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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawHolders of Smart Visas are Allowed to Take Side Jobs

Holders of Smart Visas are Allowed to Take Side Jobs

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Smart Visas here in the Kingdom. 

This was a scheme that was created about 18 months ago from the time of this video; maybe a little longer.  It has been implemented on kind of a limited scale mostly due to the fact that it is a Visa category it is not going to apply in a broad sense but it does have a lot of benefits that do not come along necessarily with other types of Thai Visas.  

In a recent article from Khaosod English, that's khaosodenglish.com. The title of the article is Smart Visa Holders May have Side Hustles: Cabinet. Quoting directly, "The interim Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to allow any foreigner holding a valid Smart Visa - exclusive to those earning more than 200,000 baht monthly in specialized industries - to do other work without a permit issued by the Labour Ministry." So this is important. It represents and we are starting to see this little by little, where they are trying to sort of liberalize the work authorization rules and make them inherent to certain types of visas simply being issued. Now we have seen this in the context of things like representative offices and foreign business license corporations here in the Kingdom. But the Smart Visa program is something different. It is a departure away from a framework that was more rigid because Smart Visa holders may not necessarily even need to have a company. 

So the thing to take away from this video and I think it is a major benefit to those who ultimately get a Smart Visa, it is the fact that that individual doesn't need to get a work permit if you will to do something other than the scope of their particular work that their initial Smart Visa was issued for. I think that this is a prudent and wise measure by the Cabinet because I think it will not only attract substantial foreign talent but I think it will also attract people who may have a wide variety or wide array of occupations. Those that are of a certain kind of upward mobility for lack of better term oftentimes do not restrict their activities to one particular subset of fields for example. For example Elon Musk and I know he has had some controversy here in Thailand in the past but he does all sorts of things. He was involved with PayPal, he had the Tesla Motor Company, SpaceX, and I think Thailand is trying to attract if not Elon Musk himself, then people that are sort of similar to him insofar is that they have sort of more “renaissance man” if you will approach to doing things and they're not necessarily just limited to one given field. Overall I think this is a good policy decision and hopefully it will attract more people to come to Thailand using the Smart Visa program.