Legislature axes migrant worker exit requirement

Migrant workers no longer required to leave borders once every three years

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(CNA photo)

The Legislative Yuan passed Friday the third reading of an amendment to the Employment Service Act, cancelling the requirement for migrant workers to exit Taiwan after working for three years.

Some 14,000 migrant workers will benefit from the new law, according to statistics of the Ministry of Labor. Under the current laws, migrant workers are required to exit the island every three years, with those receiving professional training and demonstrating “exemplary service” permitted for an extension of up to 14 years.

This requirement has meant high costs for migrant workers, since it meant that they needed to pay brokerage fees each time they re-enter Taiwan, entailing a personal cost of NT$80,000 to NT$150,000 every three years.

In her draft bill, DPP legislator Wu Yu-chin pointed out that these restriction were meant to deter migrant workers from overstaying their visas in bids for permanent residency. However, as the Immigration Act has been amended to preclude foreign workers under the Employment Service Act from obtaining permanent residency, the exit requirements have thus become unnecessary.