Thailand to issue smart visas to attract specialist workers
Posted on January 17, 2018
The Cabinet of Thailand has agreed to grant new ‘Smart Visas’ to encourage niche workers to work in 10 focused industries. Applications for these visas will be issued beginning from 1 February.
Kobsak Pootrakool, a minister at Thai Prime Minister’s Office, was quoted by Phuket Gazette as saying that the industries which have been targeted included Thai-based ones which are known as the First S-Curve, besides new industries labelled as the New S-Curve.
Included in First S-Curve industries are smart electronics, cutting-edge automotive, ‘food for the future’, health and wellness tourism, agriculture and biotechnology. The five industries included in New S-Curve are digital businesses, aviation and logistics, medical hubs, automation and robotics, biochemicals and eco-friendly petrochemicals.
The Smart Visa is classified into four groups. One of the groups for niche workers are scientific fields which are facing skill shortages. Eligible for them are individuals who earn a salary of a minimum of THB200, 000 a month and a contract for employment for a minimum of one year.
They can be accompanied by their spouses and children who too can work and reside in Thailand, barring in certain forbidden careers. They will be granted four-year visas, an increase in the time period from the 90-day visa that is currently available.
Another group includes investors who invest a minimum of THB20 million in targeted industries.
A third group includes investors in businesses that venture to invest in focused industries.
Included in the fourth group are company executives who are specialists in targeted industries earning minimum salaries of THB200, 000 a month and having a minimum experience of 10 years.
Kobsak said that their government was expecting fewer than 1,000 people to apply for these smart visas so that their labour market would not be affected.