I just thought I’d give an update on my application here for the benefit of the thread/community.
I applied for the gold card on December 31 in the Technology field under the category of “Holders of a Ph.D. degree who possess special expertise that is lacking in Taiwan”. I have a Ph.D. in chemistry from a UK university and four years of postdoctoral research experience (two in Germany, two in China). I also have some science teaching experience and around 10 years of experience working as a scientific editor/writer (mostly freelance for several long-term clients, alongside the Ph.D./postdoctoral work, and a bit difficult to verify).
It was mostly on the latter basis that I applied for the gold card, which I explained in a detailed cover letter with the stated purpose of helping Taiwanese academic and industrial researchers publish their work to an international audience (hence my applying under the “special expertise” category rather than any of the more specific research-oriented ones in the Technology field). In addition to the cover letter, I provided copies of my Ph.D. certificate, reference/recommendation letters relating to my two postdoctoral positions, the first pages of several publications and a Chinese patent I co-authored, and my Chinese postdoctoral certificate.
Nothing happened until the middle of this week, when the status of my application was still showing up as “Professional Review by Workforce Development Agency” as it had been since the first few days of January (I’d figured they might need a bit more time due to Lunar New Year, but I wasn’t expecting it to take this long!). I finally e-mailed the contacts at the MOST, who informed me that they hadn’t even received my application yet and it was still with the MOL. They directed me to contact the Ministry of Interior about this, which I did, and the helpful guy there seemed to finally get something moving. So…yesterday afternoon, after 5 weeks, I received an automated e-mail from the online platform saying they needed more information/documentation for the initial assessment.
The application result contained several points. The first point was probably an error and suggested that some of the documents I submitted had been overlooked - the examiner had only acknowledged my second postdoctoral appointment in China but not the one in Germany, and came to the incorrect conclusion that I have only two years of experience (i.e., less than the three required) rather than four. The second point was that the Chinese postdoctoral certificate, Chinese patent, and recommendation letter from my ex-supervisor in China (who happens to be Austrian) were issued in the mainland area and therefore won’t be recognized unless I can get them verified by the Straits Exchange Foundation. (That’s possibly something I overlooked, although I don’t remember seeing any information about it during the application process.)
So the current situation is that I’m going to try to head over to the Straits Exchange Foundation office today or Monday (no e-mail address I could find on their website, of course) to ask about getting the certificate and patent verified. It’s a long shot, but does anyone have any experience dealing with them and about the verification process? I’m assuming I’ll have to pay some crazy amount for this verification, and I’m also not sure how it’ll work at the moment with the coronavirus situation in China (my ex-supervisor told me last night that he’s stuck in another province and not expecting to even think about returning to the university for another 2-3 weeks, so I can’t imagine this is going to be a priority for the Chinese counterpart of the SEF or my former university at the moment).
I’m also attempting to get some further documentation from a previous long-term client (a major scientific publishing company) to confirm my 4.5 years of experience working as an editor for them, in the hope that I might be able to use this in lieu of the Chinese documents.
This is mostly just intended as an update for other applicants, but any suggestions about how to proceed would be much appreciated. I’d also suggest that anyone else who’s applied recently and hasn’t heard anything back consider chasing things up sooner than I did, since I’m not sure when the process would have started moving if I didn’t send those few e-mails.
I’m also currently in Taiwan with a 90-day visa exemption that expires in around 1.5 weeks and I was originally hoping to complete the application process before then, which seems incredibly unlikely now. So it looks like I’ll need to fly out and come back later, and it’s hardly the best time to be flying…