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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawImmigration in Thailand Prepares to Fast Track Smart Visa Holders

Immigration in Thailand Prepares to Fast Track Smart Visa Holders

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the so-called Smart Visa here in Thailand. There other videos on this channel. They were done some time ago from the time of this video, but there are other videos on this channel which discuss all the categories of the Smart Visa program.

Those who are unaware of what the Smart Visa is, Immigration Authorities in conjunction with the Board of Investment here in the Kingdom have come together to create a different sort of, for lack of a better term, regime of visas, so they are kind of separate and apart from the general sort of non-immigrant visa scheme. 

These Smart Visas are designed to promote the exchange of know-how and technology into the Kingdom as well as to promote investment and expertise here in the Kingdom and for that reason, they are given certain privileges that are not associated with other Visa holders; things like a B Visa or the O Visa, the sort of standard non-immigrant long-stay visas here in the Kingdom. Smart Visas are sort of in a class apart if you will.

That being said, in a recent article from the Bangkok Post, bangkokpost.com, The article titled “Smart Visa Conditions Revised for Experts”.  This article was published 12th November, 2018. Quoting directly, "The Board is ready to announce new conditions and incentives for the Smart Visa for overseas experts in an attempt to transfer technology and know-how to the country's industrial sector and encourage foreign startups to move to Thailand," and this is the important part of this article for purposes of this video.  Quoting further, "The second category is to increase privileges and benefits for Smart Visa holders with the Cabinet ordering the Immigration Bureau to open a fast-track service for foreigners holding these visas at all International airports." 

So what is clear to me from this article is the Immigration apparatus as well as the BOI are very intent on encouraging foreign expertise, foreign investment, and technology exchange and to do that they are willing to provide certain exceptional benefits and privileges associated with the issuance of a Smart Visa.

So what can we expect in the future? Well I think we're probably going to see a specific line for Smart Visa holders and as more and more Smart Visas are issued over time, it seems to be logical to infer that more folks going to be using that fast track. So we'll update you as this situation progresses but the thing to take away from this video is I think Immigration apparatus along with the BOI is serious about promoting more Smart Visas in the Kingdom and those who are interested in this are probably wise to do their research, contact a legal professional sooner rather than later, in order to get one of these visas while there is relatively few of them that have been issued, so as to enjoy these fast-track benefits in the relatively near future.