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. This is meant to only give a basic overview of Taiwan's business environment to those who have not yet been to there.
What is the corporate tax rate in Taiwan?
20% as of 2018.
What is the VAT rate in Taiwan?
What is the withholding tax rate in Taiwan?
Typically it is 20% for sending funds overseas. For tax treaties, please click here.
For other types of withholding tax (can be 0.1-15). For further information please consult with a tax adviser, such as Grant Thornton Taiwan.
What is the personal income tax like?
Please find our article on the subject here.
Are transfer pricing reports required in Taiwan?
Yes, if your group entity in Taiwan has made over 300 million NTD total annual revenue. For more information, consult with a tax advisory firm such as Grant Thornton Taiwan.
How do you start a Taiwan business/company?
Please see our article on the subject here. There is also a website and book about this subject here. You can also consult an accounting or law firm such as Grant Thornton Taiwan for a price quote on their company setup services.
How much does it cost to start a company in Taiwan?
As much as you need to cover operating costs. If you need to hire foreigners, your paid in capital should be over 5 million NT.
How do you hire foreigners in Taiwan?
You need to have a company with starting capital of 5 million NT or more.
What business licenses are required in Taiwan?
This depends on the business. For food related products and medicine, Taiwan FDA approval is required.
How do I get FDA approval in Taiwan?
You should consult with a law firm for help on this.
Is a corporate secretary required in Taiwan?
Is bookkeeping/payroll required in Taiwan?
Yes. You can use service from a local accounting firm or other provider such as Grant Thornton Taiwan.
What statutory requirements are there in Taiwan?
Labor insurance, health insurance, and pension.
What is the rate for overtime in Taiwan?
This is complicated, but it is at least time and a half for a weekday.
What are Taiwan labor standards?
Please see our article here on Taiwan’s Labor Standards Act.
Does Taiwan have a good talent/labor market?
Yes, there are many bilingual talented people here, and many are underemployed because of lack of opportunity.
How do I find talent in Taiwan?
The best way is to use your connections, but you can also try Taiwan work finding websites:
The most popular work finding website in Taiwan, although the interface is only in Chinese (sorry), job postings can be in English. Its worth checking out, even if you can’t read Chinese (perhaps you can have a Chinese friend help you out).
This is probably the second most popular work finding site in Taiwan, this websites interface is also only in Chinese, although some job postings are in English.
This is a great English based website for English Teaching jobs in Taiwan.
Linkedin has Taiwan job opportunities that are mostly in English.
Other than these, search Google. Who knows what you’ll find.
What are the biggest companies in Taiwan?
Foxconn, TSMC and Pegatron, Quanta Computer, and Cathay Life Insurance are the biggest companies in Taiwan. Other companies include Acer, Asus, and HTC.
What is Taiwan's economic situation like?
Please see our economic FAQ here.
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Also, feel free to contact us with any specific questions about doing business in Taiwan.
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.