Stay in Taiwan


Employment Pass Card  vs. Entrepreneur Visa
Entrepreneur Visa
Entrepreneur Visa  Employee
Employment Pass Card


  Employment Pass Card  vs. Entrepreneur Visa

It is fundamental for a business’s main operator to be able to stably reside in where the enterprise takes place. Thus, all foreign entrepreneurs who long to start up in Taiwan will need to choose a following procedure in order to access the most efficient route on getting a resident permit.

 Apply for an Employment Pass Card 


If one enters Taiwan for the sole purpose of employment, he or she will need to first establish a company and deliver an application to the Workforce Development Agency for a foreign manager work permit. One can only file for Resident Visa and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) once you obtained a work permit.

Recently, Taiwanese government has allowed foreign professionals such as company managers to apply for “Employment Pass Card”. This Employment Pass Card is an integration of work permit, Resident Visa, ARC and re-entry permit. Therefore, one only has to submit application documents to the local National Immigration Agency service center (The applicant should file with overseas ROC offices if not yet entered Taiwan) and will receive an Employment Pass Card once approved.

  Apply for an Entrepreneur Visa  

If one enters Taiwan for the sole purpose of start-up, he or she can submit an application to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an Entrepreneur Visa. In doing so, foreign entrepreneurs do not have to first establish an enterprise, and the criteria for designation as a business start-up with innovation capability are various. Investment capital will not be the only approval standard.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs shall then forward documents to Investment Commission, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEAIC) and will issue an Entrepreneur Visa based on MOEAIC’s verification. The entrepreneurs who hold Entrepreneur Visas can file for an ARC through the National Immigration Agency.

Employment or start-up?

Judging by all different procedures and qualifications, we believe foreign entrepreneurs will need to consider several issues while comparing the Employment Pass Card and the Entrepreneur Visa.

Capital of the enterprise

In order for a company established less than a year to hire a foreign manager, its paid-up capital or working capital in Taiwan must reach five hundred thousand (500,000) New Taiwan Dollars. And the capital contributed by foreigner(s) must exceed one-third (1/3) of the total capital of the enterprise.

Therefore, a start-up business must have enough funds if the entrepreneur chooses to apply for an Employment Pass Card.

If the entrepreneur wishes to apply for an Entrepreneur Visa, the start-up business needs to meet one of the following criteria. 

The applicant holds secured investment from a domestic or overseas venture capital enterprise, or obtains funding of at least $2 million NTD from a government-approved international fund-raising platform. 


Hence, entrepreneurs who don’t yet have enough funds can get a permit to stay in Taiwan easier by residing at an incubator facility or owning awarding patents either in Taiwan or overseas.

The number of entrepreneurs

If one has several partners to start-up a business together, we suggest he or she apply for the Entrepreneur Visa since qualifications for an employer to hire more than one foreign manager are much more difficult for a start-up business to meet.

To obtain the Entrepreneur Visa, one’s team members need to meet qualifications the same as an individual applicant in principle. But if one’s team has already established an enterprise in Taiwan, his or her partners need to be serving as legal representatives, executive officers or managers of said enterprise, and the members of the team shall have invested a combined total of at least $1 million NTD in that enterprise.

The timeline of start-up

Although the Employment Pass Card has already reviewed process for the issuance of ARC, the entrepreneur still needs to take the time to incorporate a company first. Therefore, for entrepreneurs who are in a rush to market development, applying for an Entrepreneur Visa is the more efficient choice.

In conclusion, we suggest entrepreneurs apply for a one-year resident through Entrepreneur Visas, and incorporate companies within that period of their residency. After establishing enterprises, the entrepreneurs can then apply for ARCs for the purpose of foreign manager employment in the second year.


Entrepreneur Visa

Stay in Taiwan - Entrepreneur Visa

If one decides to enter Taiwan for the sole purpose of start-up, has degree of at least senior high education and is able to meet the applicant qualification above, he or she can choose to apply for an Entrepreneur Visa.

Application procedures


Applying for an Entrepreneur Visa at an overseas ROC representative office.

The foreign entrepreneur needs to submit all application documents and fee for Entrepreneur Visa to an overseas ROC representative office. The overseas ROC office shall then forward your documents to Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, MOEA (SMEA). And the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will issue the Entrepreneur Visa based on SMEA’s approval.

If the entrepreneur is outside of Taiwan


If the entrepreneur is currently in Taiwan


If the foreign entrepreneur is eligible for visa-exempt entry or holding a visitor visa, he or she needs to submit application documents for an Entrepreneur Visa to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in the duration of their stay.


Apply for an Entrepreneur Visa at the MOFA office.

The validity of your Entrepreneur Visa

The first validity for an approved Entrepreneur Visa will not exceed one year. However, if the start-up business in Taiwan can meet at least one of the criteria listed below, the entrepreneur may apply for a two-year ARC extension to the National Immigration Agency.

Most importantly, if the entrepreneur wants to measure up to the extension requirements above, he or she must first incorporate a company. Therefore, within the first-time residence, one must seize their time to complete the company incorporation.

The sales revenue of the enterprise for the most recent year, or the average for the most recent three years, is at least 3 million NT Dollars.




Stay in Taiwan - Employment Pass Card

If one decides to establish an enterprise or a branch office of a foreign company in Taiwan, he or she will have to apply for the Work Permit, Resident Visa, Alien Resident Certificate and Multi-Entry Permit as a manager of a company invested by foreigners (code 01), or a manager of a foreign branch company (code 02).

To reduce the entire process, the Taiwanese government has combined all certificates in an “Employment Pass Card” since 2009. After preparing all necessary documents, you can then drop them to a single window and shorten the time of issuing a resident certificate. 

Manager of a company invested in by foreigners (code 1)

To start a new business, or establish a subsidiary in Taiwan, a foreign entrepreneur needs to first incorporate a company, then apply for an Employment Pass Card as a manager of a company invested in by foreigners.

The verification usually takes about three weeks and the Employment Pass Card will be issued by the National Immigration Agency.


Establish a company

To establish a company, a foreign entrepreneur must first apply for reservation of company name and business scope at the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Then, file for foreign investment approval at the Investment Commission, MOEA (MOEAIC). After the MOEAIC verifies and approves the capital, an entrepreneur can then register his or her company at the local city government.

more than five hundred thousand (500,000) NT Dollars as its paid-up capital or working capital in Taiwan.

and above 1/3 of the total number of shares or the total capital of business are held by foreign investor(s).

Manager of a branch office of foreign company (Code 02)

If a foreign company would like to expand its business in Taiwan, it can establish a branch office and hire a foreign manager.

To establish a branch office in Taiwan, the foreign company needs to first authenticate its company documents, such as article of incorporation and incorporation certification, at overseas ROC representative offices. Then file for reservation of name and business scope of said Taiwan branch with the MOEA. After that, the applicant(s) may then apply for foreign company recognition and branch office registration.


The validity of the Employment Pass Card

The validity of the Employment Pass Card date from the issuing day of the work permit. Foreign entrepreneurs may use the card for work and residency in Taiwan, and make multiple-entry in conjunction with their passports. The applicant(s) may apply for an extension to the National Immigration Agency. Upon the referrals and approvals by the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training, the National Immigration Agency shall re-issue a new Employment Pass Card.