What is a SMART Visa? Are Arbitrators Eligible to Apply For One?
What is a SMART Visa (SMART Visa)? Is an arbitrator eligible to apply for one? People who clicked to explore this topic will probably want to know more, right? Well, we are here to answer this question, and the answer is “Yes”, because the Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC) is one of the government-affiliated agencies that is authorized to issue a certificate to support the application for a SMART Visa to highly skilled experts in the arbitration process. The certificates can be used to apply for a SMART Visa with the Board of Investment (BOI). So, what is a SMART Visa?
A SMART Visa is a special type of visa designed to attract highly skilled individuals and investors wishing to work or invest in the S – Curve (the country’s target industries) or the country’s target businesses. A holder of a SMART Visa will be able to conduct business in the country for an extended period. The target industries and businesses are as follows;
- Next-Generation Automotive
- Smart Electronics
- Affluent, Medical and Wellness Tourism
- Agriculture and Biotechnology
- Food for the Future
- Automation and Robotics
- Aviation and Logistics
- Biofuels and Biochemicals
- Medical Hub
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Human Resource Development in Science and Technology
- Environmental Management and Renewable Energy
From the above mentioned, it is obvious that alternative dispute resolution or arbitration services is also considered one of the target industries and is eligible for a SMART Visa (SMART Visa), subject to the submission conditions which are different from other types of SMART Visa.
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The SMART Visa (SMART Visa) for foreigners are classified into 5 groups:
1. SMART “T“ – for talented / highly-skilled experts working in target industries in the field of science and technology in Thailand.
- Must have a salary of at least 200,000 baht per month, or its equivalent (excluding other compensation).
- Have an employment or service contract with a remaining period of not less than 1 year.
- Must be certified as a specialist within the target industry by a government agency (except for professionals working for government agencies).
- Entities employing specialists must be certified as a business in the target industry in the country by the relevant government agencies.
2. SMART “I“ – for foreign investors investing in technology-based businesses in production or service processes, and is classified as a target industry in Thailand.
- Having direct investment on behalf of an individual of not less than 20 million baht in the target industry. Investments can be made in more than one business.
- The investment must be maintained throughout the period of holding the SMART Visa.
- The entity to be established or which is to receive investment must be certified as a technology-based enterprise in its manufacturing or service processes and classified as a business in the target industry by relevant government agencies.
3. SMART “E” – for senior executives working in technology-based companies in their manufacturing or service processes and classified as a business in the target industry in Thailand.
- Have a salary of not less than 200,000 baht per month or equivalent (excluding other compensation).
- Possess a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and have working experience in a related field for at least 10 years.
- Have an employment contract with a business in Thailand, or an employment contract with an overseas business and is assigned to work in Thailand, and must have at least 1 year remaining in the employment contract.
- Work in a senior management position, such as a President or Managing Director.
- The hiring company must be certified as a technology-based enterprise in the production or service processes in the target industry.
4. SMART “S” – for startup foreign entrepreneurs who establish a technology-based enterprise and are classified to be in the target industry Thailand.
- Have a fixed deposit account opened in Thailand or abroad with a remaining period of at least 1 year and funds of not less than 600,000 baht or its equivalent.
- In cases where the applicant also has a legal spouse and children, there must be a fixed deposit account opened in Thailand or abroad with a remaining period of at least 1 year and additional funds of not less than 180,000 baht or its equivalent per person.
- Have a health insurance policy covering the entire period of stay in Thailand for the SMART Visa applicants, their spouses, and legal children.
- Must be certified to participate in an incubation or growth accelerator program, or other similar projects, from the relevant government agencies.
- If the applicant did not participate in the incubation program, they must show evidence of joint investments with the government or certified by the relevant government agencies.
- The applicant must establish a business in Thailand within 1 year after the date of permission to temporarily stay in the Kingdom and must be certified as a business in the target industry by relevant government agencies.
5. SMART “O” – for the applicants’ legal spouse and children
- The applicant’s legal spouse and children are entitled to reside in Thailand similar to that of the primary beneficiary.
In addition, SMART Visa holders are also entitled to other privileges, such as being granted the right to stay in Thailand for a period of 4 years and need only to report to the authorities once a year, as compared to every 90 days on a normal visa. They can also travel limitlessly in and out of the Kingdom. Applying for a SMART Visa can be done by both foreigners residing outside the Kingdom or foreigners who are already residing in Thailand, where they can apply for a change of a normal visa to a SMART Visa. Any foreign arbitrators who would like to apply for a SMART Visa for their work in arbitration can contact the Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC) via our website; www.thac.or.th, for a free consultation regarding the documents that need to be submitted in the application process for the SMART Visa certificate. Because in addition to THAC’s provision of dispute resolution and alternative dispute resolution services, it also provides consultation with legal experts or arbitrators who need a SMART Visa