What is the change? Spouses of foreign workers may now apply for work permits in certain professional or technical jobs.

What does the change mean? The spouse must be sponsored by an employer, and the job must fit into one of the 15 “Class A” professional categories listed below and pay at least a required minimum wage of 200 New Taiwan dollars per hour (about US$6.60) whether the job is part-time or full-time. However, the sponsoring employer does not need to meet the usual income and capital requirements for foreign professionals’ work permits.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Dependent work permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign spouses of expatriate employees in Taiwan.
  • Business impact: Smaller companies that do not meet minimum income and capital thresholds for sponsoring foreign professionals may hire qualifying spouses of foreign nationals.

Background: Class A professional and technical fields include:

  • Civil engineering or architecture
  • Communications and transportation
  • Tax and financial services
  • Real estate
  • Immigration services
  • Attorneys
  • Technicians
  • Health care
  • Environmental protection
  • Culture, sports and recreation services
  • Academic research
  • Veterinarians
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale
  • Other work jointly designated by the central governing authority and the competent central authorities, described as “operational management, design, planning and consultation in professional, technological or technical services” or “serving as a chef in the hospitality industry.”

BAL Analysis: The dependent work permits will give smaller companies flexibility to hire foreign professionals and will make Taiwan a more attractive destination for foreign nationals whose spouses are in one of the designated or professional fields.