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《TAIPEI TIMES》Bill on foreigners’ benefits approved

Police guard an entrance to the Legislative Yuan in Taipei in an undated photograph.
Photo: Lin Liang-sheng, Taipei Times

Police guard an entrance to the Legislative Yuan in Taipei in an undated photograph. Photo: Lin Liang-sheng, Taipei Times

2024/06/18 03:00

By Shelley Shan / Staff reporter

The legislature yesterday gave preliminary approval to an amendment to the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals (外國專業人才延攬及僱用法) that would allow foreign professionals who legally stay in Taiwan for 10 years or longer to access certain disability benefits and long-term care services.

However, lawmakers still need to negotiate whether or how foreign nationals’ undergraduate and graduate degrees in Taiwan can be used to offset the minimum residency required.

The amendment, which was proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), says that, under current regulations, foreign professionals who are permanent residents are not entitled to use the nation’s social services or receive benefits.

“However, as the government has been actively recruiting professionals from overseas, who have the potential of staying here for the long term, we have proposed an amendment to the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals that would create an environment friendly to foreigners and ensure an efficient use of our social welfare resources,” Wang said.

The amendment states that foreign professionals who have legally stayed in Taiwan for 10 years or longer and resided in the nation for 183 days or longer each year can apply for services and subsidies for the disabled and people who need long-term care services in compliance with Articles 50 and 51 of the People with Disabilities Rights Protection Act (身心障礙者權益保障法).

However, foreign nationals cannot offset residency by the time they spent getting degrees in Taiwan or living as dependents of those who are Taiwanese residents.

DPP legislators Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆), Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) and Loh Mei-ling (羅美玲) also proposed an amendment to Article 14 of the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals that would allow foreign nationals to use their degrees to offset the minimum residency period by a specific ratio.

However, some lawmakers had reservations about that proposal, as they said that the measure would lower the threshold for employment for foreigners.

The National Development Council needs to carefully study how the amendment could affect the employment of Taiwanese first, they said.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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