With remote work becoming the norm for many people around the world, a number of countries is betting on digital nomads as a source of revenue. The Indonesian province of Bali, famous for its mass tourism and stunning nature, is inviting wealthy tourists to live across the idyllic islands up to 10 years, provided that they have at least $130,000 in the bank.
1. Tourist visa
The new visa scheme is aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners offering them a “second home” to stay for 5 or 10 years in Bali. For interested applicants, the new visa will come into force as of December 25, according to a government’s press release. To be successful, all the applicants must commit to bring their savings of at least $130,000 and the funds must be deposited in Indonesian state-owned banks.
“The goal is to attract foreign tourists to come to Bali and diverse other destinations,” said acting Director General of Immigration Widodo Ekatjahjana at the launch of the visa on Tuesday.
Indonesia’s latest announcement is an upgrade from a 5-year visa scheme the country introduced in the summer. Now, the Indonesian government centered the 10-year opportunity in Bali. “In the past, the three S was: sun, sea and sand. We’re moving it to serenity, spirituality and sustainability. This way we’re getting better quality and better impact to the local economy,” said Sandiaga Uno, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia to Bloomberg Television.
Currently, the maximum allowance an Indonesian visa can offer is 180 days, after which the person becomes a local tax resident and has to pay taxes on income from overseas business. The new digital nomad visa will allow someone to stay and work in the country without paying taxes on their earnings from abroad, making it the longest digital nomad visa in the world.
2. Digital nomads
The move follows countries like New Zealand and Portugal, which have recently introduced “digital nomad visas” to capitalize on remote workers who want to work overseas after the pandemic upended traditional work structures. Over a dozen other countries have launched similar programs to attract young and travel-keen remote workers. In the US alone, last year 15.5 million Americans identified as digital nomads.