Taiwan unveils proposal to attract mid-level foreign staff

Salary levels will play a major role in determining who can stay: reports

Premier William Lai presented his plans for a "New Economic Migrant Act" Tuesday.

Premier William Lai presented his plans for a "New Economic Migrant Act" Tuesday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Premier William Lai (賴清德) on Tuesday unveiled a proposal for a “New Economic Migrant Act” (新經濟移民法) to attract more mid-level technical staff from overseas.

The government plans will not affect employment opportunities for Taiwanese citizens nor will they keep local wages down, the Central News Agency quoted the premier as saying.

The package included measures to allow more foreign mid-level technical personnel, foreign investors, and the descendants of Taiwanese citizens overseas to stay and work in Taiwan, according to CNA.

The plan included the creation of opportunities to stay on for overseas Taiwanese looking for work after studying and graduating on the island, and for foreign mid-level technical staff who had already been working in Taiwan for some time. The law would also make it easier to attract members of the latter category to come and work in Taiwan, Lai said.

The threshold for an alien permanent residence certificate (APRC) for those categories would be set according to salaries dependent on the type of profession, CNA reported, quoting NT$32,000 (US$1,070) as the required minimum wage for a worker in the social care sector and NT$41,393 (US$1,385) for a technical or machinery specialist.

Language ability, working experience and quotas for certain business sectors might also play a role in the decision to allow the foreign staff.

The foreign citizens under the program would be able to apply for an APRC if they had worked in Taiwan for at least seven years and stayed in the country at least 183 days a year, officials said.

According to government data, Taiwan had a shortage of 218,000 workers last year, of who 120,000 fell under the mid-level category, CNA reported.