《TAIPEI TIMES》 Legislature eases rules on foreign work, residency
Lawmakers take part in a third reading of proposed amendments to the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times
RED TAPE CUT: Lawmakers across party lines lauded the changes to make it easier for foreign professionals to apply for work and residency for their families, too
By Hsieh Chun-lin, Chien Hui-ju and Jake Chung / Staff reporters, with staff writer
The Legislative Yuan yesterday further relaxed regulations for foreign professionals to seek residency for themselves and their families by passing proposed amendments to the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals （外國專業人才延攬及僱用法） on third reading.
The amendments would simplify the process for foreign professionals to seek work and apply for residency in Taiwan, the Executive Yuan said in the proposal.
Foreign professional applicants would no longer have to provide proof of work experience if they hold a master’s or higher degree from universities abroad, or a bachelor’s degree from schools recognized by the Ministry of Education, it says.
The act adds the national defense industry to a list of sectors that can recruit foreign professionals.
To qualify for permanent residency, foreign applicants must have lived in Taiwan legally for at least five consecutive years, with an average of 183 days spent annually in the country.
Individuals must be adults, have no criminal record, and possess skills or assets to ensure that they can survive independently and that their residency in Taiwan would be beneficial to the nation’s interests, it says.
Foreigners employed as consultants or researchers at government-affiliated research institutes, as professors at public or private universities or whose research has been recognized by the ministry, do not have to file for residency, it says.
Foreign professionals, their spouse and children who are minors or adults but cannot care for themselves do not have to apply to the Ministry of Labor or the Ministry of Education for work permits, it says.
Permanent residency requirements for spouses and children have been eased in hopes of offering better incentives to foreigners to move to Taiwan, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wu Yu-chin （吳玉琴） said.
Cross-party efforts to approve regulations governing graduates from top universities around the world would reduce bureaucratic procedures for their spouses and children to apply for work permits, Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Anne Kao （高虹安） said.
The act is an important piece of legislation for Taiwan to become more globalized, New Power Party Legislator Claire Wang （王婉諭） said.
However, there should be measures to mitigate the impact that the act would have on the local labor market, she said.
Measures to strip foreign professionals of residency who break the law should also be enacted, she said.