The Thai Board of Investment has introduced a new SMART Visa.  The SMART visa can be applied for by highly skilled foreign experts, executives, investors and entrepreneurs whose qualifications are endorsed by the designated agencies from the ten targeted “S-Curve” industries.  The S-Curve industries include Agriculture and Biotechnology, Automation and Robotics and Aviation and Logistics. 

There are then different categories of the SMART Visa which include Talent, Investor, Executive, and Start-Up.  Each of these have specific eligibility criteria, for example for the SMART ‘I’ (Investor) visa, the investor must make an investment of at least THB 20 million.  

The benefits of a SMART visa are that:

  • It is valid for up to four years for highly-skilled professionals, senior executives and investors, as opposed to one year 
  • It is valid for one year, with the option to renew for two years, for start-up entrepreneurs
  • Requirements on SMART visa holders are less arduous than the requirements for normal visa holders as they are not required to obtain work permits or obtain re-entry permits to exit and re-enter Thailand.  
  • SMART visa holders are only required to report to authorities every year as opposed to every 90 days.