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Taiwan to relax working permit requirements for foreign artists

The announcement comes after a dispute between the entertainment industry and the MOL

Taiwan to relax working permit requirements for foreign artists

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Ministry of Culture (MOC) said Tuesday that it will collaborate with the Ministry of Labor (MOL) on assisting foreign artists to apply for their temporary work permits, and will soon relax the working permit requirements for foreign artists.

The announcement comes after a dispute between the entertainment industry and the MOL.

Two performance groups accused the MOL of rejecting their entry to Taiwan. Theater Naturally Connected, one of the performance groups, invited Polish director Michal Walczak to participate in its workshop earlier this February, but were rejected by the MOL.

The Polish director first applied for a work permit as an artist, but was turned down because he was not taking part in any performance in Taiwan.

He then applied as "professional or technical worker" as requested by the ministry, but was rejected again on the ground of having less than NT$5 million (US$163,000) in capital, citing the Qualifications and Criteria Standards for Foreigners Undertaking Jobs in Taiwan.

In response, MOC said that the ministry has revised its definition regarding "artists working in Taiwan."

A new legal interpretation no longer insists that applicants must take part in a performance on stage, which means workshops and lectures will be considered as artists working in the future.

As the artistic industry has a diverse range with many different forms, the MOC will launch consultative meetings starting this week to communicate with artists from different field to amend legal interpretations in the future.