Hannah Sampson – Indonesia is the latest country to dangle a lure for foreigners seeking to live abroad – but you had better check your bank account before plotting a new life on the beaches of Bali.
Widodo Ekatjahjana, the country's acting director general of immigration, announced the launch of a "second-home visa" at an event in the picturesque island destination this week. Foreign nationals or former Indonesian citizens can stay for five or 10 years under the new visa. But there's a big catch.
To apply, visitors need to show proof of the equivalent of nearly $US129,000 ($200,000) in the bank. They also must have a passport valid for at least 36 months and include a resume in their application. The policy goes into effect on December 24.
It wasn't clear exactly who is the target of the new visa in Indonesia, other than wealthy visitors. The announcement doesn't specify what type of activities visa holders will be expected to participate in other than "investment and other activities".Local media outlets have reported that the "second home" visas are expected to draw older wealthy tourists or visitors who have capital or global businesses, but could also be an option for digital nomads with hefty bank accounts.
"This immigration policy is one of the non-fiscal incentives that can be a stimulus for certain foreigners to stay and contribute positively to the Indonesian economy amidst increasingly dynamic global economic conditions," the acting director general said in the announcement.
Indonesian tourism officials announced a separate plan in September to allow digital nomads to work for up to six months using a type of visa that previously did not allow that activity, Reuters reported.
Bali, a popular island destination that relies on tourism, reopened to visitors in February after being closed off due to the pandemic. Between January and August, a government report says that more than 1.7 million international visitors arrived in Indonesia, an increase of more than 2,000 per cent compared to the same time in 2021.
The announcement of the new visa, which came weeks before Bali is set to host the G20 summit, is the latest from a destination seeking to appeal to long-term visitors. According to a report by the Migration Policy Institute, more than 25 countries and territories were offering visa programs for so-called digital nomads as of June.
Portugal introduced a new visa aimed at remote workers earlier this month; it is available starting on Sunday. Rio de Janeiro's digital nomad visa initiative launched last year, and Costa Rica's program went into effect earlier this year.