Taiwan’s Workforce Development Agency has released a list of documents it will accept from employers to show they qualify under the new Headstart Taiwan program to hire foreign employees without being subject to minimum experience or capital/revenue requirements. To qualify, companies that are registered less than five years must meet one of the following criteria and provide documentation in order to qualify:
1. Received NT$2 million or more in venture capital
- Venture Capital Enterprise (Update) Registration Form (or evidence of lawful incorporation) or,
- Statement of Shareholders’ Capital Contributions in Cash, issued by the competent authority for company registration within 2 months of application date (XX Venture Capital Inc. should appear in the Shareholder Roster) or,
- Foreign investment approval from the competent authority or its agent (the approved lines of business should include venture capital investments)
2. Registered on the Go Incubation Board for Startup and Acceleration Firms (GISA) with the Taipei Exchange
- Approval to list on the Go Incubation Board for Startup and Acceleration Firms (GISA), issued by the Taipei Exchange
3. Granted an invention patent in Taiwan, or had a patent assigned or licensed to exploit by a Taiwanese invention patent holder that is registered with the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO)
- Taiwan Invention Patent Certificate or,
- Approval letter to record invention patent assignment or license issued by the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of Economic Affairs
4. Joined an incubator
- Lease agreement with qualifying incubator programs (for a list of qualifying incubators click here)
5. Won awards in recognized entrepreneurial or design competitions
- Certificate from qualifying entrepreneurial or design competitions (for a list of qualifying competitions click here)
In addition to meeting one of the above criteria, all qualified Headstart Taiwan employers must also provide either a Company Registration Certificate or a Business Registration Transcript when applying for employee work permits.
Employees and managers are treated differently for work permit purposes. An ordinary foreign-invested business can obtain a single work permit for a foreign national manager if the business has at least NT$500,000 in capital at registration and NT$3 million in revenue after its first year of operation. These capital/revenue requirements are lower than those for foreign employees (NT$5 million/NT$10 million). Taiwan’s National Development Council has announced that Taiwan will grant up to 2,000 entrepreneur visas starting in July 2015. While the requirements for obtaining and extending an entrepreneur visa have not been announced, the program is intended to allow startups to have multiple foreign managers or executives in addition to foreign national employees.