TAIWAN – New Foreign Recruitment Law Passed
On 31 October 2017, the Taiwan Legislative Yuan passed the new Act Governing Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals.
The new law, which has no implementation date as yet, will have various benefits for foreign nationals working in Taiwan and their employers.
Foreign nationals working in Taiwan will be able to extend their work permit and Alien Residence Card (ARC) for stays of up to five years in total (compared to the current maximum of three years). The current 183-days per year minimum duration of stay for Alien Permanent Residence Card (APRC) holders will be replaced with a requirement that the APRC holder does not leave Taiwan for more than five years without re-entering. ARC holders will be able to enrol faster in the National Health Insurance System. Currently, enrolment is only allowed after six months of residence. Foreign nationals will be able to apply for a four-in-one “gold card” that incorporates a work visa that allows them to transition between jobs without legal restrictions, a resident visa, an Alien Resident Certificate and a re-entry permit. Foreign professionals are to be allowed to apply for the card on their own without the approval of their employer. Foreign nationals will be able to participate in a pension scheme, a portion of which will be paid for by their employer. A tax deduction rate of 50 percent of annual income is to apply to a foreign worker whose annual salary is TWD 3 million (USD 99,437) or more for three consecutive years. Foreign nationals will be able to apply for a multiple-entry “job-seeking visa”, valid for a stay of six months. A cap will be placed on the number of job-seeking visas issued annually. The act also covers residents of Hong Kong and Macau working in Taiwan.
Foreign national professionals in Taiwan, and their employers, should be able to take advantage of the above changes to the immigration rules, once they come into effect.