Types of SMART Visas in Thailand - SMART Visa Guide for all Business Types

Understand the different types of business-related SMART Visas, to see which one is applicable to you. From Startup Entrepreneurs, Investors, Executives, or Business Talent.

How can we help you?

Recently, Thailand has been increasing its efforts in driving the Thai economy through innovation, in order to do this, the Thai government wants to attract more talents into Thailand to transform the country into a hub for innovation in Asia. Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) has recently introduced the SMART visa aimed to attract highly skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, executives and investors into Thailand to work and invest in targeted industries in Thailand related to technology and innovation. These targeted industries include:

  • Next generation automotive
  • Affluent , medical and wellness tourism
  • Agriculture and biotechnology
  • Aviation and logistics
  • Biofuels and biochemicals
  • Digital
  • Medical hub
  • Smart electronics
  • Food for the future
  • Automation and robotics
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Human resource development in science and technology
  • Environmental management and renewable energy

General Benefits of the SMART visa

  • Validity of 4 years.
  • No work permit required to work in Thailand with a SMART visa.
  • No re-entry permits required when you leave Thailand.
  • 90 day reporting is replaced by 1 year reporting, so you only have to report your current address in Thailand to Thai immigration once a year instead of every three months.
  • Both spouse and children are eligible to work in Thailand.
  • Priority immigration lanes at Thai international airports.

Types of Thai SMART Visa

There are 5 different categories of the Thai SMART visa for different types of skilled professionals and their spouse/children.

SMART T (TALENT)

This visa category is for those who are highly skilled and want to be employed in one of the 10 targeted industries. In order to be qualified for this visa, you need :

  • Minimum income of 100,000 THB (2,950 USD) a month. If employed in a startup then at least 50,000 THB (1,475 USD) a month.
  • Employment contract with either a Thai company or a foreign entity with an assignment to work in Thailand for at least one year.
  • Have expertise in science and technology that is relevant to any of the 10 targeted industries and endorsed by an agency within the Strategic Talent Center’s network (STC).
  • Your employer in Thailand must also be endorsed for being part of the targeted industries by relevant government agencies such as the National Innovation Agency and Digital Economy Promotion Agency.

SMART I (INVESTOR)

The investor category is for those who want to invest in technology-based companies in Thailand that are part of the targeted industries. The requirements for this type of visa are:

  • Directly invest in tech-based companies in any of the targeted industries.
  • Minimum direct investment as an individual for at least 5 million THB (147,500 USD) in a start-up or accelerator program that is endorsed by the relevant agencies. Investment in multiple businesses is permitted but the investment must be maintained throughout the validity of your SMART visa.
  • The business in which you invest must be certified as a tech-based company engaging in manufacturing or delivering services and must also be in one of the targeted industries. Certification is required by relevant government agencies such as the National Innovation Agency, Digital Economy Promotion Agency or the National Science and Technology Development Agency.

SMART E (EXECUTIVE)

The SMART E visa is targeted to executives with experience in technology-based companies that are in one of the targeted industries. In order to obtain the SMART E visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum income of at least 200,000 THB (5,900 USD) per month.
  • Have at least a bachelor’s degree or something equivalent with a minimum of 10 years work experience in relevant fields and industries.
  • Have an employment contract with either a Thai company or a foreign entity with an assignment to work in Thailand for at least one year.
  • Hold a senior management or executive position (eg. chairman, managing director or CEO).
  • Your employer in Thailand must also be endorsed for being part of the targeted industries by relevant government agencies such as the National Innovation Agency and Digital Economy Promotion Agency.

SMART S (STARTUP ENTREPRENEUR)

The SMART S visa is eligible for tech-based startup entrepreneurs in one of the targeted industries. There's three versions of the SMART S visa, the 6 months visa, the 1 year visa and the 2 year visa. The 1 year visa is for those who have either attended an incubator or accelerator program or any other similar program in one of the targeted industries, received joining venture funding from the public sector or endorsed by the relevant government agencies. In order to get the 1 year SMART S visa you must meet the following requirements:

  • Either attend incubation/acceleration programs in targeted industries and be certified by the National Innovation Agency or Digital Economy Promotion Agency OR receive joint venture funding with the public sector OR endorsed by the relevant agencies such as the Digital Economy Promotion Agency.
  • Have a minimum deposit of 600,000 THB (17,707 USD) in either a Thai bank account or one from your home country.
  • If accompanied by a spouse or children, then an additional deposit of 180,000 THB (5,312 USD) is required per person.
  • Have health insurance for the applicant and spouse/children for the entire duration of your stay in Thailand.

The 1 year visa is renewable for an additional year if the applicant owns 25% of shares or is a director of a certified company from one of the targeted industries by the relevant government agencies.

In order to get a 2 year SMART S visa, you will have to meet the following requirements:

  • Establish a startup in Thailand certified in one of the target industries by the relevant government agencies such as the National Innovation agency and the Digital Economy Promotion Agency.
  • Hold no less than 25% of the startup company’s registered capital.
  • Have a minimum deposit of 600,000 THB (17,707 USD) in either a Thai bank account or one from your home country.
  • If accompanied by a spouse or children, then an additional deposit of 180,000 THB (5,312 USD) is required per person.
  • Have health insurance for the applicant and spouse/children for the entire duration of your stay in Thailand.

The six month SMART S visa is for those who plan to set up a startup company in Thailand or engage in promotional activities for startups or startup camps. The requirements to get a 6 month SMART S visa are:

  • Have a plan to set up a tech based startup in Thailand which is endorsed by the relevant government agencies such as the National Innovation agency, the Digital Economy Promotion Agency and the Board of Investments OR be engaged in an activity that helps promote startups similar to startup camps which should also be endorsed by the relevant government agencies.

*Please note that spouses and children are NOT permitted to stay in Thailand along with you for the 6 month SMART S visa.

Procedures to get a Thai SMART Visa

  1. Register for an online qualification endorsement application for a SMART visa at smart-visa.boi.go.th and activate an online account after confirming your email.
  2. Complete the application for the SMART visa that you wish to apply for and upload all the required documentations by PDF.
  3. After the online application, submit the hard copy of your application via airmail or by person to either the SMART visa unit at Chamchuri Square building in Bangkok or the Royal Thai Embassies/Consulates in your country.
  4. 30 days after the application documents are received by the SMART visa unit or the Royal Thai Embassy, the Immigration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant agencies will be notified of the result of your application.
  5. Once you receive the endorsement letter, you can then proceed to issue the SMART visa at either the Royal Thai Embassy/consulate in your country, the SMART visa unit in Bangkok or the EEC Labour Administration Center in Chonburi.

The service fee for ALL types of the Thai SMART visa is 10,000 THB (295 USD) per year of your visa permission.

How can we help you?