Bali’s new digital nomad visa means foreigners can live and work in Indonesia tax-free

Indonesia hopes to attract more remote workers to the country with a new digital nomad visa.

The proposed visa aims to attract digital nomads to work from popular destinations like the island of Bali.

Indonesian Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno said the new permit was part of a move away from sun tourism towards a more sustainable model.

What do we know about Indonesia’s new digital nomad visa?

The planned digital nomad visa will be valid for five years. It will allow remote workers to live in the country tax-free, as long as their income comes from companies based outside of Indonesia.

The special permit is designed to be a simple solution for foreigners wishing to work in the Asian country. A more streamlined application process and increased frequency of flights to the archipelago aim to attract employees with work-from-anywhere policies.

The five-year visa would become the longest digital nomad visa available compared to other countries.

As of now, guidelines on when and how you can apply for the visa have not been announced.

Current visas for remote workers in Bali

Bali is already a preferred destination for teleworkers with its warm climate and low cost of living. But current visa rules do not facilitate long-term stays.

At the moment, digital nomads can apply for a temporary visa to work from Indonesia. Options include Visa on Arrival (VoA), which is valid for 30 days, Tourist Visa, which can be renewed for a total of 60 days, or Business Visa which can be extended for up to 180 days .

Visitors who stay longer become local tax residents, requiring them to pay Indonesian tax rates on income from abroad.

In 2021, a digital nomad visa idea was already in the works, but plans were derailed when the pandemic forced the island to close borders and restrict visitors.

Bringing sustainable tourism to Bali

The remote work visa is part of a push for a different type of tourist to popular destinations like bali.

“In the past, the three S’s were: sun, sea and sand. We move it towards serenity, spirituality and sustainability. This way we get better quality and a better impact on the local economy,” Uno told Bloomberg.

The minister said the country hopes to see 3.6 million foreign travelers return to the country next year. The digital nomad visa, coupled with an increased focus on ecotourism and spiritual retreats, aims to attract high spenders who stay longer.

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