MOL drafts plans to naturalize migrant workers

The MOL announced on Wednesday that it's drafting a plan to allow migrant workers who have stayed in Taiwan for over six years to become naturalized citizens. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Ministry of Labor (MOL, 勞動部) announced on Wednesday that it’s drafting a plan to allow migrant workers who have stayed in Taiwan for over eleven years to become naturalized citizens.

MOL Minister Hsu Chun-ming (許銘春) revealed that those who have stayed in Taiwan for at least six years will be considered if their technical skills and salary meet certain standards, though the exact requirements were not specified.

If they do meet the unspecified standards, the migrant workers would be classified as “mid-level technical manpower” (中階技術人力) as opposed to their previous status as “low-level technical manpower.”

After five more years of work, they can apply for an alien permanent resident certificate (永久居留證).

As countries in Northeast Asia begin feeling the heat of labor shortages, countries such as Japan and South Korea have also put forward plans and policies to attract more migrant laborers.

The MOL stated that they have started an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss relevant immigration policies for senior migrant workers, and hope that they will arrive at a satisfactory decision early next year.

At present, there are about 180,000 migrant workers who have worked in Taiwan for six years or more, meaning that they will likely benefit from this new plan.

Hsu added that the “technical skills” appraisal will be conducted by various ministries in the future.

She also remarked that the salary threshold will also be examined to avoid low wages crowding out the employment of domestic workers.

Following this plan in the future, supporting measures will be introduced to protect the employment rights and interests of domestic labor as well, Hsu said.