Smart Visa Thailand

Thailand SMART Visa Program

Thailand SMART Visa Program

Thanks to the government’s incentives and the Smart Visa Thailand, working, investing, and starting business ventures in Thailand can be highly profitable. The Thailand Smart Visa Program provides you with the opportunity to put all these into motion.

Boosting Thailand’s economy and innovation remains a priority for the government, and attracting professionals from abroad is in direct service of this goal. This is where the SMART Visa program comes in. Launched on February 1, 2018, this program is designed to attract foreign professionals like yourself to Thailand, providing a pathway for you to secure employment, invest, or launch new businesses in targeted industries within the country.

The Thai SMART Visa is suitable for:
  • Working professionals
  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Owners of a startup company
  • Executives

Targeted industries are at the forefront of the SMART Visa program. If you’re involved in one of these sectors, the Thai SMART Visa will enable you to legally work, invest in, or otherwise contribute to these targeted industries. These usually consist of technological and scientific fields that together help to develop Thailand’s growing economy.

Targeted industries are condensed into the term: "S-Curve industries," which include:

  1. Automotives
  2. Electronics
  3. Tourism (affluent, medical, or wellness)
  4. Agriculture and biotechnology
  5. Future food
  6. Automation and robotics
  7. Transportation and logistics
  8. Biofuels and biochemicals
  9. Digital technologies
  10. Medicine and medical hubs
  11. National Defense
  12. Aviation and aerospace
  13. Management of Technological Innovation and Startup Ecosystem
  14. Targeted technological development
  15. International Business Center (IBC)
  16. Alternative dispute resolution
  17. Human resource development in science and technology
  18. Environmental research
  19. Renewable energy

The benefits of a SMART Visa Thailand

The SMART Visa allows experts like you to utilize your entire skill set in the Kingdom and share in its growth. Its benefits include:

  • The ability to reside in Thailand for up to a total of 4 years (excluding applicants who applied through the Startup stream).
  • Yearly reporting to the Thai Immigration Office instead of every 90 days as with other visas.
  • The option to bring your family members to Thailand on a non-immigrant visa.
  • The opportunity for you and your family members to work in any of the targeted industries without a work permit.
  • A multi-entry visa, eliminates the need for a re-entry permit to fly into and out of the country.

Types of SMART Visa Thailand

To secure a SMART Visa, you will have to apply through a stream. There are a total of four different streams, each with unique eligibility conditions to fulfill:

SMART Talent (T) Visa

This choice is available to talented foreign working professionals wanting to continue working in a targeted industry in Thailand. If you’ve accumulated experience in "S-Curve industries", you can apply for a SMART Visa through this stream.


  • Must earn at least 100,000 THB (or the international equivalent) per month
    • Retired experts or startup company employees only need to have an income of 50,000 THB (or the international equivalent) per month.
  • Must have work experience in a science and technology field related to a targeted industry. Your expertise here has to be endorsed by a government agency from the Strategic Talent Center (STC) network.
  • Must have an employment or service contract* with a company in Thailand with a validity of 1 year remaining.
  • Must be endorsed by one of the following government agencies:
    • National Innovation Agency
    • Digital Economy Promotion Agency

*NOTE: The contract must be with a Thai company. Remote workers or digital nomads are not eligible for a SMART Visa via this stream.

If you are working for either a government agency, a higher education institute, a specialized training institute, or dealing with Alternative Dispute Resolution, you do not have to meet the above requirements. Instead, you will have different requirements to fulfill:

  • You must procure evidence that you are working for any of the above institutes/agencies (this can be a proof of employment document or an employment contract).
  • If you are working for a government agency, the employing body must validate your expertise in any of the targeted industries.
  • If you are working for a higher education or specialized training institution, your experience must be endorsed by the employing body within the Strategic Talent Center (STC) network.
  • If you are delivering Alternative Dispute Resolution services, your level of expertise in this must be endorsed by an arbitration institute.

SMART Investor (I) Visa

If you’re an investor, you are also considered eligible for the SMART Visa program. Your investments, whether in shares, property, goods, services, or funds, help drive Thailand’s economy forward, making you a prime candidate for the SMART Visa.


  • (If an individual investor) Must invest at least 20 million THB into technology-based companies or 5 million THB in a startup or accelerator/incubation program.
  • (If investing through a capital venture) Must invest at least 20 million THB into technology-based companies.
  • If you are investing in a technology-driven business, that company must manufacture or provide services in any of the targeted industries.
  • The businesses you invest in must be endorsed by one of the following government agencies:
    • National Innovation Agency
    • Digital Economy Promotion Agency
    • Technology Development Agency

SMART Executive (E) Visa

This stream is geared towards anyone working in an executive position. You will be able to apply through this stream if you’re employed* in this capacity and you meet the following requirements below.


  • Must hold an executive position (such as a Chairman or Managing Director) in a company.
  • Must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher level education degree.
  • Must have at least 10 years of work experience in a targeted industry.
  • Must earn a minimum of 200,000 THB per month (or the international equivalent).
  • Must have an employment contract with a company in Thailand that has 1 year of validity remaining.
  • Your employer must be certified as a technology-based business that either manufactures or delivers services by one of the following government agencies:
    • National Innovation Agency
    • Digital Economy Promotion Agency
    • National Science and Technology Development Agency

*NOTE: Digital nomads or remote workers are not eligible to apply under this stream.

SMART Startup (S) Visa

This category is different as it gives you the option to reside in Thailand for 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years (depending on your situation) rather than the default 4-year duration. This is an ideal choice for you if you:

  • Have created a startup or business in the country
  • Have joined an accelerator or incubation program
  • Plan to create your own business

Requirements (for 1-2 year visa):

  • Must have at least 600,000 THB (or the international equivalent) in a Thai or foreign savings account that’s been maintained for at least 3 months.
    • If you’re being accompanied by any family members, each additional applicant needs to hold at least 180,000 THB (or the international equivalent) in their savings account, also maintained for a minimum of 3 months.
  • Must be covered by health insurance for the entire length of your stay in Thailand.
  • Must have set up a startup in a targeted industry endorsed by one of the following government agencies:
    • National Innovation Agency
    • Digital Economy Promotion Agency

It should be noted that this stream offers a visa lasting either 1 year or 2 years depending on your circumstances:

  • If you hold no less than 25% of the company’s share or hold a position as a director in that company, you are eligible for a 2-year visa.
  • If you are participating in an accelerator or incubation program, then you are eligible for a 1-year visa:
    • This program must be endorsed by a government agency such as the National Innovation Agency or the Digital Economy Promotion Agency.
    • If not currently participating in an accelerator or incubation program, you must receive joint venture funding with a public sector company or be endorsed by a relevant government body.

If you do not have a company but have plans to set one up, you are qualified for a 6-month visa. All other benefits apply, but the application requirements are different.

Requirements (for 6 months visa):

  • You must have either:
    • An official plan to launch a tech startup company that has been endorsed by government organizations such as the National Innovation Agency.
    • Be actively engaged in startup activities (i.e.: Startup Camp) that have been endorsed by a government agency such as the National Innovation Agency or the Board of Investments (BOI).
  • You must be covered by health insurance in Thailand for your entire stay.

Bringing your family to Thailand as a SMART Visa holder

Once you acquire a Thailand SMART Visa, you have the opportunity to bring your spouse and children to join you. To start, you must first successfully apply for a Thai SMART Visa through any of the four available streams, then once you have your visa in hand, you can begin the process of getting each family member a non-immigrant visa.


  • You must already hold a SMART Visa.
  • Each additional applicant must be an immediate family member, meaning only your spouse and legally recognized children are eligible.
  • Children must be below the age of 20 to be eligible. If you applied through the "Talent" stream, however, your child might be considered if they are over 20 years old.
  • Each family member must be considered a dependent (this excludes family members of a 6-month SMART Visa holder).
  • If you applied for a SMART Visa under the "Startup" stream, your family member(s) need to demonstrate 180,000 THB (or the international equivalent) in their savings for 3 months.
  • Health insurance is required and must cover each additional applicant for the entire duration of their stay.

How to Apply for a SMART Visa in Thailand

The Thailand SMART Visa costs 10,000 THB (or the international equivalent if applying abroad) per person, and you will have to pay the fee every year.

Before you can apply, you will need to be eligible for a certain stream and your qualifications must also be endorsed by a government agency, which differs depending on which stream you’ve chosen. For instance, if you apply for a SMART Visa through the "Talent" stream, you need to be endorsed either by the National Innovation Agency or the Digital Economy Promotion Agency.

The application journey consists of the following steps:

  1. To begin, you must select a stream and create an account on the SMART Visa section of the Board of Investment website:
  2. You must complete the online application and provide a PDF version of all the required documents.
  3. Your application will be transferred over to the One Stop Center for Visas and Work Permits (OSS) to be screened.
  4. Within 30 days, the OSS will then notify you of the results. If successful, you will be issued a Letter of Qualification Endorsement.
  5. You can then apply for the SMART Visa* via the following organizations:
    • Royal Thai Consulate or Thai Embassy (if abroad)
    • One-Stop Service Center for Visas and Work Permits (if in Thailand)
    • EEC Labour Administration Center in Chonburi (if in Thailand)
  6. You will have to book an appointment to get your SMART Visa issued at your desired location.

*NOTE: You have 60 days from the date you receive the Letter of Qualification Endorsement to apply for a SMART Visa.

How to Affix the SMART Visa Thailand

Getting a Thai SMART Visa in person

If you are obtaining your visa in person, you will also need to present several documents before heading to the institution you’ve selected.

Required documents:

  • Valid passport*
  • Recent passport-sized photograph of the applicant**
  • Letter of Qualification Endorsement
  • Completed SMART Visa application form
  • T.M. 6 Arrival Card
  • Completed STM.6 Form (Criteria and Conditions Acknowledgement Form For The Temporary Stay Permit In The Kingdom)
  • Two completed acknowledgment documents:
    • Acknowledgment Form of Penalties For a Visa Overstay
    • Acknowledgment Form of Practices For Recipients of SMART Visa
  • Recent 90-day report receipt (only applicable to previous holders of a non-immigrant visa that has been previously extended)
  • Work permit (only applicable if the applicant was a previous non-immigrant B visa holder)

*NOTE: You can photocopy your passport, but you also must include the page with your latest visa and all consular stamps issued in the past. Your passport also has to have 2-3 blank pages so the visa sticker can be affixed.

**NOTE: You will need to take the photo against a white background. You will also need to meet the dress code by wearing business attire with no glasses or headgear. Ensure your photo is no older than 6 months and its dimensions are 4 cm x 6 cm.

Prepare these documents and present them to either the One Stop Service Center or the EEC Labour Administration Center. There will be staff there who will be able to guide you in acquiring your SMART visa sticker.

Getting a Thai SMART Visa Overseas

If you’re applying overseas, you must select a Royal Thai Consulate or Embassy to affix your SMART Visa. To prevent complications, you should give yourself 1 month in advance to obtain the visa before flying into Thailand. You will need to pursue the following steps:

  1. You need to inform the Board of Investment (BOI) of which location you’ve chosen. You can send this request via email at:
  2. The SMART Visa unit at the Board of Investment (BOI) will coordinate with the Thai embassy in your country which will then send a notification to you via email. This process lasts 7-14 days.
  3. Upon receiving the notification, you can book an appointment with the embassy to get your visa sticker. The embassy will inform you of the fees and documents you will need to send.
  4. After receiving the visa, you can apply for a Certificate of Entry and book a flight to Thailand. The Certificate of Entry serves as proof that you are given the right to enter the country.

You should also be aware of any possible inaccuracies on your visa sticker and arrival stamp, as failure to do so may create issues such as being denied entry into Thailand. Upon arrival in Thailand, you can also send a copy of your arrival stamp and SMART Visa sticker to the Board of Investment (BOI) via email to receive a Notification Letter of Rights for SMART Visa Holders.

Local Office Numbers:
Bangkok: 02-254-8900
Phuket: 084-021-9800
Chiang Mai: 053-818-306
Pattaya: 084-021-9800
International Numbers:
US: 1 (877) 252-8831
Thailand: +66 2254-8900
Thailand SMART Visa
Rated 4.9/5 based on 18 reviews