laying people off and it may well be a year and probably longer before those possibilities for employment become viable. As with other countries, Indonesia is opening areas of activity trying to establish a "new normal" but as is happening elsewhere, no sooner than restrictions are lifted, another cluster sees further lockdowns. If you presently have employment you might consider yourself lucky and cling to that until things do settle down and, as I say, this may take somewhat longer than people think.
 

ChrisTex

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Ok, looking at the original post, there are some things to point out.

Yes your wife should be able to find a job as a teacher.Having the TEFL along with her degree increases the odds on finding something. That being said, school has already started(at least in Jakarta) so it might be too late for a regular school. However, she might be able to find a job at a company like English First(they usually hire year round, but low pay by teaching standards). The downside to this is the contract is one year and unless both of you(maybe even EF too) are willing, she work two jobs if and when she found a teaching position at a regular school in order to not break the EF contract and pay a fine(from the school). Plus as Herbert has said, schools have been hit hard money wise. So the timing is what is really going to cause problems.

Have you thought about starting an online tutorial business in film? That might be something to look into.
 

harryopal

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A sister in law in Bali employed for years as an administrator with a large private school has recently had her work rate reduced to just nine days a month.
 

R Cameron

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are bound to need video content, which is what I do for living, I thought it would be a good option to consider. Furthermore, I also happen to be a scuba diver with underwater videography experience and want to build on that. The nature, climate, culture etc are of course other factors we have considered.
Indonesian labor laws are very protective of local labor, meaning that you can only be hired for positions as a foreign expert capable of doing jobs that locals can not. Indonesia has a healthy video and film industry and you would be very hard pressed to make a case for your unique expertise, and you should not do any video work for an Indonesian company/client without a work permit (IMTA).

There is also a Artist/Freelance Working visa that is valid for only 6 months at a time, renewed by creating a new one out of the country. I don't know the details other than what is available online like this: https://balibusinessconsulting.com/services/entertainment-kitas/

Finally, while living with a spousal visa, it is technically a grey area but you would be quite safe to do video editing work for non-Indonesian clients, so the business never leaves your home other than through an internet connection. An advantage of this is that you could start this business now and begin gaining clients and income that can follow you anywhere in the world.
 

mkarasu

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I really appreciate all the replies. Thank you all so much for giving great feedback. In any case, we won’t be able to move until next summer anyway so that’ll give us some time to further consider our options and observe the situation.

Starting an online business and building up a client base is a great idea. I think I’ll work on that and see what happens.

Thank you and all the best.
 

ChrisTex

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If you do plan on moving to Bali next year, I would have your wife start applying for teaching positions between October and Feb 2021 and at as many schools as possible.
 

cestpasmyjob

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Your wife will probably have more luck with schools elsewhere in Indonesia. Everyone and their dog wants to be an expat teacher in Bali. No so much in Bekasi.

Have you also considered schools in Malaysia or HK? HK especially allows spouses to work.
 

Balifrog

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Your wife will probably have more luck with schools elsewhere in Indonesia. Everyone and their dog wants to be an expat teacher in Bali. No so much in Bekasi.

Have you also considered schools in Malaysia or HK? HK especially allows spouses to work.
Hong Kong offers a nice package to native English teachers


Visa rules also much easier.
But of.course HKG livestyle ain't Bali livestyle .... But if young it's a good choice.
And keep Bali for retirement.
 

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