Are you smart? Earning a high-salary? If so, first, congratulations!
Secondly, you might be eligible for the new four-year professional visa, known as the “smart visa” from the middle of January 2018.
According to Lt-Colonel Thanarak Boonyaratkarin of the Immigration Bureau, the new Smart Visa will provide more benefits and privileges than any other visa. “You’ll be able to stay for up to four years at a time and also bring your family to live with you,” he said.
You’ll be able to apply for the new Smart Visa (if you meet all the requirements) in your home country or at your local immigration office.
The Smart Visa will be available for foreigners earning more than Bt200,000 per month and working in specialised industries such as IT, robotics, tech industries and health care. It will also be available for business investors, though no details are yet available about the minimum required investment.
The new visa will be available from the middle of January.
The move came in response to requests by foreign businessmen for an extended visa targeted to foreign experts and investors, allowing them to stay longer in Thailand and facilitate investment. The plan was first mooted in March 2016.
Instead of one-year extensions, holders of a Smart Visa will be eligible for a four-year stay in the Kingdom. Wives and children will also automatically get four-year extensions.
There are no age limits or restrictions for the new Smart Visa.
According to an article we published on August 17, ministry officials said there would be no need to apply for a work permit under the new visa. Also, unlike other Thai visas requiring holders to report every 90 days, officials suggested in August that the Smart Visa would require only an annual advance report to Immigration. We haven’t been able to confirm whether those last two advantages have survived the approval process for the programme.
The Smart Visa might also cover the burgeoning digital nomad trend seen in cafes, in which travelling entrepreneurs tap into free wifi to run their offshore investments and other IT businesses.