In an effort to boost tourism numbers back up to pre-pandemic highs, many countries have begun offering a version of the “digital nomad” visa. These visas allow remote workers to settle in for longer periods of time, working from home and contributing to the local economy. The most recent country to offer such a visa is Indonesia. The country's tourism minister, Sandiaga Uno, announced earlier this week that they will soon be offering a five-year remote working visa, in hopes of attracting up to 3.6 million temporary residents from overseas. Not only is this visa the longest of its kind, but it also offers another enticing incentive. Provided that these workers' earnings come from outside of Indonesia, they can live in Indonesia—including its dream-destination province Bali—completely tax-free.
This strategy ensures two things: that local residents won't be displaced from their jobs, and that travelers will be longer-staying, higher-spending individuals who are more invested in the area. Uno explains that they're interested in not just the quantity of tourists, but the quality, and the industries their spending will contribute to most. “In the past, the three S was: sun, sea, and sand,” he says. “We're moving it to serenity, spirituality, and sustainability. This way we're getting better quality and better impact to the local economy.”
The decision to introduce a remote worker visa was based on research showing that Indonesia—and, more specifically, Bali, to be “top of mind” for 95% of remote workers who took part in the survey. In fact, Indonesia's remote worker visa has been in the works for a while, but was delayed due to the pandemic. Recently, however, the country has dropped most of its travel restrictions, allowing fully-vaccinated visitors to enter without testing or quarantine requirements. Soon after doing so, tourist arrivals jumped 500%, to 111,000 in April, the highest monthly tally since the pandemic. “With the pandemic handled and all the ministries getting involved and cooperating from the health side to the immigrations office,” Uno explains, “we believe this is an opportune time to relaunch this idea.”
Guidelines on when and how you can apply for the visa have not yet been announced. But in the interim, it's hard not to imagine working with views of lush jungle, or from a shaded spot on a sparkling beach.
Indonesia will soon be offering a five-year “digital nomad” visa, allowing remote workers to live and work in the country tax-free.
Indonesia hopes to attract up to 3.6 million overseas temporary residents—longer-staying, higher-paying individuals who are more invested in the area.
“In the past, the three S was: sun, sea, and sand,” says the country's tourism minister, Sandiaga Uno. “We're moving it to serenity, spirituality, and sustainability. This way we're getting better quality and better impact to the local economy.”
h/t: [Bored Panda]