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TAIWAN - Upcoming New Foreign Recruitment Law Relaxed Rules, Adds Benefits

The Act Governing Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals will come into effect on 8 February 2018, introducing various benefits for foreign nationals working in Taiwan, and for their employers.

Key Changes

The Act introduces three categories of foreign worker, with different qualifying criteria and benefits: Foreign professional, foreign special professional and foreign senior professional. Many of the changes also affect dependent family members.

Foreign Professional

  • Foreign professionals who have been approved for permanent residence (APRC) will be able to participate in a retirement pension scheme, a portion of which will be paid for by their employer.
  • The current 183-days per year minimum duration of stay for Alien Permanent Residence Card (APRC) holders to maintain their permanent residence will be cancelled.
  • Foreign professionals will be able to apply for a multiple-entry "employment-seeking visa", valid for a stay of six months.

Foreign Special Professional

A foreign special professional must possess special expertise required by Taiwan, as specified by the relevant authorities.

  • Foreign special professionals in Taiwan will be able to extend their work permit and Alien Residence Card (ARC) for stays of up to five years in total (compared to the current maximum of three years);
  • Foreign special professionals will be able to apply for a four-in-one "gold card", valid for between one and three years, that incorporates a work visa that allows them to transition between jobs without legal restrictions, a resident visa, an Alien Resident Certificate and a re-entry permit. Foreign professionals are to be allowed to apply for the card on their own without the approval of their employer.
  • A tax deduction rate of 50 percent of annual income is to apply to a foreign special professional whose annual salary is TWD 3 million (approximately USD 103,000) or more for three consecutive years.
  • Family visit visas for lineal ascendants of foreign special professionals will be valid for up to one year, rather than the maximum of six months currently set for family visit visas.

Foreign Senior Professional

A foreign senior professional applying for work in Taiwan should have distinctive talent in scientific and technological R&D or managerial work at a special technology centre or scientific and technological institute; possess unique capabilities in science, research, industry, commerce or teaching or have been conferred top awards at prestigious international competitions.

  • The dependents of a foreign senior professional will be able to apply for permanent residence (APRC) together with the principal applicant, in the same application (i.e. without fulfilling the standard requirement to have resided in Taiwan for five consecutive years, for at least 183 days per year).

Dependent Family Members

  • A foreign professional's dependent spouse and minor children who are ARC holders will be able to enrol faster in the National Health Insurance System. Currently, enrolment is only allowed after six months of residence.
  • The permanent residency criteria for dependents of foreign professionals with permanent residence (APRC) has been relaxed, so that dependents no longer need to produce proof of assets.
  • Adult children of foreign professionals can apply for a work permit in their own right without going through an employer.

Action Items

  • Foreign national professionals in Taiwan, and their employers, should consult an immigration specialist to ascertain how these changes may affect them.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by People First Relocation.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.