Eased regulations to attract skilled foreign workers take effect

Eased regulations to attract skilled foreign workers take effect Two new government measures aimed at attracting skilled foreign talent were launched Feb. 8, 2018, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) starting to issue "job-seeker visas" for foreigners and the National Immigration Agency (NIA) opening an online platform for foreign professionals applying for employment in Taiwan. The measures were launched as the Act Governing Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, passed by the Legislative Yuan in October last year, came into force. The Act relaxes various regulations for white-collar workers, stipulating more favorable policies concerning visas, insurance, residency requirements, taxes, and retirement plans. The Act also eases rules related to residency requirements and health insurance eligibility for family members. The job-seeker visa, which is available to foreigners who meet the government's qualifications, is valid for up to six months and allows for re-entry to the country. To be eligible, applicants must either have work experience and an average income of over NT$47,971 (approx. US$1,635) per month over the preceding six months or have graduated within the last year from a university on the Education Ministry's global top 500 institutions list. MOFA or other relevant government authorities can also choose to qualify an individual for a visa. Meanwhile, the NIA's newly launched Foreign Professionals Online Application Platform streamlines work permit, resident visa, alien resident certificate and re-entry permit applications into a four-in-one "jobs gold pass." The system greatly increases convenience for foreign job seekers and therefore facilitates efforts to recruit more foreign skilled talent to work in Taiwan. (Sources: Taipei Times, Focus Taiwan, Executive Yuan website)