Thailand Smart Visa Program: A Guide for Skilled Professionals, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

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Thailand’s Smart Visa program, introduced in February 2018, is designed to attract skilled professionals, investors, executives, and startup entrepreneurs to bolster the country’s targeted industries. This initiative is part of Thailand’s “Thailand 4.0” economic model, which focuses on driving growth through innovation and technology.

What is the Thailand Smart Visa Program?

The SMART Visa is a new type of visa designed to attract highly skilled manpower and investors to help accelerate the development of the country’s targeted industries. SMART Visa is offered to foreign experts, executives, entrepreneurs and investors who wish to enter into the Kingdom of Thailand to work or to invest in the following “10 S-Curve industries” or the country’s targeted industries

  • Next-generation automotive
  • Automation and robotics
  • Smart electronics
  • Aviation and logistics
  • Affluent, medical and wellness tourism
  • Biofuels and biochemicals
  • Agriculture and biotechnology
  • Digital
  • Food for the future
  • Medical hub

Types of Thailand Smart Visas

The Smart Visa program offers four visa categories, each with its own eligibility requirements and benefits:

  • Smart “T” (Talent): This visa targets skilled professionals in the fields of science and technology. To qualify, applicants must possess expertise in science and technology relevant to the targeted industries and endorsed by a government agency and have an employment or service contract with an entity in Thailand with the remaining term of at least 1 year with a minimum salary of THB 200,000 per month.
  • Smart “I” (Investor): This visa is designed to attract foreign investors who are willing to invest in Thailand’s economy. Applicants must directly invest at least THB 20 million in one or more companies in Thailand using technology as a base in manufacturing or delivering services and are in the targeted industries.
  • Smart “E” (Executive): This visa targets Senior executives holding a senior management position such as Chairman or Managing Director working in the targeted industries. To qualify, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, have at least 10 years of work experience in the relevant field with a minimum salary of THB 200,000 per month by a company in Thailand or in a foreign country with an assignment to work in Thailand.
  • Smart “S” (Startup): This visa is intended for foreign startup entrepreneurs who wish to invest in the targeted industries in Thailand. Applicants must participate in a government-endorsed incubator program and have a fixed savings account with a balance of not less than THB 600,000. They must also establish a business in Thailand within one year of obtaining the visa and must hold no less than 25% of the company’s shares or assume a position of a director of the company.

Benefits of the Thailand Smart Visa Program

The Smart Visa offers several unique benefits, making it a compelling option for qualified individuals. These benefits include:

  • Long-term visa validity: The Smart Visa is valid for a maximum of four years, with the possibility of extension.
  • Work permit exemption: Unlike some other visa types, Smart Visa holders do not require a separate work permit to work legally in Thailand. This simplifies the visa application process and saves time.
  • Family benefits: Smart Visa holders can bring their spouses and children to stay and work in Thailand with no work permit required under dependent visas. This allows families to relocate to Thailand together.
  • Multiple re-entry: Smart Visa holders can travel in and out of Thailand multiple times without the need to apply for a re-entry permit. This provides greater flexibility for travel.
  • Simplified Immigration Process: Visa holders benefit from a simplified immigration process, including annual reporting instead of the usual 90-day reporting.
  • Fast Track Service: Access to fast-track services at international airports is available for Smart Visa holders.

Application Requirements

  • To apply for a Smart Visa, candidates need to submit several documents, including:
  • A completed Smart Visa application form.
  • Passport and relevant endorsements or qualifications.
  • Police and health certificates.
  • Proof of previous employment and financial stability (specific requirements vary by visa category).

Applicants should ensure they meet all criteria and have the necessary endorsements from relevant Thai agencies.


Thailand’s Smart Visa is a strategic initiative to attract top talent and investment into the country’s burgeoning industries. With its extensive benefits and streamlined process, the Smart Visa presents a significant opportunity for professionals and investors looking to contribute to and benefit from Thailand’s economic growth. For those interested in leveraging this visa, consulting with specialized agencies like Interloop can facilitate the application process and ensure compliance with all requirements.


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