Wednesday, 21st December, marked the launch of Indonesia’s new second home visa. The new visa category was announced in October and is designed to attract high earners to invest in creating a life in Bali and the rest of the country.
The announcement was primarily received as a positive move, enabling entrepreneurs, high-wealth individuals, and even retirees to apply for a 5 or 10-year temporary residency in Indonesia. That said, the announcement of the new visa category has caused concern for expat retirees who were left in limbo about whether or not the new policies affected the longstanding retirement KITAS and KITAP visas.
In a statement released on the Indonesian Immigration Department website on 22nd December, officials have confirmed that the new second home visa will not affect the retirees or potential retirees who wish to reside in Indonesia on retirement KITAS and KITAP.
The news comes within hours of an open letter from expat retirees in Indonesia being sent to the Indonesian government asking legislators to reevaluate the implications of the second home visa on the community. The letter, published by the Indonesian Expat, highlighted that for many of the retired expat community in Bali, Indonesia is not a second home “but our only home.”
In the open letter, contributors explained how they were anxious about what the future could hold if they had no option but to transfer to the second home visa, having already invested life savings into building homes and communities in places like Bali.
The letter read, “we will lose our beloved staff, our community of Indonesian friends, and the many projects we’ve supported over the years. Some of us have Indonesian foster children and extended families. Many have plans to lease land long-term, build houses, and travel domestically, but all of these will depend on what happens with the visa categories.”
In the statement published by the Department of Immigration, the details of which demographics the new and existing visa categories are designed for have been clarified. The Public Relations Sub-coordinator of the Directorate General of Immigration, Achmad Nur Saleh, has released a statement “in response to the concerns of foreigners who were afraid they would be evicted and would no longer be able to stay in Indonesia because of the issuance of the Second Home Visa”.
Saleh explains, “We convey that foreigners in Indonesia are welcome to live and enjoy the beauty of Indonesia, please travel, do business, invest or work, with a valid residence permit. Regarding the Second Home Visa, we emphasize that this policy aims to stimulate the property sector by attracting foreigners who are interested in investing in Indonesia”.
He acknowledged that the IDR 2 billion (USD 130,000) required to be deposited into a state-owned bank account as a part of the second home visa application might be a barrier for many international retirees who want to live in Indonesia.
He confirmed, “Our market is very clear, namely targeting foreigners who are able to meet the requirements set out in the Second Home Visa. For elderly tourists who live on the Island of the Gods, Bali, we also invite them to stay in Indonesia and enjoy their retirement here with a valid elderly ITAS”.
He continued, “We are sure that international elites will spend money here, and this is clearly an advantage for us with foreign exchange income that can help improve our country’s economy”.
Despite being referred to in one statement as ‘the silver hair visa’ by the Minister of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia, Yasonnah Laoly, it is also clearer that for now, the second home visa is not going to replace the current retirement visa categories for the time being.
The statements confirm that the second home visa is targeted at attracting high-wealth individuals to Indonesia looking to establish a second home or new base for investments and that it serves as an additional option for some people who are looking to retire in Indonesia, depending on their circumstances.
Plan Your Next Bali Vacation:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community
SUBSCRIBE TO NEW POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.