Taiwan Entrepreneur Visa and Work Permits
Visa-Exempt Entry and Landing Visa
Perhaps you first want to come for a short period of time to learn about the business opportunities in Taiwan. Nationals of 40+ countries are eligible for Visa-Exempt Entry and can stay between 30 and 90 days depending which country you are coming from.
To learn more details, see www.boca.gov.tw
No Residency Needed
In Taiwan, a foreign national can own 100% of a corporation and one very important point is that you do not need to be a Taiwan resident to do so. You can own and control your company from your own country if that would be the most practical.
On the other hand, starting a business does not guarantee you a residency or work permit.
Residency for Entrepreneurs
In order for your company to give you a work permit so you can apply for a residency it needs to fulfill a few criteria:
In the first year it needs to have at least NTD500,000 in paid in capital.
In your second year in order to keep your residency, your company needs to reach at least NTD3,000,000 turnover
Some companies might need more time to reach large revenues and the founder would lose their residency. To fix this, the government is now announcing the Entrepreneur Visa Táiwān chuàngyè jiā qiānzhèng 台灣創業家簽證. Under this program, qualified companies can get Visas for up to 3 people.
Initially they can get one (1) year of Taiwan residence. The resident permit can then be extended another 2 years for entrepreneurs who can provide evidence they are really running a bona fide business.
This means your company now has 3 years time to become big enough to give you an ARCs under the standard rules.
There are a few ways to qualify for this entrepreneur visa.
- Get domestic or foreign venture capital investment of NT$ 2 million (USD63,000) or get funding from a government recognized crowdfunding platform.
So which companies qualify as a VC firm? For domestic VC firms the definition is based on having the right “VC” business license item. For a foreign company the definition is not quite that clear and you might have to submit a brief explaining the company’s investment experience.
The government will issue a list of crowdfunding companies they pre-approve like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo but as far as we were told, other platforms might be accepted as well, just submit an explanation of the platform with a link to your campaign.
- Participated in a national entrepreneurial park such as the Taiwan Startup Stadium
- Holders of patents outside of Taiwan
- Those who have won international startup or design competitions such as IDG Demo Show, Red Dot, iF design.
- An entrepreneur who has invested at least NT$1 million in an innovative startup and is the representative of that company.
Residency for Professionals
Taiwan is full of fantastic people who can help propel your company forwards but you might need to also bring in some managers and professionals from other countries.
In order to offer work permits to professionals, your company need to fulfil a few criteria:
The first year, the requirement is that your company has at least NTD5,000,000 in paid in capital
Starting from your second year, your company needs to keep earning revenues of at least NTD10,000,000 on average over the last three years.