MECO: Over 150,000 OFWs to benefit from Taiwan's multiple visa entry grant to foreign workers

More than 150,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are set to benefit from the decision of Taiwan’s immigration authorities to grant multiple visa entry for foreign workers, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office announced on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

MECO chairman Silvestre H. Bello III said the decision technically relaxed the immigration rules for foreign workers that include Filipinos working various jobs in Taiwan.

“We are very pleased with this latest development that will ease the burden on our OFWs. This means savings in terms of time and money in the processing of travel documents to Taiwan for our workers,” Bello said.

Previously, foreigners who are working in Taiwan and are covered by its Employment Service Act are not eligible to apply for multiple reentry permits.

“But due considerations and in order to safeguard the rights of foreign workers, the regulations have been relaxed,” said David Des Dicang, director of the Migrant Workers Office in Kaohsiung.

He said the new rules amended several provisions of Taiwan’s immigration regulations for the stay and residence of foreigners.

Dicang said the new rules, which will be in effect this month, has also streamlined the process for OFWs.

He  then reminded OFWs who are currently vacationing in the Philippines, to inform their Taiwan Manpower Agencies (Brokers) at least three weeks before the scheduled departure to give them ample time for the replacement of their R.O.C. (Taiwan) Resident Certificate (ARC).

This process, he said, will indicate entitlement to multiple re-entry visas. 

“Such reentry permit is for multiple uses, and its validity period shall not exceed the validity period of the ARC,” said Dicang.

“If the work permit is cancelled, the reentry permit is also deemed cancelled,” he added.

He explained that there is a need for OFWs to strictly observe the period of return to Taiwan, as extended vacations may lead to Absence Without Leave (AWOL) and may result to the cancellation of their Work Permit/ARC and prevent their reentry into Taiwan.