Welcome to Offshore Living Letter, Your #1 Resource for Offshore Diversification

Should You Ignore Bali’s New Golden Visa?

04 Sep
Volcano Batur in Bali. golden visa

Should You Ignore Bali’s New Golden Visa?

The places that are the most popular locations for tourists to visit… and might even be on your own “bucket list”… don’t always make the best places to live full-time.

That should be obvious.

If you’re on vacation yourself, you might not mind joining crowds of other vacationers on the beaches in Cancún… or in the line to get into the Louvre in Paris… or waiting forever for a table at some restaurant in Rome the guidebook said you simply must visit…

But if you’ve moved to another country, and you’re now an expat living like a local, dealing with crowds all the time can be a real drag.

Not to mention, tourist hotspots can be among the most expensive places to live.

Tourists don’t watch their wallets the way locals do… since when you’re on vacation you’re probably planning to splurge anyway… and local vendors know they have a captive market.

The prices for everything get jacked up, including for locals.

Tourist hotspots can be good places to invest overseas. There obviously can be a strong market for short-term rentals.

But the “sweet spot” is to get in on the market before it becomes too widely known as a tourist destination—because otherwise, property prices may just be crazy.

So, even with a strong rental market, you may not see the kind of yields that make your investment worthwhile…

A Troubled Paradise

Tourist hotspots also rise and fall as they reach peak popularity and the point of “overtourism” (where the crowds become unbearable even for the tourists, and the local resources just can’t cope)… and as the cultural zeitgeist moves on to promote “the next new thing”…

One spot that’s undoubtedly enjoyed prominence in the zeitgeist over the last few decades is the Indonesian island of Bali.

“Where is Bali?” is one of the most Googled travel questions of all time.

Go Offshore Today

Sign up to our free twice a week dispatch Offshore Living Letter
and immediately receive our FREE research report
on how to live tax-free today, while earning up to $215,200!


Some trace Bali’s surge in popularity in the 21st century to Elizabeth Gilbert’s blockbuster book, Eat, Pray, Love, and the subsequent movie starring Julia Roberts. It put Bali top-of-mind as a place to find spiritual enlightenment and romance…

Not to mention, it’s just a drop-dead gorgeous spot to hang out and party.

Warm year-round with stunning beaches…

But the party may be over for Bali.

All Publicity Is Not Good Publicity

Bali has become, in some ways, the poster child for overtourism and travel headaches.

According to one report, 200 of the islands 400 rivers have run dry due to overtourism.

Earlier this year, the island announced a ban on foreign tourists driving motorcycles without a proper license, due to a rise in accidents, even though this is the most popular form of transport on the island. Tourists would be encouraged to use cars provided by travel agents, even though traffic congestion is also a big problem.

Balinese officials announced the creation of a task force to crack down on vacationers behaving badly. Locals are reportedly exasperated at tourists flashing their genitals on motorbikes and stripping naked at sacred religious sites.

The island has also become a very popular destination for Russian men trying to dodge Putin’s mobilization of military reservists for the war in Ukraine.

Twenty thousand Russians were arriving in Bali every month earlier this year… and Ukrainians fleeing the war, too.

Aerieal view from a beach in Bali

It prompted Bali’s governor to ask the Indonesian central government to end visa-on-arrival travel privileges for Russians and Ukrainians.

“Many of them come to Bali, not for leisure, but to find comfort, including for work,” the governor said.

As if this wasn’t enough bad press for Bali… there was the bizarre case earlier this year of an Australian vacationer being denied access to Bali because of a tiny tear in his passport… a story reported on countless international news sites.

It certainly made it seem like Bali was coming up with reasons to keep people from entering… (Indonesia has strict rules when it comes to passport quality.)

Worth Your Money?

As always, it’s not just the numbers of people but the type of people a country can attract that matters to its government.

And so, Bali may want to keep out poor backpackers, reckless drivers, drunk nudists, and Russians and Ukrainians fleeing war… but it has become very interested in attracting wealthy investors.

Bali is set to launch a “Golden Visa” before the end of 2023—granting a five-year residence permit in exchange for a US$350,000 individual investment in public shares or government bonds. For double the investment, you can get a 10-year permit.

Go Offshore Today

Sign up to our free twice a week dispatch Offshore Living Letter
and immediately receive our FREE research report
on how to live tax-free today, while earning up to $215,200!


Currently, you can purchase a property for at least US$220,000 if you also have at least US$130,000 in the bank, and get a five-year residency.

The Financial Express reports:

“Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies… stated that the goal of the new visa policy was to draw talent from all over the world to the fields of technology, digital, health, and research.

“According to Minister Uno… those who are granted one will be entitled to a number of unique advantages not yet accessible under other visa categories.”

Those “unique advantages” are still to be revealed…

I’ll keep an eye on this news and report any developments that might be worth your consideration.

Bali still has a lot going for it (beautiful, a strong expat community). You might find it’s right for you. The government is obviously pulling out all the stops to turn around recent unfortunate news…

But it’s not a place that I personally would want to spend time. At least right now.

And that’s really what you have to ask yourself when you’re looking for a second residency overseas.

Residence-by-investment programs (Golden Visas) are not investments in the traditional sense.

You’re not in it for the profits. In some cases, the “investment” is just handing over money directly to the government.

What you’re looking for with a backup residency is a place to escape to, where you’d be very happy living, if things turned sour back home… a place that might over time become your new home…

If it’s not somewhere you’d want to live, it’s not worth the investment.

Stay diversified,

Lief Simon Signature

Lief Simon

Editor, Offshore Living Letter