The National Development Council (NDC) is drafting a legislative proposal that would provide a fast-track immigration option for skilled workers from Hong Kong, a source said yesterday.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Thursday last week announced that the government was formulating specific measures that would help people from Hong Kong seeking to relocate to Taiwan.
The measures would ease restrictions on Hong Kong graduates and professionals wanting to work and reside in Taiwan, and reduce requirements for obtaining residence through investment in the country, the MAC said.
Implementing measures to assist people from Hong Kong would involve amendments to a number of statutes and administrative systems, and would involve the NDC, the MAC, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Education and other government agencies, the source said.
As part of its proposal, the NDC is also seeking to implement a preferential taxation scheme for skilled foreign workers who want to immigrate, and reduce the wait time required to apply for permanent residence, to help the government attract those in international business and finance, the source said.
Currently, those seeking permanent residence can only do so after living in Taiwan for five years, and during those five years they must reside in Taiwan no fewer than 183 days per year.
Under the NDC’s planned proposal, the wait time would be reduced to three years, the source said, adding that the proposed bill would apply to all foreigners, but unlike other legislation concerning foreign immigrants, would also apply to people from Hong Kong.
The MAC is also expected to work with the NDC on revising articles 16 and 29 of the Regulations Governing Residency or Permanent Residency for People of the Hong Kong Area and the Macau Area (香港澳門居民進入臺灣地區及居留定居許可辦法), which stipulate the conditions under which people from Hong Kong can gain permanent residence, the source said.
The planned proposal would also call for an amendment to the minimum salary requirements for hiring Hong Kong graduates of Taiwanese schools, the source said, adding that Hong Kong residents — like other non-citizens — currently must be paid a minimum monthly salary of NT$47,971.
This would be reduced to NT$40,000 for Hong Kong graduates to make them more competitive in the job market, the source said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
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