Proposed New Immigration Measures (January 2023 edition)

Announcement by the MOI on new measures:

行政院院會通過「入出國及移民法」修正草案 延攬優秀人才 提升人流安全管理

Geared towards attracting highly skilled migrants and improving safe movement of people.

Link to English news about it: Taiwan bill raises max penalty for foreigners who overstay visa to NT$150,000 | Taiwan News | 2023-01-13 11:02:00

Ministry of the Interior (MOI) announced a carrot-and-stick approach designed to increase incentives to attract foreign talent to Taiwan, while also raising the penalties and punishments for violations of immigration law.

The MOI said it is enacting new measures to strengthen law enforcement efforts to detect illegal visitors and safeguard national security. This includes steps taken to prevent foreigners from overstaying their visas, curbing illegal activities by foreign nationals, and strengthening border security.

Might be an overly-active imagination on my part, but coming on the heels of unfavourable coverage in the foreign press, are we not under the sportlight? The segue from skilled migration to an exposition on immigration transgressions, seems to place emphasis on the transgressions. Maybe skilled migration is more of an obiter dictum than the main agenda? Going by the penalties and fines, seems the transgressions inwards are more frowned upon than outward transgressions? Which would imply that the biggest threats to internal security are from immigration.

Always, always, always always always blame the immigrants. They are always the greatest threat to every society, 100% of the time, even when they are statically absolutely not, anywhere on earth.


While I don’t support illegal immigration, the fines they are proposing on some of the lowest income people are ridiculous when the focus should be on the people that are exploiting them. Shows how much contempt the government has for certain classes and a huge shift away from the ‘kinder’ Taiwan image.

I also wonder what will happen if someone either refuses to pay the fine or doesn’t have the money. Do they get detained indefinitely?


I see the higher penalties as a tool against people smuggling and exploitation of undocumented workers.

Spies and Sabaturs.

How will a run away laborer pay those kinds of fines for overstaying?
Commutable to 1000nt a day? 150 days in jail?

People who help foreigners engage in activities not authorized on their visas will face fines of between NT$200,000 and NT$1 million.

Way too steep and broad.

No idea how Taiwan is going to get agricultural workers or many other workers at this rate.

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Didn’t make any effort about being kinder to foreign workers during covid.


Human trafficking goes both ways. Recently there were cases of kidnapping, and hostaging, of locals locally and in Cambodia.

Sincerely doubt this would best be tackled through immigration laws. Spies tend to be either foreign, clued and compliant with immigration law, or locals with a foreign allegiance. Saboteurs tend to be locals. Both these would not be effectively addressed through immigration reform, unless ‘trickle down’ also works in law.

Was there unfavourable coverage recently?

Press about Taiwan’s road safety.

If that’s the case:

CNN: “Taiwan’s traffic is like navigating a battlefield. Don’t go there if you value your life.”

Taiwan: “this is insulting! How dare CNN imply that traffic is unsafe here. Don’t they know we have a lot of people and cars? 沒辦法!”

One random government official: “we all know it’s the illegal immigrants that are causing traffic problems. I mean, look at all those stupid foreigners who overstayed their visas. If we fine them an insane amount of money, all of the problems in Taiwan, including our 差不多 mentality and the traffic problems, will all go away!”


To be clear: this is a draft amendment from the Executive Yuan. It has not passed the Legislative Yuan and is not yet law. Perhaps more amendments lie ahead.


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The higher penalty is to make them reconsider running away in the first place that will put them in a position to be exploited. The fine is"upto" if they don’t have money they will probably just get a fine for what ever they have, deported and a 10 year ban.

I think the minimum is to high for this one, but the maximum should include jail time depending on the activity. There is a difference between getting someone to clean your house when its not on their work permit and running a factory with illegal labour and making millions in profit.

This is aimed at the enablers not the workers, in theory it should help the domestic workers who are forced to work in the family business as well as look after grandpa, as long as this is publicised.

This was me being sarcastic.

If you need to know what the real threat to security is referring to, it’s having people in your country who you don’t know anything about. You have to deal with your own criminals you don’t want criminals from abroad seeing Taiwan as a soft option to go and hide out. I know not everyone is a criminal some just want a better life, if they entered here as illegals or on a visa without checks/ visa free how would you know.
You could have some criminal working with venerable people, this also protects the people who are here legally and also stops the wages being undercut by a worker who could be exploited and abused.

Article 63 of employment service act

Anyone who violates Article 44, or Subparagraph 1 or 2 of Article 57 shall be fined therefore an amount of at least NT$ 150,000 and at most NT$ 750,000; anyone with a recurrent violation of the same provision above-mentioned within five years shall be imprisoned for a term of at most three years, or detained for hard labor, and/or penalized for an amount of at most NT$ 1,200,000.

Article 65

Anyone who violates Paragraph 1, Subparagraphs 1, 4 or 5 or Paragraph 2 of Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Article 34, or Subparagraph 2, 7 to 9 or 18 Paragraph 1 of Article 40 shall be fined therefore an amount of at least NT$ 300,000 and at most NT$ 1,500,000.
Anyone who engages in employment services businesses without permit therefore and in violation of Subparagraphs 2, 7 to 9 or 18 Paragraph 1 of Article 40 shall be punished in accordance with Paragraph 1 of Article 65.

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And what materially changed from that?

Then in that case it’s only a small bump up in the fine, I still think the jail time should be added as a deterrent to the first offence depending upon the seriousness.
In addition 150,000 is a bit rough for helping some one earn a few extra dollars on their day off, I’m not talking about the people who make them work extra without any choice.

activities not authorized on their visas mean behaviors that are not regulated by the Employment Service Act and other laws

anyone let foreigners engage in not authorized activitiex such as to beg, perform art, sell goods, raise funds in the name of private individuals, or engage in other illegal activities that are currently not punished by law, are punished by Article 74-1.

So you don’t know how it will be handled either.
I know that previously migrant workers could spend months in jail prior to deportation, I’m wondering what will be the practical difference now.

The curious ‘running away’ terminology sounds like slaves running away don’t you think? It’s interesting how you have taken this on aswell so naturally.


Bad translation?

Looks like the rule to maintain APRC for holders that have not been approved as a Foreign Professional is being relaxed too.

Not a strict 183 days per year residency to maintain but an average of 183 days over the past 5 years.

第 33 條 移民署對有下列情形之一者,撤銷或廢止其永久居留許可,並註銷其外僑永久居留證:

法源法律網-法規草案 -行政院會通過「入出國及移民法」部分條文修正草案(2023-01-13)


Anyway, Article 74-1 of the proposed draft amendament of immigration act is not targetted illegal immigrant labors on illegar work part, their employers and brokers.

they are already regulated by ESA. illegal migrant workers are fined 30~150k NTD.

Article 68

Anyone that violates Article 9, paragraph 1 of Article 33, Article 41, Article 43, Paragraph 1 of Article 56, Subparagraph 3 or 4 of Article 57, or Article 61 shall be fined therefore an amount of at least NT$ 30,000 and at most NT$ 150,000.
Anyone that violates Subparagraph 6 of Article 57 shall be fined therefore an amount of at least NT$ 20,000 and at most NT$ 100,000 per national worker so dismissed or laid off.