An integration booklet that guides you through daily life in Taiwan is also the work of the Gold Card Office. “For newcomers to Taiwan, simple tasks like knowing where to take the trash can be confusing. We have compiled FAQs and completed this integration booklet. You can find all kinds of information here, even online shopping websites to visit, ”said Jonathan Liao, project manager of the Taiwan Employment Gold Card Office.

Launched in 2018, the Taiwan Employment Gold Card is a 4-in-1 card that includes a resident visa, work permit, Foreign Resident Certificate (ARC), and return permit. Since 2021, qualified professionals from more than 62 countries have applied for the Gold Card.

Taiwan is becoming increasingly popular with expats, ranking first out of 59 destinations for the third year in a row, in a survey by Expat Insider.

However, foreigners in Taiwan face a myriad of small difficulties, including ordering food with basic Mandarin skills, renting an apartment, and finding a good job. Jonathan Liao, project manager of the Taiwan Employment Gold Card Office, lent a hand to foreigners.

Liao has considerable cross-cultural experience, which makes him the ideal candidate for a position in the Gold Card office. Before his tenure there, Liao founded FutureWard, a coworking space dedicated to foreign start-ups.

“During this time, I helped the co-founders of foreign start-ups in Taiwan with their visas and I also played a role in helping them navigate their new life in Taiwan. It was then that I understood the importance of providing an integrated information platform, ”said Liao.

The Employment Gold Card Office, founded by the National Development Council (NDC), serves as a single point of contact for questions about the program and its application process. The NDC reached out to Liao, appointing him as a project manager to promote the Gold Card program, which aims to attract top foreign talent.

All aboard

The Gold Card office serves as a one-stop-shop for foreigners who wish to apply for the Gold Card visa. Applicants can get in touch with the office, which serves as a bridge between the Taiwanese government and visa applicants.

The office facilitates the application process, as nuances of culture and communication may arise. There is also a “Gold Card Community” in which all cardholders can participate.

Private dinners are organized, as well as happy hour sessions where attendees can share their feelings about being a newcomer to Taiwan. On a more educational level, Gold Card holders can attend tax workshops and Chinese lessons to help them better prepare for their brand new life in Taiwan.

An integration booklet that guides you through daily life in Taiwan is also the work of the Gold Card Office. “For newcomers to Taiwan, simple tasks like knowing where to take the trash can be confusing. We have compiled FAQs and completed this integration booklet. You can find all kinds of information here, even online shopping websites to visit, ”Liao said.

Attracted by Taiwan

Since the launch of the Gold Card in 2018, the government has issued more than 3,000 cards, the majority of which are intended for qualified professionals in fields such as science and technology, arts and culture, law, l economy, finance, education, architecture and sports.

As a serial entrepreneur with his eyes riveted on the constant flow of software talent in Taiwan, US attorney Neil Peretz applied for a Gold employment card in 2020. Peretz and his family moved to Taiwan and organized enrolling her children in public schools across the country.

During the pandemic, Catherine Chou, assistant professor of modern British history at Grinnell College in the United States, came to Taiwan. Along with seven other Taiwanese Americans, including Gold Card holders, they raised US $ 50,000 to help five local welfare groups. Chou is now considering getting a Taiwanese ID card.

Smoother process

A recent survey showed that 97% of Gold Card holders liked living in Taiwan. Although they already have a remarkably high satisfaction rating, Jonathan Liao and the Gold Card Office are looking for ways to improve even further.

Some of the main complaints from cardholders include “opening bank accounts” and “language barriers”. Newcomers are often frustrated when payments cannot be made with their online payment accounts, such as Stripe.

To resolve this issue, Liao said he has set up a task force to address the issues. By keeping in touch with Gold Card holders through the Gold Card office, suggestions are made for further improvements.

“Our next step is focused on solving issues such as troubleshooting opening bank accounts, sorting out business registration requirements, and creating more available spaces for the registration of cardholder children. in bilingual schools, ”Liao said.

More soon

In 2021, more than 1,300 gold cards were issued, continuing the upward trend from 2020. In 2019, only 358 cards were issued. The large increase is in part the result of the pandemic, in which people fled to Taiwan because it was relatively safe to live and work.

“In 2021, although the number of applications fell in May and June due to the COVID epidemic in Taiwan, momentum picked up in August,” Liao said. In a nutshell, the upward trend proves that Taiwan is a place with great advantages.

About Meet Global – Launched by Business Next Media in 2011, Meet is a must-have platform for the startup community, news, events, talent, partners, funding, and more. Meet is a pioneer who fosters the startup ecosystem and social network in Taiwan, providing various online and offline services. Meet Taipei Startup Festival, powered by Meet, is intended for the largest tech startup conference and exhibition in Asia. For more startup stories, visit meet-global.bnext.com.tw/