The Thai government has introduced a four-year visa scheme
called “Smart Visa” for foreign experts with high salaries, beginning February
Foreign nationals earning over THB 200,000 per month in
specialty industries such as healthcare or technology are eligible to obtain
the visa. Their families, spouses and children, are also eligible to accompany them. The Smart Visa holders will
be eligible for four-year periods and will
automatically get four-year extensions, instead of one-year extensions.
Their families can also automatically receive four-year extensions.
There is no age restriction for the Smart Visa, and it is
believed that around 1,000 people will be applying each year.
The Smart Visa targets individuals these 10 specialized
equipment and pharmaceuticals.
The scheme is divided into four categories:
category: T for Talent – it includes
successful specialists that are employed, with contracts at least 1 year long
and a monthly salary of Bt200,000.
I for Investors – is for investors in targeted industries with investment
capital of no less than Bt20 million.
Third Category: E
for executives – includes high-level executives who work in the targeted
industries and have over 10 years of experience. They also need to be employed,
with contracts at least 1 year long and a monthly salary of Bt200,000.
S for startups – targets investors of companies that invest in targeted
industries. The S (startups) Smart Visa category, differently from the others
will have a an initial one year visa, that can later be extended.
The Smart Visa program was first proposed in March 2016 by
an umbrella federation of trade groups. Its goal is to lure experts and
entrepreneurs with technical knowledge to stay longer in Thailand.
The beautiful nature of the South-East Asian country, which
includes many beaches and the low living costs attract many visitors. Only in
2017 the country welcomed 35 million visitors.