Indonesia Introduces Golden Visa to Attract Foreign Investors
Indonesia is introducing a golden visa scheme to attract foreign corporate and individual investors. The scheme offers between five-to-10-year resident permits, depending on their investment value.
Indonesia is introducing a ‘golden visa’ program to attract quality, high-net-worth individual and corporate foreign investors. Under this new visa scheme, foreign investors can receive a resident permit of between five and 10 years, depending on the value of their investment.
Individual investors must establish an Indonesian company worth US$2.5 million to receive the five-year visa or a US$5 million investment for the 10-year visa. Further, individuals who do not wish to establish a local entity can invest at least US$350,000 into shares of a local public company, deposit or savings accounts, or Indonesian government bonds, to be eligible for the five-year visa, or US$700,000 for 10 years.
Meanwhile, directors and commissioners of businesses can obtain a five-year visa if their company invests at least US$25 million, or US$50 million for the 10-year visa.
Indonesia faces stiff competition from its neighbors to attract wealthy individuals
Indonesia faces stiff competition from its neighbors in Southeast Asia in attracting wealthy individuals. Many of these regional rivals have already had a head start in some aspects.
Thailand announced a variety of incentives in 2022 aimed at attracting foreign retirees, investors, and professionals.
Qualified applicants can receive a 10-year long-term resident visa to live in Thailand, including for their spouses and children. Qualified applicants will also be issued an automatic work permit. This is a new type of visa that did not previously exist in Thailand.
Further, qualified applicants can enjoy the same income tax rates as Thai citizens, as well as tax exemptions for income earned abroad. Qualified applicants also enjoy relaxed restrictions on foreign ownership and rent of land and property.
The incentives were open to wealthy global citizens with at least US$80,000 in income and at least US$1 million in assets, wealthy pensioners with a stable pension of at least US$40,000 per year and aged 50 or older, and highly skilled professionals who earn at least US$80,000 over two years or US$40,000 per year in targeted industries such as infrastructure or digital systems.
Since its inception in September 2022 to June 2023, the program has seen 4,200 applications with the government targeting 1 million foreign residents over the next five years.
Malaysia’s Premium Visa Program (PVIP) was introduced in 2022 to attract wealthy foreigners to invest and reside in the country for up to 20 years. In addition, holders of this visa can study and purchase residential or commercial real estate.
There are several key requirements that applicants must fulfill to qualify for PVIP. These are as follows:
- Open a fixed deposit account of 1 million ringgit (US$227,180) in a licensed Malaysian bank. No withdrawals are allowed for the first year, however, up to 50 percent can be withdrawn after the first year for the purchase of real estate, medical expenses, or education.
- The applicant must have an offshore income of 40,000 ringgit (US$9,086) per month or 480,000 ringgit (US$109,000) annually.
- Pay the participation fees of 200,000 ringgit (US$45,434) for the principal applicant and 100,000 ringgit (US$22,713) for each dependent.
- All applications must be done through an authorized agency appointed by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.
The visa program however is currently under review by the government having only seen 28 applications. This has been attributed to the requirements being similar to that of another visa program, the Malaysia My Second Home program, which has a much lower application fee (5,000 ringgit (US$1,074) and 2,500 ringgit (US$537) for each dependent.
Malaysia also introduced the region’s first digital nomad visa in 2022. Named De Rantau, the program welcomes digital marketers, IT professionals, and content creators for up to 12 months’ stay. The government hopes the program can transform Malaysia into a hub for digital nomads in the region while boosting digital adoption across the country.
Digital freelancers or independent contractors must show an active project contract with a duration of more than three months. These can be in the form of multiple contracts, and the clientele can be foreign or Malaysian companies.
Remote workers, need to show an active employment contract, where the contracted period is longer than three months. The employer can be foreign or Malaysian-based. The annual income of a foreign digital nomad must be more than US$24,000, while it should be more than 36,000 ringgit (US$7,863) for local digital nomads.
Through De Rantau, the government is targeting 80,000 digital nomads by 2025.
Singapore’s Global Investor Program was introduced in 2004 and has undergone several changes. The program is one of the preferred routes for foreign investors and their families to obtain permanent residency status in Singapore.
The Economic Development Board (EDB), which runs the program, announced new requirements for applicants to qualify.
As of March 2023, the government has increased the investment qualify criteria for the GIP scheme, which are now:
- Investing at least S$10 million (US$7.4 million) in a new or existing business in Singapore;
- Invest S$25 million (US$18.5 million) in an EDB-registered GIP fund that invests in Singaporean businesses; or
- Establish a Singapore-based family office with assets under management of at least S$200 million (US$148 million). At least S$50 million (US$37.1 million) must be deployed in any of these four investment categories:
- Singapore qualifying debt securities;
- Private equity injection into non-listed, Singapore-based businesses;
- Companies listed on exchanges licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore; and
- Funds distributed by Singapore-licensed fund managers.
Between 2020 and 2022, a total of 200 investors gained permanent resident status through the scheme. The government has not released the data on the total number of successful applicants since the increase in the qualifying investment criteria, but they are aiming to attract higher-quality investors and individuals.
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