In later years, Taiwan has become a stronger and better startup environment and for years it has ranked very high in the international rankings for expats. Taiwan offers several different programs for immigration so if you have the NTD6 million, why should you go for the Taiwan Investment Immigration?
How does the Taiwan Investment Immigration Work?
If you invest NTD 6 million or more in a private Taiwanese company you can get Taiwan residency and access to all the great benefits of living in beautiful Taiwan like great healthcare, a safe environment and quality schools. If you are a resident of Hong Kong or Macau you can even obtain Taiwanese citizenship in as little as 18 months.
There are other immigration programs you could consider, for example the entrepreneur visa or an employment visa via a company you start.
The entrepreneur visa program was launched in 2015 with to help foreign entrepreneurs enter Taiwan. This program really just a suitable for people who are building their own Taiwanese startup from scratch and with limited resources. Under this program, up to 3 team members who work on a startup together can can get visas. It is based on a team qualifying as an “innovative business.” This you can do in five different ways:
- Get domestic or foreign venture capital investment of NT$ 2 million (USD63,000) or get funding from a government recognized crowdfunding platform
- Participate in an approved entrepreneurial accelerator or incubator
- Hold patents overseas
- Those who have won international startup or design competitions
- An entrepreneur who has invested at least NT$1 million in an innovative startup and is the representative of that company
Since the government announced this program, the results have been mixed with feedback from entrepreneurs being that it is hard to qualify and even harder to extend the visa for a second year.
General Manager Employee Visa
You can start your own company, become the General Manager and get your Taiwan visa as an employee. This could be an ok choice if you are actually planning to work full time in this business. You would not be able to work any other company since your work permit would only be for this one company. Also, the second year, your new company would needs to achieve at least 3 million in revenues. Even though to qualify for giving you a General Manager visa, you only need to invest 500,000 the reality is of course that in order to build a business that can quickly ramp up revenues, it will take a larger investment. Add in startup costs, professional fees and such expenses such as rent, and it quickly adds up. Many entrepreneurs have had to leave Taiwan because their businesses did not scale fast enough.
How the Taiwan Investment Immigration Program Work
For those who have 6 million to invest and want a reliable way to get a immigrate to Taiwan with your whole family, the investor visa is the best choice. This is especially true for residents from Hong Kong and Macaus since they can get not just residency but even citizenship in as little as 18 months.
This investment immigration program compares favorably to other jurisdictions for the following reasons:
- No requirement to renounce Hong Kong/Macau status
- Relatively low capital requirement (NTD6 million/~USD200,000 invested into a Taiwan company)
- Simple investment requirement (no job creation requirement, no industry restrictions, no geographic restrictions)
- Geographic Proximity to Hong Kong/Macau. This program allows applicants to relocate while retaining the ability to visit home conveniently.
- Cultural and Language Affinity. Taiwan is already a popular tourist destination for Hong Kong/Macao travelers because of its food, the warmth of its people, and the use of traditional Chinese characters.
- Taiwan is a wonderful place to nurture a family since it offers:
- A relaxed and convenient living environment.
- A lower cost of living.
- A diverse and tolerant society.
- An excellent and cost effective healthcare system.
- An excellent educational system.
- A safe environment, where crime is among the lowest levels in the world.
- A representative participatory form of government.
The key point to highlight here is the fact that this is a simple investment requirement. Unlike the entrepreneur or General Manager employee visa, you do not need to be responsible for building a business or achieve any specific requirements for creating a number of jobs or revenues. You need to find a stable Taiwanese private company that you can invest in that meets your investment requirements. If you chose to work with Pamir, we have already pre-screened some companies. This is really the fastest and easiest investment option since we have prepared information for the due diligence and the documents investors will need for their immigration filings.
You can of course identify an existing Taiwanese company on your own that you think would be suitable for your investment and then we can assist with the due diligence and paperwork. Or, your last choice would be to form a new company of your own and invest in it. This would be different from the General Manager visa above in that you still invest the 6 million and get your visa not as an employee of that business but as the investor. The number one point here is that the company has to be stable and stay in business until you have achieved your immigration goals. So it is important to pick the right company.
There are some restriction for your investment. You can’t just buy an apartment or invest in a company that only has passive income from real estate investments. You also can’t qualify by making investments in publicly traded companies.
Finding a suitable company to make your investment is often the most difficult part of the process. It can be quite difficult to find a profitable and stable company in Taiwan willing to take an investment of NTD6 million because there is not a developed ecosystem of business brokers handling deals of this size.
Small companies that need such an amount are not always profitable, and most of the time they lack the ability to comply with the corporate governance requirements that come with dealing with an external investor.
Larger companies are often unwilling to go through the required due diligence process for a relatively small amount.
Some applicants choose to establish their own business, often retail outlets, restaurants, bars or coffee shops. In practice there is considerable risk involved with this approach since it is extremely time consuming, and the failure rate for these types of businesses is extremely high given the required overhead.
In order to solve this problem, Pamir has 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
Benefits You Get From the Taiwan Investment Immigration Program
For all practical purposes, successful applicants enjoy the same benefits and obligations as all Taiwan born nationals, including:
- Irrevocable Permanent Residence in Taiwan and conversion to full citizenship.
- Taiwan Passport.
- Taiwan ID Card.
- Household Registration.
- Access to Taiwan National Health Insurance System.
- Right to vote in open and democratically-contested local and presidential elections.
- Equal access to education at all levels.
So what are you waiting for? Contact Pamir today to learn more about how you and your family can take advantage of this program. You can also read our very detailed Investment Visa FAQ to learn even more. If you compare it with investment visa programs from other countries, the amount you need to spend is relatively low and for residents for Hong Kong and Macau it leads to citizenship in as little as 18 months with all the rights and freedoms that entail. That is a spectacular opportunity.