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Thai Smart Visa Processing in 2020

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thai Smart Visa. 

For those who are unaware, a couple of years ago Thailand rolled out a program called a SMART Visa program. It basically operates in conjunction with the BOI, that is the Board of investment here in Thailand. One of its major designs is to bring in technological innovation or entrepreneurs specializing in technological innovation as well as biotech, medical, things sort of the more high-tech persuasion into Thailand. Those who qualify for Smart Visas, one of the really nifty things about the Visa category is the fact that work authorization is inherent to it.

Unlike other Visa categories here in Thailand, for example the B Visa,  the Thai Business Visa, where one needs to go ahead and get the Business Visa and then get a Work Permit and then get a business visa extension and work authorization is not inherent to the Immigration status so the Visa is different from the Work Permit. With the Thai Smart Visa, these two are intertwined. It is a much more flexible for lack of a better term and it is much more consolidated in many ways. Also the other thing to keep in mind with respect to the Thai Smart Visa is the fact that the Smart Visa allows for the spouse of that Smart Visa holder to work without the need for separate work authorization. That is very different than derivative O Visas for those who are Business Visa holders with a Work Permit in Thailand which is kind of the standard way of getting a spouse a visa; it's an O Visa attached to one's B Visa. The Smart Visa is a different thing altogether and the spouse of a Smart Visa holder can work without the need for a specific and separate authorization for that employment.

So Smart Visas; the overall terms of them remain the same. Overall processing; a relatively small number of them are processed in a given year compared to other visa categories due to some of the more stringent restrictions associated with them and the higher thresholds associated with for example financing of the underlying entity or company etc.

That being stated, the Smart Visa remains an option for those who wish to stay in Thailand. I believe it will remain to be one in 2020 and those are seeking a Smart Visa, depending on the specific circumstances of their case, need to go ahead and do some research or contact a legal professional as there are different Visa categories which apply to different people under different circumstances.