TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has rolled out a new fee structure for extending Gold Cards by a maximum of three years at a time, in line with legal reforms aimed at increasing the influx of foreign talent.
An overseas application will cost NT$1,500 (US$54) for a one-year extension, NT$2,500 for a two-year extension, and NT$3,500 for a three-year extension, while residents of Hong Kong or Macau will be charged a flat fee of NT$800 per extension per card, according to an MOI draft amendment detailed in a CNA report.
Issued on Aug. 5, the notice is under review for a two-month period while lawmakers get feedback from the public.
The Employment Gold Card program was launched in 2018 to appeal to foreign professionals who possess special expertise needed by Taiwan in the fields of science and technology, economy, culture and arts, finance, education, architecture, law, and sports.
The card is a combination of an open-end work permit, residence visa, Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), and multiple-entry permit. Applicants can opt for one, two, or three years of validity.
The ministry's fee structure amendment was proposed after the Legislative Yuan passed an amendment in June to make Taiwan more attractive as a work destination.
The revision allows foreign special professionals to apply for permanent residence in Taiwan after they have stayed in the country for three years, instead of the usual five years, provided they have lived there for at least 183 days each year.
The fees charged for issuing a Gold Card vary depending on whether the application is submitted domestically or overseas, the effective period, and whether the applicant is subject to special handling fees.
For example, overseas applications will be charged NT$1,500 for a card valid for one year; NT$2,500 for two-year cards; and NT$3,500 for three-year cards — the same amount charged for extensions. Yet domestic applications will cost NT$3,700 for a card with one year of validity; NT$4,700 for two years; and NT$5,700 for three years, as long as other conditions are met.
Since the program started in February 2018, the number of cards given out has been on the rise. As of late June, 2,878 cards had been issued to foreign professionals, mainly in the economy and science and technology fields. Most cardholders work in Taiwan's key industries, including the semiconductor, artificial intelligence, and offshore wind power sectors, or new ventures, according to statistics compiled by the National Development Council.
Despite government efforts, though, the program is currently facing headwinds as recent reports of cardholders repatriating due to Taiwan’s recent COVID-19 outbreak reveal.