Smart visa scheme to now cover 18 targeted industries

September 28, 2022

The cabinet has approved a move to expand the smart visa scheme to cover 18 targeted industries from the original 13, Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Tuesday.

The move was proposed by the Interior Ministry in a bid to attract more foreign specialists, investors, executives and start-up companies to invest in Thailand, facilitate technology transfer and help accelerate development in targeted industries, Anucha said.

The smart visa scheme was launched in February 2018 to attract talent and technologies in 13 targeted S-curve industries under the government’s policy to drive the economy through innovation and technology.

The updated scheme allows specialists, investors, executives and start-up operators in 18 industries to apply for smart visas to stay in Thailand for up to four years. Those who are granted this visa require no permit to work in Thailand, but must report to authorities once a year (expanded from every 90 days). They will also be granted an unlimited re-entry permit, while their spouse and legal children can also stay or work in Thailand for the same period as the visa holder.

Here are the 18 targeted industries under the smart visa scheme, with the last five newly added:

– Automotive

– Electronics

– Quality tourism

– Agricultural, food and biotechnology

– Automation and robotics

– Transport and logistics

– Petrochemical and chemical

– Digital

– Medical

– Human resource development in the fields of science and technology

– Environmental management and alternative energy

– Targeted technology development

– Alternative dispute resolution

– National defence

– Industries that directly support a circular economy, for example, refuse-derived fuel manufacturing, water resources management, etc.

– Aviation and aerospace

– Management of technology, innovation and start-up ecosystem

– International business centres.

The other criteria are that the maximum four years of stay is limited to specialists, executives and investors, while start-up enterprise operators will be granted up to two years of stay. The visa fee for foreigners is 10,000 baht per year, and if the period is less than a year, the fee will be rounded up to one year.

Source: The Nation