Stopping employment while on gold card


I have a gold card. What will happen if I stop working? My interpretation is that since card is not sponsored by company I can just stop working and still live in Taiwan until it run out in 3 years? Is that correct?

AFAIU, it’s an untested grey area. We’re independent of working for a specific employer. However we still need to be in valid “status” of being eligible for a gold card - which essentially means an income of $160k or more monthly for the economy category.

But atleast AFAIK, noone has reported what actually happened to anyone who is not working.

I thought the purpose of the gold card was to let holders work for employers that would not otherwise qualify to hire foreign professionals or do not meet the work permit threshold of TWD 47,971 per month in salary.

The Gold Card ARC is valid for 3 years ( or however many you received). Your Visa is independent of your job - completely. When it comes time to reapply in 3 years, you will not be able to get a gold card, that’s all.

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That sounds about right.

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So that mean I can stay in Taiwan, or move out and back anytime in the next 3 years until gold card run out. Is that the right understanding?

I’m not too worry about not hitting 160k when renewing. I can always get another job later. But I need a break.

Yes. As long as your card is of 3 year duration. If you plan on getting a new card when it expires, you will likely need a full year of the financial requirements- just keep that in mind.

Unless, the current bill passes and you can get an APRC after the 3 years; that would be awesome.

Article 11 of the rules based on the foreigners act specifies the requirements for getting and renewing a GC.

As of now it’s silent on the interim period specifically w.r.t. being unemployed after having obtained the GC in a skilled employment basis.

The purpose of GC is for highly skilled labor to be free of employer constraints. But obviously the country is using it with it’s own interests in mind, as it should. If someone were to get a GC and then not contribute to the economy by not working, IMO you’d be violating the spirit of the law. It may or may not affect you today. But if NIA sees too many cases like that, it may change the law and could nullify your a GC. It’s still untested at the moment.

You are thinking in a very linear, salary based mode. If I am a contract based professional, who does not work for a specific company, and does contracts every other month for $20K US, what does the government care? Many professional positions are contract based, and not salary. And the open work permit gives the freedom to do it as one pleases, not just working “for the man”, so to speak.

Sure because that’s how it is in politics. It’s all politics. The decision to have something like a GC is a mix of economics and politics. The govt does care about what you do because they have to convince their voters. They need to be able to answer the common Joe on the street as to how this “alien”’ is contributing to the economy or country as a whole. The open permit is given with a guiding principle in mind - it’s not a free to do anything without long term repercussions thing. As I said it’s untested - tomorrow if there are too many such cases NIA may amend the law.

You’re free to work in any job you like. Just don’t expect a country of which you’re not a citizen to enjoy hosting you. Why does US care if I’m employed or no to issue me a green card? Even if I’m rich enough and highly skilled I’d contribute way more that the average Joe there. But I still have to satisfy the rules of USCIS etc. they do care what in doing because again they need to convince their citizens. Is the same philosophy everywhere.

To be honest, at least from my perspective, it appears that the government seems to be judging the success of this policy based on how many gold card holders there are… They have been periodically touting the numbers and it appears that there are “easy routes” for applicants to get one, the economic route via salary requirement being one.

Sure for the moment, yes. Tomorrow if Taiwan has a large influx of foreigners we will see the likes of Trumpism here as well.

I’m not saying that you’re necessarily in the red here as of now. But you’re not necessarily in the blue either, being unemployed. Remember the open “permit” is a permit to work freely. The intention is for you to “work”. It’s not meant to be a no holds barred residence for 3 years. If it was, why wouldn’t they just issue an APRC or citizenship instead of a GC for highly skilled aliens, directly ?

I am glad to report that I am happily and gainfully employed, thankfully :sweat_smile:

I get your point, but how would the government even know? You get your Gold Card Visa, and then you don’t really have any interaction with Immigration until your Visa expires. I know you are playing a “what if” scenario, but for now, as long as you have a valid ARC, it doesn’t seem to matter.

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Come on dude. Let’s not be that naive in thinking that any govt. in the world cannot get information, if they want.

How you ask ? Simple. Let’s say an over zealous commissioner is appointed at the NIA. He tells his officers to randomly pick arc or GC holders and re run background checks on them. Do you think your current or last employer will refuse to hand over that info? I think not. They may already have some automated system which gets certain info from your tax returns. If they don’t see any income, it’s an easy flag.

If they don’t get any info, they may summon you. Then you’ll have to prove to him that you are indeed still useful to their country. Good luck with that!

Why the paranoia? Personally, I don’t live in a “what if” world - with my job, if I did live in that world, I would never leave the house. I live in a world that functions based on the rules that currently exist. They will change at some point, sure and when they do, I will then figure it out. I have lived in Taiwan previously for 8 years, and changes happen very slowly, so you can generally see them coming.

And why the government would be so interested in me personally? If so, I have money and can go elsewhere, or I could get work that pays more. The immigration officials here are generally pretty understanding as long as you have followed the rules.

Have you been screwed over before by immigration or something? Just curious.


paranoia? I wouldn’t call it that. I’d rather not say that it’s fine to do something unless it really is so, that’s all. Doesn’t matter either way if I have been screwed in the past because of that or no.

Immigration rules are complex. Just because you may have lived here for 8 years without a problem, doesn’t mean someone else definitely will. What if someone tomorrow gets screwed over by this rule due to an over zealous NIA interpretation of the law? Will you take accountability?

I have read the law in a fair amount of depth, in both Chinese and English. In relation to an “overzealous NIA interpretation of the law” which section are you referring to?

The law currently only has required qualifications for application for the Gold Card Visa, not for maintaining it - absolutely nowhere is that mentioned, and the law would likely have to be amended for that to be the case.

And really, what would I be taking accountability for? That a law will function based on how it is written? I understand your concern, but don’t get the depth of it, really - Taiwan generally follows the laws as they are written, in my experience, sometimes too much so. Going off-script doesn’t really come into play for Taiwanese beareaucrats.


Ok, lets see. The GC is issued to “Foreign Special Professionals” right?

" The Employment Gold Card is based on Article 8 of the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals. It is an open-end work permit issued to employment-seeking individuals whose qualifications are reviewed and designated by the central competent authorities as a Foreign Special Professional."

  1. It is an open ended “work” permit. It is not an open ended residence permit. The obvious question is - if it indeed was, why bother with it? Why not just issue an APRC right away?


"The term “foreign professionals of economic fields,” as stipulated in Article 4.1.2 of the Act Governing Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, refers to persons that meet any one of the following conditions:

  1. Previously or currently holding a position in a foreign state or in the ROC with a most recent monthly salary of at least NT$160,000."

Now if your salary is say 0 - technically you are not meeting the above condition. You may already a GC but now you’re not eligible. Ofcourse this will primarily apply to people who obtained the GC in the “economy” category in the 1st place. Maybe the interpretation of continued eligibility will be way relaxed for scientists or artists.

Yes I agree with you that the law as it stands doesn’t specifically talk about status. But that’s why I mentioned over-zealous. You may argue your case in court against the NIA if it came to that, but it may take a long time and you may still lose. A court may decide that even though it’s not specifically mentioned in the law, it’s the spirit of the law. Again refer to point 1 - if not, why bother with GC? why not APRC directly if you want to allow special professionals to come here and live without working per se?

There are plenty of examples of courts interpreting the law when something is not specifically mentioned, but is within the general spirit and ambit of the intent behind the law.

Yes, things may happen that we cannot forsee, including an overzealous immigration agent, or getting hit by a truck, or stabbed in the back by some guy who just got in an argument with his wife in Hsindian (which happened). These are all things over which we have no control or knowledge, and not something I generally worry about.

Are you just really concerned about losing your Gold Card? I get it. Sure, keep your salary above $160K or whatever it is, it may help. Or maybe an overzealous Immigration agent may just decide that you no longer qualify for other reasons, which he chooses not to disclose, and revoke your Visa. Why not? He has interpreted the Economic section to have other requirements beyond the financial, and now you are SOL.

Ultimately, the NIA is unlikely to care about Professionals at the level we are talking about - they want them to stay, not leave. If we were talking about SE Asian blue collar workers, it would be different. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable to make you feel better. But as the law is written, and as it is currently being implemented, it does not matter that you uphold the application salary requirements. If that changes, we will all have to deal with it. But that has not happened just yet.