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The Executive Yuan has decided to loosen restrictions for expats working in Taiwan, hoping to solve the sharp decline in labor force resulting from the sub-replacement fertility and aging population crisis that are becoming more severe each year. The new regulations will be issued specifically for foreign white-collar professionals, blue-collar professionals and foreign students studying in Taiwan.

In addition to loosening restrictions on the employer’s capital and revenue, the government will also introduce a grading mechanism. Foreigners will be able to work in Taiwan as long as their total grade reaches 60 points. The criteria include educational background, foreign language ability and expertise. The new regulation will be enacted next January, and estimates to retain up to six to seven thousand foreign talents per year.

Liu Chia-chun, director general of the Workforce Development Agency, says that the overall labor force in Taiwan has been decreasing, and each year 20,000 to 30,000 white-collar workers move out. Facing the loss of professionals and lack of basic labor force, Liu hopes that foreign professionals will stay if limitations are relaxed.

Liu says that the existing regulations require foreign talents to have two years of work experience and a standard salary of NT$ 47,971 (approximately US$ 1,500). The annual average amount of expats working in Taiwan ranges from 26,000 to 29,000 people.

Apple Daily reports that for foreign white-collar talents the prerequisites for them to work in Taiwan will be easier to meet.

For example, even if one doesn’t meet the lowest required monthly salary of NT$ 47,971 (approximately US$ 1,500), the person can still work in Taiwan as long as he or she has reached a total of 60 points in the grading system in aspects of educational background, work experience, expertise and so on.

UDN reports, the new regulation will allow foreign blue-collar workers to apply for working visas and permanent residential permits more easily. Other issues such as the rights of spouses and children of foreign workers to apply for joining family resident visas will be considered in the new regulation as well.

Rti reports, the policy also relaxes restrictions regarding foreign students who remain in Taiwan to work. Criteria including salary, employer’s capital and revenue will no longer be considered. They can stay and work in Taiwan as long as they obtain 70 points in the grading system. Liu says that the new grading mechanism will be revised before the end of the year and can be implemented early next year.

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang