New Visa Policy in Taiwan to Benefit Over 150,000 Filipino Workers

In a significant development that promises to reshape the lives of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Taiwan, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) has announced a new visa policy by the Taiwanese government. This policy, aimed at easing the burden on OFWs, allows them to apply for multiple entry visas, a change that is expected to benefit more than 150,000 Filipinos working in Taiwan, as reported by the Manila Times.

A Milestone for OFWs

Former labor secretary and now MECO chairman Silvestre Bello III hailed this development as a milestone. “We are very pleased with this latest development that will ease the burden on OFWs. This means savings in terms of time and money in the processing of travel documents to Taiwan for our workers,” he said. The announcement comes as a relief to many who have long struggled with the cumbersome process of obtaining travel documents.

new visa policy Taiwan

The introduction of a new visa policy will ease the burdensome administrative process of obtaining travel documents, providing much-needed financial relief and reducing the stress and anxiety associated with visa applications. This policy change not only offers stability and predictability for OFWs but also improves their work-life balance, allowing for potentially more frequent visits back home and stronger family ties. Furthermore, this development signifies a recognition of the rights and contributions of OFWs in Taiwan, suggesting a progressive shift towards better treatment and welfare of Filipino workers abroad.

The Impact of New Rules

Under the new rules, OFWs on vacation are required to inform their Taiwan Manpower Agencies at least three weeks prior to their scheduled departure. This notice period is essential for the replacement of their Taiwan Resident Certificate (ARC), which will now indicate entitlement to multiple reentry visas.

David Des Dicang, Director of the Migrant Workers Office in Kaohsiung, explained the specifics: “Such reentry permit is for multiple uses, and its validity period shall not exceed the validity period of the ARC.” He also noted that if a work permit is canceled, the reentry permit would be deemed canceled as well.

Ensuring Compliance and Avoiding Pitfalls

Dicang emphasized the importance of adhering to the return schedule to Taiwan, cautioning that extended vacations could lead to being marked as Absent without Leave (AWOL). This could result in the cancellation of their Work Permit/ARC and prevent their reentry into Taiwan.

Being marked as AWOL can have serious consequences.

  • It can lead to the cancellation of the OFW’s Work Permit/ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) and prevent their reentry into Taiwan.
  • This means that the OFW may lose their job and legal status in Taiwan, making it difficult for them to find employment or return to the country in the future.

The repercussions of going AWOL can have long-term effects on an OFW’s career and livelihood. It is crucial for OFWs to understand and comply with their contractual obligations and return schedules to avoid facing these potential consequences.

Amending Immigration Regulations

These new rules are part of a broader amendment of Taiwan’s immigration regulations concerning the stay and residence of foreigners. Previously, foreigners working in Taiwan under the Employment Service Act were not eligible for multiple reentry permits. However, in a move to safeguard the rights of foreign workers, these regulations have been relaxed.

Dicang further explained that the new rules have also streamlined the process for OFWs, simplifying procedures that were once lengthy and complex.

In the past, foreign workers under the Employment Service Act were not eligible for multiple reentry permits in Taiwan. This meant that OFWs faced challenges when it came to traveling in and out of Taiwan for various reasons, such as vacations or family emergencies. This restriction posed a significant inconvenience and added to the already burdensome work process for OFWs.

The Timing and Effect of the Policy

The new rules have taken effect this month, marking a significant change in the lives of many OFWs in Taiwan. This policy shift is not just a bureaucratic change but a major step towards recognizing the contributions and needs of the Filipino workforce in Taiwan.

The policy shift signifies a broader recognition of the valuable contributions made by Filipino workers in Taiwan. OFWs play a significant role in various sectors of Taiwan’s economy, and their hard work and dedication contribute to the growth and development of the country. By implementing these new rules, Taiwan is acknowledging the importance of the Filipino workforce and taking steps to address their needs and concerns.

Moreover, this policy change reflects a shift in mindset towards a more inclusive and supportive approach to foreign workers. It demonstrates Taiwan’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for OFWs, where their rights are protected, and their contributions are valued.

A Closer Look at OFWs in Taiwan

Overseas Filipino workers form a substantial part of the labor force in many countries, including Taiwan. They are known for their hard work, resilience, and the sacrifices they make for their families back home. In fact, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Taiwan is one of the top destinations for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

As of 2020, there were approximately 157,000 OFWs in Taiwan, making it one of the countries with the highest concentration of Filipino workers. This statistic highlights the significant presence and contribution of OFWs in Taiwan’s labor force. However, OFWs often face challenges such as homesickness, cultural barriers, and complex bureaucratic processes in their host countries. This new visa policy is seen as a gesture of goodwill and recognition of their valuable contribution to Taiwan’s economy.

The Bigger Picture

This development comes at a time when Taiwan is facing diplomatic challenges, as indicated by Nauru’s recent switch of diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. Amidst these geopolitical shifts, the easing of visa regulations for OFWs could be viewed as part of Taiwan’s broader strategy to strengthen ties with other countries and demonstrate its commitment to being a hospitable and fair place for foreign workers.

Why is this move significant? Let us take a look at some of the recent events that transpired involving Taiwan, China, and the Philippines for more context in this news report from the ANC Digital YouTube channel.



The new visa policy in Taiwan is a significant step forward for Filipino workers. It not only simplifies their administrative burdens but also acknowledges their indispensable role in Taiwan’s economy. As these changes take effect, over 150,000 OFWs in Taiwan can now look forward to a more streamlined process, reducing both the financial and emotional toll of their work abroad, and ensuring a more secure and efficient system for their repeated travels between Taiwan and the Philippines.