Legislature passes amendment to attract more foreign talent

06/18/2021 09:20 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, June 18 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan passed a revision to a law on recruiting foreign professionals Friday that the government hopes will make Taiwan more attractive to overseas talent.

The revisions were made to the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, which was enacted in 2018 to beef up the recruitment and employment of foreign professionals to strengthen Taiwan's competitiveness, according to the National Development Council (NDC).

Under the new revisions, "foreign special professionals" can apply for permanent residence in Taiwan after staying in the country for three years, instead of the current five years, provided they live in Taiwan for at least 183 days each year, the NDC said.

According to the Act, a "foreign special professional" refers to a foreign professional who possesses special expertise needed by Taiwan in science and technology, business, education, culture, the arts, sports, or other fields, as determined by the relevant authorities.

The revisions also allow people with a postgraduate degree from a local or foreign university to seek a job in Taiwan as a foreign special professional without the current requirement of two years of work experience.

The same rule applies to people with an undergraduate degree if the degree recognized by the Ministry of Education as being from one of the world's top universities, the NDC said.

Extended tax breaks were also part of the revisions, allowing professionals to claim a tax exemption on higher levels of income for five years, up from the current three years.

What that means is that during the five-year period, should an individual's annual income hit NT$3 million (US$108,000), only half of the amount over that threshold will be treated as taxable income when they file personal income taxes.

Another revision allows both the professionals and their family members in Taiwan to enroll immediately in Taiwan's national health insurance system instead of having to wait for six months as other foreign nationals have to do.

At the same time, the revised act will allow the spouse and children of a foreign professional to work legally in Taiwan without having to seek prior permission from the Ministry of Labor or Ministry of Education if they have a valid permanent residency permit.

Previously, family members with permanent residency permits needed to apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Labor to work.

(By Lin Yu-hsuan and Ko Lin)

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