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New ‘smart visa’. No work permit, annual reporting.

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New ‘smart visa’. No work permit, annual reporting. | The Thaiger
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We’ve just had the announcement of the new ten year ‘Geeza Visa’, the long-term ‘retirement’ visa. Now the Thai Cabinet has just announced plans for a new ‘Smart Visa’.

Under the new Smart Visa, people can stay in Thailand, along with their spouse and children if applicable, for up to four years. The big change here is that you won’t have to apply for a Work Permit under the new visa. Also, unlike other Thai visas which require 90 day reporting, you would only need to front up to the Immigration Bureau once a year. All this has been published by the Prime Minister’s office in notes from the past week in the ‘Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit’.

To be eligible you’ll need to categorised as an ‘investor’, a startup entrepreneur, high-level executive or highly skilled professional. No details at this stage as to which professions would be considered under the terms of the new visa.

The plan was first proposed 17 months ago by an trade groups as a way to attract investment and foreign skills to the Kingdom. The Government says the new visa ‘will enable knowledge transfer that would boost business growth in the country and long-term economic benefits’.

PHOTO: Tech Republic

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Crime

Armed men allegedly steal more than 100,000 baht from Ayutthaya monk

Caitlin Ashworth

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Armed men allegedly steal more than 100,000 baht from Ayutthaya monk | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

Police are searching for men who allegedly robbed a monk at an Ayutthaya temple, taking off with more than 100,000 baht in cash. Thai media reports that 2 of the men have been arrested and police are still searching for the other 2 men.

The monk was in his room at the Dokmai Buddhist Temple when he heard dogs barking. The monk says he opened his door to see what was going on outside. Just as he was closing the door, 4 men wearing hoods and holding guns and knives forced their way inside his room, the monk says. They allegedly took around 120,000 to 130,000 baht in cash. The money had been given to the monk to organise a ceremony to make merit.

One of them dropped their helmet as they were running out of the temple. Police say they will try to track down the owner of the helmet. Police are still investigating.

SOURCES: Thai Residents| News Channel 7

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Economy

Covid-19 shuts down 70% of Phuket’s tourism businesses

Caitlin Ashworth

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Covid-19 shuts down 70% of Phuket’s tourism businesses | The Thaiger
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Most tourism businesses in Phuket have closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and they probably won’t be up and running again until foreign tourists are let back in Thailand. Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew says around 70% of tourism businesses have closed, most of them just temporarily, but some have shut down permanently.

Before the pandemic, tourism to Phuket brought in 450 billion baht a year with 400 billion baht from foreign visitors while the other 50 billion baht was from domestic tourists. Thailand has been trying to increase domestic tourism to help revive the industry after the pandemic. Phuket’s governor says it helps, but not enough.

“Their visits can help solve some of our economic problems, but they cannot replace the need of foreign tourists.”

66.8% of tourism businesses in Phuket have closed temporarily while 2.8% have closed permanently, according to data by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency. The governor is trying figure out how to recover the economy, fast.

“By the end of September, the number of businesses to be closed will increase up to 70% for sure.”

While many businesses are closed, the governor says Phuket is “almost 100% ready to welcome foreign tourists.” The governor says he can’t give an answer to when foreign tourists will arrive in Phuket, but he claims they’ve “prepared every step,” from checking in at the airport to hotel quarantine. They’re just going to install some new temperature check machines at the Phuket International Airport and review the procedures for welcoming the tourists.

“We have to work and prepare carefully to welcome foreign tourists… We have to gradually open our door to welcome small groups of people first, in order to test our system, and then open for bigger groups.”

At the moment, only 3 venues in Phuket have been approved to operate as alternative state quarantine facilities. Anantara Phuket Suites & Villas has 100 rooms available, Anantara Mai Khao Phuket has 36 villas and Trisara resort has 15 villas.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Road deaths

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News

A well known local DJ died early this morning in a high speed car crash on a Bangkok road bend nicknamed “Curve of 100 Deaths.” Police say his car’s speedometer was found stuck at 200 kilometres per hour.

Police suspect 33 year old Annop Poonsripattana was going around a curve when he lost control of the car due to the slippery road conditions from the rain. His black Toyato Altis was found smashed into an electricity pole around 2:30am today. The impact caused Annop to be flung to the back seat. Police say his skull was shattered and his neck broken.

A security guard at a nearby building says heard an explosion and the electricity cut out. The entire area went black, he says. The so called “Curve of 100 Deaths” is near Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. The guard says many fatal crashes happen on the road.

“This area is highly prone to road accidents. Just last week a mother and her small child were killed here.”

The Ratchada Road curve so dangerous that locals honk when driving through the curve to show respect and to ask for permission from the spirits of those who have died there for safe passage, according to Coconuts Bangkok. In the past, many people have left offerings like zebra statues in honour of those who died in car incidents while driving on the road.

Annop played music at many entertainment venues in Bangkok. He was also a contestant in the Take Me Out Thailand TV show in 2015. An autopsy is being done at the Police General Hospital. Electricians are working to fix the electricity pole and restore power.

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | News by The Thaiger

An event with Annop Poonsripattana.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Coconuts Bangkok

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