1. Getting a Taiwan work visa can be difficult, but it’s not impossible.
2. There are three main steps to being able to legally work in Taiwan: getting a Taiwan work permit, getting a Taiwan work visa, and getting a Taiwan residence visa. These terms may seem interchangeable, but they are all individual documents that must be acquired before working in Taiwan.
3. In 2018, Taiwan began offering an “Employment Gold Card” for highly-desired foreign workers in key industries. With this 4-in-1 employment card, the administrative burden on employees and employers is much more favorable.
4. If you are looking to hire in Taiwan, Horizons can help hire Gold Card holders and local nationals at scale
Taiwan is a great place to live and work, but if you are a foreign national looking to take up residence here, you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria. You will also need to obtain three basic documents to legally immigrate to Taiwan:
Here is everything you need to know about this process.
Eligibility for a Taiwan Work Visa & Permit
The Taiwanese government restricts work permits to workers in certain industries. Only the following professionals can currently receive their work permit:
The government can also specify additional industries for which work permits can be issued.
To qualify for a work permit, you must usually have at least five years of work experience in the applicable field. You must also work for or have a job offer from a company. You must have a written employment contract with the company. Your salary must also meet the minimum salary requirements.
Application Process for Taiwan Work Permit
The employer is responsible for obtaining the Taiwan work permit. The employer must indicate whether the worker is a specialized or technical worker or if he or she is a managerial employee. There are stricter requirements to hire managerial workers.
The employer must meet specific capital requirements to be able to obtain a work permit for its employees, which depend on how long the company has been operational. Alternatively, the company may be eligible if it has import/export commission revenue of at least USD $400,000 in the previous year, has research and development centers or an operational headquarters that the government has approved, has a representative office that has been approved by the government, or has made significant economic contributions to Taiwan.
The employer must submit copies of a number of documents with the Taiwan work permit application, including:
The work permit is usually good for six months, but it can be extended up to three years.
The employer can complete the application process online or by submitting an application with the Workforce Development Agency of the Ministry of Labor in person or via registered mail.
Taiwan Work Visa
After the work permit is approved, you can apply for a Taiwan work visa. You will need a valid visa to enter Taiwan in most cases. The visa may be for a single entry or for multiple entries that may last between three months to one year.
You must submit an application for a Taiwan work visa to the Taiwanese Bureau of Consular Affairs in the country where the employee lives. If the employee is already in Taiwan on a visitor visa or business visa, the employee can apply to convert their existing visa into a resident Taiwan work visa through the Bureau of Consular Affairs. The application must be submitted at least eight days before the visitor visa is set to expire.
The Taiwan work visa application must include the following documents:
The documents must be in English or Chinese or translated by a certified translator to be validated for a Taiwan work visa.
In some situations, the consular officer will require an in-person interview with the employee.
If the application is approved, the visa will be issued and the passport returned. The employee can then make arrangements to travel to Taiwan.
Video: Work in Taiwan from This Is Taiwan
Taiwan Residence Visa
The last step in the process is to obtain your Taiwan residence visa. This document allows you to live in the country while you work and reenter the country if you leave. The technical name for this document is the Alien Resident Certificate.
Before you can obtain your resident visa, you will need to have a medical examination completed on you if it is the first time you have been to Taiwan.
To obtain this certificate, you must apply at a local service center of the National Immigration Agency within 15 days of your entrance into Taiwan. You will need to submit the following to accompany your application:
The Alien Resident Certificate is valid for one, two, or three years, and you can renew it.
After living in Taiwan for 5 years, an alien resident is able to apply for an Alien Permanent Resident Card (APRC), which is a multiple-entry open residency permit (not tied to an employer) with a 5-10 year lifespan, which entitles its holder to the same working rights as a local national. For those who want to spend a considerable amount of time in Taiwan, an APRC is a highly-desired document to obtain.
Your employer will also need to provide notice to the government of your entrance and apply for the employee to be enrolled in National Health Insurance.
Taiwan “Gold Card” – 4-in-1 Card
In 2018, Taiwan opened the employment Gold Card program to attract foreign talents in desired industries, including:
- Science & Technology (Ministry of Science and Technology)
- Economy (Ministry of Economic Affairs)
- Education (Ministry of Education)
- Culture & Arts (Ministry of Culture)
- Sport (Ministry of Education)
- Finance (Financial Supervisory Commission)
- Law (Ministry of Justice)
- Architecture (The Construction and Planning Agency, Ministry of the Interior)
- National Defense (Ministry of National Defense)
- Special cases that, with consultation, are recognized by the NDC
- Read more about these industries and their specific requirements here.
The Gold Card is a 4-in-1 card offering multi-entry, open employment (not tied to an employer) opportunities for professionals who want to move to Taiwan. The Gold Card acts as:
- Residence Visa – allowing the holder to stay in Taiwan for more than 180 days
- Work Permit – allowing the employee to seek employment and find a job, freely
- Alien Residence Certificate (ARC) – temporary ID card
- Re-entry Permit – allowing the holder to freely exit and enter Taiwan
There are numerous benefits for Gold Card holders. These include:
- Gold Card holders are employment seekers who do not need to apply through a specific employer (compared to regular applicants who must have an employment contract)
- Gold Card holders working in Taiwan for the first time have special tax benefits for the first 5 years of tax residency in Taiwan
- Gold Card holders are able to apply for APRC after 3 full years of work in Taiwan
- Gold Card holders and their dependents can join the National Health Insurance scheme after employment without the normal 6-month waiting period
Get Help with Immigration Services
The immigration process is complex for many people outside of Taiwan. As part of our Taiwan business services, we assist employers with the immigration process and provide Taiwan work visa consulting services. We can handle this aspect of the employment relationship with you and provide you with up-to-date information about potential processing times, fees, and new requirements for your employees. We are also able to source and hire local-national employees at scale anywhere in Taiwan.
Contact our team today to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Can a foreigner work in Taiwan?
Yes, it is possible for foreigners to work in Taiwan. As of April 2021, there were well over 700,000 foreigners living in Taiwan, most of them working professionals or students.
If you are considering working in Taiwan, we recommend the following:
- Check if you are eligible for a Gold Card based on your industry, job title, etc.; apply if you are eligible
- If you are are not eligible, begin your job search and try to secure employment with a Taiwanese company
If you are a foreign company looking to hire a foreigner in Taiwan, contact us today to see what your options are.
How can I get a work visa in Taiwan?
Getting a work visa in Taiwan is not always an easy task. Many who want to live in Taiwan would need to first secure employment. This can be done online or by visiting the region to network.
If you have secured employment in Taiwan as a foreign national, your company should be able to help you through the work visa formalities. Refer to our guide above to know what to expect from the process. Good luck!