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Taiwan targets int’l students’ retention to bridge labor gap

Reporter Jamie Lin Pinzon
Release time:2023/07/11 19:54
Last update time:2023/07/11 19:54
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — The Taiwanese government plans to lower the requirements for international students to obtain permanent residency after graduation, aiming to attract more skilled foreign workers to address the labor shortage.

And in April of last year, the Ministry of Labor launched the "Long-term Retention of Skilled Foreign Workers Program" to enhance worker retention.

 
 
Data from previous years revealed that over 10,000 international students graduate annually, but only half choose to remain in Taiwan. 

Karnan Gopal, a Fu Jen Catholic University Ph.D. Candidate from India, said that the requirement to obtain the Alien Permanent Resident Certificate is to work for five years with a Bachelor's or Master's degree or three years with a Ph.D. Additionally, working in research after obtaining a Ph.D. in Taiwan entitles one to the Employment Gold Card.

The National Development Council aims to increase the annual number of international students to over 40,000 to retain at least 60% of them. This strategy could result in 200,000 to 300,000 additional individuals working and potentially immigrating to Taiwan within a decade.
 

Under the new employment program, migrant workers can apply to change their immigration status to "intermediate skilled manpower" after six years of employment in Taiwan. After an additional five years of work, they become eligible to apply for permanent residency.

Despite the program's objectives, it has faced criticism due to its complex application process and high requirements. 

Experts point out that salaries in Taiwan may not match international standards, leading to a higher likelihood of students returning to their home countries after graduation. 

Experts emphasize that to fully leverage the demographic dividend from international students and immigrant workers and address the labor shortage issue, the government should focus on enhancing pull factors and implementing coordinated policies.

The Taiwan Briefing

#labor shortage#international students#Skilled Foreign Workers#Ministry of Labor#permanent residency

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