Indonesia has approved a  “digital nomad” visa which will allow Australians to live and work in Bali tax-free.

The visa is called the B211, commonly known as a Social and Cultural Visa. While this visa already exists it formerly only allowed foreigners to stay in the country for six months, but working on the visa wasn’t permitted.

The visa costs around $250 – $300, depending on what agent is used. A sponsor is required, however, many visa agencies can provide this service easily and quickly. It’s initially valid for 60 days, but can be extended for an extra 60 days two times, making the total amount of time a foreigner can stay in Indonesia on the visa 180 days.

“In the past, the three S was: sun, sea and sand. We’re moving it to serenity, spirituality and sustainability. This way we’re getting better quality and better impact to the local economy,” Indonesian Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno told Bloomberg.

He added: “With a visa valid for two months and can be extended for six months, I am more confident that the number of foreign tourists interested in residing in Indonesia will increase and will automatically impact the economic revival,” he said.

While tourists on the tax-free B211 visa won’t be required to pay tax in Indonesia, they’ll still need to meet the requirements set out by the ATO that are relevent to their field of work.

Prior to the pandemic, Indonesia was in talks to introduce a visa for digital nomads that would allow them to work and stay in the country for up to five years. However, the idea was shelved when Indonesia’s tourism industry took a massive blow due COVID related restrictions.

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“Now with the pandemic handled and all the ministries getting involved and cooperating from the health side to the immigrations office, we believe that this is an opportune time to relaunch this idea,” Uno said.

During the height of COVID, much of Bali was extremely quiet, and hundreds of thousands of Indonesians were left unemployed and without a source of income. Fortunately,  Tourist arrivals jumped 500% in April of this year and the tourism on the island has almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

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