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How Many Smart Visas are Approved in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

A question that has come up in the past roughly two years I think since the Smart Visa program has been initiated is how many of these are actually approved and it is difficult to say.  I don't have the records and to the best of my knowledge, they don't publish this information particularly openly. It is also a fairly new program so various applications that have been filed, even some time ago, for Smart Visa benefits made have yet to be adjudicated so it remains to be seen exactly how many will be approved over time. 

In a recent article from Khaosod English, the article’s title: Smart Visa Holders May Have Side Hustles: Cabinet. There was an interesting quotation which I will quote here directly:  "In the first eight months it was available, 28 of 37 applicants managed to obtain the Visa according to the Board of Investment." So that is talking specifically about the Smart Visa and just to reiterate that, that was 28 of 37, so it looks like about two-thirds of the applicants were approved and there was another one third that was not approved. That is interesting and it goes to a point that I would like to make in this video which is Smart Visas are not necessarily going to be automatically approved, in fact quite the contrary.  I suspect that they are going to be adjudicated rather deeply. 

We have done videos on Smart Visas in the past where I went through this. It is not the same process as dealing with for example the Labour Department with respect to a Work Permit because there isn’t a Work Permit associated with the Smart Visa but work authorization is inherent to the Visa itself so there is an adjudication regarding the skill set of the Smart Visa holder, the investment being brought in associated with the Smart Visa application, etc. So in many ways the scrutiny in a Smart Visa application is over and above in a certain sense, the scrutiny that is associated with a Business Visa application or with a Work Permit application.  

So the thing to take away from this video is Smart Visas, I hate to use the word "difficult", but depending on the circumstances of an individual or a corporation in question it may be difficult to get the Smart Visa and I think it is evidenced by the fact that not all these applications are being approved. I think it is also evidence of the fact that these applications are being heavily scrutinized before a final decision is rendered with respect to the issuance of a Smart Visa here in Thailand.