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Migration Pathways

Should I switch from an APRC to a Gold Card?

According to NIA officials, no. They stress that this card is nonrenewable and you must go through the application process again toward the end of the gold card. One way of looking at that is that the Foreign Special Professional program could change to the point where one no longer qualifies. APRC is therefore “safer” in the long term.

Consider also if the program doesn’t change. For instance, if you fall ill during the term and can’t demonstrate your gold card ‘worthiness’ due to this, you’ll lose your visa when it runs out. Not so with APRC.

It is also worth noting here that you don’t get the tax benefits if you’re an existing resident.

Does holding a Gold Card make it easier to apply for Taiwanese Citizenship?

There is no formal legislative relationship between the Gold Card and an improved chance at Naturalisation. Under Taiwan law, there are three types of Foreign Professionals:

  • Foreign Professional
  • Foreign Special Professional - Gold Card holders are classified as these
  • Foreign Senior Professional - Plum Blossom Card holders are classified as this category. The law allows for those classified under this category to have an easier route to citizenship.

However, it can’t hurt your chances!

Will switching from an employment ARC to a Gold Card affect my ability to get an APRC?

The NIA has previously provided on-record assurances that there’s no issue here. You must ensure consecutive residence of five years to be eligible - no time gap between your employment ARC and your Gold Card.

It’s a separate visa to the gold card, that was introduced around the same time. You can get it if:

  • You have a job where over the last 6 months, your average salary was over NT$47,971
  • Or, you don’t have a job, but you graduated from one of the top 500 universities in the world
  • Or, you successfully apply to a government department to be deemed eligible in some other way

and you have proof of:

  • NT$100,000 in your bank account
  • Health insurance to cover your trip
  • Good conduct (eg a police report)

There’s a brief news article here.

How do I gain permanent residence in Taiwan?

Permanent Residence, or an “APRC” card, is available to those who legally spend five continuous years in Taiwan, for at least 183 days a year. This time does not include periods of time you were studying and a few other exclusions, but any time you were here on a gold card does count. There are a few other requirements and documents to prepare, and application is done at the National Immigration Agency.

Currently, the longest period a Gold Card can be valid is 3 years, so you will likely need to apply for a second Gold Card before you can be eligible for permanent residence. However, there is a current legislative push to reduce the residence requirement to three years for Gold Card holders.