Everything You Need to Know About Taiwan's Employment Gold Card

Everything You Need to Know About Taiwan's Employment Gold Card
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Essential information on Taiwan's Employment Gold Card and freelance artist visa.

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This article was provided courtesy of Crossroads, a multilingual nerve center of activity among the foreign, local, business, and governmental communities of Taiwan. You can read the original here.

The Employment Gold Card

What is an Employment Gold Card? How is it different from the Employment PASS Card?

1. The Employment Gold Card is based on Article 8 of the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals. It is an open-end work permit issued to employment-seeking individuals whose qualifications are reviewed and designated by the central competent authorities as a Foreign Special Professional.

The term "foreign special professional" refers to a foreign professional who engages in professional work in Taiwan and holds special expertise in Science & Technology, Economy, Education, Culture, Arts, Sports, or other fields* as announced by the central competent authority. The “professional work” mentioned above refers to work set forth in Subparagraphs 1 to 6 of Paragraph 1, Article 46 of the Employment Services Act, or that requiring specialized knowledge or skills approved by the central competent authority in consultation with the Ministry of Education for teachers of non-academic classes in a short-term tutorial school registered in accordance with the Supplementary Education Act.

*In accordance with Article 8 of the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, foreigners or Hong Kong/Macau residents that are professionals who have applied to work in the country, must be certified by a competent authority of the central government to be working in one of the following eight fields as determined by the National Development Council: (1) Field of Technology (Ministry of Science and Technology) (2) Field of Economics (Ministry of Economic Affairs) (3) Field of Education (Ministry of Education) (4) Field of Culture and Arts (Ministry of Culture) (5) Field of Sports (Ministry of Education) (6) Field of Finance (Financial Supervisory Commission) (7) Field of Law (Ministry of Justice) (8) Field of Architectural Design (Ministry of Interior).

The card is a combination comprised of 1) a resident visa issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2) a work permit issued by the Ministry of Labor and 3) an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and 4) a re-entry permit both issued by the National Immigration Agency (NIA).

2. Although the Employment PASS Card is also a four-in-one certificate (resident visa, employment permit, ARC, and re-entry permit), qualified applicants are defined as those being white-collar foreign workers only (Subparagraph 1 to 6, Paragraph 1, Article 46 of the Employment Service Act).

What are the benefits of the Employment Gold Card?

Employment Gold Card holders may enjoy the following benefits:

1. The 4-in-1 Gold card is a one-three year open work permit that also includes a resident visa, ARC and re-entry permit. With this card, employment-seeking foreign individuals may work for any employer in Taiwan before the expiry date.

2. Income tax benefits in terms of income tax deduction and exemption, according to Article 9 of the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals.

3. The maximum duration of stay of visiting lineal ascendants of the card holder is expanded to one year. According to Article 13 of the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, lineal ascendants of a card holder may apply for a multiple-entry visitor visa valid for one year, in which they may stay up to six months per entry. The application should be made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or one of its overseas missions. The visa may be extended upon expiration for a 1-year-maximum duration of stay each extension.

4. A spouse and children (under the age of 20) of the Employment Gold Card holders are eligible for residence in Taiwan.

5. The six-month waiting period for national health insurance eligibility has been waived under these new regulations. For Employment Gold Card holders, their spouse, children (under the age of 20) or disabled adult children (age 20 and above) with ARC cards should be eligible to participate in the national health insurance without undergoing a six-month waiting period.

Who is eligible for the Tax Incentives for Foreign Special Professionals?

A foreign special professional, who has been recognized to wield special expertise announced by the central competent authority, has obtained the foreign special professional employment (work) permit document issued by the Ministry of Labor or by the Ministry of Education, or has obtained the Employment Gold Card issued by the National Immigration Agency, Ministry of the Interior and has met all of the following requirements is eligible to apply for the tax incentives:

1. Those who have been approved to work in Taiwan for the first time.

2. Those who have engaged in professional works related to the recognized special expertise in Taiwan.

3. During the last five years prior to the day of his/her employment engaged in the professional work or the day of obtaining his/her Employment Gold Card, he/she did not have household registration in Taiwan and was not an resident individual of the R.O.C. in accordance with the Income Tax Act.

How to apply for an Employment Gold Card?

You may apply online through Foreign Professionals Online Application Platform (Apply Employment Gold Card) via this website, screenshot below.

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Credit: NIA

And here is an overview of the process:

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Credit: NDC
Freelance Artists

Categories of employer that can hire foreigners in artistic or entertainment business work

1. Artistic work (Code:F02): refers to the following works in the fields of music, dance, art, drama, literature, folk art, craft, environmental art, photography, broadcasting, movies etc.

(1) For foreigners engaging in non-performance works of art, they must present an art work or hold a public art exhibition.

(2) Foreigners engaging in sharing and teaching work (such as lectures or workshops) in regards to the above-mentioned fields.

2. Mass media entertainment business work (Code:F03): refers to foreigners being employed to engage in entertainment business work related to televisions, radio broadcasts, films or shooting advertisements, such as models and popular artists (filming of singers or actors, music production and promotion, or guest appearances on TV shows).

3. Public performance entertainment business work (Code 04): refers to foreigners being employed to engage in entertainment business work aside from those mentioned earlier, such as singers holding concerts or autograph sessions, performers participating in performances at various artistic and cultural activities, stationed public performers (e.g. performers at recreation areas, pub singers, and other personnel at certain sites engaging in normally-scheduled music or dance performances etc).

New work permit regulations for foreign freelance artists

Q. How long is the duration of the work permit issued to foreign professionals who are engaged in freelance artistic work?

A. The duration of the work permit is up to three years.

Q. Can foreign professionals engaged in freelance artistic work apply for the work permit application directly from the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) on their own?

A. Yes, foreign professionals engaged in freelance artistic work may apply for a work permit application directly from WDA on their own.

Q. What artistic work are foreign professionals allowed to engage in after obtaining a Taiwan work permit for artistic work from the WDA?

A: According to Article 3 and the attached Article 4 of the “Regulations on the Work Permit and Administration of the Foreign Professionals Engaging in Arts and Performing Arts”, freelance artistic work which foreign professionals engage in, including performing arts and visual arts, publishing, movies, broadcasting televisions, pop music, and crafts, or any work identified by the Ministry of Culture, should be in line with the provisions of their work experience, professional license, or a designated award.

Q. What are the qualifications for foreign professionals applying for engagement in performing arts and visual art to the WDA?

A: For the performing and visual arts, they may qualify with one of the following:

1. Foreign freelance artists with more than 10 years of working experiences in the applied art field, and can provide proper documentation showing creative and outstanding performance.

2. Foreign freelance artists holding a master's degree from a domestic or foreign university and over five years of work experience in the applied art field. Or, he/she holds a PhD degree from a domestic or foreign university and over three years of work experiences in the applied art field.

3. In addition to documentation of creative and outstanding performance in the art field, foreign freelance artists may submit related certificates or recommendation letters issued by government institutions or stated-owned enterprises.

Q. What are the qualifications for foreign professionals applying for engagement in publishing to the WDA?

A. Foreign professionals with more than eight years in publishing works may qualify with one of the following:

1. They served as Chief Editor or Senior Manager of a major International news, media outlets, or a publishing house.

2. They were awarded with their country’s most prestigious prize for a publishing-related field in literature or comics; or an international prize etc.

3. They are able to submit related documents to prove creative and outstanding performance in the publishing field. For example, some certificates or recommendation letters issued by government institutions or stated-owned enterprises etc.

Q. What are the major international newsprints, magazines, and publishers that foreign professionals engaged in the freelance artistic works related to publishing business? What are the qualifications required in senior executives?

1. Newsprints, the media section of a magazine refer to a leading international newspaper or magazine medium such as print media or wire services that are named after a country or a significant city, with international news accounting for at least two pages, that targets readers from the whole country or all over the world (for example, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Time, Life, National Geographic, Yazhou Zhoukan (香港亞洲周刊), or other print media or wire services recognized by the Ministry of Culture.

2. Publishers sections, such as Penguin Random House, Harper Collins Publishers LLC, or other publishers recognized by the Ministry of Culture.

3. Executives of the media refer to the managers, associate managers, deputy general managers, general managers, vice-chairman, chairman, deputy chief executive, chief executive, vice president, president, vice chairman, chairman, vice president and president of the media organization or organization, Person in charge, deputy editor-in-chief, editor-in-chief, deputy director, director, etc. or other similar level executives.

Q. What are the major awards in literature and comics fields that have been obtained as referred to in the qualifications of foreign professionals engaging in freelance artistic works in the publishing industry?

A. The Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Booker Prize, the Prix Goncourt, the National Magazine Awards, National Book Awards, Premio Miguel de Cervantes, Premio Planeta de Novela, Naoki Sanjugo Awards, Akutagawa Prize, or other accreditation by the Ministry of Culture.

Q. What are the qualifications for foreign professionals applying for engaging in the fields of films, broadcastings, televisions and pop music to the WDA?

A: They should be qualified with one of the following:

1. They have been nominated for national film industry, international film festivals, international television awards, pop music awards, or other individuals approved by the Ministry of Culture.

2. They teach in relative departments of film, broadcasting television, and pop music at a foreign university with a position of associate professors and more.

3. As a legal representative or chairman of an institute of major international film, broadcasting television, or pop music etc..

Q. Is there any relevant scale/ specification regarding foreign professionals who are legal persons or institutions responsible for engaging in movies, broadcast television, and pop music arts related qualifications referred to as a former international large-scale movies, broadcast television, pop music ?

A. The definition of an international large company refers to a company who have established a subsidiary or branch (organization) in more than two countries, and the parent or local company has effective control and overall decision making on cross-border productions and business operations. The business scope of the company (organization) includes movies, broadcast television or pop music, should be comply with one of the following conditions:

1. There are more than 100 employees in the company (organization).

2. The annual net operating income of the region is NT$1.5 billion (US$49 million) or above.

Q. What are the qualifications for foreign professionals applying for engaging in the field of crafts to the WDA?

A: They should be qualified with one of the following:

1. They have been nominated in a national or international competition.

2. They teach in a department of crafts at a foreign college or university with a position of associate professor and more.

3. They may submit some relative documents with creative and outstanding performance in the craft field, and with certificates / or recommendation letters issued by government institutions or stated-owned enterprises.

Q. What are the national or international competitions that have been nominated as referred to in the qualifications of foreign professionals engaging in craft works?

A. Domestic or international competitions related to crafts (such as Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, Talente, ITAMI International Craft Exhibition, The International Ceramics Competition Mino, Japan, Faenza Prize, International Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art and Cheongju International Craft Biennale) or other awards recognized by the Ministry of Culture.

Q. What are the creative and special performances of foreign professionals who are engaged in the relevant qualifications of freelance artistic works?

A. They may submit some documents of a certificate for outstanding and special performances related to the artistic field applied for, such as a professional certificates, professional training certificates, writings, thesis, patents of invention or awards from international competitions, and so on.

Q. Foreign professionals apply to the WDA for engaging in craft works, however, the scope of works is not the four specific categories including performance and visual art, publication, movies broadcast television, pop music, and craft; what would they apply the application with?

A: Foreigners must provide WDA with relevant certificates. WDA will consult with the Ministry of Culture and review it under case by case.

Q. What are the required documents for foreign professionals engaging in freelance artistic work to apply for an extended work permit?

A: According to Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the “Regulations on Work Permits and Administration of Foreign Professionals Engaging in Arts and Performing Arts”, a Foreign Professional may submit the following required documents to the WDA:

1. Application form

2. The original receipt for processing fee

3. A certificate of specific artistic work performance for the duration of the previous work permit.

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Editor David Green (@DavidPeterGreen)

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