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20180208 The Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals formally enters into effect on February 8, 2018!

The Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals formally enters into effect on February 8, 2018!


Date of issue: February 8, 2018


         The Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals ("the Foreign Professionals Act"), drafted and promoted by the National Development Council, passed its third reading in the Legislative Yuan on October 31, 2017, was promulgated by the President on November 22 the same year, and on January 29, 2018 was approved by the Executive Yuan to enter into effect on February 8, 2018.


         In order to attract the elite talent needed for innovation and transformation in Taiwan's industries, the Foreign Professionals Act provides for the easing of visa, work and residency rules for foreign professionals, and also confers more favorable insurance, tax and retirement benefits upon them. Designed to create a friendlier work and residency environment that can make foreign professionals more willing to locate to Taiwan, the particulars of these provisions are as follows:


1. Targeting the recruitment of foreign special professionals to Taiwan

         The central competent authorities have set criteria for the recruitment of foreign special professionals who can contribute to accelerating the makeover and upgrading of domestic industries. Targeted special professionals are those with specified qualifications in the eight fields of science & technology, the economy, education, culture & arts, sports, finance, law, and architectural design. For example:

(1) Science & technology: Those with outstanding achievements in R&D, design or innovation of cutting-edge technologies relating to nanotechnology, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and virtual reality (VR).

(2) The economy: Those holding specialist or cross-field integrating positions in semiconductor, biotech & medical materials, and green energy enterprises.

(3) Finance: Those with expertise required by the fintech and digital economy sectors.


2. Enhancing inducements for staying in Taiwan

          The following special benefits are offered to special professionals:

(1) The issuance of Employment Gold Cards to special professionals. These 4-in-1 cards, combining work permit, resident visa, ARC and re-entry permit, allow the holder to freely seek and change employment in Taiwan.

(2) For three years after first-time approval to work in Taiwan, income tax exemption for half of all part of salary above NT$3 million.

(3) Enhanced inclusion in the NHI and retirement pension systems, enhanced access to permanent residency for spouses and children, and issuance of personal work permits for adult children.


         In addition, ordinary foreign professionals can apply for employment-seeking visas to make it convenient for them to look for work in Taiwan; foreign artists can apply for permits to do freelance work in Taiwan; and foreign nationals can be employed by short-term tutorial schools (buxibans) to teach specialized knowledge or skills.


3. Establishment of a national-level talent recruitment online portal and one-stop application window, to simplify the process of applying to come to Taiwan.

(1) Complementary to the Foreign Professionals Act, the Ministry of the Interior has set up the Foreign Professionals Online Application Platform (https://coa.immigration.gov.tw/coa-frontend/four-in-one/entry/), to give foreign special professionals the greatly enhanced convenience of applying for an Employment Gold Card online.

(2) For attainment of a fully integrated and globally connected one-stop talent recruitment system, all relevant information has been put together online in the Contact TAIWAN one-stop portal website, which also operates in conjunction with the MOEA's InvesTaiwan Service Center (ITSC) to provide customized talent recruitment and consultation services.


         To publicize the Act more widely, the NDC will arrange explanatory meetings at which the agencies involved in carrying it out will explain its details and answer questions from invited foreign professionals, businesses, and representative organizations. In addition, to raise international awareness of the Employment Gold Card, the NDC and related agencies will proceed in the close future to proactively propose outstanding foreign talents in innovation and leading-edge industry R&D as recipients of the card.


         Upon the entry into effect of the Foreign Professionals Act on February 8, applications can start to be received and processed under all attendant measures. Anyone with any question about it is welcome to contact the NDC or related portal. Qualifying criteria prescribed by subsidiary regulations and ancillary measures, application procedures, and a Q&A can be found on the NDC's dedicated webpage for the Act at https://foreigntalentact.ndc.gov.tw.

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