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With a new 5-year digital nomad visa, Indonesia leapfrogs Thailand

As the world begins to reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic, Indonesia has expanded efforts to woo higher-spending visitors, particularly remote workers. According to Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia is launching a five-year “digital nomad” visa and focusing on “spiritual holidays, sporting activities, and ecological tourism.” With the world’s employment and work habits experiencing such radical changes in the post-Covid era, a digital nomad visa that allowed remote employees to work from a tropical resort in Southeast Asia rather than a stuffy office would be immensely enticing.
These programs, he says, will draw 3.6 million international visitors to the country’s islands now that the world is re-opening. Increased flights and more fast visa procedures, according to Indonesian officials, could entice more remote workers to the archipelago, with global corporations such as Twitter and Airbnb allowing its employees to work from anywhere in the world. A recent poll of digital nomads found that 95% prefer Indonesia as a base, with Bali in particular, according to Uno. According to the Minister, recovering tourism in this way will result in more than a million jobs being created in Indonesia.
Yes, remote workers have finally been granted a reprieve thanks to Indonesia’s introduction of a visa specifically for digital nomads. Indonesia, particularly Bali, can benefit greatly from adopting a tailored remote work visa initially. Thailand, on the other hand, has a Smart Visa program, although it is still extensively regulated and subject to stringent regulations. Otherwise, finding a different type of job in Thailand for a short or long length of time is quite challenging for a working person. Will Thai immigration follow suit and provide a service that is comparable? They have a history of being unwilling to allow foreigners to reside in Thailand for long periods of time without assurances of income and extensive documentation.
The majority of Indonesia’s entry restrictions have been eliminated, allowing fully-vaccinated travelers to enter the nation without any testing or quarantine. The Indonesian government has been considering issuing a digital nomad visa since early 2021. However, due to frequent Covid-19 breakouts, which resulted in plane cancellations and border closures, the plan was shelved. The new digital nomad visa, according to Uno, will allow overseas employees to stay in Indonesia for up to five years without paying taxes if their income is produced outside of the country. The number of people infected with Covid-19 is still low, and booster vaccination doses are still being given. In April of this year, the number of visitors increased by 500 percent to 111,000. This is the highest monthly statistic for Indonesia since the outbreak began.

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