Indonesian immigration launches probe into American digital nomad following viral Twitter thread

Photo of a visa on arrival on a passport. Photo: the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism
Photo of a visa on arrival on a passport. Photo: the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism

Immigration authorities said they are looking into the files of an American digital nomad whose Twitter thread about moving to Bali went viral over the weekend, as unconfirmed allegations of possible visa violations mount online. 

Related ⁠— On foreigner privilege, gentrification, and racism: How one American digital nomad’s Twitter thread about Bali sparked backlash

Putu Suhendra, who heads the information department at the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office, told Coconuts today that his office is looking into the matter. 

“We are still checking the information on our database by checking the name of the concerned party with what’s visible on her Twitter account, but we have yet to find her name so far,” Putu said.

He explained that the foreigner’s data may be handled by other immigration offices in Bali province, either in Denpasar or Singaraja, adding that the Bali office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights are coordinating efforts on this case. 

“The second possibility is that the name on her Twitter account is not the same as what’s on her passport,” Putu said. 

Eko Budianto, who heads the immigration department at the ministry’s Bali regional office, said that several teams have been dispatched to look into the case.   

“So far, we have dispatched several teams. They are checking her [visa] sponsor and we have contacted them. The sponsor is currently in Jakarta but it’s true that they have an address in Bali,” Eko said today.

Authorities said they will check the validity of her immigration documents and consider sanctions should any violation be found.

Discussions surrounding the viral thread are still going strong on Twitter at the time of publication, as many Indonesians accuse the foreign woman of being culturally tone-deaf and urging authorities to look into her visa status, the latter due to her encouraging people to skirt immigration rules and sharing tips on how to get around imposed travel restrictions in Indonesia during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Also Read Immigration revokes Bali spiritual community founder’s temporary stay permit after controversial crowded event

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