June 2, 2023
JAKARTA – The government is planning to roll out the red carpet for global talents through a soon-to-be launched “golden visa” program, which aims at making Indonesia a more enticing place to work in through a longer stay permit.
Following a Cabinet meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Monday, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno told reporters the golden visa could be a “game changer” in Indonesia’s efforts to attract more foreign workers and investments, which in turn is hoped to create more job opportunities.
“The golden visa is a new policy that we will soon launch to attract quality talents in the field of digitalization, health, research and technology,” Sandiaga said. “[The policy] will be a game changer that will bring more foreigners, including digital nomads and entrepreneurs to invest in Indonesia.”
He said that, under the golden visa program, foreigners could be granted a permit to stay up to 10 years, although the technical details of the policy still remain unclear as they are still being hashed out with the Law and Human Rights Ministry’s Immigration Directorate General.
“We hope this will make Indonesia the epicenter of economic growth going forward, while also [making Indonesia the epicenter] for sustainable [development], since we are the largest archipelagic country with the ability to absorb very large carbon emissions,” he added.
The golden visa program will be the second visa policy the government has launched in recent months, after previously introducing the “second home” visa program in October, primarily aimed at well-off elderly foreigners who were looking to retire in Bali or in other popular tourist destinations in the country.
The second home program, which came into effect at the start of the year, allows foreigners to apply for a stay permit of up to 10 years, if they have an existing visa and provide proof of funds of either Rp 2 billion (US$128,559) in a personal Indonesian bank account or proof of ownership of a luxury property in the country.
But it is also this hefty proof of funds that had sparked concerns among the expat pensioners community already living in Indonesia, many of whom do not have the funds needed but were required to transition into the second home visa nonetheless.
Initially, the second home visa would act as a replacement for the existing retirement visas. But the government issued another circular that reneged on that arrangement and instead allows current retirement visa holders to still maintain their visa status pending further decisions.