APRC Eligibility (number of years)

Hello all

I’ve just past the 5 year mark and was about to begin applying for my APRC. However, I’ve been hearing conflicting things about eligibility so just wanted to see if anybody knows any more -

I left 3 years ago for about 5 months. I still met the days-resident requirement for that year, and I had the same ARC number before I left and when I came back. However, I did have my previous work permit cancelled and then applied for a new one when I came back.

I called the immigration office and they said that since I came back on a new work permit, the time started again and I have to wait 5 years since that entry. However, I know people who have done the same thing and been fine. I called the ‘foreigner hotline’ and they also say it should be fine - the 5 years should not reset.

Should I try and take this up with the immigration people? Or could this be a matter of new rules?

If its the worst case scenario and I am now not eligible, I still am (almost) at 3 years. I saw they passed the bill to reduce the requirement to three years. any inklings on when that might kick in? Is it likely to take a very long time?

Really appreciate any inisght anyone has. Thanks so much!

work permit is not so relevant. Did your ARC expire or become invalid due to the cancellation of your previous work permit, when you left Taiwan? If so, it is a start-over, even if you are given the same ARC number later. If your ARC has no gap, it should be fine. Iiuc.

isn’t it for gold-card holders?

It was passed by the Executive Yuan but not yet by the Legislative Yuan.

The 3 year rule applies to foreign special professionals whereas for foreign professionals it’s still 5 years until eligible to apply for APRC.
Additionally as a foreign professional if you graduated with a masters degree in Taiwan you can count it as 1 year, with a doctoral degree can count it as 2 years (the 2 may not be counted together).
As a foreign special professional you can count a doctoral degree as 1 year.

There is also a new rule in the draft amendments that changes “continuous residency” to “average residency” of 183 days per year, though I’m not sure that this covers a break in the ARC.

Note: The draft amendments are subject to change by the legislature.

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These details / proposed changes have not yet passed, right?


I’ve had the same ARC number for 19 years despite having had my ARC canceled several times. I didn’t even notice until I got my APRC. You said your work permit was canceled but didn’t mention your ARC status at the time. If your work permit was canceled by your kept your ARC valid, usually by extension, then you should be ok. If both were canceled, you need to start over. The NIA will have the correct information. When I asked, they quickly checked their records and told me the exact date I was eligible to apply.
I think I also read a proposal to reduce the number of years needed for qualification, but not all these proposals that make the news get passed. I hope it does.

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For the OP: this is the key point. Talk to your local NIA to determine if you are eligible. They will know.



When I was close and did not remember the exact date, I also just went to NIA and was told when I could apply for APRC.

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No they are not yet passed by the Legislative Yuan and are still subject to change.

An extra session is being held and the proposed amendments to the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals is scheduled to be discussed. Hopefully we will know the outcome soon.

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Thanks for all the information everyone.

When I left my ARC was cancelled and no longer active - at the time I did not plan on coming back so I didn’t try to extend it. I guess it’s a start-over. I will go to the NIA in person and find out exactly when I am eligible to apply.

Another quick question _ I see people saying that the reduction to 3 years would only apply to "foreign special professionals’ as opposed to foreign professionals. What qualifies as ‘special’? I currently work as an editor for an educational publishing company here in Taiwan, so the profession on my ARC is ‘editor’ I think. would that count? Or am I clutching at straws here >.<

The below gives some general information. For more details, you could check announcements from ministries of education or culture.

it may be almost equal to qualifications of gold card.

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Whats the difference between foreign special professional and foreign professional ? From what I saw it is “The continuous residence requirement for foreign professionals to become eligible for permanent residence status will be lowered from five years to three.”. I thought for all ?

The differences are defined in the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals law:


May I ask the source for where is states foreign professionals can aquire APRC after 3 years?

The below link you can find an English version of the proposed amendments (subject to change).

Article 14, “A foreign professional who has legally and continuously resided in the State for five years, or a foreign special professional who has legally and continuously resided in the State for three years, having resided for an average of more than 183 days each year, may apply to the National Immigration Agency for permanent residency if they meet the following requirements…”


Ah it’s clear, thanks. I saw it here : New bill allows foreign professionals permanent residence after 3 years in Taiwan | Taiwan News | 2021-04-16 12:16:00. “The continuous residence requirement for foreign professionals to become eligible for permanent residence status will be lowered from five years to three.”

According to the K-Man article linked immediately above, the relevant parts in these proposed changes (not yet passed by the Legislative Yuan) include this:

The continuous residence requirement for foreign professionals to become eligible for permanent residence status will be lowered from five years to three. The required period of residency for foreign professionals and “foreign special professionals” who have obtained master’s or doctorate degrees in Taiwan can be reduced by one to two years.

As of now, however, the residency period of “usual” ARC holders is still five years.


That is a bad writing. You can see the English version of general explanation and proposed amendment by executive yuan in the site @irish91 posted.

Easing the conditions for foreign professionals to obtain permanent residency, requiring legal and continuous residence for five years and residing on average more than 183 days a year, with the requisite duration of residence shortened to three years for foreign special professionals, and allowing time spent at school in Taiwan obtaining advanced degrees of master’s level and above to be partially counted toward fulfilling the requisite duration of continuous residence.

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The Taiwan News article does say that, though it contradicts official sources and add confusion by stating “foreign professionals”.

The Executive Yuan’s press release after the cabinet approved:
“The residency requirement for foreign special professionals applying for permanent residency will be shortened from five to three years.”


That is clear. Thank you.

The K-Man’s confused prose has not helped!


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Amendments to the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals Act are being discussed live in the Legislative Yuan now for anyone interested.


And it passed…


I wonder if the K-Man’s wonky prose (he slides between “foreign professionals” and “foreign special professionals” throughout the article linked above) will add to the confusion.

Any better source out there? I guess we’ll see it when this bill actually passes into law.