The Employment Gold Card Super-Thread

Good on you for persevering. Isn’t that one of the key points in making it in Taiwan?

Let us know what happens!


@tando Did you find an answer for the freelancer / contractor work? I’d like to go there and as a fallback, be a freelancer.

Regarding this 6 month “job hunting” :

  • As I understand it, there is a 6 months hunting period where you can find a job there.
    But let’s say you don’t find anything that satisfy you? Is working as a freelancer works? I will easily make more than 160k/mo if I stay as a contractor?
  • I’m wondering if that 6 months hunting period are for people that didn’t get the gold card, but came just here under a special visa (not gold card permit)?

Thanks for anyone giving me any info for this!

Are you perhaps referring to the job-seeking visa?

If so, it’s a separate visa to the gold card, that was introduced around the same time.

You can get it if:

  • You have a job where over the last 6 months, your average salary was over NT$47,971
  • Or, you don’t have a job, but you graduated from one of the top 500 universities in the world
  • Or, you successfully apply to a government department to be deemed eligible in some other way

and you have proof of:

  • NT$100,000 in your bank account
  • health insurance to cover your trip
  • good conduct (eg a police report)

There’s a brief news article here.


@fifieldt Ah ! so they are 2 different things! Thanks for confirming that.

So my question now is: Can you be self-employed with the gold card? My end goal is to stay in Taiwan, not tight to any Taiwanese company, and do projects for any company I pick (taiwanese or not) to work as a contractor.

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Replying to myself: I’ve called he ministry of Labor. Told me that once you get the golden card, you can do whatever job you want, freelancing included :tada:

As @zackg mentioned previously, it sounds like the work permit they give you is an “open work permit”. Kinda the same you obtain after receiving an APRC (article here and here).


I think perhaps the question here would be - if you do obtain the gold card and freelance for the duration of your visa, would you be able to qualify to reapply once it expires given that details are a little sketchy on this.

Also, if the ultimate aim is to get an APRC after 5 years here (foreign professional and therefore exempt the 183 days requirement), would one be able to qualify as a freelancer/ entrepreneur?

Latest news report on employment gold cards, 65 issued so far:

Also, incorrect information stating that the card “can be renewed after its duration of one to three years expires”. The back of my card explicitly states that the card cannot be extended and the holder must reapply after it expires.

Received (last week, but busy with a training) the request to take my passport into TECO in NY. I’ll pop down this week (it’s 3 hours from my house so I hope it’s just a look-at-and-copy-the-passport not a come-back-in-a-week-for-the-passport).

Fingers crossed. Should really be pro forma as either you graduated from the university or you didn’t. There shouldn’t be anything to evaluate really except veracity.


Good luck with this! And do keep us posted.


Congratulations! If my understanding of the process is correct, that means you got (very swiftly) through the hard part. In theory, by this stage MoL have already done the skills verification and all that’s left is the relatively mundane processing related to the underlying visa and residence permit.

I would recommend calling TECO before going to give them a heads up. It’s highly likely that you’re the first person ever to go through this process in a particular office and giving them a day or two head start to let them call back to Taiwan and work out what to do when you arrive could be useful.

By default this stage of the process is come-back-in-a-week-for-the-passport, but our friend @irish91 lived similarly far away from his TECO and they were able to do look-at-and-copy-the-passport after he made the hardship clear.


Here’s some clearer and more easily digestable information on the Employment Gold Card and work permits for freelance artists by Taiwan EZ Permit Centre on Crossroads.

Thanks for the useful info in this thread! I’m planning to apply.

The website says:

The spouse and minor children of the Employment Gold Card holders are eligible for residence in Taiwan.

but I can’t find any more info than that. Can anyone point me to something more detailed? For example:

Would my wife (also not Taiwanese) receive residency (is this an “ARC”?) as part of the application for my gold card, or is that a separate process done after (or before?) I receive the gold card?

What documents would she be required to present?

How much does it cost? How long does it take? Is it a tricky process?

Would she get a full 3 years residency to accompany my 3 years gold card?


Thanks for the informative thread, everyone. I just came to it and wished that I had discovered it earlier. I just picked up my new Gold Card two days ago. It was quite the laborious process; however to be fair I spent a great amount of time vetting the qualifications before I actually started the formal application process. I, too, noticed early on that the online application fee was non-refundable and did not want to forfeit a 9,000$NT+ just to serve as a guinea pig. Indeed, as it turns out I was mentioned in the Taipei Times article without knowing about it until I found the link on this thread and read the piece: I am the actor who applied through the Ministry of Culture who freaked out when, upon returning to the online application after several months of 30+ email exchanges with the MOC to confirm whether I would qualify or not, found a new addition added to the last page stating that I now had to provide proof of $NT 160,000 income - past and going forward (this turned out to be simply bad web design and poor English translation). Still, I had to take a leap of faith to actually complete and submit the application because the $160,000 monthly provision was STILL THERE and never removed. Anyway, once I did submit I have to admit that the process was very streamlined and the folks at BOCA and NIA were very helpful and transparent. I submitted the formal app on July 16 and in less than 24 hours had received conformation and further instructions. Soup-to-nuts, I picked up my new Gold Card on Tuesday (August 7) and the actual official beginning date is August 2, so the entire process was 17 days. Everything took place in Taipei City.

That being said, there are still on-going questions that remain about the status of the card and its practical applications. I will go into those in a future post.


First topic that is still confusing is how the Gold Card and NHI work together. I actually visited the NHI office today and was rejected. They told me that since I had no employer (my Gold Card category is a “freelancer”), I have a six month waiting period before I can apply. However, on the NIA link, it clearly states that “According to the NIA, the benefits to the cardholder of the Employment Gold Card are… participating in National Health Insurance as insured persons without being subject to the requirement of a full six months of residence in the state”.

Furthermore, the NHI people told me that I am only permitted one trip abroad during that six month waiting period or the ticking clock resets. This provision totally blindsided me, as I had not heard or read anything about it in any of my research.

My initial guess is the NHI people are working from out-dated directives that precede the Gold Card and that it is going to take some liaison with NIA people to make this work out.

The NHI people kept going back to the six-month waiting period provision because I did not have an employer of record yet in Taiwan. The deal is, though, that as a freelancer, I will never have “an employer of record” in the traditional sense of the word - and I could tell that the staff at NHI was not really grasping my attempts to explain the concept.

Additionally, as a freelance performer, I am not very happy about the single entry provision, especially when the Gold Card explicitly guarantees a multi-entry visa. It is not that unusual that an opportunity comes up to be hired onto a job that shoots a few weeks in Taiwan and then proceeds to another few weeks in Thailand, Japan, etc. Why should I be penalized if I need to travel for work - or for that matter, if I want to travel to Hong Kong one weekend a month to shop or to Tokyo to visit a friend?


TECO NY were very helpful and nice, but had absolutely no idea that a) this Gold Card existed, b) what they had to do to process one (and I had called earlier). Had I not been reading this thread and specifically the experience of @irish91 (which I pulled up and showed to them) I would have followed their “best guess” which was to get my passport copy legalized and take it…somewhere in Taiwan.

They are going to call Taipei for guidance and proceed from there, but indeed they did not hold my passport which is lucky as I’m 3 hours away from New York City. I just hope I can have the card mailed if it’s issued, or pick it up in Taiwan. That was an 11-hour marathon yesterday just to do that, including two hours of back-and-forth in the office. But again, I have to say that every single employee I dealt with was courteous and helpful, and went beyond what one would expect in a bureaucratic situation to try to solve the problem.

I didn’t find any description on NHI for (freelance) gold card holders except for the Immigration News on NIA site, by my quick search. It should be written in some law. Did you already give your feedback to NIA or NDC people?

Not yet - I was just at NHI this afternoon. I plan to contact NIA tomorrow and try to arrange a meeting.

By the way, who is NDC again???

National development council, which is the responsible agency for Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, and employment gold card.

Building on what Tando said: the NDC function a policy advising body that reports to the upper reaches of Taiwan’s national government. Under the Tsai administration, they seem to be providing directives that are actually being followed–if also unevenly by all the government agencies affected by these changes!