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The amended Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals is approved by the Executive Yuan to take effect from today!
The amended Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals (hereafter referred to as “the Foreign Professionals Act”), which was formulated by the National Development Council (NDC), passed its third reading in the Legislative Yuan on June 18 this year (2021), and was promulgated by the President on July 7. Now it has been approved by the Executive Yuan and will formally take effect today (October 25). The amended provisions of the Act lay a more complete legal framework for our country’s talent recruitment, ensuring that more of the world’s prime talent will be able to come to and stay in Taiwan.

In order to expand the attraction of international high-level talent to the five-plus-two innovative industries and the Six Core Strategic Industries, last year (2020) the NDC began to consult with the other authorities concerned on a nuts-and-bolts overhaul of the Foreign Professionals Act aimed at providing more attractive regulation of work and residency, and optimizing benefits related to tax and social security. The main points of the amendment are as follows:
  1. Increasing flexibility for the recognition of foreign special professionals: Provision is added for a mechanism to enable recognition by the Competent Authority (the NDC) in consultation with the central competent authorities concerned, so that the world’s new forms of industry and cross-field talent can be brought within the sweep of recruitment.
  2. Vying for graduates of the world’s top universities to come to work in Taiwan: Eligibility for graduates of the world’s top universities, as announced by the Ministry of Education[1], to engage in specialized or technical work in Taiwan, is relaxed by removal of the two years’ work experience requirement.
  3. Loosening regulations for foreign nationals’ permanent residency applications: The period of continuous residence in Taiwan required for foreign special professionals to apply for permanent residency is reduced from five years to three, further discounted by one year for those who have obtained a doctoral degree in Taiwan.  Also, while (ordinary) foreign professionals are still required to have resided continuously in Taiwan for five years before they can apply for permanent residency, that period can be discounted by one or two years, respectively, for those who have obtained a master’s or doctoral degree in Taiwan.
  4. Enhancing tax preference and social security measures: The time limit on the tax preference for foreign special professionals is extended from three years to five; and foreign special and senior professionals who are employers or self-employed business owners, together with their dependent relatives, are exempted from having to wait six months to join the National Health Insurance system.
To go in concert with the implementation of this amended law, the NDC has worked with the authorities concerned to amend related regulations, administrative rules and supporting measures, so that foreign professionals and their dependent relatives can utilize these long-awaited changes to the law as early as possible, and to ensure that the Foreign Professionals Act can secure optimum spillover effects, enhancing the retention of key global talent, invigorating Taiwan’s talent pool, and bringing qualitative change, growth, and transformation into Taiwan’s industries.

With the amendment to of the Foreign Professionals Act going into effect from today, applications under all of the amended provisions can start to be received, including those pertaining to the expedition of foreign special  professionals’ permanent residency applications, which has drawn the greatest interest in many circles. Inquiries are welcome at the National Immigration Agency’s local service centers or the Taiwan Employment Gold Card Office. Further information about subsidiary laws and ancillary measures can be found on the NDC’s dedicated website for the Act at https://foreigntalentact.ndc.gov.tw or the official Employment Gold Card website at https://goldcard.nat.gov.tw.

Contact persons: Department of Human Resources Development Director Gloria Lin, Senior Specialist Basma Cheng
Office phone:(02)2316-5379, (02)2316-5600
[1] “The world’s top universities announced by the Ministry of Education” refers to the Top 500 World University Rankings compiled by the ministry from the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities Rankings.

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    1. The amended Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals is approved by the Executive Yuan to take effect from today!
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