Thailand SMART Visa Program

Thailand SMART Visa Program. In a bid to accelerate economic growth through innovation, Thailand introduced the SMART Visa program in February 2018. This initiative aims to attract highly skilled professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs by offering a streamlined visa process and attractive benefits.

Target Individuals

The program targets individuals working or investing in Thailand’s 13 S-Curve industries, encompassing sectors like next-generation automotive, digital technology, and medical tourism. Entrepreneurs and executives in these fields can leverage the SMART Visa to establish or join businesses, while professionals can secure employment with greater ease. In a bid to attract skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors from around the world, Thailand launched the Smart Visa Program, offering streamlined visa procedures and attractive incentives for qualified individuals. Let’s delve into the details of this innovative initiative and its potential impact on Thailand’s economy and global competitiveness.


A key advantage of the SMART Visa is the extended stay duration. Unlike traditional work visas, it grants permission to reside in Thailand for up to four years, eliminating the need for frequent renewals. Additionally, the program exempts visa holders from obtaining a work permit, simplifying the bureaucratic process.

The Thai government has also recognized the importance of flexibility by expanding eligibility and recently incorporated three new business activities. This demonstrates their commitment to attracting a wider range of talent and fostering a dynamic business environment.


To qualify for the SMART Visa, individuals must meet specific criteria and obtain endorsement from a designated government agency depending on their chosen category. The application process involves an online application and submission of supporting documents. There is an annual fee of 10,000 Thai baht associated with the visa. Skilled professionals must have a minimum annual income threshold, while investors are required to make substantial financial contributions to eligible projects in Thailand. Startup founders, on the other hand, must be endorsed by approved startup accelerators or incubators to qualify for the program.

The SMART Visa program presents a win-win situation for both Thailand and qualified foreign individuals. Thailand gains access to a pool of skilled professionals and investment capital, while visa holders benefit from a streamlined path to working and living in this Southeast Asian nation.

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