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Taiwan opens borders for foreign professional talent 

Taiwan opens borders for foreign professional talent 

APACTop StoriesTrade & Logistics

Taiwan is preparing to rejoin the global contest for talent following the pandemic’s upheaval. During COVID-19, Taiwan became increasingly isolated as strict prevention and quarantine methods were put in place. However, the recent relaxation of the rules has allowed Taiwan to start seeking out fresh, global talent, again.  

The National Development Council of Taiwan (NDC) recently noted that the general shortfall of employment in 2021 increased to 248,000 roles, with a gap of 47,000 at the executive levels. To address this shortfall, the NDC launched a recruitment initiative to attract 100,000 foreign talents to the island by 2030. NDC is also actively improving work and residency regulations, beginning with adjustments to the 2018 Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, which features the Taiwan Employment Gold Card programme – a successful resident-work visa offering that has served as a beacon for interested ex-pats to Taiwan.  

The Taiwan Employment Gold Card is a flexible work permit, targeting high-end talents that launched in 2018. It is a four-in-one card, that includes a resident visa, work permit, Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and re-entry permit, which allows you to leave and re-enter Taiwan multiple times over three years.  

Qualifications for the Employment Gold Card have recently been relaxed – in particular the field of education, which now accepts doctoral graduates from the top 500 universities around the world (according to QS World University Rankings or the US News & World Rankings). Besides providing a flexible and open visa for up to three years, the Employment Gold Card also fast-tracks the applicant to permanent residency, with recent changes shortening the requirements from five years to three years. These changes have helped the Gold Card programme add 1,982 cards in 2021 alone. 

A recent report, from HR service provider Randstad, predicts that by 2025 up to 70% of workers will be working in a contract, temporary, consultant or freelance capacity – a significant move from traditional full-time employment to a gig economy. The Gold Card supports this trend as it does not require applicants to have a job contract beforehand or throughout, but instead allows the cardholder to come to Taiwan to investigate different opportunities, freelance or even start their own business. However, even if applicants do not qualify for the gold card, many other work visa options and opportunities are available, especially when employers are looking to attract new talent prospects from abroad.  

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