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Thailand 4 Year Smart Visa: E Category for Executives

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today, as the title suggests, we are going to be discussing some specifics with respect to the subcategory the Smart E category,  under the 4 Year Smart Visa Scheme.

As previously discussed in various videos on this channel, there are various subsets, various subcategories I should say, that fall under the Smart Visa overarching categorization, the overarching program. There's also specific videos regarding the inception of this overall program, how it came about, and finally its ultimate promulgation. So for those who are interested in some real detail on this overall topic, I suggest going through this channel and having a look at the videos with respect to the Smart Visa.

So today we are talking specifically about the Smart E category which pertains directly to Executives. I am reading here from a recent publication of the BOI which goes into some detail about these categories specifically. So I am quoting directly, "Senior Executives working in the companies using technology, manufacturing or delivering services and being in the targeted Industries". So this category specifically for executives that are in these " targeted Industries"; again the entire sort of “raison d'être”, “the reason for being”, of the Smart Visa category is to encourage more innovation in Thailand, more investment in the manufacturing and the fields of sort of big technology, big data. They are trying to encourage not only investment in the Kingdom in those sorts of things, but also they are trying to encourage individuals from outside the Kingdom who have these high-level skill sets to travel here in order to bring those skill sets to bear here in the Kingdom.  So qualifications associated with the E sub categorization: 1. Minimum salary of no less than 200,000 Baht or equivalent per month, exclusive of other benefits and welfares: 2. holders of a bachelor's degree or higher with at least 10 years work experience in the relevant field;  having an employment contract with a company in Thailand or a foreign country with an assignment to work in Thailand; the remaining period of the employment contract must be at least one year; holding a senior manager position such as chairman or managing director.  The employing companies must be certified as being the ones using technology and manufacturing or delivering services and being in the “targeted industries” by the relevant agencies such as the National Innovation Agency which is a public organization, the Digital Economy Promotion Agency and National Science and Technology Development Agency. So what to take away from that. Well first of all there is a salary requirement; secondly you have also got an educational requirement, that doesn't exactly exist in some of the other subcategories. There is an employment contract requirement, and this kind of goes to the underlying duration of the Smart Visa. If one only has an employment contract for two and a half years or three years you are not going to be issued a 4-year Visa; you are going to be issued the visa based on the duration of the employment contract. So that is something to take away from this video. Again you need to hold a senior management position and again the company’s, the individual needs to be endorsed for their position so they are going to basically scrutinize that person is indeed an executive but also the underlying activity of the company concerned needs to be, needs to be certified as well, and again these organizations I previously mentioned are going to go ahead and be part of that certification process. So again the thing to take away from this is although these visas, although these smart Visa subcategories have substantial benefits they do not lack scrutiny in the underlying visa application process, they really do. They're going to be looking hard in companies that are eligible for these kinds of visas. Now moving forward. The privileges: maximum 4 year visa but again not exceeding the employment contract term, no work permit required for working in the endorsed positions and companies prior to any job changes or additions of jobs an official approval must be obtained. Again the thing that I take away from this is what I'm about to say. Yes, you don't need to get a work permit per se, but there is going to be something akin to a work authorization adjudication that is going to occur during not only the endorsement of the individual for the visa but also the certification of the company’s underlying activities so although there's not going to be a work permit per se associated with this kind of visa, there's still a sort of quasi work authorization adjudication that takes place under this scheme. I would even go so far as to argue that in a lot of ways there's going to be more scrutiny with respect to these kind of visas when compared to just a regular old work permit issuance associated with a company. 90 day reporting to immigration extended to one year - so no more 90-day reporting, you only have to report once a year. That for many I know of here in the Kingdom, they would feel like that is a substantial benefit as that can be a rather time-consuming endeavor. No reentry permit required - that's another rather time-consuming endeavor and something that can be kind of annoyance to those here in the Kingdom on the standard non-immigrant visas such as the “B”, the “O” the “ED”,  or the retirement visa is every time you want to leave the country, you have to at least once get a multi entry re entry permit or every time you want to leave you have got to get a single  reentry permit lest you leave the country, you fall out of status because your visa kind of “dies” and then you come back in and you have got to start all over. With this Smart Visa scheme, once the visa is issued, you don't have to deal with reentry permits anymore. That is a substantial benefit. Spouses and children granted permission to stay in Thailand - spouse is granted permission to work with no work permit required; the jobs must not be on the prohibited list of occupations or professions for foreigners. So again there are benefits for spouses of Smart Visa holders but one should not take away from this video that there is any lack of scrutiny associated with the Smart Visa program and in fact I would argue that the Smart Visa program has a higher degree of scrutiny associated with it. So again the thing to take away from this is although the smart Visa has substantial benefits there are substantial costs and they are going to be substantial expenses in terms of time and resources to go ahead and get one of these issued.