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Cabinet approves draft New Economic Immigration Law

2018/11/29 21:00:45

Taipei, Nov. 29 (CNA) The Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft bill that is aimed mainly at addressing a shortage of mid-level technicians by attracting more foreign professionals.

The draft New Economic Immigration Law, put forth by the National Development Council (NDC), was approved at a weekly Cabinet meeting and will now be submitted to the Legislature for review.

The NDC said it drafted the bill to deal with a growing shortage of mid-level skilled human resources in Taiwan by recruiting foreign professionals and technicians, who are needed for national development, but such recruitment will not affect the job opportunities or wages of Taiwan citizens.

Under the draft bill, the recruitment will focus mainly on foreign specialists, mid-level technicians and investors, and Taiwanese expatriates, the NDC said.

Foreign mid-level technicians refer to workers with a diploma from a senior vocational high school, migrant workers who have been employed in Taiwan for at least six years, and foreigners with intermediate-level technical skills, according to the draft bill.

NDC Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) stressed that foreign workers with intermediate-level technical skills are not categorized as blue-collar workers.

She said the starting pay for foreign technicians, special assistants, machine operators and assembly workers will be NT$41,393 (US$1,343) per month, while foreign health caregivers will earn around NT$32,000, under the terms of the bill.

A certain quota will be allocated to the various business sectors in Taiwan that require qualified foreign mid-level technicians, Chen said.

The regulations that apply to foreign professionals in Taiwan to obtain an alien permanent residence permit (APRC) will also extend to mid-level technicians, which means they will be eligible to apply for an APRC after five unbroken years of employment in Taiwan during which they remained in the country for at least 183 days per year, she said.

According to Deputy Minister of Labor Shih Keh-her (施克和), as of February 2018, Taiwan had a labor shortage of 244,000, almost half of which were mid-level technician positions.

(By Ku Chuan and Flor Wang)