An APRC (short for Alien Permanent Resident Certificate, aka PR) is perhaps the most desirable immigration status for most foreigners in Taiwan. By simply living in Taiwan for five years or more in a row and meeting a few other requirements, you can enjoy permanent residency in Taiwan and an open work permit. However the process and requirements are not so straight forward depending on your situation, therefore we have created this guide to help answer some common questions.
Foreword: Please note that this guide is for reference only. The ultimate authority on what documents are required and whether or not your application will be accepted is the immigration bureau. Some of the information in the blog may be inaccurate for your specific situation. For clarifications, please call the foreigner hotline directly (toll free): 0800-024-111.
This information for this blog was taken from the NIA website and personal experience such as from calls to the immigration office, and in person visits to the immigration office. Personally I applied for an APRC as the spouse of a Taiwan national.
My personal experience getting my APRC was a confusing and difficult process. I made many mistakes along the way. I have listed some of the key takeaways from this process as follows.
Now let's start the Q+A.
The photo sample above was taken from the National Development Council website.
On February 8th, 2018, Taiwan rolled out the Act for the Recruitment of Foreign Professionals, which included the employment gold card four-in-one visa to entice foreign special professionals to come and seek work opportunities in Taiwan. Details and common questions about this new type of visa/work permit can be answered below.
In October 2021, the gold card benefits were also extended and expanded.
Please note that this blog not a comprehensive guide but only gives basic information about the gold card based on the information on the National Development Council website. They also have an FAQ sectionhere.
Q: What is the Taiwan employment gold card?
A: The employment gold card is a four-in-one visa, work permit, alien resident certificate, and re-entry permit. It also provides other benefits to foreigners as mentioned below.
Q: What benefits does Taiwan's employment gold card have?
A: The benefits associated with the employment gold card or special professional work permit are as follows:
Q: Who can apply for and obtain Taiwan’s employment gold card?
A: Foreigners that are specialists in their field. This includes ROC dual citizens and citizens of Macau and Hong Kong, but not ROC citizens with household registration.
Q: Who can qualify for the tax benefits under the employment gold card?
A: Foreign nationals or dual citizens that have stayed over 183 days in Taiwan in a calendar year for the first time in 2018 or later.
Q: What are the requirements for the employment gold card?
A: The full requirements for foreign special professionals can be found here.
The exact requirements vary by industry. However, the requirements generally require that an applicant show that they are a special professional or senior professional that has made special contributions to their field of work or received national recognition in one of the following 8 accepted professional industries:
1. Science and technology
5. Culture and Arts
8. Architectural Design
9. National Defense
10. Special Cases Recognized by the NDC
Q: Does the exemption from tax on overseas income (alternative minimum tax, or AMT) for the Taiwan gold card only last for the first five years?
A: Yes, this tax benefit only lasts for five years, the same as the tax benefit for 50% of income above 3 million.
Q: How is the five years calculated for tax benefits for AMT and 50% of income above 3 million?
A: The five years start from the first tax year in which the foreign professional becomes a tax resident (stays for 183 days or more in a calendar year). However, if the foreign professional does not meet the qualifications for tax resident, they can defer this tax benefit to the following year, but no longer than five years after the work permit or gold card was first issued.
Q: How is the 50% of income above 3 million NT calculated if I am filing jointly with my spouse?
A: In this case the 50% of taxable income above 3 million NT only applies to your income. You cannot use this tax benefit for your spouse unless he/she also has a gold card.
Q: If I apply for a gold card but I am not a tax resident, when will the five years expire?
A: As explained above, you can defer the 5 year tax benefits to future years, but no longer that five years after the work permit or gold card was first issued.
Q: If I meet the 160,000 NT per month salary requirement, can I get a gold card?
A: Not necessarily. You also need to prove that you are a special professional in your field. In general this means proving your past work experience and awards to the government.
Q: Can I still get a Taiwan employment gold card without meeting the 160,000 NT salary per month requirement?
A: You can bypass the 160,000 NT per month requirement if you meet other requirements proving you are a special professional in your field.
Q: How will my dependents get visas?
A: As long as you have first been approved for your gold card or special professional visa, your dependents will be able to receive their dependent visas. If they enter Taiwan using the visa free program, they will need to come on the same flight as you, otherwise they will have to leave Taiwan and receive their dependent visas at the Taiwan office overseas, or receive them before they leave if you are coming on different flights.
Q: If I switch from a normal ARC to an employment gold card, will my dependent's visas be affected?
A: No, there will be no changes to your dependent's visas.
Q: How many year of experience do I need for the employment gold card?
A: Typically at least 5.
Q: How long does it take for the government to approve a gold card application?
A: After the application is submitted, it will take about 30 working days to receive an approval or rejection. Please also note that there is a government fee associated with each application.
Q: What is the difference between an employment gold card and a work permit for a foreign special professional applied by a Taiwan company?
A: They are basically the same, both have the same tax benefits, but the differences are as follows:
Please note that this guide is written from the point of view of a heterosexual American marrying a Taiwanese National. For other types of marriages in Taiwan, check with the your home country's consulate or office in Taiwan.
Generally speaking, getting married in Taiwan is not that complicated. Typically, you should only require the following documents, and apply for marriage at the local house registration office:
Q: What documents do I need to get married in Taiwan?
A: Marriage in Taiwan required documents:
Marriage agreement (結婚書約) sample below:
Foreword: Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of questions and answers. This is meant to only give a basic overview of Taiwan's immigration landscape to those who have never been there.
Q: What is an ARC?
A: Alien Resident Certificate, which is equivalent to a resident permit or "green card" in Taiwan.
Q: How do I apply for a Taiwan visitor visa?
A: You can use iVisa.com. They can process your visa online for a small fee. For more information click here.
Q: How do I find out if I need a visitor visa to Taiwan for my country?
A: You can use the following tool below provided by iVisa.com.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.