Gold Card Confusion

Can anybody help answer my questions below?
I couldn’t really find answers on

1) If you qualify for two categories, which one is best?
Its seems like I could qualify for both the Education and Economic categories.

I’m 90% sure I’d get approved for an education gold card: I’ve taught 4 years at a University on one of the approved lists and have more than 5 yrs. teaching exp. overall. Even so, there’s some doubt: I don’t have a PhD or do research.

People on this forum say that the economic category is based solely on income. If this is true, then I’d have a 100% chance of success. However, even though I’ve managed departments and led commercial media projects, I don’t consider myself a business person or entrepreneur.

I’m not sure which route is the better way to go.

2) Can you apply in a different category if the first one gets rejected? Or is it a one-time chance?
So, in my scenario above, if I get rejected for education, could I apply for the economic category?

3) What is needed for a Gold Card renewal?
As I understand it: the broad rationale behind the Gold Card is to have foreign expertise help develop Taiwan. So when it’s time to renew, are they looking for contributions in your Gold Card category?

Are these two scenarios a problem?:
A) If I stop or reduce my teaching, will this endanger my renewal chances if I have an Education Gold Card?
The move to Taiwan could mean a career shift for me. I may return to the media industry instead of teaching it.

B) If I don’t work for Taiwanese companies will that affect GC renewal? I’m concerned that the pay rates may be so low in TW, I would end up mostly freelancing for HK/US or international clients via my professional networks. I’m hearing that academic salaries are 1/2 to 1/3 of what I currently make.

From reading this forum, it seems the Gov’t is pretty chill about the requirements. But I’m a foreigner in a new country. I’ve lived in Asia for 10 years so I know how their institutions can have pretty rigid thinking. Maybe TW immigration thinks my English fluency is more valuable than University Arts Teaching. I’d like to know the implications before I apply for a Gold Card.

For context:
I’m coming to Taiwan because my wife got a job here. I’ll need to adjust my career as I follow my wife to TW. Higher Ed Jobs are not easy to get. The Gold Card appeals to me because I would be able to freelance and explore my options a bit wisely in Taiwan. Teaching English at a cram school is not my first choice, even though have a PGCE which should easily qualify me for jobs like that.

I’d also like to renew the Gold Card so I’d have the option for a PARC.

Apologies if this is answered elsewhere.

Not an expert, but this would be my take:

Once you have the gold card you can do whatever you want, irrespective of the category you received it under. However, if you’re fairly confident that you fulfill the requirements for Education (it seems like you do, but I haven’t checked the list again) and think you might want to continue working in education, I’d be tempted to apply under this category - solely because I think it might be slightly more impressive to potential education-related employers to have this word printed on the gold card. But I doubt it would be a big deal either way.

My situation was a bit similar (more details here) - I initially applied under Technology (one of the harder categories, but in my opinion more related to the majority of my work, namely, scientific/academic editing) but some of my documents confirming my qualifications were from China and notarizing them back at the start of this year would have been a massive pain in the ass. I therefore reapplied under Education on the basis of having a PhD from a top 200 university, and that was much easier.

I think the most likely outcome would be that you wouldn’t be outright rejected but rather asked to provide additional documents…at which point you should be able to switch categories like I did. So I wouldn’t be too concerned about this, personally.

My understanding is that renewal is assessed essentially as a new application (at least for the time being, although given that the scheme has only been around a couple of years there probably haven’t been too many cases of this yet). So I think you would still need to fulfill the original requirements.

I think you’re talking about applying under the second subcategory in Education, right? That is, “The person has been engaged in teaching and research for more than five years and in the past five years has worked at one of the top 500 universities in the most recent QS World University Rankings or Times Higher Education World University Rankings.”

So it seems that the “in the past five years” would still need to apply at the time of renewal. I agree with you that it might be difficult to meet the salary requirements after working in Taiwan for 3 years (I suspect a lot of people who applied under Economy, which I believe is the most common category of recipients, and have been working locally might have that problem in the next several years given the salary differences).

There is no renewal. You simply have to apply again, and thus have to meet the criteria again.

Thanks Andrew. You’ve pointed out a loophole I’m happy to hear about. It sounds like effectively, a renewal/2nd application is guaranteed for teachers with current and appropriate experience (like me). This would also pave the way for a PARC as well (though I haven’t had much time to do homework on non-gold card PARC).

However, and I’m sure you’d agree, experience tells me to not depend too much on a loophole, and this seems a little too good to be true. Could anybody else weigh in?

Two related follow up questions: Assuming 3yrs after I arrive in TW, I cannot get a 2nd gold because I can’t find a gold-card level academic job.

  1. Would I be able to apply for an economic gold card (sounds like I would)
  2. Would TW immigration accept freelance money from foreign clients as proof of going beyond the most recent monthly salary required for the economic category?

What’s the loophole? I don’t think there’s any loophole here - just that for the second application you’d still need to fulfill the application conditions. Of course, who knows if the conditions of the gold card will change at some point between now and then.

I think the second part of the requirement that you’re talking about applying under (“and in the past five years has worked at one of the top 500 universities in the most recent QS World University Rankings or Times Higher Education World University Rankings”) could be an issue for some people - depending on the person’s background, that might not apply to everyone during the second application. So there’s more to it that just still being involved in teaching. (In my case it’s pretty easy - maybe too easy - since the only requirement (at present) in that subcategory is having the PhD, so that’s unlikely to change.)

I don’t know too much about the economy route, but I imagine finding a teaching job in Taiwan that fulfills the salary requirement would be tough. My assumption would be that supplemental freelance income in Taiwan could be counted as long as it’s been declared and taxed, but again, I’m not 100% sure of that.

I hope I didn’t cause offense with the word loophole. A better choice of words might be technicality.

But re-reading the wording it seems clear education would be the best category for me.