Foreigners who wish to make Bali their second home are now permitted to do so under a new Indonesian visa policy that allows them to remain on the island for up to ten years.
Under a new “second home” visa program, visitors who match the qualifications may stay for five or ten years and engage in a variety of activities.
Those who are interested must have a bank balance of at least 2 billion rupiah (US$128,400) and a passport valid for at least 36 months.
“The objective is to encourage foreign tourists to Bali and other destinations,” said acting director general for immigration Widodo Ekatjahjana at the scheme’s launch on Tuesday (Oct 25).
The unveiling occurs just a few weeks prior to Indonesia’s mid-November hosting of the Group of 20 (G20) Leaders’ Summit, for which thousands of participants will travel to Bali.
The new rule will go into force on December 25 of this year.
Mr. Ekatjahjana continued, “This immigration policy is one of the non-financial incentives that can encourage certain foreigners to remain and contribute constructively to the Indonesian economy at an era of accelerating global economic volatility.”
Tourist-dependent Bali was the province in Indonesia hardest afflicted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Its economy contracted by 9.31% in 2020 and by 2.47 % the previous year.
With Bali’s opening at the end of last year and the G20 conference, the Indonesian Central Bank anticipates a 3.80% to 4.80% increase in economic growth this year.
The new visa program is met with skepticism by the Balinese tourism industry.
Putu Winastra, the head of the Bali branch of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies, is skeptical as to how the new regulation will help to increase tourism on the island.
“The second home visa will be granted to those who reside in Bali for an extended period of time,” Mr. Winastra told CNA.
“Since these tourists would not be staying in hotels, we (the tourism and travel industry) will not be needed.”