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UPDATE: Smart Visa applications accepted after February 1

Tanutam Thawan

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Starting February 1, eligible foreigners can apply for a new, four-year visa called the Smart Visa. The visa, itself, isn’t ‘smart’ or magically electronic but you’ll probably need to be smart to apply for it. Initially the digital nomads hoped it might help their lifestyle and allow them an easier way to remain in Thailand. The details don’t really support the new visa’s use for digital nomads.

The Smart Visa program will allow high-earning expats to hold a visa without needing to report to immigration every 90 days. The program received full endorsement and approval from the cabinetthis week. The idea behind the Smart Visa is “to increase knowledge transfer and skill development in desirable fields such as technology and medicine”.

Foreigners who meet the new visa’s requirements will be able to apply for them at Thai embassies in their home country. Alternatively, they’ll be able to apply at the One-Stop Service Centre for Visas and Work Permits in Bangkok.

Smart Visa holders must earn over 200,000 baht per month in specialised fields…

• automotive
• electronics
• medical tourism
• agritech (agricultural technology)
• food technology
• robotics
• aviation
• biochem
• digital technology
• medical services.

Smart Visa holders will only have to check in once a year rather than every 90 days. Smart Visas will be able to be extended for a full four years rather than a single year at a time. Applications will be received after February 1.

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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