A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for the Taiwan Employment Gold Card
Updated: Jan 2, 2022
Recently there has been a lot of buzz about the Taiwan Gold Card: it was mentioned by President Tsai in her recent address at the TCA White paper launch event, and several Gold Card holders put together their own informational website. Now, Gold Card recipient Trent Prestagar, who previously wrote an introduction on what the Gold Card actually is, is back with an in-depth look at the application process.
This is a follow up to my original post introducing the Taiwan Employment Gold Card (I’ll just call it the ‘Gold Card’ from here on in). I have had lots of inquiries from people asking questions and advice about the Gold Card, many of which relate to the application process or eligibility. I therefore thought it would be good to take a bit of a deeper dive into how one would actually go about applying for the card, as well as checking whether they might or might not be eligible. I’ll also answer some of the more common and/or interesting questions I’ve had. It’s worth noting that I made my application from within Taiwan where I already held a valid ARC, so the process may differ somewhat if you are on a different visa or are outside Taiwan, I’ll try and provide notes where I can.
What is the Taiwan Employment Gold Card?
Put simply, the Gold Card is a special permit issued by the Taiwan Government to attract specialist foreign talent to work and live in Taiwan. The card is promoted as a ‘4-in-1’ and comprises an open work permit, resident visa, ARC, and multiple entry permit, which is everything that a non-citizen would require to legally live and work in Taiwan without requiring employee sponsorship. As I mentioned above, I previously wrote a post introducing the Gold Card, so for more information please follow this link.
Step 1: Determine your eligibility
By far the most questions I get about the Gold Card are relating to eligibility, and with good reason. It seems that while some eligibility criteria are relatively concrete (such as “Those who have held positions as an operations, technical, or marketing executive of an R&D center, operations headquarter, or transnational corporation established in Taiwan.”), others are less so, and open to interpretation (“Those with unique talents, outstanding R&D ability or innovation performances in forward-looking technologies such as AI, IoT, AU, blockchain, VR, robots, and additive manufacturing.”).
The first step is to check the official eligibility list here. (Editor’s note: But perhaps a more straightforward checklist can be found here.)
After that, if you’re still not sure, there is a dedicated contact for each eligibility category here under the Qualification of Foreign Special Professionals column. If you’re unsure it would be best to get in touch with the relevant contact from here and get more clarification on your eligibility and/or what types of evidence you will be required to produce for your application.
My application was rather straightforward as the required documents under my eligibility criteria were clearly stated and all from Taiwan sources in Chinese, however I’ve heard stories of applicants having to provide supplementary documentation to support their applications, especially if they had provided documents or certificates issued abroad when they first made their application. It might be a good idea to find out exactly what you need at this stage so you can assess whether the time and administrative burden of getting all such documents will still make the Gold Card worthwhile for you. Note that you only need to meet one of the criteria for your discipline, not all (eg: You don’t need to be a foreign academic from a top 200 university AND have earned 160,000nt per month), however I’ve heard of people applying under the salary criteria (160,000nt per month) and being asked for supplementary evidence of their qualifications under that discipline, or needing very specific evidence of their salary such as tax certificates (not just bank statements), so although seemingly straightforward this avenue might be tough if you don’t have the documents to prove your salary.