Why Taiwan has Employment Gold Card?
Since February 8, 2018, the government has approved 4,105 cards while 3,898 cards are valid. There is no available information as of this posting [3/26/2022] about the actual number of gold card holders who are still in Taiwan. For example, based on our personal knowledge, there are many who are still holding on to their gold cards even though they already reside abroad. Some of them were from the U.S. who may or may no longer come back within the three-year validity of their cards.
What is the reason behind the government’s issuance of Employment Gold Card is the Act for Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals. The Q&A below is a direct copy of the original texts in order to maintain the meaning and contexts
Q1：Why establish the Foreign Professionals Act?
A1：To comprehensively address the various legal restrictions encountered by foreign professionals working and residing in Taiwan, the NDC worked with other government agencies to formulate and promote the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals. Becoming effective on February 8, 2018, the Act provided heightened motivation for top-tier international talent to come to Taiwan by loosening visa, work and residency regulations applying to foreign professionals, while also enhancing their insurance, taxation, retirement and other benefits. The coming into effect of this special law set an important milestone for Taiwan’s talent recruitment and retention.
Q2：What is the purpose of the Foreign Professionals Act’s amendment?
1. Since coming into effect on February 2, 2018, the Foreign Professionals Act has achieved evident success. In particular, the issuance of Employment Gold Cards to high-level foreign special professionals has succeeded in drawing to Taiwan a good number of heavyweight Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and leading talents in all professional fields from worldwide.
2. To further strengthen the force of our drive to recruit and retain international talent, and particularly to expand the attraction of top-notch international talent to our 5+2 innovative industries and six core strategic industries, in 2020 the NDC began to actively confer with other government agencies on formulating a set of draft amendments to the Foreign Professionals Act. The amended Act, which came into effect at the end of October 2021, provides more attractive work and residency regulations, and enhances the taxation, social security, and other benefits. By the progressive introduction of more enticing talent recruitment measures, founded on the implementation and successes of recruitment policy in recent years, we hope that more of the world’s best talent will be able to come to Taiwan and stay in Taiwan.
Q3：What are the main points of the Foreign Professionals Act’s amendment, and when do they come into effect?
1. The main points of amendment are as follows:(1) Increasing flexibility for the recognition of foreign special professionals: Provision is added for a mechanism to enable recognition by the Competent Authority (the NDC) in consultation with the central competent authorities concerned, so that the world’s new forms of industry and cross-field talent can be brought within the sweep of recruitment.
(2)Vying for graduates of the world’s top universities to come to work in Taiwan: Eligibility for graduates of the world’s top universities, as announced by the Ministry of Education, to engage in professional or technical work in Taiwan, is relaxed by removal of the two years’ work experience requirement.
(3)Loosening regulations for foreign nationals’ permanent residency applications: The period of continuous residence in Taiwan required for foreign special professionals to apply for permanent residency is reduced from five years to three, further discounted by one year for those who have obtained a doctoral degree in Taiwan. Also, while (ordinary) foreign professionals are still required to have resided continuously in Taiwan for five years before they can apply for permanent residency, that period can be discounted by one or two years, respectively, for those who have obtained a master’s or doctoral degree in Taiwan.
(4)Enhancing tax preference and social security measures: The time limit on the tax preference for foreign special professionals is extended from three years to five; and foreign special and senior professionals who are employers or self-employed business owners, together with their dependent relatives, are exempted from having to wait six months to join the National Health Insurance system.
2. The amended Act passed its third reading in the Legislative Yuan on June 18, 2021, was promulgated by the President on July 7, 2021, and was approved by the Executive Yuan to come into effect on October 25, 2021.
Q4：What are the expected benefits of the Foreign Professionals Act’s amendment?
1.Relaxing eligibility to work in Taiwan should extend the reach of recruitment: Waiving the two-year work experience requirement for graduates of the world’s top 500 universities to come to work in Taiwan should be helpful to attracting outstanding students and recent graduates from around the world to come to develop in Taiwan, injecting fresh vitality into Taiwan’s talent pool.
2.Relaxing residency conditions should make foreign professionals more willing to come to Taiwan and to stay in Taiwan: In addition to the eased conditions for foreign professionals to apply for permanent residency, the simplified procedures for their applying to reside in Taiwan should create a more welcoming environment that makes them more willing both to come to Taiwan and to stay in Taiwan.
3.Extending the tax preference should make Taiwan more competitive in recruiting talent externally: The further liberalizing of the tax measures in this revision of the Act, extending the time limit on utilization of the tax preference, should provide a heightened incentive for foreign professionals to come to (or stay in) Taiwan. As workers and consumers in Taiwan, they will also add to domestic tax revenues, as well as spurring investment and job creation.
4.By making foreign professionals more willing to come to Taiwan and stay in Taiwan, the diffusion of their technical knowledge and skills should help industries expand, raising labor demand and pay levels: Bringing foreign professionals to Taiwan will have a technical diffusion effect, enabling industries to upscale and prompting manufacturers to increase investment. This in turn will spur demand for talent and manpower at all levels, exerting a positive impact equally on domestic employment and wages.
5.Supplementing Taiwan’s young manpower should improve the working-age population structure:
The relaxation of permanent residence conditions for foreign professionals and their dependent relatives can be expected to hasten the retention of foreign professionals, encouraging them to be joined by their family members and to settle in for a long duration of working and living in Taiwan, thus adding to the youth and vigor of Taiwan’s human resources.
—end of Q&A —
The roadblocks for some Gold Card holders
To balance the scenario, as one of the main reasons for having www.StartupInTaiwan.com website, we talked to some Gold Card holders to see how they are doing. While some reports claim that most are happy with the life situation in Taiwan, we need to share how others feel. Read about this in our Case Study: The other side of Taiwan Gold Card is not rose gold for FREE.