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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawApplying for a 4-year Smart Visa in Thailand

Applying for a 4-year Smart Visa in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are going to provide a brief overview with respect to the application process for 4 Year Smart Visas. For further information on this topic I strongly suggest checking out another video where we talked about the targeted Industries associated with both BOI and the four-year Smart Visa as well as the specific categories of Smart Visa such as Entrepreneur and Executives and Technical etc. which all of those videos are also on this channel.

So just to go through this. I'm going to quote some things directly from some recent information provided by BOI itself, that's the Board of Investment here in Thailand. So quoting directly from BOI's own press release, “explanation of procedures for applying for qualification endorsement”. So qualification endorsement. What we talking about here? As explained in other videos, it's not a stand-alone visa. An individual can only obtain a Smart visa after having their underlying corporate concern certified by various agencies it will depend on the circumstances involved and then even after certification and qualification then the individual can go ahead and be adjudicated on their merits for qualification for a 4 year Smart Visa. To quote directly "the foreigners can submit an application for qualification endorsement for Smart Visas at a One-Stop service center for visa and work permit, OSS that's the acronym, located at Chamchuree Square in Bangkok. For information specific to One Stop, the One-Stop service center, I urge you to check out another video on this channel where we discuss the One Stop service center rather at length. Alternatively they can lodge their documents at the Royal Thai Embassies / Royal Thai consulate-generals, presumably abroad. Within 3 working days after having received complete documents, this is important, just a sort of side note here: receipt of complete documents; this can take a little while. so simply walking in, one thinks "so I have my application in hand", no! the adjudicating officer may want to see more documents documentation pertaining to one specific issue, the individual applying may not have all their documentation, there is a number of things that can occur with respect to trying to apply. The Thai system was a little bit difficult for me to get used to when I first came to Thailand and began assisting people with these things is, they sort of front-load making certain that everything is present so before they receipt in an application they'll want to see that every required document is there unlike certain aspects of like American bureaucracy, sometimes they kind of, you can kind of let things slide and you can add documentation as the thing is processing. It's not how it really works in Thailand. They want to see everything on hand at the time of application so that is important. Just to go back and re-quote here. "Within 3 working days after having received complete documents OSS will coordinate with related agencies to verify and certify the qualification of the applicants." I think that is fairly self-explanatory. The agency's mentioned above will notify the OSS of the results of the evaluations / examination within 20 working days. Who are these agencies?  It’s going to depend. It’s going to depend on the nature of the business at hand; it's going to depend on the nature of the applicant’s technical qualifications or just qualifications generally. That's going to depend on which agencies are going to get involved in this overall process. OSS and BOI will notify the applicant, the immigration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the relevant agencies of the result of the endorsement application within 7 working days. The total processing time frame is 30 working days from the date of OSS's receipt of complete documents. Holders of non-immigrant visa must apply for the qualification endorsement at least 90 days before the expiry of the non-immigrant visa. So basically what we are getting at here is they are trying to make this a fairly fast process. Something to take away from this with respect to those time frames thought is again note that's after complete documents have been placed on file. This can be a rather back-and-forth process as individuals or representatives will go down and try to get an application on file, only to be told they want to see more documentation. So you know it's not just a 30 day matter. There can be a period of time between the time that one say retains a professional to assist in the matter, there is probably going to be a buffer period where you're going to be going back and forth trying to get all the ducks in a row before receipting in the application and then that's going to be the adjudication process before finally being notified of approval or denial.