Most foreigners moving to Taiwan must first maintain a time-limited residency for five years before they can apply for permanent residency. A few years ago, the government instituted the Plum Blossom Card as a way to expedite permanent residency for a few select categories of immigrants.
Immigrants eligible to apply for the Plum Blossom Card
There are several different categories under which you can apply for Plum Blossom Card.
- People who have made a special contribution to Taiwan with one of the following qualifications:
- Having received an award from a ministerial (or above) level of a governmental agency.
- Having received an award from an international organization or rank top five in an international competition.
- Having made outstanding contributions in democracy, human rights, religion, education, culture, the arts, the economy, finance, medicine, sports and/or other domains in Taiwan.
- Having made contributions to promoting the image of Taiwan on International platform(s).
- Having made other special contributions to Taiwan.
- Senior professionals needed in Taiwan with one of the following qualifications:
- Having professional skills in emerging industries, key technologies, key components or products.
- Having special and rare talents for the technical research and development of a few specific areas that are badly needed in Taiwan and cannot be easily developed in a short time.
- Having exclusive and rare talents for management or remarkable achievement in various communication fields.
- Having special capability in science, research, industry and/or commerce that offers effective and substantial benefits to Taiwan’s economy, industry and education or welfare and currently being employed in Taiwan due to his/her professional skills.
- Outstanding academic achievements and awards.
- Having achieved exceptional accomplishments and won international recognition for research and development that can upgrade Taiwan’s industry.
- Having won a top place award (first, second or third place) in an event of the Olympic Games or the World Cup, or having won the first place in the Inter-continental Games, or having ever coached a national sports team whose members have ever won a place among the top five in an event of the Olympic Game or among the top three in the Inter-continental Games, or other special competitive achievement boosting the capability of Taiwan’s athletes.
- Possessing other special skills and experiences ratified ad hoc by the central authorities in charge of the specific fields.
- Having won the first place of an internationally recognized contest, or appraisal, in specialized area such as cultural art, technology, sport, or industry
- Investment immigrants with one of the following qualifications:
- Having invested over NT$15 million in a for-profit enterprise in Taiwan, and created five or more job opportunities for ROC nationals for 3 years.
- Having invested over NT$30 million in Taiwanese government bonds for over 3 years.
Based on the news reports about the Plum Blossom Card, for most of the more than one hundred individuals who have already been granted a card, the most common categories are 1 and 2. At Pamir Law Group we mainly work with investors who wants to move to Taiwan and as such we were excited about category 4. They both seemed like straightforward paths to permanent residency.
NT$30 million Bond Investment – Not a Good Choice
Many clients contact us about the NT$30 million bond investment program since it at first glance seems like a relatively safe investment path to permanent Taiwan residency. Unfortunately, is has turned out that this investment option has some additional rules. The Financial Securities Commission in their explanatory note FSC No. 1040013178 (金融監督管理委員會金管證券字第 1040013178 號), make it clear that foreign nationals are only allowed to invest 30% of all funds transferred to Taiwan in government bonds.
Therefore, in order to meet the stated investment requirement, an applicant would have to transfer and invest a total of NT$100 million (~USD3.3 million) in order to purchase NT$30 million in Taiwan government bonds. So, you would have to transfer 100 million, spend 30 million in bonds, and invest 70 million in “something else”. Obviously, this makes this route highly impractical and costly to the point that the authorities says none has ever been issued.
The great news is of course that Taiwan offer several other investment visa options.
You can use the other Plum Blossom Card investment option where you invest NT$15 million in a Taiwan company. This would result in permanent residence after 3 years. The added requirement is that you must reach the requirement of generating five or more job opportunities for Taiwanese nationals. The job creation requirement plus the necessity of the company to stay alive until the residency has been obtained puts limitations on what kind of business plans would be possible to develop.
The best option for most foreigners is the foreigner investment visa, in which you invest NT$6 million in a Taiwan company and it results in permanent residence after 5 years. For this option there is NO requirement to create any specific number of jobs. As long as the company is a viable business that continues trading until you have obtained your residency, everything is great.
Compare Taiwan Plum Blossom Card with Investor Visa
Plum Blossom Card
Investor doesn’t have to reside in Taiwan during 3 year period
Reside in Taiwan 183 days each year for 5 consecutive years
Requirement on Company
Create 5 full time jobs for Taiwan nationals and maintain them for 3 years
Maintain operations, no minimum hiring
What Companies to Invest In For A Plum Blossom Card?
No matter if you want to invest 6 or 15 million, most larger, stable, companies are unlikely to accept small investments on this scale and smaller companies are of course much more risky and often unable to comply with the corporate governance requirements that come with dealing with an external investor.
In order to solve this problem, we have partnered with several companies that have agreed to take Hong Kong investors under standardized terms.
While these companies may operate in different industries, they share the following characteristics:
- Professional management team in place
- Electronic due diligence data room available
- Negotiated exit mechanisms
Contact Pamir Law Group to learn about investment options and how we can help you with the full immigration process for you and your family! We offer a first free consultation.
Investment immigrants applying for a Plum Blossom Card, who have invested over NT$15 million in a for-profit enterprise in Taiwan and created five or more job opportunities for ROC nationals for over 3 years, has to provide the following documents and fees:
- The investment permission and the reference letters issued by the Investment Board of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Science Park or Export Processing Zone;
- The Corporate Change Registration Form;
- The No Tax Arrears Certificate and financial statement of the for-profit enterprise for the past three years;
- The investor’s employee roster for the past four years for any investor of an existing for-profit enterprise;
- The roster of employees who have joined the Labor Insurance for the past three years;
- Other supporting document(s).
- Fee: NT$10,000, shall be paid upon notification of approval.
Where to File an Application
Depending on where you are in the world when you want to hand in your application there are different places to turn to. If you are in:
- Taiwan: Applications should be made in person, or by authorized persons or immigration business agencies at the Local NIA Service Centers.
- Hong Kong or Macau: The applicants first should apply at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hong Kong or Macau and then later such cases will be transferred to the National Immigration Agency.
- China: Apply at designated agencies or non-governmental organizations.
- Any other country: Apply at the R.O.C. Overseas Missions and then later such cases will be transferred to the National Immigration Agency.
Why is it Called the Plum Blossom Card?
The Plum Blossom is the national flower of Taiwan and has been so since the 1964. In Mandarin, the plum flower is called méihuā (梅花) and it is a symbol for resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity, because plum blossoms often bloom most vibrantly even amidst the harsh winter snow. Come to Taiwan and view these beautiful flowers in Taipei and Nantou.
Pamir Law Group can help you with all aspects of the investment and immigration procedures. We are a full service law firm with many years’ experience.