Tag Archive: introduces

  1. Thailand Introduces Talent Visa

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    This initiative is based on an MOU to establish the Strategic Talent Center (“STC”) as a platform that engages with the private sector. STC is the mechanism that assesses foreign experts in digital technology and sciences who wish to live and work in Thailand. The applicant must be employed by a Thai employer such as a limited liability company, but there is no restriction in regards to registered capital or numbers of employees. The company should apply for the qualification / expertise recognition through STC, who will then refer the application to the relevant officials for final evaluation. Once the application is accepted, they will then be granted an annual visa and work permits.

    Experts who have been accepted by STC will receive visa and work permit benefits, even if they do not work in a BOI-promoted company. Moreover, STC-recognized foreign experts can access services at the One Stop Service Center for Annual Visa and Work Permit, usually reserved for BOI-promoted companies.

    Additionally, the government accepts the principle of four-year visa-free grants and free work permits under a new scheme labelled the “Smart Visa”. The visa is targeted to industry experts and foreign technology investors. Currently, foreigners in Thailand must report to authorities every 90 days. Under the “Smart Visa” scheme, holders will be required to report to the immigration bureau only once a year. This visa will be extendible to family members.

    The scheme is still in a testing stage and is undergoing an impact study. The government plans to issue and enforce the “Smart Visa” by next year.

    The plan was first proposed in March 2016, in order to attract investment and talented foreign workers. The government has stated that the new visa is intended to facilitate knowledge transfer to boost business growth in Thailand, and lead to long-term economic development. Under the current structure, foreign investors and experts are offered visa grants up to two years.

    Applications for the new “Smart Visa” may be accepted as soon as January 2018. To keep up to date on developments and for more information about setting up a business in Thailand, please contact [email protected]

  2. Myanmar introduces 50-year land leases

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    On 2nd November 2012, Myanmar’s president Thein Sein signed into law the long-awaited new Foreign Investment Law which now includes a possibility for foreigners to hold 50-year land leases with two extensions of 10 years also being possible. Under the old regime, the maximum lease term for foreigners was limited to 30 years with two 15 years extensions.

    Foreign investors will be able to lease land from the government or from authorized private owners. The law has already been published in local newspapers on the day after signing into law.

    The law is of great significance, as it sets forth a legal framework not only for property investment but for foreign direct investment in general. For instance, it regulates foreign share ownership in Burmese registered companies, employment of Burmese staff, investment incentives (such as substantial income tax breaks), a guarantee against nationalization and it sets forth procedural rules related to the application for an investment permit with the Myanmar Investment Commission (“MIC”).

    Myanmar is currently undergoing a historical process of liberalization and change in political policy. With this law, the government in Nay Pyi Daw introduces a modern and regionally competitive piece of legislation which is designed to boost foreign investment in the country. Thailand and Laos now remain the only countries in the region that limit lease terms to a maximum of 30 years.

    Of course, many details will in practice depend on governmental decrees which are now going to be enacted. We will continue providing updates as well as more in-depth information on this in the following blogs.