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Taiwan's new foreign talent recruitment law takes effect

Law removes 2-year work experience rule for new grads of top universities, APRC available after 3 years to eligible professionals

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A law designed to recruit foreign talent by relaxing the requirements for them to work in Taiwan, obtain permanent residency, and receive tax concessions went into effect on Monday (Oct. 25).

The amendment to the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professional Talent, a bid to attract and retain more foreign white-collar workers, was passed in June and went into force Monday. The law loosens the requirements for eligible foreign teachers and job seekers, extends tax concessions, and relaxes the rules for obtaining permanent residence and the conditions for health insurance.

However, the act is limited in scope, as most of its provisions only apply to what the National Development Council (NDC) calls "foreign special professionals." The term refers to foreign nationals who have expertise in fields such as science and technology, economics, education, culture, the arts, and sports.

The following are notable changes to the act:

1. Expanded definition of foreign special professionals

The eight professional fields covered in the original law have been expanded to include national defense and the opportunity to apply for a special case review.

2. Relaxed requirements for job seekers

Fresh graduates from the world's top universities, as designated by the Ministry of Education, will no longer be required to have two years of work experience to apply for "specialized or technical work" in Taiwan.

3. Shortened criteria for permanent residence

The continuous residence requirement for foreign special professionals to become eligible for permanent resident status will be lowered from five years to three and can be further lowered by one year for those who have obtained a master's or doctoral degree in Taiwan. The requirement for "ordinary" foreign professionals to achieve permanent residence status will still be five years, with the notable exception of those who have obtained advanced degrees in Taiwan, in which case the required period can be reduced by one to two years.

4. Tax incentives

Tax deductions for foreign special professionals will be extended from three to five years. Over this five-year period, foreign special professionals with an annual income of NT$3 million (US$107,000) or higher can deduct half of their salary from their gross income calculation when assessing taxes.

5. Health care

Foreign special professionals and senior professionals who are employers or self-employed business owners, along with their dependents, are exempt from having to wait six months to be eligible for the National Health Insurance system.

For more detailed information in English, visit the official website for the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals.

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