Migration News: "Taiwan: Migrant Policy Evolution"
Migration News Vol. 14 No. 3, July 2007
The Council of Labor Affairs announced in May 2007 that the number of foreign workers allowed into the country would be based on the unemployment rate. There will be two categories of guest workers: foreign laborers for industry and workers in welfare service. Different rules will govern admissions of each type of worker. Migrant workers will be able to stay in the country up to nine years; the previous limit was six years.
Taiwan has established a quota of 391,926 foreign workers, but only 347,172 were in the country in May 2007.
Taiwan began to import foreign workers in 1989, giving one-year permits (renewable once) to manufacturing employers and for migrants hired for infrastructure construction projects. The 1992 Employment Service Act established the Council of Labor Affairs to determine Taiwan's foreign worker policy. The CLA required employers to prove that they needed to hire foreign workers by, for instance, advertising for local workers for at least one week.
The CLA limited guest workers to 30 percent of a firm's workers, and allowed initial entries for two years, with a one-year extension possible. Manufacturing firms seeking foreign workers were required to develop plans to reduce their need for foreign workers over time until 1997, when the"