The Legislative Yuan adopted the Law for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals (hereinafter, the “Law”) during the 6th Meeting of the 4th Session of the 9th Term on October 31, 2017 in order to enhance the recruitment and employment of foreign professionals to strengthen the competitiveness of this nation. This Law is highlighted below:
I. Requirements for visa, stay and residency period of foreign professionals
Article 19 of the Law provides that a foreign professional seeking to work in Taiwan for a long time may apply to foreign offices of Taiwan for a job-seeking visa with a cumulative stay of six months at the longest. After the employment relationship is confirmed, the term of an employment permit and an alien resident permit may be as long as five years pursuant to Article 7 of the Law. For those whose employment is renewed or need to stay continuously after the term expires, an extension application may be filed prior to the expiration. In addition, spouse, underage children or children above 20 who cannot live independently due to mental or physical handicap may also apply for permanent residency along with the applicants to protect the residency of foreign professionals’ dependents.
II. Eased restriction on participation in the National Health Insurance by spouses and children
Article 14 of the Law provides where a foreign professional is hired to conduct professional work, said person’s spouse and underage children, and children over twenty years old who are unable to live independently due to physical or mental handicap, having obtained documentary proof of residence, shall participate in National Health Insurance as insured persons, without being subject to the requirement of a full six months’ stay in Taiwan under Article 9, Subparagraph 1 of the National Health Insurance Law
III. Provisions concerning the freedom to switch between jobs within three years under the Employment Gold Card
Article 8 of the Law provides that a foreign special professional may apply to the National Immigration Agency for a four-in-one Employment Gold Card that combines a work permit, resident visa, alien resident certificate and re-entry permit. In addition, during its three-year term, the foreign special professional may freely switch between jobs without going through their employers. In addition, a foreign professional with a salary in excess of NT$3 million enjoys the treatment where half of the portion in excess of NT$3 million is excluded from the total consolidated taxable income.
IV. Eased restrictions where foreign artists may apply to the Ministry of Labor for a permit on their own
Under Article 10 of the Law, a foreign professional who works as an artist may, without applying through an employer, apply directly to the Ministry of Labor for a permit to engage in artistic work in Taiwan, without being subject to the restriction prescribed in Article 43 of the Employment Services Law. Such work permit shall have a maximum duration of three years, and when necessary, said person may apply for an extension of up to three years at a time.