Taiwan Nat. Development Council mulls new immigration law to attract foreign talent

The new measure would be aimed at tackling Taiwan’s manpower shortage

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(Image: Taiwan Today)

(Image: Taiwan Today) (By Agencies)

TAIPEI (Taiwan Today) -- The government is considering the creation of a dedicated immigration law to tackle Taiwan’s manpower shortage, according to the National Development Council Dec. 28.

By addressing the inadequacies of existing laws and regulations such as the Employment Service Act, Immigration Act, Nationality Act and University Act, the legislation would be geared toward building an environment friendlier to immigrants so as to attract top international talents to Taiwan, the NDC said.

In 1999, the Immigration Act came into force, aiming to unify entry and exit controls, safeguard national security and provide immigration guidance. The council said the act falls short of the government’s current policy needs.

During the Cabinet’s year-end press conference staged Dec. 27 in Taipei City, Premier Lai Ching-te said the foreign talent recruitment bill that cleared the Legislature Oct. 31 will help improve the employment environment for foreign talents. However, Taiwan needs a dedicated forward-looking immigration policy, which the government will begin formulating in 2018, he added.

Citing official statistics, the NDC said Taiwan’s working population began to decline after peaking at 17.37 million in 2015, with the number estimated to drop to 15.16 million by 2030.

The situation is made more challenging by the country’s international migration trends, the council said, adding that many local talents are choosing to pursue careers outside of Taiwan. In terms of foreigners working in the country, more than 620,000 are entry-level employees in the manufacturing and social service sectors, while only 31,000 are professionals, it added.

The NDC said under the premier’s directive, it will start taking inventory of the country’s immigration measures and propose new immigration pathways to facilitate the legislation. (SFC-E)