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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman receives Indonesia’s first Golden Visa

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman becomes Indonesia’s inaugural recipient of a “golden visa,” showcasing the nation’s commitment to attract foreign investors.



INDONESIA: In a historic move, Sam Altman, the CEO and co-founder of OpenAI, has become the first foreign national to be awarded a “Golden Visa” by Indonesia.

This prestigious visa grants Altman the privilege of residing in the country for up to ten years.

The announcement was made by Silmy Karim, the Director General of Immigration in Indonesia, who explained that Altman’s outstanding global reputation played a crucial role in him being granted the golden visa, effective as of Monday (4 Sept).

Silmy Karim elaborated on the various categories of golden visas, stating that they are not solely based on investment or capital infusion but are also awarded to internationally renowned figures who can contribute to Indonesia’s development.

“There are several categories of golden visas, aside from investment/capital-based ones, including the golden visa granted to individuals with an international reputation who can benefit Indonesia,” said Silmy Karim, as quoted by KompasTekno from the website.

As a holder of the golden visa, Sam Altman will enjoy several benefits, including expedited airport check-in and priority services, ease of entry and exit from Indonesia, and the exemption from the usual requirements for limited stay permits (ITAS) at immigration offices.

The Indonesian government hopes that Sam Altman’s presence and expertise will contribute to the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) utilization within the country.

Altman is a key figure behind OpenAI, the American-based company that gained fame after launching ChatGPT, an AI-based chatbot known for its intelligence and fluency in responses.

OpenAI is also responsible for the GPT-4 language model used in other renowned AI chatbots like Microsoft’s Bing AI and Google Bard, making it a leader in the field.

Altman’s visit to Indonesia in June 2023 aimed to expand public understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the country. His insights and expertise were eagerly anticipated.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, a golden visa is a special visa program outlined in the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights Regulation No. 22/2023 on Visas and Stay Permits, as well as the Ministry of Finance Regulation No. 82/2023.

These regulations define the golden visa as a classification for temporary residence visas, limited stay permits, permanent stay permits, and re-entry permits for specific periods.

These visas are granted to foreign nationals for various purposes, including investment, family reunification, repatriation, and the possession of a second home. According to Article 185 of the aforementioned regulations, golden visas are typically valid for 5 to 10 years.

Sam Altman’s golden visa, as a world-renowned figure, falls under the category of second-home ownership.

Sam Altman, born in 1985 in the United States, has been passionate about technology since his enrollment as a computer science student at Stanford University in 2003.

Despite dropping out during his third year, Altman embarked on a tech journey and later worked at Loopt, a location-based social media app.

Loopt, specializing in location-based social networking, secured over $30 million in funding and was adopted by tech giants Apple and BlackBerry. However, the company struggled to grow after seven years of operation and was eventually acquired by Green Dot Corporation for $40 million.

Following this, Altman joined Y Combinator (YC), a startup accelerator that has supported the development of companies such as Airbnb, Reddit, Dropbox, and Coinbase.

Altman’s career soared at YC, eventually leading to his appointment as the company’s president in 2014, succeeding founder Paul Graham.

Under Altman’s leadership, YC experienced rapid growth and contributed to the success of many new startup companies. His achievements in 2014 earned him a place on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Venture Capital list in 2015.

Not content with these achievements, Altman embarked on a groundbreaking venture in 2015 when he joined forces with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman to establish OpenAI.

This visionary company focused on research and application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which later gained global recognition. OpenAI’s primary mission is to ensure that AI development benefits humanity.


In March 2019, Sam Altman stepped down from his position as YC’s President to fully devote his energy to OpenAI.

The launch of ChatGPT in 2019 sent shockwaves through the tech industry, leading Microsoft to commit $1 billion in investment in OpenAI. The pinnacle of Altman’s achievements came in November 2022, when ChatGPT was officially released.

Altman claimed that within five days of its launch, ChatGPT was already being used by one million users. Its emergence captivated technology experts worldwide.

Despite its utility in improving human lives, ChatGPT was also deemed to pose potential risks if left unregulated. As a result, Altman found himself increasingly occupied with invitations from world leaders to attend conferences and meetings aimed at formulating specific regulations for AI.

According to Forbes data, Sam Altman’s wealth reached an estimated $250 million.

This amount is likely to increase further as Altman has also invested in companies outside of OpenAI, such as Neuralink and Reddit.

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