EXPANSION OF FOREIGN TALENT RECRUITMENT IN TAIWAN
The amendment to the ‘Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professional Talent’, now referred to as ‘the Foreign Professionals Act’, was formulated by the National Development Council (NDC) in June 2021.
On Monday 25th October 2021 this was approved by Executive Yuan and came into effect immediately.
The amendments have been made in a bid to attract and retain more foreign white-collar workers in the country and to ensure more of the world’s prime talent will be able to come and stay in Taiwan by increasing incentives, meeting social security needs and keeping families together.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES?
- Graduate Attraction from the top universities across the world to work in Taiwan
The eligibility of graduates from the world’s top 500 universities (according to the Ministry of Education) is to be relaxed for the engagement in specialised or technical work by the removal of the two years work experience requirement.
- Increased flexibility for the recognition of foreign special professionals
The expansion of the foreign special professional’s definition from the original eight professional fields to include national defence and the option for special case reviews so that the world’s new forms of industry and cross-field talent can be brought within the sweep of recruitment. The amended “Foreign Special Professionals Possessing Special Expertise in Science & Technology,” includes article 2; those with unique talents or outstanding R&D ability or innovation performances in such cutting-edge technological fields as energy saving.
- Reduction of regulations for foreign national 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 foreign professionals (ordinary, not considered ‘special professionals’ under the law) 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.
- Tax Incentives
Provides preferential tax treatment for foreign special professionals who are approved to work in Taiwan for the first time, with income tax to be assessed on only half of their salary as exceeds NT$3 million within their first five years in Taiwan, and also their overseas income to be excluded from the assessment of income basic tax.
- Social Security
Foreign professionals and their dependent relatives can directly join the National Health Insurance system without having to wait six months for inclusion and for them to be included in the retirement pension system under the Labor Pension Act once they have been granted permanent residency.
“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 utilise 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,” the law stated.