Bali plans 5-year visa program for digital nomads as island stalls reopen

Digital nomads in Bali will be granted a 5-year visa, according to the Indonesian Minister of Tourism. The government is waiting for the Covid-19 situation to improve before reopening the island to foreign tourists.

To revive the tourist island’s economy after the pandemic, tourism officials hope to attract more digital nomads, online business owners and people working remotely. Under a proposed program, foreigners will be granted 5-year visas with no tax on foreign-source income, according to Indonesian Tourism and Cultural Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno.

“If they earn income in Indonesia, it will be taxed, but if they only come from abroad, there will be no tax.”

There are over 200,000 active cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia. In Bali, there has been a spike in cases with over 200 cases reported every day. Uno told Reuters reporters that the daily number of Covid-19 cases in Bali is expected to drop from 30 to 40 before the country reopens to foreign tourists.

“We were aiming for the end of July, the beginning of August, but we just need to be aware of where we are in this recent peak… We will wait until the situation is more favorable.”

The popular tourist island has been devastated by the pandemic. Infection rates could be higher than reported because the test rate is around 15% of the minimum recommended by the World Health Organization, according to reporters at Reuters.

To prepare for the reopening, Bali has been a priority for the Indonesian government in its nationwide vaccination campaign. So far, 71% of the Balinese population has received their first dose of the vaccine. Uno says the government aims to fully immunize 70% of the island’s population by the end of July.

SOURCE: Reuters

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