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How to apply for Taiwan's Employment Gold Card

In February 2018, Taiwan launched an "Employment Gold Card",a combination of residence visa and work permit. Aimed to attract more high level professionals, the card has strict application requirements. Here's some information on those and a step-by-step guide on how to apply (see also: official guide).

Do I qualify?

You must have worked in one of the below eight fields, and met requirements within the field. This is a very brief unofficial summary not to be relied on - please refer to the supporting document for your field for the official information. Other than law and architecture you only need to meet one of the criteria, and most have a catch-all entry for "other" qualifications as approved by the relevant ministry. Salary references are monthly. This post was updated in October 2019 with to reflect relaxed qualifications in Sport and Culture.

 

Field Requirements Supporting Documents
Science and Technology
  • Salary over TWD 160k
  • Outstanding talent or innovation performance in a cutting edge field (see list); alternately distinctive or uncommon ability
  • Received a major international award
  • A publishing academic at Associate level or above
  • PhD holder for >4 years, or in a special field
Foreign specialist personnel with special expertise in science & technology
Economics
  • Salary over TWD 160k
  • Executive of an R&D centre, HQ or Taiwan branch office
  • International award recipient or has more than 4 years of experience
  •  More than 8 years of work experience in key fields (see list)
Foreign special professionals with specialized knowledge/skills in economic fields
Education
  • Salary over TWD 160k
  • PhD from top 200 university
  • More than 5 years of teaching, and recently worked at a top 500 university
  • Won a Yushan Scholar award
Foreign Special Professionals Possessing Special Expertise in the Field of Education
Culture and Art
  • Important person in an international organisation or government
  • Organiser of a significant event
  • Received or judged an important award or competiton
  • Editor of a major publication
  • Professor of communications
  • Recognised as a preserver of ancient techniques
  • Special contribution to film, broadcast or pop music with more than 5 years experience
Foreign Special Professional Who Possesses Special Expertise in the Field of Culture and Arts

Documents Required for Foreign Professionals Engaging in Arts and Performing Arts
Sport
  • Top 3 in an international competition, or first place in the Asian Games or World Championships
  • A national team coach, or a coach who has coached athletes to the level in the previous bullet
  • Served as a referee at the Asian or Olypic Games
Foreign Special Professionals Possessing Special Expertise in the Field of Sport
Finance
  • Salary over TWD 160k
  • Practising CFA,CFP, FRM, CIIA, CIA, PRM, FSA, FCAS, FIA, FIAA, SEI-KAIIN
  • Executive of a financial institution
  • More than 5 years in financial position
Requirements and determination principles for“Foreign special professional” with financial expertise
Law
  • Must have a salary over TWD 160k
  • Must have obtained ROC foreign legal affairs attorney license
  • Must hold or have held a research position outside Taiwan
  •  Must hold a law related executive position
  • Must be recommended by the Taiwan Bar Association
Foreign Special Professional Who Possesses Special Expertise in the Field of Law
Architecture
  • Must have a salary over TWD 160k
  • Must have 5 years of experience or a license
Foreign Special Professional Who Possesses Special Expertise in the Field of Architecture

Who can I talk to about this?

You're in for some serious luck here! The Gold Card comes with some direct contacts who are high level and exceptionally helpful. However, first it is critical to understand that this program is a collaboration of disparate Government departments who aren't necessarily in constant communication with each other. You will need to choose a department to contact depending on the stage of your application.


The master list of contacts is found here.

If you'd like to discuss:
  •  whether you should apply eg benefits of the program, vague/early questions
    • Read the Foreign Talent Act website
    • Ask Contact Taiwan, particularly look out for their events with invited speakers from NIA. They are a Government-funded organisation whose mission is to help you find a job. They'll direct you to the right place
  • the online application portal, eg errors, ambiguous fields
    • Contact NIA, under the Ministry of Interior for Employment Gold Card Permits for Foreign Special Professionals on the master list
  • skill qualification, eg required documents, why your initial set of documents was rejected
    • Contact the appropriate ministry under Qualification of Foreign Special Professionals on the master list
  • status of your application eg where it is now, why it's taking so long
    • There is no specific department. In this case, most likely you will see the status as "Professional Review by Workforce Development Agency".
    • First, try the WDA, under the Ministry of Labor for Employment Gold Card Permits for Foreign Special Professionals on the master list
    • They will probably tell you that the application is with the relevant ministry for your skill set and provide contact details
    • If not, try to contact the appropriate ministry under Qualification of Foreign Special Professionals on the master list
  • visas for your spouse/family
    • Contact NIA, under the Ministry of Interior for Employment Gold Card Permits for Foreign Special Professionals on the master list
  • income tax reduction eg whether you qualify, how it works
    • The NIA can sometimes provide some basic information about this, otherwise contact the Ministry of Finance under Reduction or Exemption of Income Tax of Foreign Special Professionals on the master list
  • A particular agency's implementation of the program eg make an appeal or complaint, talk to "whoever's in charge"
    • Contact the National Development Council.


How to apply?

First, gather the required documents:
  • digital copy of your passport
  • digital copy of your passport photo
  • locate your previous Taiwanese visa and residence permit (if any)
  • dates of any times you worked in Taiwan
  • digital copies of all documents needed to support your application
Note: all digital copies need to be <500kb in size and of image format. You may need to use an image resizing tool.

Then, visit the difficult-to-find address:

 https://coa.immigration.gov.tw/coa-frontend/four-in-one/entry/golden-card

and click "I want to apply". Select "self application", click consent and create an account.

To make a new application, click Application-->Application for Employment Gold Card --> New Application.

Step through each of the sections, making sure you fill out each section before the ~5 minute timeout logs you out. Click save on each page to see if there are any errors detected.

Note: the length of time you select for the card (eg 3 years) will determine its cost.

Eventually, view the preview and then hit submit!

Note: you will receive an email at this point telling you to pay. If you didn't get it, check your email address was correct.

You must then go through the payment steps in order for your application to be considered.

Note: you will receive an email at this point telling you to get your receipt. Follow the steps to download it, and print it out - you will need it to collect your card.

Post-application steps.

  1. Your qualifications will be assessed.
    1. First, the Ministry of Labor will attempt to sign off on the work permit. If it can do this itself (eg you apply based on the salary criteria and provide the right documents), your application will be swift (one case took just two days).
    2. If the Ministry of Labor can't vet your skills, it will call in the appropriate Ministry (eg "Science and Technology) to assist. That Ministry will then create a custom panel of judges who are skilled in your area of application. This takes some time, and if you are skilled in a niche area expect the application to take longer than 30 days at this stage.
  2. Your identity will be verified
    1. If you are overseas, you will visit the nearest Taiwanese diplomatic post
    2. If you are in Taiwan, you will visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs
  3. A final review is conducted by the Ministry of Interior
  4. Your Gold Card will be issued.
    1. Claim it in Taiwan at the National Immigration Agency
    2. Claim it at your nearest diplomatic post

What to do when you are asked to provide additional documents

After a few weeks of tense wait, you may receive an email from niasys@immigration.gov.tw that says "After the examination by the department and the enterprise competent authority, the relevant information shall be made up.".

Log in to the portal at:
https://coa.immigration.gov.tw/coa-frontend/four-in-one/entry/golden-card

Your application will be listed under "Application cases of which data to be supplemented", click View.

Up the top of the application will be a block of red text in Chinese and English. It will attempt to explain what additional documents are required. If it doesn't make sense, call the appropriate ministry contact under Qualification of Foreign Special Professionals on the master list. They'll be able to look up your application and provide more colour.


Once you know which documents to upload, prepare to upload them as with your previous application. Additionally, prepare a short statement in Chinese addressing how you have rectified the "Opinion on the Application". Select the documents for upload and paste the Chinese in the "Reply Comments" box at the bottom of the final page.

Important: Don't use English in the "Reply Comments" box, it will cause your application to fail to be submitted with a cryptic error.





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