Minister of the Interior visits I-Mei, announces change to Taiwan residence permits for migrant workers

Taiwan's government to change designation of foreign employees from 'foreign labor' to 'migrant worker'

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Ministry of the Interior announces renaming of migrant worker permit. (Global News for New Immigrants photo) 

Ministry of the Interior announces renaming of migrant worker permit. (Global News for New Immigrants photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Minister of the Interior visited Philippine workers at the I-Mei factory in Taoyuan to announce an official change of title on their resident permits from “foreign labor” to “migrant worker.”

Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) and Director of the National Immigration Agency Chiu Feng-kuang (邱豐光), as well as the CEO of I-Mei Foods Co., Luis Ko, visited new migrant workers at the I-Mei factory in Taoyuan. The city is currently home to 11,000 new immigrants, the most among Taiwan.


Migrant workers welcome guests with a dance performance. (Global News for New Immigrants photo)

The migrant workers welcomed guests with dancing and singing performances. They also cut a cake that I-Mei made specially to celebrate Mother's Day and those with birthdays in May.

Hsu Kuo-yung said migrant workers have helped improve Taiwan’s economy and become a part of the population. Therefore, he announced, usage of the term “foreign labor” (外勞) on resident permits is no longer appropriate, hence this will be changed to “migrants workers” (移工).

Hsu said I-Mei hired Philippine workers directly and this helped them save money on what can be considerable commission fees to brokers. Hsu added that I-Mei takes good care of its workers and creates a friendly working atmosphere and good living environment.


Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-Yung announces the renaming of resident permits. (Global News for New Immigrants photo)

I-Mei CEO Luis Ko said I-Mei began to hire foreign workers 10 years ago. He added that he always asks staff members to call them “guest workers” rather than laborers.

One of the migrant workers, Marvin John Sison, shared a touching story with the audience. He said that a year ago, he had a successful kidney transplant but his previous employer was not willing to rehire him.

However, when Luis Ko found out about this he straight away offered Marvin a job at the I-Mei factory. I-Mei has assisted Marvin with his medical expenses and custom designed a food package with healthy ingredients to help care for him.


I-Mei CEO Luis Ko emphasizes the importance of protecting the rights of new immigrants. (Global News for New Immigrants photo)


Resident certificate showing "migrant worker" as purpose of residence. (Global News for New Immigrants photo)