Indonesia’s New Golden Visa

Dan Nicholson

Indonesia's introduction of its golden visa has garnered significant attention with Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, as its first recipient. But what does this move mean for the Indonesian government and for potential foreign investors?

Indonesia Embraces Economic Evolution

In the pursuit of economic development and diversification, countries are constantly seeking innovative avenues to attract investment. Indonesia's latest strategy is a golden visa, an exclusive offer that seems tailored to woo the global entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Unveiled last week, this visa offers a range of benefits for those willing to invest in Indonesia's economy. Notably, Sam Altman, the tech visionary behind OpenAI, was named the inaugural recipient. The reasons? A combination of his international stature and the immense potential he holds for driving advancements within the country.

What's Included in the Offer?

At its core, the golden visa is a gesture of trust and an invitation. Individual investors ready to establish a company valued at $2.5 million in Indonesia can secure a five-year visa. Those with the capacity to invest $5 million are granted a decade-long stay. Corporations, on the other hand, can secure five-year visas for their directors and commissioners with a $25 million investment, while a heftier $50 million opens up a 10-year visa.

There's flexibility too. Those who wish to invest without establishing a company can opt to funnel their funds (ranging between $350,000 to $700,000) into Indonesian government bonds.

Beyond the financial perks, the visa comes with distinct privileges. Golden visa holders can bypass the usual bureaucratic processes and will not need to secure additional permits once they're on Indonesian soil. The luxuries also extend to more efficient and expedited services at airports.

Altman's Indonesian Connection

Sam Altman's appointment as the first recipient of this visa has raised eyebrows. The CEO's recent trip to Jakarta to converse on AI development hints at a burgeoning relationship between him and the country. While there's no public confirmation on whether he initiated any investments or even applied for the visa, the Indonesian government seems keen to leverage his international reputation.

The fact that golden visas can be awarded based on international repute, beyond mere capital investment, is a testament to the nation's forward-thinking approach. It recognizes that the value brought in by global titans like Altman extends beyond tangible finances.

Beyond Borders: The Global Trend of Golden Visas

Indonesia isn't pioneering this path. The golden visa trend is a global phenomenon, seen in nations like New Zealand, Portugal, the U.S., Ireland, and Spain. Each seeks to harness the growing tribe of digital nomads and remote workers, especially post-pandemic.

Indonesia's focus on promoting regions like Bali as idyllic work-from-abroad destinations shows its intent to blend business with leisure to entice entrepreneurs.


Indonesia's golden visa is more than just an extended stay—it's a strategic move designed to position the country as an attractive destination for global talent and investment. 

However, the true measure of success will be seen in the partnerships formed, innovations born, and the economic value created in the years to come. 


Business Insider


Dan Nicholson is the author of “Rigging the Game: How to Achieve Financial Certainty, Navigate Risk and Make Money on Your Own Terms,” deemed a best-seller by USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to founding the award-winning accounting and financial consulting firm Nth Degree CPAs, Dan has created and run multiple small businesses, including Certainty U and the Certified Certainty Advisor program.

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