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Foreign nationals who wish to work in Thailand must apply for a non-immigrant B visa at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate-General in their country of origin or residence and then a work permit and extension of the non-immigrant B visa after arrival to Thailand.
Applicants with positions in qualifying companies can use the One Stop Service Centre (OSSC) in Bangkok, thus significantly reducing the processing time, and are also exempt from obtaining a medical certificate.
Employers qualifying for the OSSC include Thailand Board of Investment registered companies, or certain Bangkok-based companies, or branch offices employing managers or experts, or representative or regional offices, or employers of foreign nationals whose qualifications are recognised by the Strategic Talent Centre, or companies operating under the Petroleum Act or the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act.
The SMART Visa is valid for up to four years for qualifying highly-skilled experts (Talents - "T"), senior executives ("E") and investors ("I"), and for one year (renewable for two years) for start-up entrepreneurs ("S"). SMART Visa holders are exempt from the usual requirements to obtain a work permit, report to the immigration authorities every 90 days (extended to every year) and obtain a re-entry permit to exit and re-enter Thailand. The SMART Visa application can be submitted either at a Thai consulate abroad, or post-arrival directly at the One-Stop Service Centre in Bangkok.
In cases where a foreign national is required in Thailand for necessary and urgent work which can be completed in a period of under 15 days, an urgent work permit may be applied for. One extension of another 15 days may be possible.
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