Tuesday night (4/9) we were at an event that many attendees remarked was the best/most organized assemblage of visa information for foreigners they’d ever encountered – Visa Options for Foreigners, Workshop #1 in FutureWard’s current “How to Set Up a Business in Taiwan” series. Hosted by Jung Chang of Projoy Immigration, the presentation covered the plethora of visas available to professionals and entrepreneurs here in Taiwan with great clarity.
When, just a a few minutes into the presentation, Jung asked if anyone had any questions, she was met with an eager flutter of raised hands. This was the first of numerous bouts of eager questioning, which revealed not only the sheer number of kinds of visa issues that various foreigners encounter here in Taiwan, but also showed that the crowd was a diverse bunch with interests and backgrounds that spanned teaching, professional work, entrepreneurship, freelancing, and even more unique situations. Here is a quick sampling of the questions fielded by the savvy presenter throughout the evening:
- Can you apply for the entrepreneur visa more than once? [No]
- How can a foreign-owned company manage to hire other foreigners in their small company? [Short answer: it’s tricky.]
- Can different kinds of ARCs – professional work vs. entrepreneur visa – contribute to earned time towards an APRC if you change between them? [In most cases, yes.]
- The Gold Card claims to be a 4-in-1 offering (work permit, ARC, residence visa, re-entry permit) – what’s the difference between an ARC and a residence visa? [The residence visa is the document that allows you to live here, the ARC is an ID card stating that you legally reside here.]
Discussion of the entrepreneur visa options was especially lively. In addition to there being at least nine ways (see above) for an individual to qualify for an entrpreneurial visa, there are also group application options, and it was mentioned that registering as an incubator is an option in some cases and may be advantageous because incubators are funded in part by local and/or national government. According to Jung, the application documents for an entrepreneur visa are very straightforward and relatively easy to complete. As for the term of the visa, one year is granted for the entrepreneur visa.
When the presentation turned to professional visas, there was much curiosity about the Gold Card. While some in the audience contended that one could simply qualify for the Gold Card by having earned a certain salary at their previous jobs (in Taiwan or elsewhere), Jung emphasized that career achievements, special talents, and a host of other aspects of one’s career could help in securing a Gold Card visa.
A final topic that was touched on throughout the evening was the impermanence of permanent residency in Taiwan. Many attendees expressed frustration at the fact that the permanent residency that they worked diligently to secure was actually quite unsteady when it came to questions about possibly having to return home for an extended period of time for family matters, for example. The room and presenter were at odds to offer information on any progress that may be made or is coming to do with securing premanent residency status or the citizenship issue.
In all, this was a great and highliy informative event. The speaker was knowledgeable, the audience was engaged, and an array of questions were answered. If you’re considering filing your own company in Taiwan, don’t miss the next two evens in this series.
Facebook Event Pages for Workshops 2 and 3:
Starting Your Business in Taiwan – https://www.facebook.com/events/330977587554189/
Taxation in Taiwan – https://www.facebook.com/events/249281119350711/
This event coverage is brought to you courtesy of an agreement between All Hands Taiwan and FutureWard.