Skip to Content

Questions Raised Over Bali’s New Golden Visa Policy

Share The Article

Indonesia’s Director General of Immigration, Silmy Karim, last week confirmed the launch of the new Golden Visa policy. The visa category will allow for high-worth individuals, independent investors, and corporate investors to obtain a 5-10-year residency status in the country.

While many have praised the new visa as a progressive way to bring more foreign interest into the country, some tourism leaders have serious questions they want answered. 

Sunrise Sunset Over Bali Temple.jpg

Tourism expert Azril Azhari spoke to reporters after statements about the new Golden Visa were made by Director General Silmy Karim and Indonesia’s Minster for Tourism and Creative Economies Sandiaga Uno.

Azhari is concerned that the policy needs to be sharpened before the visa is promoted further. 

Minster Uno has spoken with great enthusiasm about the new visa policy.

He told reporters last week “This policy (Golden Visa) could be an option for quality tourists, especially for those who want to invest in Indonesia.”

Similarly, Director General Karim sees the new visa as a viable way of boosting the economy of Indonesia, not only Bali.

He said, “A golden visa is a visa that is given as a basis for granting a residence permit for a period of five to 10 years in order to support the national economy.”

However, Azhari feels the Golden Visa policy is blurring the lines between tourism, business and investment.

There are already reports that there are many long-stay visitors in Bali who are using the pre-investment visa category illegally in order to work and simply stay long-term on the island.

He is asking “Will the Golden Visa be intended for investors or foreign tourists? Golden Visa Indonesia, for whom?”

Azhari feels that a 5-10-year residency permit cannot be viewed in the same way as a tourist. He explained “people who live in Indonesia for five to 10 years are no longer called tourists, but as a worker.”

“Referring to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), what is called a tourist is a person who stays in an area for one day to 12 months. For more than one year, the term tourist cannot be used. They are workers, so the visa used is a work visa.”

What is now known as the Golden Visa is a manifestation of the long-anticipated 10-year digital nomad visa.

There have been hopes that Indonesia’s digital nomad visa would be more accessible for the average remote worker.

Applicants applying as foreign individual investors for the Golden Visa must invest USD 2.5 million (IDR 38 billion), or USD 5 million (IDR 76 billion) for a 10-year visa.  

With this news in mind, remains the case that for most digital nomads and remote workers wanting to relocate to Bali on a temporary basis the visa recommended by the Indonesian government is the B211a socio-cultural visa enables individuals to stay in the country for up to 6 months at a time for tourism and leisure purposes.

Long-stay visitors on this visa may not earn an income from within Indonesia or conduct work in the country. 


Azhari fears that the Golden Visa may lead to a rise in foreigners working illegally in Indonesia and that the new policy must ensure applicants have genuine intentions.

He told reporters “If the Golden Visa is aimed at investors, who monitors whether the investment is actually realized in Indonesia?”

He noted that the existing rules show that foreigners have to collaborate with companies in Indonesia, and their shares cannot be more than 50 percent of the Indonesian company. 


He continued “If the route is to invest, there is already BPKM, why use the Golden Visa route? If a foreign investor wants to make a project in Indonesia, there must be a draft project proposal and it has been approved by the Foreign Investment Agency (BMA).”

Azhari feels that if investments are aimed at developing tourist destinations such as Bali it would be more appropriate if the visa process, in this instance, was more closely mounted by the BMA. 

The Department of Immigration has already confirmed that the first recipient of the Golden Visa will be OpenAI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Samuel Altman. 


According to a post by the Director General of Immigration, “The granting of the Golden Visa to Altman is a significant initial effort from the Directorate General of Immigration to develop the Artificial Intelligence ecosystem in Indonesia.”

“Golden Visa is expected to facilitate more globally-acknowledged talents and figures in regards to the country’s economic advancement.”

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

Book Cheap Flights To Bali

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance That Covers Medical Expenses In Bali

For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community

bali sun group

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.

Pascal Aurvant

Tuesday 12th of September 2023

Dear Authority who sell this visa. I invite you please come to Ubud and see what you have created. A sprawling refugee camp with impoverished Caucasian perhaps Eastern European young tattood wild looking dirty men and women and couples roaming around the streets with so many very young children. Many, this people I can see with my eyes do not have the monies to support them selves here. MAybe they like the easy cheap food, and fill the shopping bag and forget about the cashier? Do you look outside the air conditioned office you sit and make this decision? Do you only stare at the zero's on your bank accounts?

Wayan Bo

Thursday 14th of September 2023

@Pascal Aurvant, it seems that such mentality is unknown to some’s in this part of the world. Many of them are smart, high intelligent and high educated, the food prices in the countries from where they arrived are for western understanding cheap. - Imagine when somebody would start to offend Anglo-Saxons?! Especially about their enslavement history …


Wednesday 13th of September 2023

@J West, Yepp. But they are facing real difficulties leaving Bali unless for Russia I guess. I had one in front of me in the bank here in Denpasar. He attempted to open an account so he could get a Visa (debit) card as he wanted to leave Bali and travel to India. Flat no by the clerk.

J West

Wednesday 13th of September 2023

@Pascal Aurvant, Inviting the Russians might have first seemed like a inrushing goldmine to the authorities..”Wow…lots of tourists”, until they found out that 99% of the Russian arrivals are not high spending tourists but impoverished disconnected opportunists by proxy. Thailand deports hundreds every month.


Tuesday 12th of September 2023

Better listen to that guy...The entire long term stay visa process, investment visa, back-to-back social visa, for young poor families who are really refugees, should be completely overhauled.

Wayan Bo

Tuesday 12th of September 2023

It’s hard to believe that somebody who bring such amount of money into country would like to be titled as worker. - Anyway a package which should contain life long residence including Indonesian passport is much more suitable than permit to stay in Indonesia between five to ten years. -Perhaps Mr. Bezos would like to establish Amazon in Indonesia, or Mr. Musk would like to open a Tesla Motors factory in beautiful environment friendly Indonesia under such requirements.


Monday 11th of September 2023

Quote "he Department of Immigration has already confirmed that the first recipient of the Golden Visa will be OpenAI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Samuel Altman."

What? How can Mr. Altman accept to relocate using this golden visa if he has to pay tax to Indonesia for his foreign wealth and income (as is the case for KITAS/KITAP)? Or is the plan now to exempt golden visa foreigners from tax on their foreign wealth and income? Who is going to give away this tax break to foreigners during run-up for presidential election next year?

Show us the fine print regarding taxation and all other T&C before marketing this visa.