TAIPEI (CNA) — The National Development Council (NDC) said Tuesday it is considering removing the two-year work experience threshold for new foreign university graduates who want to work in the country.
NDC deputy head Kao Shien-quey (高仙桂) said the council, the top economic planning body in Taiwan, is mulling an amendment to current regulations governing the recruitment and employment of foreign professionals in Taiwan to remove the work experience requirement in a bid to encourage more foreign talent to work in the country.
The threshold has long been criticized because it is not easy for new university graduates to have two years of work experience, so foreign nationals who just received a bachelor’s degree are effectively ineligible to apply for a job in Taiwan.
After the law amendment, Kao said, young foreign talent who graduate from overseas universities, such as an Ivy League schools in the United States, would no longer be unable to work in Taiwan.
“How to attract foreign talent to Taiwan has been one of the top priorities for the NDC, so the council is moving in the direction of revising the law to achieve that goal by removing the work experience condition as part of our efforts,” Kao said.
Kao said the NDC is also considering making it easier for foreign talent to obtain permanent resident status as another way of making Taiwan more attractive.
Under the current law, foreign professionals have to reside in Taiwan for more than 183 days a year, five years in a row, before being considered for permanent resident status.
Kao said Taiwan should learn from other countries that are more flexible in granting permanent resident status, citing Japan, which uses a scale to evaluate a combination of factors, such as education, age and work experience to reduce the waiting period.
Kao said the NDC is also mulling allowing foreign talent to use their stay in Taiwan to pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D. to fulfill part of the requirement to obtain a permanent resident permit.
In addition, Kao said the NDC is planning to allow foreign teachers to teach subjects other than languages at senior high school and lower levels, to help Taiwan achieve its goal of becoming a bilingual nation.
Currently, foreign teachers are only allowed to teach foreign language at senior high school or lower.
Any changes will only be introduced after detailed discussions with labor groups and academics, Kao added.