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Taiwan to loosen skilled worker residency restrictions

Publication Date : 09-11-2012


The Executive Yuan -- the executive branch of Taiwanese government -- yesterday passed an amendment draft to the Immigration Act, thereby revising certain residency restrictions for skilled foreign workers.

The amendment also canceled the age limitation for Taiwanese who were born overseas to apply for household registration in Taiwan, in the hopes of attracting more Taiwanese to come back and contribute to the local economy, a spokesman for the Cabinet said yesterday.

The Executive Yuan also passed an amendment draft regarding regulation of international marriage agencies. Agencies could face a fine of up to NT$1 million (US$34,373) if they are found to be charging unreasonable fees or operating without a permit from the National Immigration Agency.

Minister without Portfolio Luo Ying-shay said that in the future, the government will be able to ban agencies operating illegally based on the new regulations.

According to the amendment passed yesterday, foreigners do not have to stay 183 days every year in Taiwan to maintain their permanent residency status. Also under the amendment, as long as foreigners do not exit Taiwan for at least five years, their permanent residencies will not be revoked.

Luo said that this amendment is a response to international trends since many senior executives from international businesses travel outside of the country often. The new amendment will help increase the nation's international presence and create a business-friendly environment, she added.

Under the new amendment, wives and children of skilled foreign workers can also apply for permanent residencies at the same time. The duration for foreigners to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate while staying in Taiwan has been extended from 15 days to 30 days.

According to the amendment draft, for Taiwanese who were born overseas, they will be able to apply for household registration without the age restriction if they enter Taiwan with a Taiwanese passport.

Citing the amendment, Luo said that for children who are under the age of 2 to apply for household registration, either the father or mother of the child needs to have a Taiwanese household registration when entering the country as well as when the child was born.

Mainland spouses could receive IDs in 4 years

The Executive Yuan yesterday also passed an amendment draft to the Act Governing the Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the People of the Mainland Area.

Premier Sean Chen said that in order to avoid discrimination, the Executive Yuan passed the amendment to unify the standard for spouses from mainland China and other countries to receive ID cards.

After marriage, the minimum duration of residency for Chinese spouses to receive permanent residency was shortened from four to three years, according to the amendment draft passed yesterday.

Also under the amendment, Chinese spouses who stay in Taiwan up to 183 days per year for three consecutive years will be able to apply for long-term residency permits.

The minimum duration of residency for Chinese spouses to receive Taiwanese ID cards was also reduced from six to four years.

After receiving the permanent residency permit, spouses who live in Taiwan for over 335 days in the fourth year, or for more than 270 days per year for two years, or for 183 days per year for five years, will be able to apply for ID cards.

There are 460,000 spouses from other countries in Taiwan, of which 300,000 are from mainland China, Chen said, citing statistics from the ministry of the interior. Approximately 20,000 spouses from mainland China will benefit from this amendment, Chen added.



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