Taiwan: Eased qualifications and criteria proposed for skilled foreign workers

As a follow-up to its plans to introduce a new points system last year, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) has proposed to ease the qualifications and criteria for hiring foreign nationals to provide more options for sponsors to recruit qualified white-collar foreign workers.

Employers would be able to utilize the proposed or existing application scheme when applying for a work permit, depending on the worker’s qualifications and technical skills.

New Points System

A new points system would offer a sponsorship option for foreign workers who are not qualified under the current eligibility requirements, such as those with a Bachelor's degree with at least two years of work experience and a monthly wage of at least NTD 47,971.

The following new factors would be part of a worker’s qualifications assessment under the points system:

  • Education level;
  • Professional ability;
  • Relevant working experience;
  • Foreign language skills;
  • Compliance with government policy;
  • Salary; and
  • Chinese language skills.

Work permits will be issued to those who score 60 points or above.

Proposed Amendments to Employment Service Act

Some of the proposed amendments to the Employment Service Act include the following:

  • Allowing the MOL to issue work permits to foreign workers who have been absent from work without official leave or a justifiable reason for three consecutive days within the three years prior to the application date;
  • Eliminating the provision under which a foreign worker must have been employed in a multinational company for more than one year;
  • Exempting qualified workers who score at least 60 points from certain education and work experience requirements;
  • Allowing spouses and children of certain Taiwanese residents a work permit derivative to their dependent status; and
  • Requiring certain companies to include specific company information in their work permit applications, while exempting other companies from providing this information.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

White- and blue-collar workers and their employers would benefit from the new relaxed points system, and if it is implemented, should contact their immigration professional to discuss applying for work visas under the new system.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK