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Relaxed travel ban for draft-aged men passes Cabinet

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Executive Yuan yesterday passed a draft bill to relax the travel ban currently imposed on conscription-aged men to allow them to go abroad to study before completion of their military training.

The draft bill has to clear the floor of the Legislative Yuan before taking effect.

Taiwan's Conscription Act currently stipulates that all eligible males must complete compulsory military service before they can study abroad unless they receive permission to study in a foreign country before turning 20 years old.

Once the bill is passed by lawmakers, men who are obliged to serve in the military can delay mandatory service for undergraduate studies until the age of 24, until 27 for graduate programs, and until the age of 30 for those pursuing doctoral degrees.

The proposal is part of a plan to respond to an expected surplus of recruits after the planned abolition of compulsory military service.

The government announced in December 2011 that eligible males born after Jan. 1, 1994 would no longer need to complete compulsory military service; instead, they will only need to undergo four months of military training.

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