Taiwan to introduce special visa for entrepreneurs
Posted on March 12, 2015
Taiwan plans to issue a special resident visa for foreign entrepreneurs involved in startups to better compete for international talent, according to Deputy National Development Minister Kao Shien-quey.
The new visa is expected to be introduced during 2015’s second quarter, as part of the government’s plan to transform Taiwan into an incubator of new businesses, Kao said during a press conference after the Cabinet’s weekly meeting on Thursday.
The National Development Council (NDC) proposal would require an amendment to the Regulations Governing Visiting, Residency, and Permanent Residency of Aliens.
The revision would allow businesspeople who have not already set up a business in Taiwan, raised at least NT$2 million (US$ 63,600) from venture capitalists, and have agreed to set up their venture in industrial parks for startups in Taiwan, to apply for a one-year resident visa.
The businesses who achieve substantial results during the one-year period can apply for a two-year extension and for permanent residency after five years, Kao said.
Startups that have established operations in Taiwan and made investments of NT$1 million (US$32,000) could also apply for the proposed visa for up to three individuals, the deputy minister said.
Kao said the planned amendment allows entrepreneurs to apply for residency in Taiwan without meeting the current requirement of investing at least NT$6 million (US$191,000).
Other countries have introduced or are planning to introduce similar visa programs, Kao said, including the Netherlands, Singapore, the United States, Canada and South Korea.
But unlike some of the other programs that require the actual investment to be in place before the visa is issued, Taiwan will issue the visa based simply on the amount of capital raised, hoping to entice more talent into the country.
Under the NDC plan, the Ministry of the Interior would be put in charge of reviewing applications and issuing the new visas, but details of the visa program will be further discussed during meetings to be presided over by Minister without Portfolio Tsai Yu-ling.
The new visa program is expected to cover Hong Kong and Macau residents, but Chinese nationals will be excluded, Kao said.
The Cabinet also approved on Thursday a plan to allow startups in certain innovative sectors to hire foreign professionals who do not have the two years of work experience or university diploma required under existing laws