The employment Gold Card program is to be expanded to attract more foreigners with critical skills to cover a wider range of industries, the Executive Yuan said yesterday.
A national-level foreign talent recruitment services center, tentatively named Talent Taiwan, is to be opened to facilitate the enlargement of the work visa program by the end of the year, the Cabinet told a post-meeting news conference.
The program expansion builds on the basis of previous successes and its implementation is to be supplemented by measures aimed at attracting foreigners to study in Taiwan, the National Development Council said in a news release.
Photo courtesy of the Executive Yuan
Taiwan is pushing to recruit workers with critical skills through educational initiatives to attract international students, legal reforms to encourage foreign students to work in Taiwan after graduation, and improved financial, housing and educational services for foreign residents, it said.
As of March last year, the nation had close to 55,000 skilled foreign workers, and 7,000 Gold Cards were granted to workers with critical skills in sectors including semiconductors, offshore wind power, finance, and arts and culture, the council said.
An array of educational initiatives are being implemented to boost the domestic supply of highly skilled workers, it said.
Last year, the number of Taiwanese undergraduate and graduate students in STEM majors rose to about 6,600, while 10 universities established research institutions on artificial intelligence, semiconductors and other key fields via business-academic collaborations, it said.
Additionally, 10 education-to-employment initiatives were approved to prepare a workforce for the six core strategic industries: information and digital technology, cybersecurity, precision health, green and renewable energy, national defense and strategic stockpile, it said.
The government continued to promote Mandarin-English bilingual education by funding universities and scholarships for 400 students and postdocs studying abroad over the past two years, the council said.
Separately, the Ministry of Digital Affairs on Tuesday posted a notice of a new policy that would enable foreign information technology (IT) professionals to apply for Gold Cards regardless of educational attainment, if they have eight years of on-the-job experience.
The policy was prompted by the urgent demand for qualified workers in software development, IT services, digital content creation and e-commerce, it said.
The notice period for the policy has been shortened to 30 days, in which the public could voice their opinion about the measures before its implementation, it said.
Eligible professionals would be able to apply for Gold Cards by submitting verifiable records of work experience, including employment by a recognized international platform, examples of work, or digital participation in charitable or social causes, it said.
Cardholders would be granted an open work permit and the right to be enrolled in the National Health Insurance program with their dependents after getting employed or starting a business, the ministry said.
They would be entitled to a 50 percent tax break on income of more than NT$3 million (US$97,599) earned during the first five years of working in Taiwan and visa or residence permits for their dependents and family members, it said.
People with a doctoral degree in digital science from a top-ranking university, a degree in digital science plus four years of work experience, or those recently employed in the digital field with a salary of NT$160,000 or more per month would also be eligible for the Gold Card, it said.
The ministry continues to collaborate with other government agencies and enterprises to secure supply of workers, ease the sector’s ability to recruit internationally and promote industrial upgrade, it said.
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The
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