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The Commander of Surat Thani Immigration Office, Pol. Col. Wanchana Bowornboon, said the cabinet has approved changes to the criteria and benefits of the SMART Visa Program to facilitate foreign academics who come to share their knowledge with Thai industrial personnel, as proposed by the Board of Investment (BOI).
The SMART Visa Program is designed attract more foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and experts in various fields by allowing them to stay in Thailand for up to four years, while only having to check-in once a year. The program is aimed at reducing the shortage of experts and expedite the digital transformation towards the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.
Pol. Col. Wanchana said opinions and suggestions from relevant public and private agencies were collected to improve the program’s criteria.
He said the changes include the entitlement of three more groups of academics to the SMART Visa. They comprise academics in the fields of alternative dispute resolution management, scientific and technological human resource development, and environmental and alternative energy management. Moreover, SMART Visa holders will be able to use Fast Track lanes for immigration checks at any international airports across Thailand.
These adjustments will provide more convenience to foreign academics who will transfer their knowledge to Thai industrial operators and workers, while contributing to the country’s industrial development.