Indonesia Extends First ‘Golden Visa’ to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman for a Decade-long Stay


Key Takeaways

  • Indonesia’s introduction of the ‘golden visa’ grants a 10-year tenure with privileges to attract affluent digital nomads and investors.
  • Sam Altman becomes the first recipient, symbolizing Indonesia’s focus on attracting internationally recognized individuals to benefit the nation.
  • The visa diversifies into various categories beyond financial investment, emphasizing the value of contributions to Indonesia’s growth.
  • This initiative aims to position Bali as a prime destination for remote work, aligning with Indonesia’s economic augmentation strategy.

Indonesia has rolled out its inaugural ‘golden visa,’ with OpenAI’s Sam Altman being its first recipient, the company announced in a press release.

This visa allows the tech magnate a 10-year tenure in Indonesia, accompanied by various privileges, including priority airport services

Golden Visa’s Objective

Initiated last week, the golden visa is Indonesia’s bid to augment its economic landscape.

Per a Reuters report, this visa permits overseas investors in the country a residence of five to ten years, depending on the investment.

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The move aligns with Indonesia’s strategy to attract affluent digital nomads, especially promoting Bali as a prime remote working destination.

Visa Privileges

Apart from a prolonged stay, Altman is entitled to priority airport screening and services, as highlighted by a statement from immigration director general Silmy Karim, per the Reuters report.

These golden visas have several categories, some not necessarily based on financial investment.

Noteworthy categories include those extended to internationally recognized individuals who could substantially benefit the nation.

Why Altman?

The CEO’s potential benefits to Indonesia are underscored by his international acclaim.

This is further corroborated by Silmy Karim, who mentioned that the nation is metaphorically laying out the “red carpet” for Altman, hopeful of the resources he might introduce.

Though Altman visited Jakarta in June to discuss AI progression, whether he applied for this visa or committed any investment remains uncertain.

Visa Categories & Requirements

For individual investors eyeing the five-year visa, it mandates establishing a company valued at $2.5 million, while the decade-long visa necessitates a $5 million investment.

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On the corporate front, a $25 million investment ensures five-year visas for directors and commissioners, doubling the investment grants a 10-year visa.

For individuals not keen on starting a company, investments between $350,000 and $700,000 towards Indonesian government bonds can suffice.

Once golden visa holders land in Indonesia, there’s no need for additional permit applications, adds Silmy Karim.

Global Trend

Indonesia isn’t solitary in this endeavour. Other countries have been actively working on adding digital nomad visas to their offerings.

Countries such as New Zealand, Portugal, the U.S., Ireland, and Spain have also introduced analogous golden visas, targeting investment and enterprising residents in the era of remote working.

What We Think

Indonesia’s introduction of the ‘golden visa’ reflects a strategic move to boost its economy by enticing affluent investors and fostering its appeal as a remote work destination.

Sam Altman’s reception of this visa underlines the nation’s intent to attract globally influential figures, symbolizing Indonesia’s willingness to accommodate resources from international experts.

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This initiative aligns with a global trend among countries, acknowledging the significance of digital nomads and entrepreneurs in shaping modern economies. Such strategic visa programs aim to capitalize on the rise of remote work and attract individuals who can significantly contribute to national growth and development.


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