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Credit: Prime Minister's Delivery Unit (http://www.pmdu.soc.go.th/smart-visa/3465)

Credit: Prime Minister's Delivery Unit (http://www.pmdu.soc.go.th/smart-visa/3465)

Thailand launches Smart Visa to attract highly skilled foreign talents in 10 targeted industries

According to reports by the Nation, Thailand has officially launched the new 4-year professional visa scheme for professionals, also known as Smart Visa, to attract foreign highly-skilled talents.

The Smart Visa targets foreign entrepreneurs, high-level executives, new business start-ups or digital independents in 10 target industries, which include automotive, electronics, tourism, agriculture and biotechnology, food, robotics, aviation and logistics, biofuels and biochemical, digital, and medical sectors.

The Smart Visa is divided in 4 categories. The first category is for highly-skilled specialists who are on employment contracts for at least 1 year and are earning at least Bt200,000 a month. The second category is for investors in targeted industries with investment capital of no less than Bt20 million. The third group is for investors of companies which invest in targeted industries. The fourth, and last, group is for high-level executives who work in the targeted industries with 10 or more years of experience and earn a salary of over Bt200,000 a month.

According to the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit of Thailand, some of the benefits the Smart Visa provides include: (1) visa validity of 4 years, as compared to the current 1 year, (2) no requirement of a work permit, (3) An extension of reporting from the current 90 days to annual reporting, and (4) Dependents of Smart Visa holder are allowed to live and work in Thailand.

With this new visa, the Thai Government hopes to attract foreign talents to speed up knowledge transfer, stimulate growth of specialised fields. This is expected to boost Thailand’s competitiveness and promote its economic development in the long run.

According to the report by the Nation, the Thai Government estimated that the local labour market will not be adversely affected by foreign competition from the Smart Visa holders.

The Smart Visa initiative illustrates the Thai Government’s ongoing efforts to attract foreign talents. As reported previously, Thailand is setting up a Strategic Talent Centre (STC) to enhance the availability of workforce in the field of science and technology, especially for the 10 targeted specialised industries.

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