Taiwan: Draft amendment passed to simplify foreign residency applications

The Executive Yuan passed a draft amendment Thursday that simplifies the process for foreigners seeking residency in Taiwan in an attempt to attract foreign talent into the country. A new article was added that stipulates that if a foreigner enters Taiwan on a “four-in-one” employment pass, which incorporates a visa, work permit, Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and re-entry permit, he or she will not be required to apply for an ARC again with the National Immigration Agency (NIA) upon arrival in Taiwan.

The ARC is the identification card issued to foreign residents in Taiwan. Under current regulations, a foreign professional who wishes to work in Taiwan has to apply for a work permit from the Council of Labor Affairs and a resident visa from a Taiwan embassy or representative office overseas before applying for an ARC from the NIA within 15 days of arrival in the country.

As Taiwan is expected to enter a zero population growth era from 2022, an important issue for the government to consider when formulating its immigration policy in the future is how it can attract foreign talent to make up for a shortage of homegrown talent resulting from a decline in the country’s fertility rate, said Premier Wu Den-yih.

Wu said the most important job for the government at present is to allow more non-resident foreigners to enter the country, relax restrictions on the residence rights of overseas-born children of Taiwanese nationals, simplify the process for foreigners applying for residency, and strengthen the management of international marriage brokers.

According to the draft amendment, overseas-born children of Taiwanese nationals can now apply for residence or settlement in Taiwan at any age. Previous regulations stipulated that only those over the age of 20 are eligible to file for application.