New draft bill to entice foreign workers to Taiwan open for public scrutiny

'New Economic Immigration Law' hopes to bring in foreign workers to fill skills gaps and contribute to industrial upgrading

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(Image courtesy of Pxhere)

(Image courtesy of Pxhere)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The National Development Council (NDC, 國家發展委員會) published a new draft foreign migration bill titled the "New Economic Immigration Law" (新經濟移民法) for public scrutiny on August 7 to help Taiwan to deal with an aging population and skills shortages.

The government's problem is a shortage of talent in the business sector and the need for champions to promote industrial upgrading. The draft bill targets foreign professionals, mid-level foreign technology specialists, and Taiwanese expats and their families, hoping to resolve these issues.

The draft bill has been in the works for some time, with the Executive Yuan saying in May that the plan is to actively recruit foreigners needed for national development, without affecting employment opportunities for Taiwanese nationals.

NDC committee head, Kao Hsien-kuei (高仙桂) said today that the two preconditions for the draft is to not adversely affect employment opportunities or wages for locals, reported the Liberty Times.

The draft bill will be open to public and business scrutiny for 60 days. The NDC is also carrying out an impact assessment with the input of labor groups and the business community.

The NDC hopes to reach a consensus with society before sending the draft to the Executive Yuan for vetting and potential approval.

The Liberty Times reports that the draft bill contains provisions for a "negative list" to allow greater ease of understanding areas of foreign employment, and relaxed restrictions on foreign teachers. Eligible foreigners under this system will be able to obtain permanent residency if they work in Taiwan for an average of 183 days during three consecutive years.

The draft bill has three types of foreign workers: senior-ranking foreign workers with intermediate-level technical ability, blue-collar workers who have worked in Taiwan for more than six years and workers with intermediate-level technical ability.

Kao said the first two types of workers will be given priority, because these people have made an effort to become familiar with and assimilate into Taiwanese culture, reported the Liberty Times.

The draft legislation can be viewed on Join.