Publication Date: April 21, 2017 – A bill easing immigration rules for foreign professionals working or seeking employment in Taiwan was approved April 20 by the Cabinet and will be forwarded to the Legislature for fast-tracked view as part of government efforts to spur the country’s economic development and deepen its knowledge-based talent pool.


Comprising 23 articles aimed at building a friendlier environment for skilled workers from abroad, the National Development Council-proposed bill covers such areas as immediate health coverage and permanent residency applications for dependents, internship visas and taxation benefits.

A highlight of the bill is the Employment Gold Card. Available to certain categories of foreign talents, it functions as an alien residence card, re-entry permit, residence visa and work permit.

Under the bill, foreign professionals with permanent residence will be included in Taiwan’s labor pension system, with their adult children eligible to work in Taiwan if they meet certain requirements. In addition, those employed by public schools will be entitled to retirement benefits.

The bill also permits foreign nationals to enter Taiwan on a job-seeking visa for a maximum one-year stay without having to leave the country. The requirement that foreign professionals must spend at least 183 days in country to maintain permanent residency status is lifted.

The NDC said by substantially easing regulations regarding foreign professionals’ employment and stays in Taiwan, the bill will assist local firms with their global strategies and drive technological development of Taiwan’s industrial sectors. This will also help steer the local economy toward a high-tech and high-value development track.

According to the Cabinet, human resources are key to sustaining Taiwan’s global competitiveness, with recruiting top-notch foreign nationals and enhancing the quality of the country’s workforce a priority in the government’s national development strategy.

This mission is particularly important as the government is implementing the Asia Silicon Valley initiative in a bid to transform Taiwan into an R&D hub for the Internet of Things sector, as well as a global center of entrepreneurship.

ASV is part of the government’s five-plus-two innovative industries initiative, which covers the biotech and pharmaceuticals, green energy, national defense, smart machinery and Internet of Things sectors, as well as the circular economy and a new paradigm for agricultural development. (SFC-E) [/restrict]