Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

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Re: Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

Postby Icon » 07 Aug 2012, 11:57

Seems some changes in regulations are in the pipeline. Bit fuzzy on the details and sincerely I'd love to see the Chinese version of the proposal, but have a look and tell me what you think:

Labor law restrictions will be eased as part of efforts to spur Taiwan’s economy, focusing on regulations governing foreign professionals, the ROC Executive Yuan said Aug. 5.

According to the Cabinet, a consensus has been reached on relaxing the rule requiring foreign white-collar workers with permanent residency to reside in the country for a minimum of 183 days each year to maintain their residency status.

Agreement has also been reached on easing restrictions related to relatives of foreign professionals applying for permanent residency, it said.


http://www.taiwantoday.tw/ct.asp?xItem= ... ctNode=445

That last bit is quite relevant. If we can bring our parents, I'd be a godsend for many, I know.
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Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

Postby headhonchoII » 14 Aug 2012, 06:42

Looks good, depends on the conditions attached.
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Re: Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

Postby Omniloquacious » 14 Aug 2012, 22:38

Below is a translation of an August 9 China Times editorial on the talent crisis that Taiwan is currently facing. It contains points highly material to the discussion in this thread, and makes for a sobering read. I have taken it from the Dateline Taipei website, and am quoting it in full because that website is very difficult to browse.

The editorial was prompted by a government conference on this situation that was held last week. I translated two presentations for it, for deputy ministers of the CEPD and the MAC. Both presentations showed that the government is clearly aware of the serious nature of the situation, and is acting as fast as it can to map out policies and measures for making Taiwan more attractive to both local and foreign talent. Let's hope we see some real and effective results from this very soon. If so, many of us could find our situations here improving quite considerably. But better not hold your breath waiting for it.

Shortage of Talent on Taiwan Serious

Summary: The National Science Council recently held a Science and Technology Development Advisory Conference. It invited officials and experts to discuss industry-university cooperation, national planning projects, and the talent shortage. Chu Ching-yi, Chairman of the National Science Council told reporters Taiwan now has a serious shortage of talent. If nothing is done, Taiwan's former advantage will be lost. International competition will result in our tragic demise. His comments were shocking. Industry, government, and academia each issued warnings. Everyone sees the problem. But no one sees any solutions.

Full Text below:

The National Science Council recently held a Science and Technology Development Advisory Conference. It invited officials and experts to discuss industry-university cooperation, national planning projects, and the talent shortage. Chu Ching-yi, Chairman of the National Science Council told reporters Taiwan now has a serious shortage of talent. If nothing is done, Taiwan's former advantage will be lost. International competition will result in our tragic demise. His comments were shocking. Industry, government, and academia each issued warnings. Everyone sees the problem. But no one sees any solutions.

The shortage of talent on Taiwan did not begin today. Two or three years ago Chu Ching-yi was chairman of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research. As an ordinary scholar he repeatedly issued warnings, including a number of concrete facts. For example, A Ph.D returning from the U.S. to work as an assistant researcher at the Academia Sinica, would be paid a monthly salary of 190,000 NT. The same individual working at Tsinghua University in Beijing, would receive an annual salary, moving expenses, and three years of housing subsidies. His or her average monthly salary would be 436,000 NT, two to three times the Academia Sinica salary. As one can imagine, given such differences in treatment, Beijing is clearly preferable to Taipei.

Three years later, the situation has not improved. Salaries for high-level talen on Taiwan lag far behind Hong Kong and Singapore, by as much as five times. Back then Chu Ching-yi estimated that if nothing was done, the talent shortage would reach crisis proportions within ten years. Even Chu did not realize the crisis would materialize so soon. Less than three years later, the situation has already deteriorated. High-level salaries are constrained by rigid laws. Mid and low-level salaries are constrained by economic hardship. When the pie cannot be made any larger, each piece of the pie will remain small. We lack the economic wherewithal to attract talent. In turn, the lack of talent in a knowledge-based economy will make economic growth impossible. In short, Taiwan may fall victim to more than a lack of talent. The lack of talent could lead to a vicious cycle of economic decline.

This is true for native talent. But how is it for foreign scientific and technological talent? Chu Ching-yi cites his own experience with foreign professors. Before the professor can receive a letter of appointment, he must undergo the same "foreign labor screening" as ordinary foreign workers. Screening for foreign professionals includes bewildering and humiliating screening for syphilis. They may be granted permanent residence, but their families and loved ones will not. Family members can be reunited only by obtaining a 30 day tourist visa. When it expires, family members must leave the country. Even driver's licenses are valid only for the duration of their residence. If their work permit has expired, income earned on Taiwan cannot be withdrawn overseas. Even dividends from unlisted shares require mountains of red tape. Personal information concerning the companies and the individuals must be submitted to the Ministry of Economic Affairs Investment Commission. Myriad restrictions make foreign professionals feel demeaned and subjected to unreasonable and unfair treatment. Why would they want to come to Taiwan?

Native talent has become harder to keep. Foreign talent has become even harder to attract. In recent years many people on Taiwan have evinced an intensely isolationist mentality. Mainland and foreign students have encountered the same obstacles, both in education and in employment. To ensure educational and employment opportunities for Taiwan students, students from the Mainland are not even allowed to marry someone from Taiwan. Allowing in foreign workers involves a variety of political considerations. On the surface such restrictions protect Taiwan. In fact they restrict the entry of high-level talent into Taiwan. They undermine national competitiveness. As a result, more talent leaves. In the global talent market, Taiwan has already lost its attraction. If talent cannot gather, how can industry upgrade? By contrast Singapore is encouraging professionals to move there in droves. The US is the world's most powerful nation. It has never changed its open invitation to professional talent. It spares no expense to train students. Is Taiwan really in any position to talk about global competitiveness?

People on Taiwan underwent years of hardship. They survived the "Come, come, come to National Taiwan University; Go, go, go to the United States" era. Eventually those who went to the United States returned home to create Taiwan's economic miracle. But once Taiwan took off, students had less incentive to study abroad. They stayed home and stood guard over a pool of stagnant water. As iD SoftCapital Group Chairman Stan Shih observed, "The new generation is talented. But we can no longer offer them a stage on which to perform." When asked how this came about, he said "under the influence of politic demagoguery, our society shrank the stage. We only looked inward. Industries lost their competitiveness. Young people no longer have a stage on which to perform."

Industry and academia see the problem. They have proposed solutions. The key is to free up the policies and the laws. The way must be cleared, all the way from the legislature to the executive. For example, the Legislative Yuan oversees public shares and public foundations. It fights fat cats. This enabled the Executive Yuan to invoke the "anti-fat cat articles" to attack research institutes willy nilly. Eventually they realized their error and proposed a "flexible salary program." They managed to retain research institute talent, barely. But the damage was already done.

Politics and economics on Taiwan is brims over with lip service to "the common man." Populist sentiment can easily lead to coercive egalitarianism. This is hardly conducive to the cultivation of cutting-edge talent. The political realm has reduced the stage for the economic realm and the social realm. As a result, far-sighted policies are no longer an option. Even assuming they could be implemented immediately, the government should give them careful consideration.
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Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

Postby headhonchoII » 14 Aug 2012, 23:17

Thanks for the translation, it shows there are people in the island with a real awareness of the situation. The pay quoted seems very high for Beijing, I wonder is that an exaggeration, even for academia sinica it seems high for an assistant researcher. Perhaps they mean assistant professor.
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Re: Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

Postby Impaler » 15 Aug 2012, 10:57

If their work permit has expired, income earned on Taiwan cannot be withdrawn overseas.

Say what??
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Re: Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

Postby Elegua » 15 Aug 2012, 11:19

My experience this time around. So far, it was much easier....but...

1) Screening for foreign professionals includes bewildering and humiliating screening for syphilis. Not in my case
2) They may be granted permanent residence, but their families and loved ones will not. Family members can be reunited only by obtaining a 30 day tourist visa. When it expires, family members must leave the country. Not in my case
3) Even driver's licenses are valid only for the duration of their residence. Not sure
4) If their work permit has expired, income earned on Taiwan cannot be withdrawn overseas. True
5) Even dividends from unlisted shares require mountains of red tape. Absolutely true

The pay quote for Beijing is probably true - my former employer paid much for than that (2-3x) to retain academics and they would often be poached with sweet deals and large budgets
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Re: Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

Postby headhonchoII » 15 Aug 2012, 11:58

1) Screening for foreign professionals includes bewildering and humiliating screening for syphilis. Not in my case

It applies to foreign labourers and English teachers, can't remember about white collar workers. I recall I was tested for this for white collar jobs previously. They also do the parasite test. And yes they will not let you reside in the country if you have not cleared any of those dangerous Amoebas, that you have picked up in the country in the first place :roll: .

2) They may be granted permanent residence, but their families and loved ones will not. Family members can be reunited only by obtaining a 30 day tourist visa. When it expires, family members must leave the country. Not in my case


When the reason to reside changes usually you have to exit and re-enter to apply for another visa. I could see it being a rule that when your ARC expires you and your dependents may have to leave in a very short period. Has that changed at all?

3) Even driver's licenses are valid only for the duration of their residence. Not sure

Yes it's true, as in they only extend to the expiry date on your ARC.

4) If their work permit has expired, income earned on Taiwan cannot be withdrawn overseas. True

Am not sure how this is possible?

5) Even dividends from unlisted shares require mountains of red tape. Absolutely true

Well at least you don't pay big wodges of tax on them if I am right. The US charges a bundle. The stock market here is not that difficult to trade in.

I think they have eased off on the regulations compared to a few years ago. I had a difficult time dealing with bureaucracy and getting permits on-time from different departments, so it is interesting to read your experience as now I am insulated from that by the JFRV.
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Re: Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

Postby Impaler » 15 Aug 2012, 11:59

Elegua wrote:4) If their work permit has expired, income earned on Taiwan cannot be withdrawn overseas. True

So, what do they do? Freeze your bank account and confiscate it the moment your work permit expires? Does everyone have to keep everything in cash just in case they get fired??
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Re: Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

Postby Mucha Man » 15 Aug 2012, 12:08

Impaler wrote:
Elegua wrote:4) If their work permit has expired, income earned on Taiwan cannot be withdrawn overseas. True

So, what do they do? Freeze your bank account and confiscate it the moment your work permit expires? Does everyone have to keep everything in cash just in case they get fired??


They won't confiscate it but they may freeze it. I once forgot to register my new arc with my bank and when their records showed my card had expired they froze my account and I couldn't withdraw money until I brought the new card in.

Some accounts will still let you withdraw money on an expired card, but if you need foreign exchange or other services, forget it.
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Re: Western White-Collar Workers Pouring into Hong Kong

Postby Elegua » 15 Aug 2012, 12:56

You need an ARC to remit funds overseas. Any funds sent overseas to pay you will get 20% withheld, so most companies won't want to do this.

Well, I'm being asked to pay lot's of taxes here. :fume: More than the US! Basically you will be taxed on any equity income derived from working in Taiwan no matter where issues.....and there is a lot of paperwork

I have it from good source they changes the requirement for licenses. But, as you can see from my other post, I have to test it personally first.
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