The Government Will Soon Issue Visas for Digital Nomads


Let’s come to Indonesia! The Indonesian government will facilitate tourists who want to vacation while working remotely from Indonesia by issuing visas for digital nomads. Issuance of this type of visa aims to respond to the flow of digitization.

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno said the issuance of this type of visa also aims to accommodate the behavior patterns of employees in the post-pandemic era who no longer need a physical office to work.

The main objective targeted by the Government of Indonesia from the issuance of this visa is of course to attract more foreign tourists. This is in line with the Ministry of Tourism’s target to reach 1.5 million foreign tourists traveling in Bali throughout 2022.

If the government look at the current trend in the global tourism industry, it seems not impossible to achieve this target.

Jiten Vyas, Chief Commercial Officer at VFS Global, a company that assists in the global visa application process, has seen positive sentiment in the global tourism industry. This, for one, can be seen from the number of visa applications through VFS Global, which has increased by 100% compared to last 2021, or an increase of around 70% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

“VFS Global has seen significant developments related to global travel,” said Jiten, Monday (26/9/2022).

He even predicts that the number of global tourist trips will increase next year, with a note that China has started to open borders ahead of the Lunar New Year, considering that tourists from the Bamboo Curtain country are the main contributors to the global tourism sector.

Regarding the special visa for digital nomads, Jiten considered that the Indonesian government’s move to provide special visas to remote workers would provide certainty for travelers. Because, so far, digital nomads have been in a gray area due to the absence of special regulations in several countries that regulate their existence.

At the end, when remote workers can live legally in Indonesia for a long duration, their presence can revive the hotel industry, transportation, and local MSMEs.

“We see this [digital nomad visa] as a key enabler that allows not only from a visa perspective, but also to bring in new talent, as well as to provide opportunities for many locals to take advantage of their local businesses,” Jiten said.

The granting of a digital nomad visa itself cannot be separated from the birth of a Work From Home (WFH) culture that is driven by the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

According to data from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, there are around 13,000 tourists who fall into the digital nomad category from January-August 2022. The Canggu area in Bali is the main destination for the digital nomads, followed by Jimbaran and Uluwatu.

Indonesia is not the first country to issue a special visa for digital workers. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and several countries in Europe such as Croatia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic have already been known as digital nomad paradises. Recently, Spain also announced its plans to provide special visas for remote workers.