In recent years, Thailand has implemented a series of initiatives to drive its economy forward. The latest efforts of the Thai government involve attracting technologies and talent with the purpose of advancing its target industries’ development. The SMART Visa program aims to attract technology and science experts, investors, senior executives, and startups by enhancing the attractiveness of these industries in Thailand.
What is the SMART Visa Program?
The SMART Visa program is the initiation of a new visa type specifically designed to attract skilled investors, technology and science experts, startup entrepreneurs, and executives who wish to invest or work in the following industries, which are considered target industries of Thailand:
- Smart Electronics
- Next-Gen Automotive
- Wellness, Medical, and Affluent Tourism
- Food for the Future
- Biotechnology and Agriculture
- Biochemicals and Biofuels
- Robotics and Automation
- Logistics and Aviation
- Medical Hub
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Renewable Energy and Environmental Management
- Human Resources Development in Science and Technology
Benefits of The SMART Visa
There are four types of SMART visas that all come with respective benefits, including permission to stay in Thailand for four years, annual immigration check-ins instead of ninety-day check-ins, no requirement for re-entry permits, and work eligibility for family members without the requirement of work permits.
4 Types of SMART Visas in Thailand
Depending on the activity or purpose for which a foreigner applies for a SMART Visa, one of the following categories will be appropriately allocated to each applicant.
SMART Visa: Talent
The SMART Talent Visa is available to technology and science experts. Such applicants must earn a minimum of 200 000 Baht monthly and must be employed in one of the targeted industries listed above. The SMART T Visa grants the holder permission to stay in Thailand for four years.
SMART Visa: Investor
The SMART Investor Visa is available to investors who have invested at least 20 million Baht directly into organizations that are using technology in their delivery or manufacturing process. Such organizations must fall under one of the targeted industries. The Smart I Visa grants the holder permission to stay in Thailand for four years.
SMART VISA: Executive
The SMART Executive Visa is available to senior executives who hold a Bachelor’s degree and work experience of at least ten years. The applicant must earn a minimum of 200 000 Baht monthly and be employed in one of the targeted industries listed above. The SMART E Visa grants the holder permission to stay in Thailand for four years.
SMART Visa: Startup
The Smart Startup Visa is available for entrepreneurs who wish to start a new business in Thailand. The eligibility criteria for this visa include depositing 600 000 Baht into a Thai bank account, having health insurance in Thailand, and starting a business in one of the targeted industries listed above within the first year of Thai residency. The SMART S Visa grants the holder permission to stay in Thailand for one to two years.