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Taiwan to offer incentives to attract foreign professionals

2017/04/06 20:23:21

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) The government is mulling the provision of visa, residence, health insurance and tax incentives in an attempt to attract and retain foreign professionals, an Executive Yuan spokesman said Thursday.

Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) made the remarks after Premier Lin Chuan (林全) met with legislators from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over lunch to discuss a draft bill on recruiting professionals from foreign countries other than mainland China.

Under the draft bill, restrictions on work permits and the period of time foreign professionals can stay in Taiwan will be relaxed, Hsu said.

They will also receive a "four-in-one card" -- work permit, residence visa, alien residency permit and re-entry permit.

The spouses and non-adult children of foreign professionals who receive permanent residency will also be able to apply to stay in Taiwan and for permanent residency after a fixed period of time.

In addition, under the provisions of the bill foreign professionals, their spouses and non-adult children will be granted immediate access to the national health insurance program without having to wait for six months as at present.

The government is also considering creating a visa aimed at foreign professionals looking for jobs in Taiwan, which will be valid for six months at a time.

"If they can not find ideal jobs, then they will be tourists during the six-month period, which will only benefit not harm Taiwan," Hsu said.

The draft bill will also provide tax incentives for foreign professionals who have an annual salary of more than NT$2 million (US$65,486) for a maximum of three years.

The bill also covers private sector internships for students who graduate from the world's top 500 universities, but with a stipulation that salaries must be a minimum of NT$47,971 so as not to take job opportunities from Taiwan nationals.

However, Hsu said that legislators raised questions about the duration of proposed tax incentives, the definition of top schools, indicating that the draft bill could still undergo major revision.

(By Ku Chuan and Lilian Wu)