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Michael Fahey of Forward Taiwan Talks About the Gold Card Program Ep 182

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

Taiwan’s Employment Gold Card is a four-in-one card: visa, work permit, resident permit, and re-entry permit, that is valid for three years.

Taiwan’s Employment Gold Card program has come up in several past episodes of Talking Taiwan. I’ve been wanting to bring someone on to talk about what it is, who might be eligible for it and how to apply for it. In this episode I spoke with Michael Fahey, an American lawyer who’s lived in Taiwan for 30 years. He worked with the Taiwan National Development Council on Taiwan’s Gold Card program. Michael is co-founder of Forward Taiwan, an organization founded to improve Taiwan’s immigration laws as they pertain to foreign professionals.



Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • How people may consider Taiwan small but with its population of 23 million people it could be compared to one of the U.S.’s largest states or a mid-sized European country
  • What is the Taiwan Gold Card
  • How the Taiwan Employment Gold Card is a four-in-one card: visa, work permit, resident permit, and re-entry permit, that is valid for three years
  • After three years Gold Card holders who have been in Taiwan for an average of 183 days can apply for permanent residency in Taiwan
  • How there was an increase in Gold Cards issued during the pandemic
  • The government of Taiwan’s goal of getting to 10,000 Gold Cards issued by the end of the year and a long-term goal of having 100,000 foreign professionals in Taiwan by 2030
  • How to apply for a Gold Card
  • The eight fields that people can apply to in order to obtain a Gold Card
  • The special category of consultation for those who don’t fit in to any of the eight fields
  • What documentation needs to be provided in order to apply for a Gold Card
  • The importance of providing objective evidence of your professional accomplishments (e.g. an award, a measurable accomplishment)
  • 60% of Gold Card holders have qualified by meeting the salary qualification in the economy field
  • The type of work that Gold Card holders can seek while in Taiwan
  • Singapore’s Employment Pass program and the backlash it’s gotten from Singaporean citizens
  • Recent changes to the Gold Card program including the requirement for applying for permanent residence was lowered from five years to three years and different tax incentives
  • Changes to ordinary work permit requirements which previously required both a college degree and two years of related experience
  • The American Chamber of Commerce Taiwan Business Topics publication
  • Useful resources for people applying for a Gold Card including: the Taiwan National Development Council’s website Foreign Talent, the Taiwan Employment Gold Card Office Help Desk, Taiwan EZ Permit
  • The challenges faced by some Gold Card holders in finding employment in Taiwan
  • It’s not necessary to speak Chinese to live and work in Taiwan
  • If there is something missing or incomplete with a Gold Card application, you will have 30 days to rectify it
  • Currently Gold Card applications are taking 4-6 weeks to get approved
  • What happens if someone’s application for the Gold Card is not accepted
  • The most competitive sub field under arts and culture is popular music/TV/movies
  • Special considerations for people wanting to live and work in Taiwan
  • Considering places to live in Taiwan other than Taipei
  • Michael’s work with Forward Taiwan
  • How Forward Taiwan is working on access to dual nationality for people naturalizing as Taiwanese citizens
  • How Michael is transitioning to working on migrant workers issues
  • The most meaningful accomplishments of Forward Taiwan: an increased number of countries that Taiwan has working holiday agreements with, making it easier for graduates of Taiwanese universities to stay and live and work in Taiwan
  • How the National Development Council came up with Taiwan’s Gold Card program and modeled it after Singapore’s Employment Pass program
  • Taiwan’s independent artist work permit


Related Links:


Michael Fahey on Twitter:


Forward Taiwan:


Michael Turton’s interview of Michael Fahey for Taiwan Context

Taiwan Context – Forward Taiwan: Changing the Expat Legal Framework:


Bill Stanton (former AIT Director):,and%20the%20people%20of%20Taiwan


The Taiwan Employment Gold Card:


Michael Faney’s article “Amendments to the Foreign Professionals Act Explained” (from the December 2021 issue of The American Chamber of Commerce Taiwan Business Topics publication):


The American Chamber of Commerce Taiwan Business Topics publication:


Taiwan National Development Council’s website Foreign Talent:


Taiwan Employment Gold Card Office Help Desk:

Taiwan EZ Permit:


Taiwan’s High Speed Rail:


Biking in Taiwan with Blogger Michael Turton (Episode 138):


Talking Taiwan Episodes mentioning the Taiwan Employment Gold Card:


Dr. Bo-Chheng Lin: Taiwan’s Semiconductor Industry and the Current Chip Shortage (Episode 160):


Paolo Lising Startup Taiwan Author: Shares His Knowledge on Starting a Business in Taiwan (Episode 180):

About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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