Timeline update (approximate since I didn’t keep track of all dates):
12/9/2020 - Applied from within Taiwan under economy based on salary from previous year with W2 and additional supporting documents, since I had read 1099 income was tricky.
~12/26/2020 - called office and was told to wait since they were backlogged.
~01/09/2021 - called office again and was told I would need to re-apply under education since my tax document from 2019 came from an educational institution. Explained my current job was more related to the economy field (finance industry) since I left my previous role in the education space to work in finance, though I’m a better fit for “economy” than “finance” since I don’t obviously meet the criteria listed for inclusion under the “finance” category, like I don’t work at a bank, and I don’t have a CPA or CFA certification. Was told my application would be sent to the ministry of economy / 經濟部 for review. Called contact at 經濟部 and was told all I could do was wait.
~1/16/2021 - was told I’d have to alter my application to the “education” category under the “salary + 5 years of experience” provision, since my 2019 tax document was from an educational institution. Did not have to reapply or pay a second time when changing the application category. Altered application after it was re-set for me by the helpful folks processing my application.
~2/1/2021 - call to check the status, nervously because Chinese new year was coming and I knew the offices would shut down. Told everything looked to be in order and would likely be approved post-CNY.
2/04/2021 - received notice to drop passport off at BOCA.
~2/18/2021 - Passport pick up from BOCA. Notice of application approval.
2/19/2021 - Notice to pick up gold card from NIA / 移民署.