The Executive Yuan approved the “Plan for Long-Term Retention of Migrant Talent”, and the Ministry of Labor completed its revision of related regulations and has set the plan’s effective date at April 30, 2022. Migrant workers with continuous employment in Taiwan of more than six years and foreign students with an associate degree or above earned in Taiwan that meet the salary standards and technical conditions, can now be hired by employers to perform mid-level technical work. Each initial permit is for a maximum of three years, while permit extensions will have no limitation on working years. This will allow the retention of skilled migrant workers and overseas Chinese students educated in Taiwan to solve the country’s shortage of mid-level skilled manpower.
Taking reference from the "Plan for Long-Term Retention of Migrant Talent", the Ministry of Labor has simultaneously amended requirements for applying for mid-level skilled manpower—eligible groups, employer qualifications, foreigner qualifications, number of applicants, employment application and management, employment transfer, and charging standards—in the “Regulations on the Permission and Administration of the Employment of Foreign Workers”; “Qualifications and Criteria Standards for foreigners undertaking the jobs specified under Article 46.1.1 to 46.1.6 of the Employment Service Act”; "Foreigners Employed and Engaged in Employment Services, Article 46, Paragraph 1." Subparagraphs 8 to 11”; “Directions of the Employment Transfer Regulations and Employment Qualifications for Foreigners Engaging in the Jobs Specified in Items 8 to 11,Paragraph 1,Article 46 of the Employment Services Act”; “ Fee-charging Standards for Application Case Review and License under the Employment Services Act”. These amendments were all announced on April 29, 2022 with an effective date of April 30.
According to the Ministry of Labor, the "Plan for Long-Term Retention of Migrant Talent" allows foreigners to engage in mid-level skilled jobs such as ocean fishing, manufacturing, construction, agriculture (limited to farming, orchids, mushrooms, and vegetables) and care workers. The employer qualifications for hiring mid-level skilled personnel are the same as for hiring migrant workers. For example, a manufacturing company in a specific process industry must obtain a letter of recognition from the Ministry of Economic Affairs before it can apply for employment, and the application rates or headcount limits vary across industries. Take a manufacturing company as an example with an approved migrant worker rate of 20%, while the company’s mid-level technical manpower rate is 25% of the approved migrant worker rate, which makes for 5% (20%*25%=5%). Meanwhile, the total number of migrant workers, mid-level skilled workers and foreign professional and technical personnel employed by a company under the same labor permit cannot exceed 50% of its total number of employees.
In addition, foreigners must meet the requirements of seniority, salary and technical conditions. To be converted into a mid-level skilled worker, a migrant worker who has worked in Taiwan for at least six consecutive years or has reached the cumulative working years under the Employment Service Act, may change their status to mid-level technical manpower. In addition, foreigners performing industrial mid-level technical work must earn a monthly salary of TWD 33,000, while foreigners working in mid-level technical institutions must earn a monthly salary of TWD 29,000. foreigners working in mid-level skilled family care must earn a monthly salary of TWD 24,000. In addition, with a view to talent retention, the initial monthly salary of overseas students with an associate degree must be TWD 30,000, while after extension their monthly salary must be TWD 33,000. Foreigners must also meet one of three conditions: professional license, training courses or practical certification, to be eligible for application.
The Ministry of Labor also stated that, to ensure balanced employment of Taiwanese people and the retention of outstanding foreign talent, employers that hire foreigners to fill mid-level technical jobs must also follow domestic recruitment procedures. If domestic recruitment proves insufficient, an employer may apply to the Ministry of Labor for an employment permit for the missing personnel. The regulations regarding employment management, health checks, entry into Taiwan or employment continuation notifications, life management, local government inspections, verification of contract termination, and employment transfer in the case of mid-level skilled foreigners are the same as the current regulations for migrant workers in order to protect the rights and interests of foreign mid-level technical workers.
Before applying to the Ministry of Labor for an employment permit to hire foreigners for mid-level technical work, an employer must first obtain a certificate demonstrating the technical skills of the foreigners concerned. Together with proof of domestic recruitment efforts, an application form, and a certificate of non-violation of labor laws from the local government, an employer may apply online through the "Foreign Worker Online Application System" (https://fwapply.wda.gov.tw). For related regulations, application forms and Q&A, please visit the page about the Plan for Long-Term Retention of Migrant Talent on the Ministry of Labor website at https://fw.wda.gov.tw/wda-employer/home/mid-foreign-labor, or phone Tel. 1955 or Tel 02-8995 6000.