Friday, October 17, 2014

Summary of Forward Taiwan’s Complete List of Immigration Reform Proposals

The following proposals with the full text of proposed amendments to the law can be found on Forward Taiwan's website. Here I've provided a brief summary of all proposals, please check the Forward Taiwan PDF (English | Chinese) for details and an explanation of the benefits associated with each change.


South Korea
Hong Kong
Permanent Residents (% of pop.)
Professional Workers (% of pop.)

Overview and Summary of Issues
Residence Rights:

Current Situation
Set a target of 200,000 (0.87%) foreign professionals (FPs)
No target for number of FPs
Recognize lawful marriages and civil unions in foreign jurisdictions
Allow for gaps in ARC continuity for Permanent Residence (PR) applicants as long as the 183 day requirement is met
Gaps in ARC continuity reset the PR clock
Allow a university degree as an alternative requirement for spouses and children of PRs to obtain work rights
Same work rights for spouses and children of PRs as for non-resident foreigners, i.e., heavily restricted
Quota and point system immigration to take effect after Taiwan attracts at least 100,000 FPs
No quota system or points system in place
Count aggregate income of PR and PR’s spouse for monetary requirements towards PR spouse’s own PR application
Already counted this way for spouses of TW nationals; only individual income currently counted for PR spouses (who are often dependents and don’t have enough income on their own for PR)
Allow change of residence and employment to be reported online
Already allowed for TW nationals; FPs must report in person at NIA office
Allow FPs to engage in activities not specified on their ARC (i.e., performing arts, unpaid volunteer work, rallies and assemblies)
Not allowed; deportable offense


Current Situation
Specify in the law that all provisions of the Labor Standards Act apply to all FPs
Unspecified; Results in confusion about which labor laws apply to FPs
Loosen restrictions on FPs employed in the Culture and Innovation industry (visual arts, music, performing arts, exhibitions, handicrafts, TV & radio, design, etc.)
Heavily restricted or unavailable for FPs
Allow PR dependents the same work rights as dependents of a TW national
Must secure own work permit; often not possible due to work permit regulations
Allow FPs to leave employment without being sanctioned
Leaving employment without notice may leave FPs ineligible for a future work permit
Remove two-year work experience requirement
Two-years post-university work outside of Taiwan in a related field is required for FP work permit
Adjust FP minimum salary requirements to be more competitive with local salaries and other advanced countries, i.e., Singapore
FPs must have a salary that is more than double the average entry-level worker’s salary in Taiwan
Eliminate or scale business capital requirements for hiring FPs with the size of the company
High capital requirements to employ FPs favors large businesses and prevents small businesses from accessing international talent
Reduce operating expenditure requirements for foundations to employ FPs to 1,000,000 NT in the past three years; reduce membership requirement to 30 members
Foundations must have operating expenditure of 5,00,000 NT in the past 3 years to employ FPs; membership requirement of at least 50 members
Reduce or eliminate capital requirements for start-ups bringing in managers/directors, or employees
Same capital requirements as for large, established enterprises


Current Status
Remove requirement to renounce foreign citizenship to naturalize
Must renounce original citizenship as part of the naturalization application process; success of application is not guaranteed
Allow dual nationals to teach at public schools and universities
Dual nationals are not allowed to teach in public schools and universities since they are government employees and dual nationals may not hold any government office

Living in Taiwan:

Current Status
Equal access to credit
Banks are allowed to discriminate against foreigners on the grounds that they are more likely to leave Taiwan and not repay credit
Deferred retirement benefits (pension) for teachers and university faculty
Pension must be paid as a lump sum; significantly reduces deferred compensation
Require businesses that use TW ID numbers to also allow using ARC numbers
Many businesses require TW ID numbers (i.e., booking tickets or making online purchases) and do not accept ARC numbers


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