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Taiwan to remove points system for foreign, overseas compatriot students

04/25/2024 10:06 PM
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The Ministry of Labor in Taipei. CNA file photo
The Ministry of Labor in Taipei. CNA file photo

Taipei, April 25 (CNA) The Ministry of Labor said on Thursday it plans to eliminate its quota limit and points system to allow more foreign and overseas compatriot students to stay and work in Taiwan after graduation.

In a special report submitted to the Legislative Yuan's Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, the Labor Ministry on Thursday indicated its intention to promptly review and amend regulations to eliminate the quota limit and evaluation points system for foreign and overseas compatriot students.

It added that it is also deliberating introducing a specific work permit for the students.

Su Yu-kuo (蘇裕國), head of the Cross-Border Workforce Management Division within the Ministry of Labor's Workforce Development Agency, explained that under the current system, individuals have to be employed in one of 15 designated specialized occupations, and must also accumulate at least 70 points across eight criteria before they will be considered being included in the quota.

The Ministry of Labor established the points system in 2014. The evaluation criteria include educational background, salary, work experience and proficiency in Mandarin Chinese.

Employers also need to have a capital of at least NT$5 million or annual revenue of NT$10 million or above to meet the standard.

Su highlighted that due to changes in population makeup, labor shortages and gaps in different industries, the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions previously recommended prioritizing the retention of foreign and overseas compatriot students.

However, neither the current Employment Service Act Article 51 nor the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals specify foreign and overseas compatriot students in its work permit system.

Su added that the current system of increasing the quota every year is not particularly effective given there are around 12,000 foreign and overseas compatriot students graduating annually.

Discussions will be held with the National Development Council, Ministry of Education, Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC), and others regarding eliminating the quota adjustment, Su said.

Eliminating quota restrictions will provide foreign and overseas compatriot students with greater assurance during their studies and increase their inclination to remain and work in Taiwan, Su added.

On the OCAC website, the term "overseas compatriot student" is defined as a student of Chinese/Taiwanese descent who has come to Taiwan to study, who was born and lived overseas until the present time, or who has been living overseas for six or more consecutive years in the immediate past and obtained permanent or long-term residency status overseas.

The term "overseas" refers to countries or regions other than Taiwan, Mainland China, Macao, and Hong Kong, it added.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Evelyn Yang)

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