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New ‘smart visa’ launched for specialists in targeted next-generation industries

Jan 16. 2018
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THE CABINET yesterday approved a “smart visa” to lure specialists to work in 10 targeted industries.

Applications for the smart visa will begin on February 1.

Kobsak Pootrakool, minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, said the targeted industries included Thai-based industries known as the First S-Curve and new industries dubbed the New S-Curve. 

First S-Curve industries include next-generation automotive, smart electronics, medical and wellness tourism, “food for the future”, and agriculture and biotechnology. The five New S-Curve industries are automation and robotics, aviation and logistics, biochemicals and eco-friendly petrochemicals, digital businesses, and medical hubs. 

The smart visa is divided into four groups. The first group is for specialists in scientific fields where there is a shortage. Individuals who qualify must have a salary of at least Bt200,000 a month and an employment contract for at least one year. Their spouses and children can move and work in Thailand, except in prohibited careers. 

They will get four-year visas, up from the 90-day visa that is currently available. 

The second group involves investors of no less than Bt20 million in targeted industries. The third group involves investors in companies that in turn invest in targeted industries. 

The fourth group is for company executives who work in targeted industries with salaries not less than Bt200,000 a month with experience of not less than 10 years. 

The government estimated less than 1,000 people would apply for the smart visas so the would not affect the local labour market, Kobsak said. 

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