Taipei-Hailey Jane Richards, an American YouTuber who has published Taiwan culture-themed content for more than two years, has been awarded an employment gold card -- a combination of work and residency permits, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Tuesday.
The Gold Card is open to highly skilled foreign professionals and technicians in a number of fields, as part of Taiwan's ongoing efforts to attract overseas talent.
Hailey, better known in Taiwan as "Mo Caixi" (???), was issued the card for her expertise in culture and the arts, the agency explained in a press release.
Recognizing Hailey's efforts in raising the profile of Taiwan on the global stage, NIA said the YouTuber, who published her first YouTube video on Taiwan in 2018 and currently has 1.2 million subscribers, has fostered a greater understanding of Taiwan as well as promoting the image of the nation in the international community through her videos.
She applied for an employment gold card in 2020.
Hailey has also praised Taiwan's efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, and in 2019 encouraged Taiwan-based expatriates to express their appreciation for Taiwan's endeavors in the fight against the virus through videos, the agency added.
After receiving the card, Hailey, who is currently in Taiwan, can stay in the country as long as she wants, the NIA said.
However, no details were offered relating to the nature of her employment in Taiwan.
The Gold Card system is a flagship program specified in the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professional Talent, which took effect on Feb. 8, 2018, according to the agency.
The Gold Card, open to foreign professionals who plan to work or have been working in Taiwan, is a combination of a work permit, residence visa, alien residency permit and re-entry permit, which removes the previous hurdles for foreign nationals who lack permanent residency status to change jobs in Taiwan because they no longer have to be dependent on their employer for a work permit.
To streamline the application process, qualified foreign nationals can apply for the four-in-one card online, the agency added.
Since its launch, a total of 2,127 gold cards had been issued to foreign professionals, including 1,468 to those in economic fields, followed by 228 in the technology category, 164 in culture and arts, 132 in finance, 128 in education, six in architecture, and one in sports, according to government statistics as of Jan. 31, 2021.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel