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Taiwan – Relaxation in Visa & Immigration

New rules for Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals take effect

The Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professional Talent which was passed on Oct. 31, 2017 has taken effect on February 08, 2018.  This newly effected act relaxes the requirements for foreign professionals on visa, employment, stay and residence regulations while better benefiting them in the areas of insurance, tax and retirement schemes with the goal to attract more foreign talents to work in Taiwan.

According to the National Development Council of Taiwan, one of the main focus of the act is to build a friendly environment to attract more foreign professionals to come to work and live in Taiwan.  It’s also with the belief to promote industry upgrading and transformation to enhance Taiwan’s global competitiveness.  The key measures are listed as below:

A. The relaxation of work, visa for Foreign specials:

  • Are able to apply for “Employment Gold Card” to facilitate on job seeking and transfer. The term of such work permits have been expanded from 3 years to 5 years.
  • Freelance artists are allowed to obtain work permits without applying through employers.
  • Cram schools in Taiwan are allowed to hire foreign teachers with expertise or professional skills for teaching.
  • Foreign professionals already in Taiwan are eligible to apply for employment-seeking visa.
  • The requirement on 183-days minimum duration of stay per year for maintaining permanent residency is abolished.

B. Easing of provisions concerning stay or residence of lineal ascendants and dependents:

  • Ease the requirements for spouses, minor children, or disabled adult children of permanent resident foreign professionals applying for permanent residence.
  • When senior foreign professionals apply for permanent residence in Taiwan, their dependents of spouses, minor children, and/or disable adult children are eligible to apply simultaneously.
  • Ease the Requirements for foreign professionals’ adult children who meet the specified conditions to apply for work permits without going through an employer.
  • The visitor visas for the lineal ascendants of foreign professionals are extended to allow for a stay of up to one year at a time.

C. Benefits on retirement, insurance, and tax:

  • Foreign professionals who have been approved for permanent residence shall be included in the retirement pension system under the Labor Pension Act. A foreign professional who is currently employed as a full-time, qualified, paid teacher in a public school in Taiwan may opt for either a one-time lump sum pension payment or a monthly pension.
  • The requirement of a full six months of residence in Taiwan for spouses, minor children, or disabled adult children of foreign professionals to participate in National Health Insurance as insured persons is abolished.
  • Foreign special professionals who work in Taiwan and have salary income of more than NT$ 3 million a year can deduct half of their salary for taxation for the first 3 years.

At the time of this writing, the Lunar New Year is just around the corner.  According to the Chinese Zodiac, it’s the Year of the Dog and the characteristic is ACTION!  It promises to be a good year in all aspects.  Wishing all the readers a Happy, Healthy, Safe and Successful New Year of the Dog.