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Thai 4 Year Smart Visas: T Category for Science & Technological Talent

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today, as the title suggests, we are going to get into one of the specific subcategories with respect to the recently promulgated program called the 4 year Smart Visa.

As documented in other videos on this channel, the 4-year smart Visa was only recently created as at the time of this filming and basically we are just now figuring out how it's going to be implemented, the specifics regarding subcategories etc.

So the first thing to keep in mind that is there is this overarching notion of a Smart Visa category.  They can be issued with a validity of up to four years although that is not a hard-and-fast rule. It will depend, based on circumstances, how these are going to be issued, but the Smart Visa program is the way to look at it. It’s a program with specific subcategories in it, beneath the overarching program if you will, sort of “variations on a theme” if you will. This category as the title suggests, is the Smart T Visa and I am quoting directly from a brochure put out by the Board of Investment, that's BOI here in Thailand. So Smart T category and I'm quoting directly “highly skilled professionals in the fields of Science and Technology wishing to work in the targeted industries”. And there are various targeted Industries; I discussed them in another channel, I'll go into it a little bit here but really this video is to just discuss criteria and the qualifications associated with the Smart Visa itself. So the first thing: minimum salary of no less than Bt200,000 or equivalent to a month exclusive of other benefits and welfares; having an employment contract or service contract with an entity in Thailand with a remaining term of at least one year; having expertise in science and technology relevant to the targeted industries and endorsed by a Government Agency. This seems to be one of the really important aspects of this, is this notion of endorsement. There is a whole endorsement process which is part and parcel of the over-riding Smart Visa process. I am not going to get into it too in-depth in this video but we are working up a video and it  going to get pretty detailed with respect to how the overall process works, but endorsement is a major part of it and that is an adjudicatory function that is going to be part  of the process of getting one into the Smart Category, except for government experts who work for a government agency so if you work for a government agency in one of these high-level science and  industry capacities it seems like there’s going to be sort of an exemption from endorsement. Employers in Thailand must be certified, again there's an adjudicatory process associated with this kind of certification for being engaged in the targeted Industries by relevant government agencies such as the National Innovation Agency, public organization, and the Digital Economy Promotion Agency. In case of employer being a government agency, the certification of being in the targeted industries shall be done by that agency. So again in a sense the government agencies can kind of exempt themselves but it would seem that BOI is going to have a certification and endorsement process not only with respect to the underlying corporate entity employing the Smart Visa carrier or prospective Smart Visa carrier, but also go ahead and it seems need to endorse the underlying activity that that Smart Visa holder is going to want to undertake.

So there is a lot going on here with respect to processing, notwithstanding, this is a long-term visa and it's called the Smart Visa, it isn't called the “Easy” visa. For ease of processing or facilitation of processing as long as someone has the resources you might want to go check out the videos on this channel with respect to the Elite Visa because the smart Visa, they are really checking into what the individual in question wants to do, specifically what they currently do, what they want to do, what they're going to be doing in the Kingdom and what the company they are looking to work for does. So there is a lot of scrutiny associated with this. Now with respect to privileges under the Smart T category. Maximum, and again maximum it could be less, maximum 4 year visa but not exceeding the remaining employment/service contract term;  so  those who are on a one-year service contract, it may not behoove that individual or individuals to go down the Smart Visa track because it may not pertain to them. Again no work permit required for working in the endorsed companies or a Thai Government agency. Now this is an interesting concept because again they say “endorsed companies or Thai government agency” so again that whole certification and endorsement process is going to need to be undertaken with respect to the individual concerned in this category and for that reason, okay there is no work permit associated with it but there is still an adjudication pertaining to the work authorization and pertaining to the corporate activity. So while there is no permit per se, that doesn't mean that the whole process that was once dealt with for work authorization has gone. No, in fact I would argue that, at least in the opening stages, while they are  getting this thing up and going, the scrutiny is probably going to be higher in one of these categories. Prior to any job changes or additions of jobs, an official approval must be obtained. Again this is specific to this notion of endorsement and certification; there is a lot of oversight with respect to these visas. The Thai government and immigration apparatus does not, they don't give out even shorter term visas willy-nilly, they are definitely not going to give out a 4 year visa just on a whim so they want to know exactly what's going on and why this individual needs to be granted this type of visa.  90 day reporting to the immigration extended to one year - that is substantial benefit. Many people find it annoying to go check in every 90 days at immigration and turning that into a one-year situation could be very beneficial. No reentry permits required. As explained in many other videos on this channel reentry permits are necessary for most standard non-immigrant visas in order to keep the visa "alive", when leaving the Kingdom so that it stays alive while gone, so that one can come back and reuptake their status they had before. Finally spouses and children granted the right to stay and work in Thailand with no work permit required. Children wishing to work must be at least 18 years of age; the jobs must not be on the prohibited list of occupations and professions for foreigners. Again a substantial benefit, but yet again, and not to sort of sound like a broken record, there is an endorsement and certification process associated with this type of visa. I am going to be doing a whole another video relatively soon because I am just simply learning how this process is working with respect to the overall process, but the thing to take away from this video is “yes these are substantial benefits but they are not going to be granted without a high level of scrutiny and without at least one adjudicatory process with respect to endorsement and I suspect probably two adjudicatory processes with respect to both endorsement and certification”.