*This post has been adapted from its original form with permission from My Room Abroad, which is a great platform for finding housing in Taiwan. If you don’t know them, you should check out their site.
Some time ago, our one year entrepreneur visas for Taiwan were about to expire, so I started my research on how to renew them. Extending or renewing your entrepreneur visa is quite easy if you have the numbers and know what to do. I did not, and found very little helpful information online (either in English or in Chinese). This article will explain which documents you need to prepare and submit to immigration.
Please note that this post will only cover the renewal of a Taiwanese entrepreneur visa, not the initial application.
First and foremost, the official documentation offers four different categories for extending the entrepreneur visa:
- The previous year’s revenue is at least NT$3 million
- The operating expenses for the most recent year are at least NT$1 million
- The company employs at least three Taiwanese nationals
- (Or, most cryptically, from the official documentation:) “The enterprise of the applicant (group) can demonstrate some other category of operational performance that leads the competent authority to determine that the enterprise is making a positive contribution to Taiwan’s economic development.”
Qualifying for any one of these categories grants eligibility to extend your visa.
As with the initial visa application, I assumed we could submit expected revenue and expenses for the whole year. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! You need to show official documents to prove this.
Here are the supporting documents you’ll need to supply in order to comply with one of the four renewal categories indicated above:
1 + 2. For revenue and expenses, the only thing that matters for to MOEAC are the 401 documents. These are the bimonthly tax filing sheets that you can request from the tax bureau or ask your CPA to send them to you.
3. You will need to show documents from NHI as proof that you are paying your Taiwanese employees’ health insurance.
4. It’s not clear what is needed here, the people I contacted told me this has never happened before. They told me this was very unlikely to get and would require a very strong case. Essentially they are asking you to prove that you have accomplished something remarkable or are in the middle of doing so, but/and your submission will be judged by some person or people you don’t know nor do you know by which criteria they might evaluate it.
You will also need other documents to start the renewal application procedure:
- A temporary P&L statement
- Any invoices you have for the upcoming tax period
- Your team’s salary slips for the last year
- Your lease contract
- A document from your team members stating they want you to apply for them (or go all together)
- Each team member’s ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) – For each employee who needs their entrepreneur visa renewed, you need to show all ARCs and provide a printed photocopy of each ARC
- Each team member’s passport – Bring each passport as well as a photocopy of each passport photo page for each employee who needs their entrepreneur visa renewed
- Standard renewal application form (available at the immigration office) [Sheet 1]
- Group application form for entrepreneur visa – download it from the MOEAC website here
You will need to submit all these documents to your local immigration office 40 days prior to the expiration date of your ARC.
You should submit your application for renewal at least 40 days prior to the expiration date of your ARC. I recommend submitting it a little earlier just in case you are missing documents and need to return to immigration.
Remember that your application must prove that your Taiwanese company has satisfied one of the Renewal Categories mentioned above. Here’s a practical example:
Say your company doesn’t employ three Taiwanese nationals, so you can only go with Categories 1 or 2, which are about expenses and revenue, respectively. If you obtain your initial Entrepreneur Visa on January 1st, this means your visa will expire on December 31st. So you would need to apply in mid-November at the latest for your extension. Let’s say that you start launching the company two months after you got your ARC, call it March 1st. Launching a company takes on average two months (one month if you are very lucky and have a great CPA). That means your company is ready for business as of May 1st. In this scenario, since you need to show past expenses for the company, you will only have 6-and-a-half months to achieve either NT$3 million in revenue or NT$1 million in expenses.
If you plan on renewing your Entrepreneur Visa after one year, I recommend launching the company as soon as you can to have the most time possible to get the numbers up.
If the MOEAC needs you to provide more documents or more information, they will get in touch. You can also proactively get in touch with the MOEAC. Mr. LEE (李偉智) has been extremely helpful with the preparation of my documents and is also the person who is reviewing them. I would recommend contacting him via phone rather than email. He doesn’t speak English so you will need to communicate in Mandarin.
About the Author
This article was originally written by Vincent Mechele of My Room Abroad. If you are looking for housing for you or your team in Taipei, please check out myroomabroad.com, which has listings for 1000+ rooms and studios that will accept foreigners and monthly contracts.