The Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals was approved by the Parliament of ROC on Tuesday October 31st, 2017. This new law aims at attracting more foreign professionals to Taiwan. The Act and subordinate regulations are expected to be implemented before February 16th, 2018. The following newsletter is meant to provide an overview of the upcoming regulations.
The Act distinguishes in its Article 4 between the following categories of foreign workers:
means a foreign national engaging in professional work in Taiwan.
Professional work means:
Specialized or technical work.
Director/manager/executive of a business invested in or set up by overseas Chinese or foreigner(s) with the authorization of the Government of the Republic of China.
Teacher at the following schools:
(1)Teacher at a public or registered private college/university or school established especially for foreign residents.
(2)Approved teacher teaching course(s) on foreign language(s) at a public or registered private primary or high school.
(3)Teacher teaching course(s) at a public or registered private experimental high school's bilingual department or at bilingual school(s) .
Full-time teacher teaching course(s) on foreign language(s) at a short-term class registered for supplementary schooling in accordance with the Supplementary Education Act.
Sports coach and athlete.
Religious, artistic, and show business work.
Foreign special professional
means a foreign professional with specific expertise needed by ROC.
This category includes for example: national academics, winners of well known international prizes, persons recommended by trusted public associations, persons of international repute who served in an international well- known body, persons who have held an important senior executive management position, etc.
Foreign senior professional
means a senior professional, who is needed by Taiwan.
This category includes for example: person who possess special ability in some aspect of science, research, industry or commerce, a winner of an award or distinction in an international competition, posses of unique capability in the R&D or management of a special technology or S&T institution, etc.
Extension of work and resident permits (Art 7)
The Act extends work and residence permits for foreign special professionals from the current maximum of three years to five years. When continuation of the employment is necessary at the expiration of that term, the employer may apply for extension, up to 5 years each time.
Four - in – one Employment Gold Card (Art 8)
A foreign special professional who plans to engage in profession work within Taiwan will be eligible to apply for a four-in-one Employment Gold Card at the Ministry of the Interior’s National Immigration Agency (NIA). This card combines work permit, resident visa, Alien Resident Certificate and re-entry permit It will be valid for one to three years.
The purpose of the card is to provide foreign special professionals with an open individual work permit.
Work transfers or job seeking is meant to be easier that way, as foreign special professionals had to apply separately for work permit every time they accepted paid employment and could not hold two or more jobs at the same time.
Tax Concessions (Art 9,12)
In order to be eligible to the following tax concessions a foreign professional needs to meet the following requirements: (1) He has no household registration in Taiwan, (2) it is the first time he got approved to reside in Taiwan, (3) he has obtained an Employment Gold Card and (4) he is hired to engage in professional work.
Eligibility provided, the professional worker will receive the following benefits: (1) upon the first time he resides in Taiwan for at least 183 days in a year and has a salary income of more than 3,000,000 TWD, the part of the salary income above the 3,000,000 TWD will be counted as only half of the actual amount regarding his income tax liability.
Furthermore there will be an exemption from including overseas income in calculation for the assessment of the individual income tax liability.
These tax benefits will be limited to three years and foreign special professionals who already became resident in Taiwan are not eligible to this tax concession anymore.
Provided he has been approved for permanent residency a paid teacher in a public school in Taiwan may opt for either a one-time lump sum pension payment or a monthly pension.
Artists can apply themselves for a work permit (Art 10)
Foreign professional artists are now able to apply themselves for a working permit at the Ministry of Labor. Therefor the rule, that no foreign worker shall engage in work without the employer obtaining a permission before does not apply in this specific case.
Inclusion in the retirement pension system (Art 11)
Provided that a foreign professional is (1) employed to conduct professional work, (2) has been approved for permanent residence by the National Immigration Agency, (3) obtained employment upon the enforcement of the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, he shall now be included in the retirement pension system under the Labor the Pension Act.
However, there will be a particular Opt-in option for inclusion, for those foreign professionals who obtained employment prior the enforcement of the new act.
Relaxed regulations regarding ascendants, descendants and spouses (Art 7,13,14,15,16,17)
The same conditions regarding the extension of work and resident permits of foreign special professionals shall also apply to the duration of validity and the duration of limit for extension to the Alien Resident Certificates of foreign special professional’s spouse, minor children and children over twenty years old but unable to live independently for specific reasons.
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.
Provided a foreign professional is hired to conduct professional work, the requirement of a full six months of residence in Taiwan to participate in National Health Insurance as insured persons for spouses, minor children, or children over twenty years old but unable to live independently for specific reasons, will be abolished.
Where a senior foreign professional applies for permanent residency, their spouses, minor children, minor children and children over twenty years old but unable to live independently for specific reasons may apply for permanent residency with said person.
Provided that have been resident in Taiwan (1) lawfully, (2) continuously for five years, (3) have stayed in Taiwan more than 183 days in each of these years, (4) behaved properly and in compliance with national interests of ROC spouses, minor children, or children over twenty years old, but unable to live independently for specific reasons of foreign professionals hired to conduct professional work may apply for permanent residency.
Where there is a foreign professional to conduct professional work and has been approved for permanent residence- an adult child of the said person may apply directly for a work permit at the Ministry of Labor if he meets one out of the following conditions: (1) lawfully accumulated ten years of residence and having stayed within Taiwan more than 270 days each year or (2) entered Taiwan before turning 16 years and having stayed within Taiwan more than 270 days each year or (3) have been born in Taiwan and lawfully accumulated ten years of residence and having stayed within Taiwan more than 183 days each year. That means that an application for a work permission through a employer is not needed anymore.
Relaxing the regulations on Cancellation of permanent residence (Art 18)
After obtaining a permanent residence permit from NIA a foreign professional had to stay at least 183 days every year within Taiwan in order to retain it. The new act stipulates that a permanent residence permit will be revoked if a foreign professional leaves Taiwan for more than 5 years without re-entering.
Issuance of “job-seeking visas” (Art 19)
A foreign professional who plans to engage in professional work in Taiwan may apply for the issuance of a six-month “job-seeking visa”.
3,000,000 Taiwan- Dollar = 100,039 US- Dollar = 84.482 Euro (11/24/2017)