Cabinet Approves Draft Bill to Attract More Foreign Professionals

▲Hailey Jane Richards (莫彩曦) from the US received the Employment Gold Card for foreign special professionals.

The Cabinet approved a draft amendment to a foreign talent act, in the hope that more friendly regulations governing foreign professionals in the country will attract more such talent.

The draft amendment to the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, which was enacted in 2018, could "enable foreign professionals to come to Taiwan and stay here for good," said Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) in a weekly press briefing.

The National Development Council (NDC) explained that the draft amendment would also allow "foreign special professionals" to enjoy greater tax concessions.

"Foreign special professional" refers to a foreign professional who possesses special expertise needed by Taiwan in science and technology, economics, education, culture, the arts, sport or other fields, as arbitrated by the relevant authorities.

Under the terms of the amendment, those professionals could enjoy extended tax deduction treatment from the current three years to five years, said Lin Chih-mei (林至美), director of the NDC's Department of Human Resources Development.

What that means is that during the five-year period, should their annual income hit NT$3 million (US$105,000), only half of the amount over that threshold would be included as gross income in the assessment of individual income tax liability, she said.

Both the professionals and their family members would be able to enroll immediately in Taiwan's national health insurance system instead of having to wait for six months as other foreign nationals have to do, Lin said.

In addition, if they wanted to apply for permanent residence in Taiwan, they would be able to do so after three years staying in the country instead of the current five years, provided they live in the country for at least 183 days each year.

The amendment still requires approval from the Legislature, Lo added.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)

Press Release from Focus Taiwan