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.
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.
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 Taiwan dual citizens and citizens of Macau and Hong Kong.
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
Q: Does the exemption from tax on overseas income (alternative minimum tax, or AMT) for the Taiwan gold card only last for the first three years?
A: Yes, this tax benefit only lasts three years, the same as the tax benefit for 50% of income above 3 million.
Q: How is the three years calculated for tax benefits for AMT and 50% of income above 3 million?
A: The three 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 that 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 three years expire?
A: As explained above, you can defer the 3 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 1 month 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:
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 an ARC?
A: Go to the Taiwan immigration office in Taiwan, or contact the TECRO (Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office) in your home country.
Q: How do I apply for an employment gold card?
A: Please see our full employment gold card FAQ here.
Q: What kind of resident permits are there?
A: According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, there are 9 different types of resident permits:
CODE-TR: Changing a visitor visa to a resident visa
CODE-P: Touring, visiting relatives
CODE-TS: Foreign spouses
CODE-FR: Studying Chinese
CODE-FC: Overseas Chinese students
CODE-FS: Foreign students
Q: How do I apply for a marriage ARC?
A: After you get married to a Taiwan national, you then need to apply for a marriage ARC from the Taiwan representative office in your home country or the immigration office in Taiwan. This may require that you leave Taiwan and apply from the TECRO in Hong Kong or elsewhere. This process will likely include proof of marriage and proof that you are single from your home country. For more information, please visit this website: https://www.immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1091979&ctNode=31674&mp=se05
Q: How do I apply for a work ARC?
A: Your company should do this, but technically you are supposed to do it from your home country, otherwise there will be extra fees for visa conversion. For more information, please visit the government’s website here: https://www.immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1090287&ctNode=30085&mp=2
Q: What limitations does my ARC have?
A: There should be an expiry date before which you have to renew it. If you are working in Taiwan, you have to stay with the same company as stated on your ARC and register any changes. Also, you have to register change of address within 15 days.
Q: When do I need to renew my ARC address?
A: Within 15 days after you move.
Q: How do I renew my ARC?
A: Go to the immigration office, take a waiting number, and fill out the form. Click here for a list of immigration office service centers around Taiwan: https://www.immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1092844&ctNode=32289&mp=2
Q: What is an APRC?
A: Alien Permanent Resident Certificate.
Q: What are the requirements for an APRC (permanent residency in Taiwan)?
A: First you must live in Taiwan for 5 consecutive years. If you are married to a Taiwanese spouse or are a dependent of a Taiwan national, another qualification is that you have lived in Taiwan for a ten year period (over 183 days in the first year), and you stayed over 183 days for 5 years within that 10 year period.
There are also other requirements such as minimum salary requirement of at least double minimum wage, clean criminal record, etc.
Q: How do I apply for an APRC?
A: There is a Facebook group made specifically to answer questions about the APRC application process here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TaiwanAPRC/. You can join the group and ask further questions if you would like.
Q: How do I apply for dual citizenship in Taiwan?/Can I apply for dual citizenship in?/ Does Taiwan allow dual citizenship?
A: If you are a foreigner, no. You must reject your original citizenship to become a Taiwanese national, along with fulfilling other educational, residency, and/or work requirements. Only if you are originally Taiwanese can you have dual citizenship. Here and here are specific guides on the subject:
Just Landed Guide:
Q: Does Taiwan need Visas?/ Does Taiwan require a Visa?/ Does Taiwan need Visas?
A: If you are a foreign national from one of the 46 countries that have Visa free entry, then no. Otherwise, yes.
Q: Does my Country’s passport have a Visa free entry into Taiwan?
A: Currently there is a total of 46 countries that are visa free to come to Taiwan. They are listed below according to number of days and geographic area:
14 days visa-exempt: Philippines (trial)
30 days visa-exempt countries: Malaysia and Singapore
90-day visa-free countries:
Asia Pacific: Japan
North America: Canada and the United States of America
Europe Region: United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Vatican City State, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Andorra, and San Marino (36 in total)
Passport validity should be more than six months. (Formal passports, official and diplomatic official passports are applicable, excluding emergency, temporary, other informal passports or travel documents). However, the validity period of a Japanese passport must be longer than three months. The validity period of a U.S. passport (including the U.S. emergency passport) should only be longer than the planned date of stay.
Persons holding emergency or temporary passports (except for nationals of the United States) should apply for a visa from my embassy or apply for a visa when arriving in Taoyuan or Kaohsiung airport. U. S. emergency passport holders are eligible for visa-free treatment.
Click here for a full list of countries that Taiwanese nationals do and do not need visas to visit.
Q: If my country’s passport does not have Visa Free Entry into Taiwan, what should I do?
A: First, you should decide which visa type you need. There are four different types of visas:
Fill in the visa application form online at https://visawebapp.boca.gov.tw. Fill in the visa application information and print the application form, then write your signature. You will also need to provide the following (as applicable):
"The Visa Department has the right to refuse and need not explain the reason. Proposed visa applicants regardless of whether or not issued a visa, visa fees paid in accordance with the law is not refundable. For a one time, the visa fee is US $ 50; multiple entry visa fee US $ 100; relative processing fees is US $ 160 (currently only applies to US nationals). Any changes to this statement are subject to the latest information published by the Consular Affairs Bureau website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
Please check the local Taiwan representative office in you country for the latest information relevant to your home country.
Q: How much is a Taiwan Visa?
A: Check the local Taiwan representative office in you country for the latest information relevant to your home country. If you are not from a visa free country, for a one time visa, the visa fee may be around US $50; multiple entry visa fee US $ 100; relative processing fees may be around US $ 160.
Q: How much is a Taiwanese Visa in the Philippines?
A: For a visitor visa, currently the Philippines has a 14 day trial Visa Exemption. Otherwise please check with the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines.
Q: How much for a Taiwan trip?
A: For a week of vacationing in Taiwan, you can budget for 1000 USD and probably have a few hundred dollars left over. But this depends on what you want to do, what kind of hotels you want to stay in, and what your budget is. For a one week trip for one person, plan to spend about 1500-3000 per night for a decent hotel (10,500-21,000 NT), 100-150 NT per meal for low end restaurants (2,100-3,150), maybe 3,000-5,000 on travel (depending on where you want to go), and 1,000 NT or so to buy small gifts for your family back home. This would be a grand total of 16,600-30,150 NT (553-1005 USD).
Q: I just came to Taiwan on a working visa. Can my dependents get national health insurance?
A: Yes! New legislation has come into affect as of 2018 so that dependents of foreign workers can be enrolled immediately into the national health insurance system. Before there was a waiting period of 6 months.
Q: I just came to Taiwan on a working visa. Can my dependents start working here?
A: Yes but they must apply for a work permit through their employer.
Have any more questions about immigration in Taiwan? Please leave them in the comments below, and we might just add them to the list!
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working 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.