As Taiwan's population grays rapidly and birth rates remain low, the working-age demographic is projected to drop below two-thirds of the total population by 2027. According to statistics, in February 2018 the nation's industries (excluding agriculture, forestry, fisheries and animal husbandry) experienced a shortage of 244,000 workers, including 101,000 for mid-level technical positions.
To address these issues, the Executive Yuan on November 29, 2018 passed a new economic immigration bill that will recruit the workers and talent necessary for national development without affecting domestic job opportunities or wage levels. In addition to promoting industrial upgrading and growth, the new immigration policy seeks to adjust Taiwan's population structure so that national development can continue sustainably into the future.
Four targets of recruitment
■ Foreign professionals: These include foreign professionals, foreign special professionals and foreign senior professionals. For those seeking technical or specialized work, the bill will ease restrictions on industry sectors and occupational categories, exempt employers from capitalization requirements, and adopt a points-based system to evaluate the applicant's eligibility based on salary, work experience, language advantages, education, professional licenses and other assets.
■ Foreign mid-level technicians: These include foreign and overseas Taiwanese students with mid-level technical work skills who have completed their studies in Taiwan, migrant workers with mid-level technical work skills already working in Taiwan, or other foreigners with mid-level technical work skills directly recruited from abroad. The proposed salary must meet a minimum threshold, and the applicant must possess a license or certificate of professional qualification.
■ Overseas compatriots: This category applies to Taiwanese nationals residing overseas without household registration in Taiwan, who possess ROC nationality in accordance with the Nationality Act and can enter Taiwan on an ROC passport. Rules on entry permits will be relaxed, and those engaging in professional or mid-level technical work in Taiwan may apply for residency.
■ Immigrant investors: These include foreigners who invest at least NT$15 million (US$486,000) in a for-profit enterprise and create at least five local job opportunities, or foreigners who invest at least NT$30 million (US$972,000) in central government bonds. Qualified investors may obtain permanent residency after three years.