Fri, Feb 09, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Government launches new ‘job-seeker visa’

By Lu Yi-hsuan, Wang Kuan-jen and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan strikes the gavel as the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals was passed at the legislature in Taipei on Oct. 31 last year.

Photo: CNA

Two government measures introduced to attract skilled foreign workers took effect yesterday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs began issuing “job-seeker visas” for foreigners as part of an initiative to attract skilled professionals, while the National Immigration Agency rolled out its online platform for foreign professionals applying for employment in Taiwan.

Interested foreigners who meet the government’s qualifications can apply for the job-seeker visa, which is valid for three months and can be extended to six months, Bureau of Consular Affairs Director-General Chen Chun-shen (陳俊賢) said, adding that an annual quota for such visas had been set at 2,000.

The legislature in October last year passed the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals (外國專業人才延攬及僱用法), a bill drafted by the National Development Council.

The act relaxed immigration regulations for white-collar foreign workers, stipulating more favorable policies regarding visas, residency permits, insurance, taxes and retirement plans.

However, it imposed limits on the number of foreign professionals permitted in the nation to reduce its effect on employment opportunities for Taiwanese.

The government is to review the policy’s effects so it can adjust the visa quota in accordance with the nation’s needs.

The foreign ministry and the Ministry of the Interior jointly formulated the provisions, Chen added.

To qualify, applicants must either have work experience and an average income of more than than NT$47,971 per month in the the six months preceding the date of their application or have graduated in the past year from a university on the Ministry of Education’s global top 500 institutions list.

The foreign ministry and other appropriate authorities can also choose to qualify an individual for the visa.

Job-seeker visa holders are allowed re-entry to the nation, the bureau said.

The list of required documents and the application process are available on the bureau’s Web site, it said.

The Foreign Professionals Online Application Platform, designed to streamline work permit, resident visa, alien resident certificate and re-entry permit applications into a four-in-one “jobs gold pass” is a milestone in Taiwan’s efforts to recruit skilled workers, the agency said.

The platform will simplify the application process, increase government efficiency and facilitate cooperation with the labor and foreign ministries, it said.

The system forwards an applicant’s documents to the appropriate authorities and allows them to pay a handling fee online, it said.

After an application is granted, the work certificate could be issued in the nation’s overseas representative offices or the agency’s local office in the country, depending on where the application was originally filed, it said.

Approved applicants can download their work certificate receipt to enter the nation, then obtain the actual certificate at their immigration agency office of choice, it said.

Holders of the jobs gold pass are not required to stay with a specific employer and are to receive other benefits, including income tax deductions, up to one year of stay for first-degree relatives and spouses, resident status for spouses and non-adult offspring and access to the National Health Insurance program in less than six months of residency, the agency said.

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