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Taiwan to address problems facing foreigners with special act
Publish Date: 2016/11/06
Update Date: 2016/11/06
Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) Taiwan's government has drafted a special act to resolve several of the problems facing foreign nationals employed in the country, which range from insurance and pensions to the residence status of their children, a Cabinet official said Friday.

Because the problems involve numerous laws and regulations, the Executive Yuan -- the top administrative branch of the government -- has drawn up a special act to comprehensively "ease residence-related restrictions on foreigners," said Chen Tain-jy, head of the National Development Council.

The draft act will be released for public discussion by the end of the year at the earliest, and it will not be submitted to the Legislature before the Executive Yuan achieves a consensus on it in society, Chen said.

Chen mentioned the draft measure during a press conference at which the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) presented its 2016 white paper to Taiwan's government.

One of the suggestions the JCCI made in its paper was for Taiwan to ease the restrictions on family members of foreign nationals dispatched to Taiwan for work on getting national health insurance.

Asked about residence-related challenges facing foreigners residing here, Chen admitted there are numerous problems that foreign nationals encounter when working in Taiwan.

Among them are the inability of the children of foreign employees to stay in the country and work here and the inability of foreign parents to apply for national health insurance for their newborns in the first six months after their children are born, he said.

The Executive Yuan wants to fix the problems comprehensively, but the difficulty is that the problems -- from exit-and entry management, work and insurance to pensions -- are covered in several different laws and regulations.

"It would be too complicated if we tried to revise the laws," Chen said, leading the government to come up with the idea of drawing up a special act to do the job.

"The part concerning high-ranking professional technicians will be handled first," the minister said.

The issue surfaced after Ralph Jensen, a German software engineer who has worked in Kaohsiung since 1998, sent a local newspaper a letter complaining that his family members have been unable to obtain permanent residence even though he was given permanent residence in 2006.

Even his two sons who were born in Taiwan have only obtained permanent residence on the grounds of visiting family, and they cannot work in Taiwan unless they meet eligibility requirements for foreign nationals to work in the country, Jensen said.

Because of the restrictions, his family of six has to live separately in different countries, he lamented. (Courtesy of CNA)
Chen Tain-jy said that the Executive Yuan has drawn up a special act to comprehensively "ease residence-related restrictions on foreigners. (Photo courtesy of CNA)
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