Fresh Faces Newcomers to Taiwan 台灣新住民——向前邁進的驅動力
Since Taiwan opened its doors to migrant laborers in 1989, the trickle of foreign workers has become a tide. Today they make up the fifth largest population group with an estimated 640,000 individuals. Up to 70 percent hold low-skilled labor and domestic help positions, filled by brokers with recruits from countries like Indonesia and Vietnam. In contrast, the roughly 30,000 white-collar foreign workers primarily come from Japan and the U.S., many finding work directly or through networking.
自從台灣於 1989 年對移工打開大門以來，為數不多的外籍勞工便形成一股浪潮。如今，他們已成為台灣第五大族群，估計有 64 萬人。高達 70% 的外籍勞工擔任低技術勞力與家庭幫傭的職務，由仲介商從印尼與越南等國家引入。相對之下，為數約三萬人的白領外籍工作人口主要來自日本與美國，其中許多是自己或透過社群網絡找到工作。
Regardless of the nature of employment, Taiwan enforces strict regulations for resident permits. An applicant must first procure a visa overseas, then present supporting documents such as a job offer. Certain professions like English teachers must also submit a health examination record. An Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) is then issued at a cost of NT$1,000 per year. Each resident must pay taxes on earnings and is entitled to tax refunds as well as health insurance.
Foreign workers are increasingly vital in propping up Taiwan's economy. The nation has the world's lowest birthrate of 1.065 that has been described as an "issue of national security." With an exodus of the local workforce to mainland China and significantly more abortions than births annually, an aging population crisis looms ahead. In light of this, recent relaxations of the immigration policy are reflecting the country's growing acceptance of multicultural demographics.
外籍勞工在支撐台灣經濟的重要性與日俱增。台灣全球最低的 1.065 生育率被形容為「國安問題」。隨著本土勞力紛紛出走中國大陸，且每年的墮胎數遠多於生育數，人口老化的危機已迫在眉睫。有鑑於此，近來放寬移民政策的做法反映了這個國家對於多文化人口的接受度已大幅提高。