What is the change? Taiwan’s new law that significantly eases rules for foreign professionals and their family members will take effect Feb. 8.

What does the change mean? Among the numerous changes detailed below, the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals Act introduces a “Gold Card” work-and-residence permit that does not require a sponsor, expands the duration of work permits to five years, and relaxes several rules for permanent residency.

  • Implementation time frame: Feb. 8.
  • Visas/permits affected: Gold Cards, Alien Permanent Resident Cards.
  • Who is affected: Foreign professionals and their dependent family members.
  • Business impact: The law is intended to help attract and retain foreign talent.
  • Next steps: The National Immigration Agency will release implementation guidelines on the required documents, processing times, fees and other details.

The key provisions of the law are listed below.

  • Work permits for foreign professionals will be issued for five-year terms, instead of the current three years.
  • The Gold Card will be a combined work-and-residence permit that foreign professionals may apply for without needing an employer to sponsor them. Gold Cards will be granted for one- or three-year durations and will allow foreign workers to change jobs or look for a job without losing status. A new visa for foreign nationals seeking employment in Taiwan will be available with a maximum validity period of six months.
  • Foreigners holding permanent residency will no longer be required to stay in Taiwan for 183 days per year to maintain their permanent resident cards.
  • Foreign professionals who have been approved for permanent residence will be entitled to a pension under the Labor Pension Act. Full-time paid foreign teachers in the public school system may opt for a lump sum or monthly pension payment.
  • Foreign professionals whose annual salary exceeds 3 million New Taiwan dollars (about US$102,000) can deduct half of the excess (above NTD$3 million) for tax purposes in the first three years.
  • Dependents of foreign professionals with permanent residence only need to continually lawfully reside in Taiwan for five years and stay more than 183 days in each calendar year to be eligible for permanent residency, and they no longer need to show proof of assets.
  • Adult children of foreign professionals may apply for work permits without being sponsored by an employer.
  • Spouses, minor children and adult disabled children of foreign professionals are no longer required to wait a full six months after receiving their Alien Resident Certificate before being covered under the National Health Insurance system.
  • Visas for visiting relatives are extended to a maximum of one year per visit, instead of the current six months.

BAL Analysis: The law relaxes several rules for expatriate employees and their families and provides a number of financial and social benefits to foreign professionals seeking to work and live in Taiwan.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Taiwan. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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