The Act provides a package of benefits designed to increase the desirability and convenience for foreign nationals to work in Taiwan. Currently, the Executive hopes to promulgate the Act by the end of February. While the Act is limited in applicability to specific fields, the passage of this legislation marks the start of an exciting era for Taiwan as it begins to compete for foreign talent.
Act for Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals
- The Act will apply to: (1) foreign professionals, (2) foreign special professionals, and (3) foreign senior professionals.
- Extended Employment Term and Employment Gold Card
- For “foreign special professionals” the maximum employment period is extended to five years by the Act, and this five-year period is applicable to their dependents as well.
- Also available to foreign special professionals is an Employment Gold Card combining their work permit, resident visa, Alien Resident Certificate and re-entry permit, although this Employment Gold Card must be renewed after a maximum period of three years.
- Employment Seeking Visas
- Foreign professionals looking for jobs in Taiwan are eligible to apply for employment-seeking visa so that they may engage in job seeking in-country.
- The visa is a multiple-entry visa valid for up to 6 months from issuance.
- Minimum Stay for Permanent Residency
- Previously, a foreign national that resided in Taiwan for less than the 183 days per year minimum of stay requirement would have their Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC) revoked.
- Now, under the Act, the requirement has substantially been relaxed so that the government may only revoke the APRC after the foreign national has been away for more than 5 years.
- Easing of provisions concerning stay or residence of parents, spouses and children
- The requirements for dependents of foreign professionals with permanent residence has been relaxed, so that the dependents of any age must only continually and lawfully reside in Taiwan for a period of 5 years, and more than 183 days in each of those years, and there is no longer a requirement to produce proof of assets.
- Tax, Insurance and Retirement Benefits
- Foreign professionals who are employed and approved for the APRC may now subscribe to the pension system under the Labor Pension Act. This is applicable to employees who have obtained employment after the enactment of the Act, whereas employees who obtained employment prior to the enactment of the Act will have 6 months to notify their employers if they want to continue to remain in the pension system under the Labor Standards Act.
- The requirement for a 6-month minimum stay for dependents of foreign nationals to become eligible as beneficiaries under the National Health Insurance Act has been removed.
- Foreign special professionals in Taiwan who earn an annual salary over NT$3 million would be eligible for a tax break on half of any amounts exceeding NT$3 million. For example, a multi-national software company hires an APAC Regional Director with an annual salary package of NT$5 million. In accordance with this generous tax break, the new hire would only be taxed on NT$4 million, with NT$1 million determined to be tax free. However, in order to be considered eligible, foreign special professionals would be first required to reside in Taiwan for more than 183 days in a calendar year.