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

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.