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Indonesia’s new law banning pre-marital sex – what you need to know for your next visit to Bali

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Just a quick note to allay any fears of unmarried couples planning to travel to Bali!

You may have read that the Indonesian government has passed a very controversial new law banning sex outside of marriage. Although it’s already been passed it will only be effective from 2025. While adultery has been banned for many years, pre-marital sex has now been added. That said, the law will only be prosecuted if pre-marital sex or adultery is reported by a spouse, parent or child.

But, most importantly, foreign tourists to Bali have nothing to fear about this new law. The government has emphasised that it is being implemented to uphold “Indonesian values” and is directed at local people.

The Balinese government is intent on post-Covid tourism recovery on the island and has no appetite to prosecute foreigners. In fact, the Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, has unequivocally come out as saying that local authorities would not be checking tourists' marital status.

Foreigners will not be prosecuted

In addition, Indonesia's Deputy Law and Human Rights Minister Edward Omar Sharif has said that foreigners would not be prosecuted, both in Bali or elsewhere in Indonesia.

Hiariej told reporters, "I want to emphasize for foreign tourists, please come to Indonesia because you will not be charged with this article".

Indonesia is on a drive to encourage even more types of tourists to come to Bali. They have recently introduced a new “second home” visa which allows tourists with a USD 130 000 investment to get a visa for 10 years – click here to find out more. They are also working on a long-awaited digital nomad visa which will apparently be ready in the middle of 2023. You can find more information on your current options as a digital nomad here.

Start planning your next trip

So, in summary, as a foreigner visiting Bali, there is nothing to worry about. Go ahead and plan your next trip to the Island of the Gods. We look forward to seeing you!

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