Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan on Tuesday passed the newly amended Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professional Talent in an effort to retain foreigners’ interest in working on the island.

Under the revised legislation, eligible foreign professionals will be able to apply for an “employment gold card,” holders of which can switch jobs at will, and acquire a resident visa, a foreign resident certificate and a re-entry permit, The Central News Agency reported.

Applicants for the card will not require prior approval by their employers.

Other incentives include longer durations of stay, tax deductions, inclusion in the pension system, and improved rights for spouses and children.

The maximum duration of stay for foreigners holding a work visa or a foreign residence certificate will be extended from three to five years, while the required minimum stay of 183 days each year will be cancelled.

Professionals will be entitled to a tax deduction of up to 50% of their annual income if they earn an annual salary of NT$3 million (US$99,400) or above for three years consecutively.

As for retirement, foreign holders of permanent resident certificates will be included in Taiwan’s pension system, from which they can receive a lump sum or monthly payments.