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New Thai Smart Visas for the Eastern Economic Corridor?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing basically new type of Thai Smart Visa specifically tailored, specifically targeted at the Eastern Economic Corridor. 

For those who are unaware, and this has been on the lips of many expats; it was even on the front page of the Bangkok Post the other day, the Thai Immigration, the Cabinet specifically have in principle promulgated policies to try and attract wealthy expats to Thailand. One of the categories seems to be targeted at the Eastern Economic Corridor. The other thing to keep in mind is these “new visas” are very akin to Smart Visas in my opinion. They seem to be affiliated with the Board of Investment; they have these high financial criteria associated with them; there seems to be an element of trying to attract digital nomads using these travel documents. So in many, many ways they have the air if you will of a Smart Visa, in my opinion, and we have done other videos on this channel regarding Smart Visas. Frankly, I suspect this will be a lot like the Smart Visa in that it probably will not be used by anybody but a very narrow subset of the overall expat population here in Thailand or the expat population to come.  

However, the reason I got to thinking about this, specifically regarding the Eastern Economic Corridor, is I was reading an article from the Pattaya Mail, that is, the article is titled: Thailand's new rules for retiree visas sound alarm bells. This is an excerpt; it really doesn't go to the main thrust of the overall article but I thought it was worth noting. Quoting directly: "The Cabinet decision also seeks to encourage migration by rich foreigners, basically those with assets worth US 1 million dollars by linking a 10-year visa to an automatic Work Permit and a special reduced income tax rate," and this is the key part, "for those working in the Eastern Economic Corridor which is currently based in the Rayong area. These ideas seem to be based on the current 4-year Smart Visa for high tech experts and some digital nomads which does not any way require a Work Permit or the 90 days reporting. Although not well known, the Smart Visa has already broken new visa ground." Yeah, in a sense it has. I think that is very well put. Again I urge folks to go to the Pattaya Mail, and look up that article: Thailand's new rules for retiree visas sound alarm bells. 

What I thought was interesting is again, this all seems targeted at the EEC, at the Eastern Economic Corridor. They do seem to be trying to attract not just wealthy but folks that are in the Tech sector if you will into that EEC area and that is rather interesting to me because the EEC is something that they really seem to be focused on making into something that will create a vibrant part of the overall economy. So there may be some serious benefits for expats in looking into that especially those who are operating in the tech sector.