SMART Visa

SMART Visa

15 ก.ย. 2562

SMART Visa

 

  1. What is SMART Visa?
  • SMART Visa is a new type of visa specially designed for highly-skilled professionals and talents working or investing in the 10 targeted S-Curve industries.[1] It is a simplified and fast-track procedure of visa application, inspired by the French Tech visa launched in June 2017.  Among other benefits, the SMART Visa will allow foreigners to live and work in Thailand without obtaining work permits.
  • It is expected that this new visa will enhance knowledge transfer and boost Thai economy, bringing about long-term economic growth and benefits to the country.
  • SMART Visa is classified into 5 categories according to the purpose of visit or activities to be conducted in Thailand, as follows;
  1. Category T         -         Talent
  2. Category I          -         Investor
  3. Category E         -         Executive
  4. Category S         -         Startup
  5. Category O         -         Others (i.e. legal dependents, namely spouse and children, of the above categories)
  • SMART Visa is scheduled to be effective as of 1 February 2018.
  1. Who is eligible to apply for SMART Visa?
  • SMART Visa is a newly specialized visa which is eligible to 4 groups of applicants as follows:
    1. SMART “T” (Talent) Category

Applicant eligible for SMART Visa         Category “T”

Criteria of eligible applicants of SMART “T”

Benefits of SMART “T”

Talent

Highly-skilled experts in the area of science and technology who come to work in private company or government agency in Thailand’s 10 S-Curve businesses.

  1. Having at least 200,000 THB/month salary. (excluding additional compensation)
  2. Holding a contract of employment or service with remaining time of at least 1 year or evidence showing cooperation with government agencies.
  3. Certified to be highly-skilled and expert in the area of science and technology by the Strategic Talent Center: STC. STC is established by the Board of Investment (BOI) and other key organizations to provide services in identifying available specialists or researchers in the field of science and technology to support the private sector in conducting R&D and innovation activities. STC also provides a mechanism which recognizes the qualifications of foreign experts who wish to live and work in Thailand           (in case of talents who work for government agencies, certification letter from relevant agencies need to be shown).
  4. Company/institute/research center employing the talent must be certified by relevant authorities such as National Innovation Agency (NIA) or Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) that it fits Thailand’s 10 S-Curve businesses.
  5. No criminal record in Thailand and country of residence.
  1. Eligible applicant will be granted SMART Visa “T” no longer than the contract of employment /service (up to 4 years / time).
  2. No work permit required for working in private companies or government agencies under the criteria of Smart Visa “T” but the Visa holder must work in a specific business industry (10 S-Curve). Any further changes will need additional approval.
  3. SMART Visa “T” holder must report annually his/her residence (from the usual every 90 days) at the One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit: OSS at Chamchuri Square or any Immigration Office countrywide.
  4. Will be granted            Re-entry permit with unlimited numbers of entries into Thailand.
  5. Legal dependents (spouse and children) of the SMART Visa enjoy same benefits and visa duration as SMART visa holder. Working is permitted                   for spouse and children ages 18 or above.

 

REMARK: Dependents must work in the position and company that have been approved.

 

  1. SMART “I” Category

Applicant eligible for SMART Visa         Category “I”

Criteria of eligible applicants of SMART “I”

Benefits of SMART “I”

Investor

Foreign Investor investing in a technology-based industries of Thailand’s 10 S-Curve businesses.

1. Individual direct investment of    at least 20 million baht in a technology-based company of the target industries             (10 S-Curve) in Thailand and maintain an investment amount not less than 20 million baht throughout duration of holding SMART Visa “I”.

2. Company of investor    

    holding SMART Visa 

    “I” must be certified by     

     the relevant authorities

    such as the National

     Innovation Agency (NIA)     

    and the Digital Economy   

     Promotion Agency   

    (DEPA) that the   

    company fits Thailand’s  

     10 S-Curve businesses.

3. No criminal record in

    Thailand and country of  

    residence.

 

  1. Eligible applicant will be granted SMART Visa “I” (up to 4 years / time).
  2. No work permit required for working in private companies or government agencies under the criteria of Smart Visa “I” but the Visa holder must work in a specific business industry (10 S-Curve). Any further changes of the business type will need additional approval.
  3. SMART Visa “I” holder must report his/her residence annually (from the usual every 90 days) at the One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit: OSS at Chamchuri Square or any Immigration Office countrywide.
  4. Will be granted with Re-entry permit with unlimited numbers of entries into Thailand.
  5. Legal dependents (spouse and children) of the SMART Visa holder enjoy same benefits and visa duration as SMART visa holder. Working is permitted                   for spouse.

REMARK: Spouse will have to work in the position and company that have been approved.

 

  1. SMART “E” Category

Applicant eligible for SMART Visa         Category “E”

Criteria of eligible applicants of SMART “E”

Benefits of SMART “E”

Executive

Executive working in the  10 S-Curve businesses in Thailand.

  1. Having at least 200,000 THB/month salary. (excluding additional compensation)
  2. Holding a Bachelor degree with at least 10 years experience related to the career.
  1. Holding a contract of employment or service in Thailand or outside Thailand (but assigned to work in Thailand) with a remaining time of at least 1 year.
  2. Position at executive level (president, executive committee, etc.)
  3. Company must be approved by the relevant authorities such as the National Innovation Agency (NIA) and the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) that it fit the 10 S-Curve business of Thailand.
  1. No criminal record in Thailand or country of residence.
  1. Eligible applicant will be granted SMART Visa “E” no longer than the contract of employment /service (up to 4 years / time).
  2. No work permit required for working in the private companies or government agencies under the criteria of Smart Visa “E” but the Visa holder must work in a specific business industry (10 S-Curve). Any further changes of the business type will need additional approval.
  3. SMART Visa “E” holder must report his/her residence annually (from the usual every 90 days) at the One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit: OSS at Chamchuri Square or any Immigration Office countrywide.
  4. Will be granted            Re-entry permit with unlimited numbers of entries into Thailand.
  1. Legal dependents (spouse and children) of the SMART Visa holder enjoy same benefits and visa duration as SMART visa holder. Working is permitted                   for spouse.

 

REMARK:  Spouse will have to work in the position and company that have been approved.

 

  1. SMART “S” Category

Applicant eligible for SMART Visa         Category “S”

Criteria of eligible applicants of SMART “S”

Benefits of SMART “S”

Startup

Foreigners interested in establishing technology-based startups in Thailand’s S-Curve businesses.

  1. Having at least 600,000 THB in a Thai/foreign deposit account for not less than 1 year.

With dependents, the account should have an additional balance of at least 30% (180,000 THB) per person and maintain the amount of not less than 1 year.

  1. Health insurance is required throughout period of stay in Thailand for both SMART Visa applicant and dependents.  
  2. Approved to join the incubation/acceleration project or other similar projects of the relevant authorities such as the National Innovation Agency (NIA) andthe Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA). The project will have to fit the 10   S-Curve businesses of Thailand.
  1. Applicants must establish their businesses in Thailand within 1 year from the date of issuance of  stay permit, and the company must be certified by relevant authorities as belonging to the 10      S-Curve businesses of Thailand. Applicant must own at least 25 % of the registered company share or designated as board of director of the company.
  1. No criminal record in Thailand and country of residence.
  1. Eligible applicant will be granted SMART Visa “S” for 1 year at initial application and               2 years extension once set up the business in Thailand that meets SMART VISA criteria.
  2. No work permit required for working in the private companies or government agencies under the criteria of Smart Visa “S” but the Visa holder must work in a specific business industry (10 S-Curve). Any further changes of business type will need additional approval.
  3. SMART Visa “S” holder will have to report his/her residence annually (from the usual every 90 days) at the One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit: OSS at Chamchuri Square or any Immigration Office countrywide.
  4. Will be granted          Re-entry permit with unlimited numbers of entries into Thailand.
  5. Legal dependents (spouse and children) enjoy same benefits and visa duration as SMART Visa holder. Working is permitted                   for spouse.

 

 

REMARK: Spouse will have to work in the position and company that have been approved.

 

 

 

 

  1. How does SMART Visa holders benefit?

SMART Visa provides more benefits and privileges than any other visas, including: 

  • Allows up to 4 years-visa instead of the usual 1 year
  • No work permit required
  • Gives legal dependents (spouse and children) of the SMART Visa holder the right to live and work in Thailand equivalent to SMART visa holder.
  • Extension of reporting of stay to Immigration Bureau – from every 90-days to every year.
  1. Role of Ministry of Foreign affairs
  • Submission of application and required documents to the Royal Thai Embassy/ Royal Thai Consulate-General.
  • Documents will be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thailand for blacklist check and clearance before handing over to the One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit: OSS .
  • Once all documents are approved by OSS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Immigration Bureau will issue the SMART Visa (Categories T, I, E, S + O (if any) ).

 

  1. How does SMART Visa benefit Thailand?
    1. Boost economic growth

Increased numbers of skilled workers and talented professionals will encourage the growth, prosperity and profit of Thai businesses, as there will be a wider range of high-level skilled workers providing the input to the future of the businesses.

  1. Allows knowledge transfer and professional skills development

An inflow of foreign skilled workers coming to work in Thailand will bring about fresh ideas which will boost development and improve operation strategies/processes in Thai business.

  1. Provide long-term economic stability

Knowledge and professional skills transfer together with the boost of business growth will benefit Thai economy, which in turn will assist the local communities in terms of employment and the Government will benefit from an increase in corporation taxes.  Furthermore, Thailand is known for its beautiful landscapes and beaches, having more foreign investors living in Thailand for long-term might as well help boost the tourism industry.

  1. Improve the outlook of the property market

Foreign professionals living and working in Thailand will require accommodation. It is expected that demand for accommodation rentals will be increased.

  1. Suggestions

If any business owners think that the range of the applicants is narrow, the MFA and related agencies may consider expanding the eligible applicant list in the future.



[1] The 10 S-Curve business are: 1) Next-Generation Automotive 2) Smart Electronics 3) Affluent, Medical and Wellness Tourism 4) Agriculture and Biotechnology 5) Food for the Future 6) Robotics 7) Aviation and Logistics 8) Biofuels and Biochemical 9) Digital 10) Medical Hub

The process of issueing the SMART Visa are as shown here

The Checklist for documents required for each tpyes of SMART visa can be downloaded here.