Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno has said the best visa for digital nomads in Indonesia is the B211A index, colloquially known as a socio-cultural visa.
During the period from January to August 2022, 3,017 tourists were recorded using this type of visa to enter Indonesia, with many believed to be digital nomads, or people who use digital skills to work from their laptop in any country in the world.
Of the entries using this visa, the top three nationalities are Russian, American, and British. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has previously determined the main target markets for digital nomad tourism include Russia, the UK, and Germany as well as countries from the former Soviet Union such as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.
“We are taking this seriously and I was assigned by the President to pick up the ball to several locations such as Singapore, Malaysia, and several European countries to meet digital nomad candidates who will visit as tourists,” said Sandiaga in The Weekly Brief with Sandi Uno which was held online on Monday 12 September 2022.
In an Instagram post to account @sandiuno, Sandi also said “I am increasingly convinced that the number of foreign tourists who are interested in staying in Indonesia will increase and will automatically have an impact on economic revival.”
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The B211 visa currently available to digital nomad tourists who meet the requirements is available for most nationalities. The visa is valid for a period of 60 days and can be extended twice by 60 days each time, for a total of up to 180 days.
If tourists decide to work in Indonesia, however, they are required to apply for a second home visa with the local Immigration Office. That visa is then valid for a long-term stay.
Sandi said, according to a study by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Canggu, Bali, is the region with the largest number of digital nomads. Other popular destinations include Jimbaran and Uluwatu. However, he hopes that the distribution can be more even across the island, spreading the concentration across North, West, and East Bali.
To support the convenience of travelers, Sandi said that his team is focussing on providing a co-working space. Later, the service will also be equipped with a number of supporting facilities, such as immigration services and a law firm; food and beverage service, and meeting and work rooms.
“This is the attraction now, we already have a special socio-cultural visa that can be used for digital nomads. If they work, this must be increased with a permit that will be issued as a KITAS and a permit from the local immigration office,” explained Sandi.
Sandi also hopes that the quality of foreign tourist visits to Bali can reach 50 to 60 percent. With a longer duration of stay and a higher amount of spending, it is hoped that their presence will have a positive impact on the economy of the local community.
“Our goal is not only to regulate and control but to bring in quality tourists who have the potential to invest, open up business and employment opportunities, and also bring the latest technology in the form of technology transfer,” said Sandi.
The phenomenon of digital nomadism isn’t unique to Indonesia. From the results of the government digital nomad survey, Sandiaga said as many as 95 percent of nomads said that Indonesia, and particularly Bali, was their preferred destination.
Many countries have responded to the demand for digital nomad visas. There are 59 countries with various options, including Germany, Greece, Barbados, and Portugal. Terms of such visas vary but tend to allow the holder to stay and complete their work activities while visiting the country.