Bali's New Digital Nomad Visa Means Foreigners Can Live and Work in Indonesia Tax-Free
The Island of the Gods, Bali, has long been a tourist destination for world travelers, as well as a 'New Home' destination for retirees to start new lives. But far more than that, Bali is now also a hub for global Digital Nomads.
A new visa hopes to incentivize digital nomads to work from popular tourist destinations like of Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia. Indonesia’s tourism minister, Sandiaga Uno, says the new permit is part of a move away from ‘sun seeker’ tourism towards a more sustainable model.
Learning from its Visa on Arrival (VoA) Success, the Government is Optimistic.
Now that the Covid pandemic is increasingly under control in Indonesia, more foreigners from more than 43 countries are looking to apply for a Visa on Arrival (VoA since the beginning of March 2022. The Deputy for Strategic Policy of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (KEMENPAREKRAF/BAPAREKRAF) Nia Niscaya, explained that Indonesia’s implementation of VoA is a success.
"From March 7th to April 7th, 2022 there were 16,532 foreign tourists who used the VoA facility at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, Bali. The percentage of foreign tourists who used VoA also continues to increase to 66.8%," said Niscaya.
Based on records from the I Gusti Ngurah Rai Immigration Office eight countries make up the largest VoA applicants as of April 7th, 2022. Australia is the largest with 3,638 tourists (22.0%); followed by the United Kingdom with 1,730 (10.5%), and Germany with 1,649 (9.9%).
As for the islands of Batam and Bintan, Singaporean citizens who arrive as tourists there do not use VoA. Instead, they receive a Short-Stay Visa (BVKS). Furthermore, Niscaya explained that the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has proposed providing wider facilities, especially to attract expatriates and permanent residents residing in Singapore.
What Do We Know About Indonesia’s New Digital Nomad Visa?
With its warm climate and low living costs, Bali is already a favorite destination for remote workers. But current visa rules don’t accommodate long-term stays.
At the moment, digital nomads can apply for a temporary visa to work in Indonesia. Options include the Visa on Arrival (VoA), which is valid for 30 days, or a business visa that can be extended to 180 days. Visitors staying longer become local tax residents requiring them to pay Indonesian taxes on earnings from overseas.
In 2021, an idea for a digital nomad visa was already in the works, but plans were derailed when the pandemic forced Bali to close its borders and restrict visitors. 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 derives from businesses based outside of Indonesia.
The special permit is designed to be a simple solution for foreigners wanting to work in the country. A more streamlined application process and a greater frequency of flights to the archipelago aim to lure employees with work from anywhere policies.
**By: Stefani W. Anggraeni — Marketing Communications & Social Media Specialist