New Smart Visa Scheme in Thailand Benefits Foreign Executives

01 June 2018 Peak Recruitment

Image of a Thai visa

For any foreign executives contemplating moving to Thailand for employment, the new legislation by the ThaI government concerning the new visa programme has got to be great news. The new programme dubbed ‘Smart Visa’ was introduced at the beginning of 2018 and is designed to attract highly-skilled foreign executives to some of the major industries in the country which include agriculture, food, biotechnology, robotics, aviation and logistics, bio-fuels and biochemicals and the medical sectors.

Attracting High Profile Foreign Talents

The government of Thailand has been always had robust policies which ensure that to a large extent, fundamental employment roles are primarily available to Thai residents – in other words, residnets will not lose employment to more highly-qualified candidates coming from abroad. So this new programme, at first sight, may appear to go directly against those principles. However, this programme is aimed squarely at the industries in which Thai 4 is aiming to create advancement and also it is only aimed only at executive positions. The government has stated that according to calculations the labour market will not be adversely affected by foreign competition from the Smart visa holders.

Moving Thai 4 Forward

With the advent of Thai 4 and new focus on advancing industry into the 21st century, Thai residents in many cases, will be taking on digital processes for the first time: the majority of native workers will need to experience a period of education in order for them to take on the new roles fully. Hence, until that time, there is a real need for those highly-qualified managers being shipped in from abroad to support the programme. Progress for Thai residents can only come with a complex and robust educational system within the targeted industries.

Who Is Eligible for The Smart Visa?

The Smart Visa is divided into 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.

The Smart Visa has been a long time in development. It was first proposed in 2016 so there is now great excitement that it is readily available. A government spokesman, Sansern Kaewkamnerd, said “We hope to attract more people who are essential in driving our economy forward, so we need to make the visa process more convenient for them.”1 And there are many benefits to the new system that are likely to attract high-profile employees to Thailand and make living in the country even easier.

The Benefits of The Smart Visa for Working in Thailand

In Thailand there are already many factors which are likely to attract overseas executives searching for work: the beaches; the friendly native residents, the cheap cost of living, it’s wonderful exotic history shown in its numerous buildings and artefacts, not to mention its delightful food which is fast becoming globally recognised. So Thailand perhaps does not have to work too hard to get people thinking about how life could work in their beautiful country. The Smart Visa makes the stay in Thailand so much easier. Here are the benefits:

  • Visa validity for 4 years instead of the current legislation which allows for 1 year.

  • People will no longer need to report to immigration every 90 days. They now only have to report once a year.

  • There is now no requirement for a work permit.

  • Perhaps one of the most attractive benefits which comes with the scheme is the fact that dependants of the working person can now live and work in Thailand. There is no age cap with the Smart visa.

  • Overseas professionals meeting the requirements of Smart Visa will be able to apply to get them at Embassies of Thailand in their countries. They can also apply at the Service Centres for Visas/Work Permits located at Chamchuri Square -Bangkok.

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