"Employment gold card" for some foreigners

Offices – nothing about libraries in there. :slight_smile:

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@Bree

I called and was told to email infoseattle@ because the lady is working from home. I explained everything and the response I got was still to come to verify. Below is the exact email. Weird, sounds like she/he didn’t even read my email.

Please bring your passport and the receipt to our office for verification.

We will contact you once receiving your gold card from Taiwan if you would like to pick it up at our office.

Oh, so they are mailing it to Seattle? Nice.
They aren’t answering my emails or phone calls in Houston.

Well… they are supposed to mail it to wherever you choose the overseas office to be.
image

I thought I’d get a temporary paper, then pick up the actual card when I arrive in tpe. I like this way much better.
Good luck to you

I finally got my gold card last week and thought I’d give a final update on my experience with the process and ask a few questions to anyone who’s already been through the next steps. Be forewarned: long post ahead.

My experience
Dec. 31, 2019: Applied under the Technology field under “Holders of a Ph.D. degree who possess special expertise that is lacking in Taiwan.” Had I applied sooner, I probably wouldn’t have applied under this category, but almost all of the other categories in Technology require evidence of academic research in the last 3-4 years, which I don’t have as I stopped working in academia in 2014. I submitted a cover letter explaining my intentions and why I felt I possessed “special expertise that is lacking in Taiwan,” my Ph.D. certificate, several reference letters and first pages of scientific papers verifying my foreign work experience as a postdoc (ca. 4 years total), a copy of a Chinese patent I’m listed as an inventor on (had to submit something under “documents verifying technology”), and a copy of my Chinese Postdoctoral Certificate (had to submit something under “documents verifying receipt of awards”). Paid 6633 TWD for 3 years (application fee plus payment fee, UK citizen).

January 2020: Nothing happened. Application status remained at “Professional Review by Workforce Development Agency.”

Feb. 4–7, 2020: Started e-mailing a few people from the contact list. First at MOST, who told me that my application was still with the MOL and hadn’t yet been passed to them, then at MOL. Following these e-mails, I finally got an e-mail from the system stating insufficient documentation on the basis of some of my documents being issued in China and needing to be notarized. Longer version here.

Feb. 10, 2020: Went over to the Straits Exchange Foundation to find out about notarizing the above documents. The staff were helpful but apparently couldn’t do anything without me first getting the original documents notarized in China. This would have been close to impossible as I would have needed to either fly over there (and be quarantined upon return) or pull in some serious favors to get someone in China to help me with the notarization and do things like obtain the actual patent certificate from the university. Longer (quite frustrated) version here.

Mid-to-late February 2020: Gave up on the idea for a bit and had to do a visa run as my original visa exemption was expiring, then started looking at other options for fulfilling the requirements. Got an additional reference letter from a former long-term freelance client from several years ago to verify my professional experience without relying on the time in China.

Feb. 26, 2020: Went to the MOL to try to find someone there to discuss the situation with and what alternative evidence they might be willing to accept. Not the right place - nobody at the service desk seemed to know anything about the gold card scheme, so they called up a few people who also didn’t know about the scheme until putting me through to the Workforce Development Agency (which I gave them the contact info for). Walked over to the WDA in an effort to speak to someone there, and they phoned me back while I was in the lobby. Discussed the requirements and possible solutions on the phone with a friendly Mr. Huang, and he said he needed to check a few things and would call me back the next day.

Feb. 27, 2020: Mr. Huang called me back and confirmed what I’d suspected, that I’d basically be unable to apply under the Technology field as I couldn’t supply “documents verifying technology” or “documents verifying receipt of awards” without the notarized Chinese documents. Without either of these and/or demonstrable academic experience in the last 3/4 years, none of the Technology categories really seemed to work. I inquired whether I might be able to apply under Education instead on the basis of having a Ph.D. from a top 200 university, and he agreed that this would be a possible solution.

Feb. 27, 2020 (continued): So I did that. I wrote another cover letter focusing more on the education side of things and submitted that alongside my Ph.D. certificate after changing the category on the system. I will say that the system doesn’t really seem set up for this, and none of the modified information showed up on the system until after resubmitting the application (i.e., the category was still showing up as Technology, and I had no way to see whether the modified documents had successfully uploaded). I remember also that the “please enter your opinions to the reviewer” box requests the response to be written in Chinese and was limited to some low number of characters, so the website was throwing up vague “send failure” messages until I figured that out (I just submitted a truncated response in English). More details here. Called Mr. Huang again a couple of times over the next few days to confirm everything had gone through correctly and the process was moving along.

March 9, 2020: Received an automated e-mail telling me to take my passport to BOCA after printing out the passport submission notice.

March 10, 2020: Did it.

March 16, 2020: Application status suddenly changed to “Under inspection” (it had been something else in the preceding few days, but I forget what).

March 17, 2020 (8 p.m., oddly): Received an automated e-mail telling me my application had been approved and to wait for the next e-mail telling me I could collect the card.

March 18, 2020 (10 a.m., so surprisingly fast!): Received an automated e-mail telling me my card was ready and I should go pick it up from NIA after printing out the payment receipt. Did it, after going first to get my passport back from BOCA. Just needed to show the payment receipt to the guy at the first desk to the left of the door and he went through a stack of gold cards and ARCs to find mine. I found it mildly amusing that the gold cards were in plastic covers and the ARCs weren’t.

Tl;dr: should probably have applied under the Education category in the first place.

My plan/intentions
There are a couple of things I want to do with the card. The first is part-time science tutoring, which I have previous experience with, probably up to 10 hours a week but typically less (maybe several). The second is scientific editing, which I also have previous experience with and contacts for. The former would obviously be in Taiwan and paid in Taiwan. The latter may include Taiwan in the future but would initially be for foreign companies and the payment could either be remitted to foreign accounts or a Taiwanese account (when I have one). I’m considering setting up a small (Taiwanese) company for the latter, but that’s a future goal rather than an immediate one as I need to do more groundwork/research first.

Questions
NHI: I’ve discussed this in another thread and confirmed this information with the NHI over e-mail, and my current understanding is that I won’t be eligible for NHI until six months after the gold card was issued, i.e., September 2020 (my previous stay under a visa exemption doesn’t count). I could potentially be covered by NHI immediately if I found a regular employer, although I don’t intend to do that as stated above. The explanation I got from the NHI regarding what constitutes a “regular employer” was quite vague (she just referred me to the Employment Services Act, Article 46, Paragraph 1, Subparagraphs 1–6, which only describes permitted occupations for foreigners as far as I can tell). Tando gave some information in the other thread regarding the minimum requirements for NHI enrollment, and judging from this the part-time work I have in mind wouldn’t count.

I suppose an alternative idea for obtaining NHI may be to start a company earlier than I would prefer and enroll myself through that, although I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle at the moment. I also understand that there’s some act going through at the moment that might eventually change the NHI situation, but I haven’t kept up to date with that. I realize I haven’t asked a question yet, but if anybody sees a problem with what I’ve written here or has found an alternative (private insurance?), please let me know.

Employment/accepting work: Is there anything I need to be aware of here with accepting work from Taiwanese/overseas clients while under a gold card? Example 1: If I agreed to do a few hours of tutoring at a test prep organization or similar, would I need to do anything except sign a contract, receive payment, and put some aside for eventual taxes? Would I need to receive approval from the Ministry of Education or do a background check or something? Example 2: If I edited some paper for a Taiwanese researcher/university in a self-employed capacity, would I need to get permission from someone or issue a fapiao (I’ve read about the gaofei exemption but still don’t fully understand the implications of that, and the total annual amount would presumably exceed 180k TWD). How about for overseas clients?

Taxes: Somewhat related to the above, but do I need to do anything with the tax office prior to working, like register for self-employed work? Or is it as simple as just making sure I keep say 20% aside and submitting a tax return and paying them whatever they ask next May?

Thanks to anyone who made it this far. I realize that some of these questions, especially those regarding company formation, will probably require me to visit an accountant or JusRegal or something (after doing more research), but I just thought I’d give an update and throw some questions/discussion points out there to anyone who’s already been through it.

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Great post. Congratulations on persevering and getting the card!

Guy

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Clock does not start when the gold card is issued. It starts when you first get into Taiwan. And it will reset if you leave Taiwan before the six months. @tando, right?

My previous post might have been ambiguous if you’re looking at it from the perspective of applying abroad. I applied for and received it in Taiwan and, in this case, the clock seems to start on the date of issue (even though I’d originally entered Taiwan on the current exemption in mid-February and the previous exemption in mid-November).

The NHI confirmed this with me by email today.

Oh, that makes sense if you are already there. Just confirm if it does/doesn’t reset if you leave Taiwan. Not that it is advisable to travel atm.

unless you do something the government requires a lisence, I think you can do most things without special permission.
Example 1: Buxiban should register its employees to the government, but it is not your responsibility and you don’t need to get an approval.
Example 2: no need of permission. University most probably request you to give them estimate and bill, and receipt.

If your monthly sales is more than 40k NTD, you should register yourself as a business entity at taxation office, and they require you to issue receipt.

Articles 28~31 of Value-added and Non-value-added Business Tax Act
Regulations Governing Taxation Registration

Apply for Taxation Registration


營業人開始營業前,記得要辦理稅籍登記

I think editing isn’t included in gaofei, unless your name is put on the published documents. Maybe science writing by your name is.

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Also take a photocopy of your passport, including the page for official notes and observations.

I asked about collection (I am applying in Europe): was told that would be once in Taipei, so it does seem there is some confusion or mixed practice

Great thread! @fifieldt deserves a gold card for life for his herculean efforts here.

I will share all my details a bit later in case someone finds them useful, but for now I wanted to ask and see if anyone has any insight into what exactly the ‘passport inspection’ entails? I got my email to drop it off last Friday but have been a bit too busy to deal with it this week.

I spoke to Mrs. Jian on the phone, and she said something to the effect of ‘they need to check it and make sure there aren’t any problems’…just wondering what type of problems one might potentially encounter.

Many thanks in advance!

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Hi, welcome to Forumosa and thank you for your kind comment.

So, the gold card is something of an amazing collaboration between all these disparate government agencies that we don’t really need to worry about when all goes well. At the end you get a work permit (from Ministry of Labor), residence certificate (from National Immigration Agency), and visa (from Bureau of Consular Affairs). I believe the “passport check” is actually where the visa part of the card is minted. However, as the holder of a work permit by this point (and a special one at that), you are all but entitled to that visa. Potential reasons for visa denial? Off the top of my head, the ones I can think of are pretty extreme: currently banned from the country, name on terrorist watch list, already a Taiwanese citizen, bad criminal record in Taiwan, passport is fake,…

I’ve not heard of any gold card applicant making it to the point of passport inspection and being rejected. Effectively: congratulations, you’ve got a gold card :slight_smile:

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You will be fine unless your passport looks like this

1585279188753

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Papers, please reference. 10 points.

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I didn’t get your point here. For GC holders, there is no waiting period for NHI. I applied for the NHI card in the 1st month after coming here on the GC and got it within 14 days.

Did they already change the rule? Or are you employed?

Iirc, There is a draft to change the rule, but it is not passed yet. If you are employed, I think you get the NHI through the employment. It may not be because you are a GC holder.

Yes I am employed. I don’t know if they changed the rules, but it’s been this for the past 3 months. Check this point 5 of A2:

https://foreigntalentact.ndc.gov.tw/en/cp.aspx?n=AC68F9FBABA3F294&s=4D07D9F9F687B542

It even says spouses and children won’t have waiting period.

You get it immediately starting the date of your employment. If not, you will need to wait after continuous 6 months in taiwan, with one trip allowance of not more than 30 days.

Link below:
https://www.nhi.gov.tw/English/Content_List.aspx?n=C88B41A4EAB5E692&topn=778856C209BCE527

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