Applications for new 4 Year Smart Visa begin on February 1

The Thai government has implemented a new Smart Visa that is valid for four years for foreign executives, specialists, and investors involved in ten targeted industries. The government will take applications for this visa beginning February 1, 2018.

The SMART Visa is a new visa category issued to foreigners working or investing in technology-based production activities and services as well as in the 10 targeted (S Curve) industries: next generation automotive; smart electronics; affluent medical and wellness tourism; agricultural and biotechnology; food for the future; automation and robotics; aerospace; biofuels and biochemical; digital economy, and medical hub.

The Smart Visa targets four categories; specialists, investors, executives, and entrepreneurs in the targeted industries. Applicants must meet certain criteria and hold certain qualifications; they will also need to be certified by relevant Thai government agencies before obtaining the four year visa. The entrepreneur visa will be valid for one year and then for a further two if requirements are met.

Smart T - Specialists in scientific fields in which Thailand lacks. The foreigner must have a salary of at least 200,000 baht a month and an employment contract for a minimum of one year.

Smart I - Investors in S-Curve industries of no less than 20 million baht and invest throughout the four year visa period in technology Ėbased companies in one of the targeted industries.

Smart E - Executives in S-Curve industries with at least a Bachelorís degree, a minimum salary of 200,000 baht a month, and an employment contract of at least one year.

Smart S- Startup- Entrepreneurs with a fixed deposit account of at least 600,000 baht for not less than one year and health insurance. The applicant must participate in an endorsed incubation, accelerator program or similar program, or obtain joint venture status, or be endorsed by a relevant government agency. The applicant must set up a company in Thailand in one of the targeted industries within one year with at least 25 % ownership or be a board member of a company in one of the targeted industries. The applicant is given a one year visa which is then renewable for a further 2 year period if requirements are met.

The benefits of holding a Smart Visa include a visa valid for up to four years, no requirement for a work permit, an annual report to Immigration instead of the current requirement to report every 90 days, no re-entry permit required, and the applicantís spouse and children are eligible for similar benefits, the spouse also does not need a work permit. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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