Thailand launches new SMART Visa Program

HLB Thailand Tax Team

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Thailand has launched a new visa program, called SMART Visa, to attract foreign experts and investors to work or invest in ten targeted industries. The program’s main attraction is a 4 year visa with no requirement to obtain a work permit.

The four visa types offered are:

Smart T            Talents                        Highly skilled professionals in the fields of science and technology
Smart E           Executives                  Senior executives working in companies using technology in manufacturing or delivering services
Smart I             Investors                     Investors in companies using technology in manufacturing or delivering services
Smart S           Startup Entrepreneurs Foreign startup entrepreneurs who wish to invest in targeted industries

Targeted industries

The SMART Visa is designed to attract foreign experts and investors to accelerate development of 10 targeted industries, or the so-called S-Curve industries, listed below.

  • Next-Generation Automotive
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Smart Electronics
  • Aviation and Logistics
  • Affluent, Medical and Wellness Tourism
  • Biofuels and Biochemicals
  • Agriculture and Biotechnology
  • Digital
  • Food for the Future
  • Medical Hub

Who are eligible for SMART Visa?

For each type of SMART Visa, the applicant is required to meet the following qualifications and criteria to receive the visa and the benefits shown.

Spouses and children of SMART Visa holders receive an “O” type visa.

How to apply for a SMART Visa?

The first step requires an applicant to apply for endorsement of their qualifications for obtaining a SMART Visa.

Applications can be filed at the One-Stop Center for Visas and Work Permits (OSS) located at Chamchuri Square Building in Bangkok or at a Thai embassy or consulate, in case of residing outside Thailand.

The process of qualification endorsement shall take 30 working days. Applicants that already hold another type of visa must submit their application for qualification endorsement at least 90 days before expiration.

After obtaining the qualification endorsement, the applicant may proceed with the SMART Visa application at the OSS or Thai embassy or consulate in case of residing outside Thailand. The endorsement letter will be valid for 60 days.

 

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