Sun, Feb 09, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan issued nearly 600 gold cards over two years

EXPERTS WANTED:The NDC said that 55 percent of the gold cards were granted to professionals with economic expertise, while 18 percent were in the technology sector

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan has issued nearly 600 Employment Gold Cards in the two years since the program to attract foreign professionals to the nation was launched, the National Development Council (NDC) said yesterday.

As of last month, the NDC has issued 584 gold cards — consisting of a resident visa, Alien Resident Certificate, re-entry permit and work permit, as well as tax benefits and residence permits for family members — as part of the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals (外國專業人才延攬及僱用法) that was passed on Feb. 8, 2018, to ease regulations for foreign professionals.

The card makes it easier for foreign nationals who lack permanent residency status to change jobs in Taiwan, because they no longer have to be dependent on an employer for a work permit, the NDC said.

The NDC said 318 professionals obtained their cards based on their economic expertise, accounting for about 55 percent of the issued cards issued.

About 18 percent received gold cards for their technology skills, while 11 percent were granted cards for their cultural expertise, 8 percent for their in-depth financial knowledge and 7 percent for their educational skills, the NDC said.

Professionals from the US accounted for 23 percent of the gold cards issued, the largest group ahead of Hong Kong (15 percent), the UK (8 percent), Malaysia (6 percent), Denmark (6 percent) and Singapore (4 percent), it said.

Professionals from France, Germany, Japan and South Korea have also been granted gold cards, it added.

The government issued its first gold card in March 2018 to Taipei-born American Steve Chen (陳士駿), cofounder of YouTube, for his outstanding achievements in technology innovations and software development, the NDC said.

Australian pianist Albert Muhlbock, who received a gold card in 2018, said that he cherished the flexibility it gave him to teach at various schools and offer private lessons instead of being tied to one employer.

Most recently, NDC Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) issued a gold card to Formosa Renewable Power chief executive officer Frank Hojerslev of Australia.

In addition to the gold cards, the government has relaxed the interpretation of the scope and mechanism of tax concessions stipulated in the act to assuage concerns over how the treatment of gold card holders would be applied, the NDC said.

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