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The Thai Smart Visa "Tunnel"

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Thai Smart Visa and what I call the "tunnel".

What we are talking about here is there are various types of Thai Smart Visa. They have a specific way in which they are processed. I am not going to get into the intricacies of that; I just want to talk about this conceptually for a minute. 

There are a lot of benefits to a Thai Smart Visa. They can be a lot less cumbersome to deal with than certain other types of visas. They also can provide a lot more flexibility when you are dealing with certain aspects of the Immigration and Work Permit process. Most notably, once issued they have inherent work authorization associated with them. Now that can lead to other issues and we have discussed that in other videos on this channel. I urge those watching this video, if you are interested in the Smart Visa go to the search function on our channel and just type in Smart Visa. You will get a lot of other videos that we have done on this topic. 

What I am talking about here with respect to this "tunnel", what you find with Smart Visas is they are very similar in a very real sense to what are called BOI Visas. They operate in their own realm if you will and it is not overly easy to convert them. It may actually be totally impossible to convert from a Smart Visa over to a different type of visa here in Thailand. So with certain types of these visas, especially for startups, you can end up in what I call the "tunnel" where you have got to go through the motions if you will, not going through the motions I don't mean to say that it is a pretext or a pretense, but you have to go through the process in certain steps to maintain your Smart Visa status. Failing to do that can result in losing status under certain circumstances. 

Long story short with respect to this topic, those who come in in Smart Visa status, especially as a startup, need to be prepared to deal with the requirements associated with maintaining their visa status in Thailand otherwise if they are not looking to be in such a I hesitate to call it rigid but sort of organized way of dealing with your status entirely, it might be a good idea to look for another Visa category that is a little bit more flexible or is maybe a little bit less specific in the requirements associated with maintaining lawful status here in Thailand.