NIA hopes Smart Visa to attract investors
One of the key element of developing the ecosystem for tech startups is people, but the talented and high skill professional shortage is a big issue in Thailand for long time especially in the field of technology. One among the key hurdles is the government’s policy on visa which has been long time allowed foreigners to stay only limited of time even professional expatriates holding work permits.
To address the issue, the Thai government today officially launched the “Smart Visa,” which will allow business professionals and investors to stay in Thailand as long as one year for the first time in history up to four years without frequent check-ins at immigration.
The visa, which was intended to lure talented startups from across the globe, would allow visa holders to stay in Thailand with their spouse and children, without a need to apply for a work permit.
Also, the holders can enjoy the new government service as they do not have to commute through the congestion traffic to immigration every 90 days, instead they have to just show up there to report the authority annually.
Krithapaka Boonfueng, deputy director for innovation system of the National Innovation Agency (NIA) says the Smart Visa applicants have to be tech startup owners, investors who invest in tech-driven businesses and the high-leveled executives and highly-skilled professionals in tech-driven businesses in tech fields and related fields such as software and digital business, automotive, medical equipment, food tech and bio-economy business.
The visa will be the key engine to attract foreign investors and high skill professional in tech field into the kingdom, with expecting at least 1,000 Smart Visa approval this year and hundreds of that should be startups entrepreneurs.
True Incube, local accelerator under True Corp is an appointed by NIA to be the first certified body for foreign startups for Smart Visa.