Cabinet drafts bill to attract skilled overseas workers

The Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft bill allowing local companies to recruit skilled overseas workers. The move will relax regulations for skilled workers from places including Hong Kong and Macau to take up jobs in Taiwan.

The bill would provide work permits and residency status for workers in specific professions. Their period of stay will be extended from the current three years to five years. The new bill will not require them to stay up to 183 days every year in order to be exempt from income tax liability in the country of work.

The bill will also allow skilled workers to get six-month visas to find work in Taiwan. However, the jobs they apply must have a minimum monthly salary of NT$48,000 (US$1,600). In addition, overseas students from selected universities will be eligible to apply for internships. That includes students who have graduated from these universities within the last two years.

The National Development Council's HR development director, Lin Chih-mei, said the government has taken measures to prevent foreign nationals from working in Taiwan when they are actually here for internships.

"That is why we have set a limit of two years after these students graduate from universities. And the regulations are limited to those universities listed by the education ministry," Lin said. "We have put specific limitations, one by quota and the other by specific review mechanisms. We will not let companies take on these students as a form of cheap labor."

Source: Radio Taiwan International