Updates

When will a foreign national be banned from (re)entering Taiwan?

Foreign nationals can be prohibited from entering Taiwan on a number of grounds. This post outlines those grounds and provides an updated translation of the regulations governing entry bans.

Statutory basis

Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency has the power to prohibit a foreign national from entering Taiwan. Immigration Act §18.

New translation (as of October 2014)

The rules for entry bans are set out in the ‘Operation Directions for Banning Entry of Aliens’ (禁止外國人入國作業規定). The Operation Directions have been amended twice in the last year but no updated translation has been available. A new translation is here in a bilingual format. It is provided by the Winkler Partners Translation Department as a public service to the international community in Taiwan and is part of an project to translate important but previously untranslated Taiwanese laws.

Multiple grounds for entry bans

The Operation Directions were most recently amended in 2014. They provide for 18 different circumstances that can lead to prohibitions on entry to Taiwan for periods generally ranging from one to ten years. Some bans can be permanent. Reasons for imposing an entry ban include:

  1. violations of immigration rules such a failing to submit a passport for inspection or using another person’s passport (Operation Directions §2) ,
  2. criminal record in Taiwan (§4),
  3. overstays (§3), and
  4. likelihood of conduct jeopardizing national security, public safety or terrorist activities (§5).

Suspended sentences and suspended indictments grounds for ban

According to the Operation Directions, entry bans based on a criminal record include not only suspended sentences, but also decisions by or to suspend indictment. These bans last for two years. §4(8).

An overstay of up to 90 days is exempt from an entry ban but the overstaying foreign national will not be able to enter Taiwan on a landing visa for one year. §8(1). The exemption will be revoked if the foreign national fails to pay the overstay fine.

Reductions and exemptions to bans

There are also provisions that mitigate the harshness of these bans.  For example, a ban may be reduced from five years to three years in substance abuse cases where the foreign national has successfully completed a diversionary treatment program. §3(8). The National Immigration Agency’s Immigration Case Review Committee may also extend or reduce bans by one to three years. §5. Permanent residents, spouses of Taiwanese citizens, stateless persons with residence, and victims of human trafficking are eligible for 50% reductions or humanitarian exemptions. §§8-12.

Appeals

Entry bans are administrative decisions. They can be appealed in a two-step process. First the banned foreign national must appeal to the National Immigration Agency. If the National Immigration Agency denies the appeal, the appeal can be raised to the Ministry of the Interior. These appeals are intended to give the agency making the decision and its superior agency the opportunity to correct any errors. In practice, appeals to administrative agencies are rarely successful. These appeals are usually resolved in a few months.

The second step is an appeal to the courts. If the Ministry of the Interior denies the banned foreign national’s appeals, the foreign national gains standing to take legal action in Taiwan’s Administrative Courts. Despite their name, the courts are part of the judicial branch of government. They are independent of executive branch agencies like the National Immigration Agency and the Ministry of the Interior and overturn administrative decisions with some regularity. Proceedings in these courts are likely to last at least one year. The ban normally remains in place during the proceedings.

Download and license

Download Operation Directions for Banning Entry of Aliens.

Creative Commons License
“Operation Directions for Banning Entry of Aliens” by Winkler Partners is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://www.immigration.gov.tw/.

Points test for foreign graduates of Taiwanese universities makes work permits easier

In early July, Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor amended its regulations governing work permits for foreign professionals to allow foreign graduates of Taiwanese universities to obtain work permits more easily. Previously, only an employer who was willing to pay the foreign graduate an average monthly salary of NT$37,619 could sponsor a foreign graduate for a work permit.

Under the new rules, the rigid minimum salary requirement has been replaced with a more flexible points system that awards points based on factors including compensation, language ability, and experience living abroad. If the foreign graduate scores 70 points, the employer can sponsor the student for a work permit for professional employment (‘specialized and technical work).

There is a quota of 2,000 work permits in the first year.

Although the new point system is not expected to increase the number of foreign professionals in Taiwan immediately, it is a very significant first step away from the minimum salary requirements that have discouraged Taiwanese employers from hiring foreign professionals.

The application period is 3 July 2014 to 2 July 2015. Application information in Chinese for employers is here.

As a public service, Winkler Partners has translated the eight-factor point system into English. It can be downloaded here.

Translations of Taiwan securities laws and regulations updated

Taiwan’s official portal for securities-related laws and regulations was recently updated with thirteen new or revised  English translations by Winkler Partners.

The Winkler Partners Translation Department has produced the English translations of securities laws and regulations for the portal since 2002. The portal is updated twice a month with new and revised content.

Currently, the site contains 1,489 securities laws and regulations, 665 of which have been translated into English. The site also contains 6,824 administrative letters of interpretation and 2,199 court judgments.

  1. GreTai Securities Market Rules Governing the Use of the Gofunding Zone
  2. Regulations Governing the Go Incubation Board for Startup and Acceleration Firms
  3. Regulations Governing Investment in Securities by Overseas Chinese and Foreign Nationals
  4. Procedures and Fees for Inquiry, Examination, and Issuance of Copies of Computer-
  5. Processed Personal Data in the Securities and Futures Industries
  6. Standards Governing the Security of Personal Data Files in the Securities and Futures Industries
  7. Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation Rules Governing Information Filing by
  8. Companies with TWSE Listed Securities and Offshore Fund Institutions with TWSE Listed Offshore Exchange-Traded Funds
  9. GreTai Securities Market Procedures for Press Conferences Concerning Material
  10. Information of Companies with GTSM Listed Securities
  11. GreTai Securities Market Rules Governing Information Reporting by Companies with GTSM Listed Securities
  12. Establishment of an Information and Communications Security Inspection System for Futures Commission Merchants
  13. Directions for Futures Trading by Overseas Chinese and Foreign Nationals

New rules on extensions of residence in Taiwan

The Ministry of the Interior announced amendments to the Regulations Governing Visiting, Residency, and Permanent Residency of Aliens (the “Regulations”) on 22 April. The amendments took effect immediately.

The amendments primarily benefit the adult children of foreign residents who grew up in Taiwan. They are now able to apply for two three-year extensions of residency if they meet certain minimum residency requirements as minors and apply during the 30 days before expiration of a current Alien Residence Certificate. Regulations §§ 8-9.  The ARC extensions do not confer work rights.

Foreign white collar professionals also now have up to six months of extended residency to seek new employment in Taiwan after a job ends. Regulations § 22.  The foreign professional must apply for extension of residence to seek new employment before his or her ARC expires or is cancelled.   During this period, the foreign professional cannot work until her new employer has obtained a work permit for her.

Graduates of Taiwanese universities may also apply for a six month extension of residency. Regulations § 22-1.

Below is a translation of the amendments to the Regulation provided as a public service to the international community in Taiwan.

Article 8

Aliens applying for an extension of residency pursuant to paragraph 1, Article 31 of the Act, shall submit the following document and a photograph to the National Immigration Agency within thirty(30) days before the expiration of residency:

1. An application form;
2. The passport and the Alien Resident Certificate;
3. Other supporting documents.

An alien who is permitted to reside in the Taiwan region, is at least 20 years of age, and whose father or mother holds an Alien Resident Certificate or a Permanent Alien Resident Certificate may apply to extend residency if any of the following circumstances apply:

  1. [The alien] has lawfully accumulated ten years of residence and has lived in Taiwan for more than 270 days in each of those years;
  2. [The alien] entered Taiwan before the age of 16 and has lived in Taiwan for more than 270 days each year; or
  3. [The alien] was born in Taiwan, has lawfully accumulated ten years of residence. and has lived in Taiwan for more than 183 days in each of those years.

The alien in the preceding paragraph shall submit the following document and a photograph to the National Immigration Agency within thirty(30) days before the expiration of residency:

1. Application form;
2. Passport and the Alien Resident Certificate;
3. Documents proving relationship [to parent]
4. Other supporting documents.

Article 9

The validity of Alien Resident Certificate issued to the following aliens shall not exceed one year:

1. Anyone undertaking study in a school, or a Chinese language institute affiliated with an university, registered with the education competent authorities;
2. Anyone undergoing study or training with the approval of the education or other competent authorities;
3. A foreign missionary or Buddhist preacher;
4. First-time applicant of residency based on the marriage to an citizen ROC national;
5. Any others for whom such residency is necessary.

Where the alien stated in subparagraph 1 of the preceding Article is a recipient of a university scholarship award under the special approval of the Ministry of Education, the validity of Alien Resident Certificate thereof shall be exempted from the one year restriction.

Where the alien in paragraph 2 of the preceding Article applies to extend that validity of an approved and issued Alien Residence Certificate, the effective period is extended for three years from the day following the expiration of the alien’s original period of residence. If necessary, the alien may apply for another extension once. The period [of the second extension] shall not exceed three years.

Article 22

An alien, the residency for whom is granted based on the investment in Taiwan, the employment in Taiwan pursuant to subparagraphs 1 to 7 of paragraph 1 of Article 46 or Subparagraph 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Employment Services Act, or the special approval by the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs, under special circumstances may submitted a written explanation to extend the length of stay from the National Immigration Agency prior to the expiration of the residency; spouses and underage children of the aliens who have been verified for residency can also apply through the same process. Upon approval, applicants can leave the State six months after the expiration of the residency.

Article 22-1

Before residency expires, an alien who has come to Taiwan to study may, if necessary, explain the alien’s reasons in writing and apply to the National Immigration Agency for an extension.

An alien who applies for an extension of residency under the preceding paragraph and is approved may have residence extended for six months from the day following the expiration of the previous period of residence.

Winkler Partners ranked in Chambers Asia Pacific Guide (2014)

Winkler Partners has been ranked in Chambers Asia Pacific Guide (2014) for its insurance, intellectual property, and employment practices.  The guide notes Winkler Partners’ focus on intellectual property work related to Taiwan’s technology industry in its overview of the Taiwan legal services market.

Partner Chen Hui-ling is recognized as a noted practitioner for her insurance work as is Peter Dernbach for IP.

Winkler Partners closed for Lunar New Year

Our office is closed from 30 January to 4 February for the Lunar New Year. Please direct any inquiries or urgent matters to info@winklerpartners.com. Happy Year of the Horse.

Peter Dernbach on Taiwan’s new exclusionary measures against patent infringing goods

The World Intellectual Property Review recently interviewed WP’s Peter Dernbach on Taiwan’s new border interdiction measures for goods infringing on Taiwanese patents. Patent owners will be able apply to detain infringing goods being imported into Taiwan but must provide a security bond and file an action for patent infringement within 12 days. The new measure are expected to come into effect in two months.

Taiwan bar exam results and number of practicing lawyers (2013)

Taiwan bar exam takers have a pass rate about 10% in 2013 with 892 candidates passing the two-stage examination. In 2011, 964 passed followed by another 915 in 2012. The total number of licensed lawyers is now 13,375.

Despite the increasing number of lawyers, the Ministry of Justice’s statistics for practicing lawyers for the same period show a more modest  increase. According to the Ministry, 6,895 lawyers were practicing in 2011. In 2013, 7,656 lawyers were practicing in the world’s 19th largest economy with a population of 23 million people.

According to Ministry of Examination figures, the pass rate for the 2011 exam was 10.38%. After passing the bar, candidates must undergo one month training by the Taiwan Bar Association and complete a five-month internship.

Taiwan’s bar exam passage rates can be divided into three periods:

  • 1950-1988: 782 candidates passed with average annual pass rate of 6.76%
  • 1989-2010: 8,404 candidates passed with an average annual pass rate of 8.81%
  • 2011-2013: 2,770 candidates passed with average annual pass rate of 10.55%.

Taiwan’s universities currently have a total of 39 departments of law producing about 3,000 graduates each year.

Translations of Taiwan securities laws and regulations updated

Taiwan’s official portal for securities-related laws and regulations was recently updated with changes to nine of its English translations by Winkler Partners.

The Winkler Partners Translation Department has produced the English translations of securities laws and regulations for the portal since 2002. The portal is updated twice a month with new and revised content.

Currently, the site contains 1,455 securities laws and regulations, 644 of which have been translated into English. The site also contains 6,623 administrative letters of interpretation and 1,996 court judgments.

  1. GreTai Securities Market Rules Governing Securities Trading on the GTSM
  2. GTSM Directions Governing Clearing and Settlement Operations for Securities Traded on the GTSM
  3. Regulations Governing Securities Trading on the GreTai Securities Market
  4. Financial-Supervisory-Securities-Firms-10200143751
  5. Financial-Supervisory-Securities-Firms-1020014375
  6. Securities and Exchange Act
  7. GreTai Securities Market Procedures for Suspension or Termination of Securities Firm Operations
  8. GreTai Securities Market Regulations Governing Applications by Securities Firms for Resumption of Business after Suspension
  9. GreTai Securities Market Rules Governing Trading of Exchange-Traded Fund Beneficiary Certificates
  10. GreTai Securities Market Operation Directions Governing Liquidity Providers of Exchange-Traded Fund Beneficiary Certificates
  11. GreTai Securities Market Guidelines for Providing Financial Derivative Services to General Customers
  12. GreTai Securities Market Rules Governing the Repurchase of Taiwan Depositary Receipts by Secondary Listed Companies
  13. GreTai Securities Market Administration Rules for Financial Derivative Trade Database
  14. GreTai Securities Market Contract for Financial Derivative Trade Database
  15. GreTai Securities Market Operation Directions for the System for Early Settlement of Financial Derivatives Transactions

Rectifying names: changes to the training of Taiwanese judges?

The Judicial Personnel Study Center and the Training Institute for Judges and Prosecutors both announced on  1 July 2013, that they were adopting new names. The Judicial Personnel Study Center, which is under the purview of the Judicial Yuan, will now be called the ‘Judges Academy’, while the Training Institute for Judges and Prosecutors, which is governed by the Ministry of Justice, has been renamed ‘Academy for the Judiciary’.

Under the current system, candidates who have passed a national exam both undergo their training at the Ministry of Justice’s Training Institute for Judges and Prosecutors, before they become judges or prosecutors. The focus of the Judicial Yuan’s Judicial Personnel Study Center, on the other hand, has been on advanced studies for existing judges and prosecutors. However, it was indicated on Monday that the Judicial Yuan is now considering a separation of the two institutions by having future judges undergo their training at the renamed Judges Academy instead.

The name change may indicate that the Judicial Yuan, Taiwan’s judicial branch,  intends to distance itself from the executive branch of government and gain more autonomy over judicial education. The current system of judicial education sees the Ministry of Justice, an executive branch agency, being significantly involved in the education of future judges, which, it has been argued, is a matter that should be overseen by the Judicial Yuan. By establishing different education tracks for judges and prosecutors, a clearer distinction can be made between judges and prosecutors. The Director of the Judges Academy also expressed the Judicial Yuan’s intention to revise the current system of professional certification for judges, awarding Civil and Criminal special certification to judges who meet the criteria for quality, experience, and training background. This is in an effort to maintain high standards of professionalism in judges.

Under the Judicial Personnel Act, both judges and prosecutors fall under the same category of definition as ‘judicial officers’ (sifaguan), and are subject to the same regulations. For the complete separation of judges and prosecutors to take place, statutory revision may also need to occur. However, the changing of the names of the two institutions can be seen as a first step towards a clearer distinction.

 

Archives