The Cabinet yesterday approved a draft bill relaxing the restrictions on foreign white-collar workers in a bid to attract skilled foreigners for the government’s “Asian Silicon Valley” initiative.
The draft bill would relax the regulatory constraints on residence and work permits, taxation, internships, healthcare and retirement benefits.
The bill is aimed at attracting three categories of workers: general specialists, including freelance workers, artists and teachers; specialists of designated fields, including science, economics, education, culture, sports and others; and senior specialists, including highly skilled professionals, university professors, Olympic medalists and coaches of national sports teams.
An “employment gold card” — a four-in-one residence and work permit that consists of a resident visa, an alien resident certificate, a re-entry permit and a work permit that allows foreign workers to transition between jobs without their employer’s consent — would be given to foreign specialists.
The act would also extend the residency period for foreign employees from three to five years and scrap a regulation requiring workers with permanent residency to stay in Taiwan for at least 183 days every year.
A one-year resident visa would be offered to the family members of foreign workers, while children of holders of an alien permanent resident certificate would be allowed to work in Taiwan.
The spouse and children of foreign workers with an alien permanent resident certificate would also be able to apply for the certificate.
Workers with an alien permanent resident certificate would also be eligible to receive monthly pension payments. The spouse and underage children of a foreign worker would be allowed join the National Health Insurance (NHI) program without having to wait for six months.
Specialists of designated fields with an annual salary of more than NT$2 million (US$65,772) would be eligible for a three-year 50 percent tax exemption on their wages.
Visa regulations would be relaxed for students and college graduates seeking internship in Taiwan.
Foreigners seeking to work in Taiwan under the act must either have work experiences with a monthly salary of more than NT$47,971 or have a degree from one of the world’s top 500 universities.
“The key to pushing ahead with the ‘Asian Silicon Valley’ project is to attract top foreign talent and build a creative environment for Taiwanese,” Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said.
In a bid to build an ecosystem for technology start-ups, the National Development Council, in addition to preparing the draft act, has a budget of NT$100 billion to help Taiwanese industries transition to Internet of Things technologies, augmented and virtual reality technologies, artificial intelligence, self-driving car technologies and medical care.
Citigroup Inc plans to exit retail banking in 13 markets across Asia, and the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The bank would instead operate its consumer-banking franchise in both regions from four wealth centers in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and London, it said yesterday in a statement. The move is part of an ongoing review of the company’s strategy by chief executive officer Jane Fraser, who took over last month. “This positions us to capture the strong growth and attractive returns the wealth-management business offers through these important hubs,” Fraser said. Citigroup is to exit its consumer
‘IMPORTANT PARTNER’: The new guidelines aim to encourage US engagement with Taiwan, which reflects a deepening relationship, the US Department of State said The US Department of State on Friday issued new guidelines governing US officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts, a move welcomed by Taipei as turning a new page in bilateral relations. Shortly before leaving office, then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Jan. 9 announced the cancelation of previous contact guidelines, which he said were “self-imposed restrictions” that attempted to appease the Chinese Communist Party regime in Beijing. However, the status of the guidelines has been unclear since US President Joe Biden entered the White House. Asked about the issue during a legislative session on Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu
CONFIDENTIAL: The trip had not been made public until just before ex-senator Chris Dodd, and ex-state department officials Richard Armitage and James Steinberg arrived The government yesterday welcomed an “unofficial” delegation sent by US President Joe Biden, while another delegation led by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry was headed to Shanghai. Biden’s first delegation to Taiwan is made up of former US senator Chris Dodd, and former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg. They are to stay in Taiwan until tomorrow. Their arrival, on a chartered flight, had been kept confidential until media reported the visit yesterday morning, after which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a short notice that they were expected to arrive at 2:40pm. The flight landed at
‘IDEAL FIT’: A report on Sunday said that the Canadian government threatened to pull its support and funding from the HFX if the award was given to the president The government would respect the decision of the organizer of the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service on whether it plans to award a prize to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday. The statement was issued after US Web site Politico reported a day earlier that the Canadian government had warned the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) not to give the award to Tsai for fear of provoking Beijing. “The ministry believes that if the Halifax International Security Forum confers the prize upon President Tsai, it would be an affirmation and honor for both