Thailand Allow migrants to work or invest in 18 targeted industries

The Thai government has officially published a new law allowing foreigners to work or invest in 18 selected companies to boost the economy.

The Royal Thai Gazette website published a notice from the Ministry of Interior about a special permit allowing migrant workers to live in the Kingdom. The notice (the 3rd version) was signed on February 3 by Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Cha-o-cha and Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda.

The new version of the announcement focuses on new target industries for migrant workers, namely highly skilled specialists, investors, executives and entrepreneurs for startups.



In accordance with the SMART visa program, a new type of visa designed to attract highly skilled workers, with a maximum residence permit of 4 years in Thailand, announced by the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) in hopes of economic recovery and foreign direct investment, the Ministry of Interior deleted a verse in number 1 (1) in the first announcement signed on January 30, 2018, and later revised in the second announcement signed on February 26, 2019, as follows:

“(1) a highly qualified specialist, an investor, executive and entrepreneur for startups to work, invest, build and manage businesses in Thailand in the following target industries and meet BOI requirements approved by the Cabinet.

  1. Automotive industry
  2. Electronic industry
  3. Quilyty travelling industry
  4. Agriculture, Food, and Biotechnology industry
  5. Automation and robotics industry
  6. Transport and logistics industry
  7. Petrochemical and chemical industry
  8. Digital industry
  9. Medical industry
  10. Defence industry
  11. Circular economy industry e.g. fuel production from waste and water resource management
  12. Aviation, aircraft, and aerospace industry
  13. Human resource development in science and technology
  14. Environment and renewable energy management
  15. Technology, innovation, and startup ecosystem management
  16. Targeted technology development
  17. International business centre
  18. Alternative dispute resolution service”