Golden visa: Sam Altman gets Indonesia’s 1st


Perhatian, Perhatian! (Attention, Attention!): OpenAI CEO Sam Altman recently received Indonesia’s first Golden Visa. TIME reported the country granted this permit to Altman because he “has an international reputation and may bring benefits to Indonesia.” The nation expects the AI visionary to “contribute to developing artificial intelligence in Indonesia.”

This story has two interesting sides: artificial intelligence’s growing influence and the digital nomad trend. Sam Altman receiving this special travel permit shows AI’s power reaches far and wide. Moreover, Indonesia and other countries want to attract digital nomads to boost their economies. Both show tech trends that you wouldn’t want to miss!

This article will elaborate on Indonesia’s Golden Visa and why Sam Altman became its first recipient. Later, I will discuss the growing digital nomad trend.

Why did Altman get a Golden Visa?

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The Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration’s website said the government wants Sam Altman to help develop artificial intelligence in the country. It acknowledges the potential benefits of his AI tools like ChatGPT in this statement:

“Samuel Altman is a global figure who is the CEO and co-founder of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence (AI) research and application company in the United States whose mission is to ensure that artificial intelligence benefits all humankind.”

“Altman has become the world’s attention after the success of ChatGPT, an OpenAI product launched at the end of 2019. Last June, Altman came to Indonesia to share knowledge regarding artificial intelligence.”

“With Golden Visa, the Indonesian government expects Altman to contribute to developing artificial intelligence in Indonesia,” the agency said. His company hasn’t announced AI projects there at the time of writing, so that may change soon.

Also, the Direktorat Jenderal Imigrasi explained Altman fit one of the Golden Visa’s eligibility requirements. Specifically, he received the one for “well-known figures with an international reputation and can benefit Indonesia.”

The organization said a central government institution must propose and recommend the names of foreign nationals qualified for the Golden Visa. TechInAsia said the Indonesian President Joko Widodo recommended Altman for the permit. The OpenAI CEO will receive exclusive benefits like:

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  1. Fast-track facility and priority immigration checks at airports
  2. More prolonged stay permit
  3. Ease of entry and exit to Indonesia
  4. Time efficiency because holders may get a stay permit without going to the immigration office

Director General of Immigration Silmy Karim said, “Once the holders of Golden Visa arrive in Indonesia, they no longer need to apply for a temporary stay permit (ITAS) at the immigration office. We are rolling out the red carpet in return for the resources they provide to Indonesia.”

Why do more countries want digital nomads?

Global Demand for Digital Nomad Visas

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Indonesia’s Golden Visa is one of the schemes many countries launch to attract digital nomads. They are remote workers living temporarily in another country while doing their jobs.

That’s one of the biggest benefits of the work-from-home trend. It allows countries to attract more talent worldwide to benefit a country with the following:

  1. It enables digital nomads to travel quickly because they can skip conventional immigration processes. Eventually, they spur business travel by encouraging more entrepreneurs to invest in a nation.
  2. Harvard Business Review could “act as catalysts for knowledge and resource flows between regions. It’s similar to Indonesia’s goal of giving the OpenAI CEO a Golden Visa. As mentioned, the country hopes he will help develop AI systems and talents.
  3. Digital nomads could help “spur new connections and new enterprises.”

Other ASEAN countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore have also launched programs similar to Indonesia’s Golden Visa. Also, the Philippines passed a digital nomad visa bill in May 2023. Inquirer Newsinfo reported Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco Jose Matugas II’s explanation for his House Bill No. 8165:

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“I decided to file [this bill] because, for one, we have beautiful beaches in the country that is the No. 1 attraction for this kind of worker. It is high time we had this Digital Nomad Act to attract this group of tourists who have the capacity to spend.”

“The rapid development of telecommunications technology, coupled with employers’ desire to seek work-life balance, has given rise to a new breed of workers, the digital nomads.

Many countries have taken advantage of this phenomenon by providing what is known as a ‘digital nomad visa,’ a visa that gives a visitor the right to stay in a country and work remotely for a foreign-based employer or business.”


OpenAI CEO Sam Altman received Indonesia’s Golden Visa to encourage him to help the nation with its AI development. Soon, your country may try a similar method to attract AI talent.

Alternatively, you can become one by learning about this technology on the Internet. After all, most of these programs are free and available on mobile devices.

If you don’t know where to start, check out my top AI beginner terms list by clicking here. Also, keep up with more digital tips and trends at Inquirer Tech.

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