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Government to scrap plans for internship visas for foreigners

2017/10/16 23:20:26

Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶)

Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) The National Development Council (NDC) is removing from a draft law a clause that would have granted visas to foreigners who get internships in Taiwan.

The Draft Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professional Talent is aimed at allowing employers to recruit talented foreign professionals, NDC Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) told reporters Monday.

But Chen said that Article 20, which allows foreign university students or graduates who have been out of school for less than two years to come to Taiwan on an internship visa and stay for up to two years, will be removed from the draft act before it goes up for review by the Legislative Yuan on Oct. 19.

Upon preliminary review by the Legislative Yuan, the article was found to be inconsistent with the act's stated purpose of attracting seasoned professionals to work in Taiwan.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) said during a legislative review a few days ago that the article allowed foreigners to assume "real jobs disguised as internships."

That could result in foreigners not receiving the proper benefits and protection given to full-time employees, Lin said.

Since then, the council has looked into the article and found that it is unlikely to attract the kind of experienced professionals that employers in Taiwan are looking for.

Therefore, they have pulled the article from the act, Chen explained.

The draft act relaxes the current laws governing work permits for foreign professionals, as well as those relating to their spouses and children.

The act provides for a "job seeker's visa" for foreigners who are looking to come to Taiwan to find work. But as stipulated by law, foreign professionals must receive a minimum monthly salary of NT$47,971 (US$1,591) both in the last job they held before coming here and in the job they get after arriving here.

Those without work experience must be graduates of the top 500 universities in the world, according to the draft act.

Applicants applying for this kind of visa would have to supply a job search plan, as well as proof of financial ability and living arrangements. The visa allows for a six-month stay and can be extended once for another six-month period.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Kuan-lin Liu)