Taiwan in recent years has been facing rising competition for foreign talent along with a brain drain of domestic professionals. To fill the talent and technology gap for industries, the government enacted the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals in February 2018, along with amendments to the act in October 2021, to further ease work and residency regulations and improve tax and social security benefits for overseas professionals who wish to work in Taiwan. Furthermore, the government set up a policy consultation platform in July 2021 to strengthen Taiwan's ability to recruit and retain the international talent required for the nation's "five plus two" innovative industries and the Six Core Strategic Industries. In January 2023, the Executive Yuan also approved draft amendments to the Immigration Act that would increase incentives for high-quality talent to come and stay in Taiwan, thus creating a friendlier and more effective environment for talent recruitment and retention.
■ Relaxing work and visa requirements: The government is issuing Employment Gold Cards (a four-in-one work permit, resident visa, alien resident certificate and reentry permit) and employment-seeking visas; graduates from the world's top universities are exempt from the work requirement of two years' previous work experience; foreign professionals are exempt from applying for work permits once they have gained permanent residency; and the maximum duration of a work permit for a foreign special professional has been increased to five years.
■ Relaxing residency requirements: Foreign professionals, foreign special professionals, and foreign or overseas compatriot students may apply directly for a residency permit if they enter Taiwan visa-free or on a visitor visa, thus simplifying application procedures for working or studying in Taiwan. For foreign professionals applying for permanent residency, their required presence in Taiwan has been changed from a minimum of 183 days per year to an average of 183 days per year. For foreign special professionals applying for permanent residency, their required period of presence has been shortened from five years to three years. For foreigners who have obtained permanent residency, their required presence in Taiwan has been changed from a minimum of 183 days per year to an average of 183 days per year over the last five years.
■ Improving tax incentives and social protections: Foreign special professionals coming to Taiwan for the first time will receive special tax exemptions for their first five years of employment, up from three years previously, and can qualify for expanded coverage under the national pension and national health insurance systems.
■ Relaxing entry and residence restrictions for nationals without household registration: The required period of presence in Taiwan for nationals without household registration applying for permanent residency has been shortened to five years. The required presence for permanent residents applying for household registration has been shortened from one continuous year to 335 days within one year.
■ Coordinating intragovernmental measures to recruit and retain talent: Policy strategies for international talent will focus on employment in the "five plus two" innovative industries, Six Core Strategic Industries and key service industries; strengthen recruitment and retention of personnel such as those demanded by large-scale investment companies, or graduates from the 500 top-ranked universities worldwide; and resolve various issues that professionals face when moving to Taiwan, thus building a better life for foreigners on the island.