Five foreign professionals awarded Taiwanese ID under new scheme

A Kyrgyz IT expert, three U.S. professors and one French academic are the beneficiaries

Taiwan is making life easier for foreign professionals. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – An IT expert from Kyrgyzstan, a French professor and three professors from the United States will receive Taiwanese citizenship without having to forego their own nationality under a new scheme to attract foreign professionals, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) said Friday.

Until now, most of the beneficiaries of the changes have been missionaries with decades of social, educational or medical work in often remote villages under their belt.

Since December 21, high-level professionals from the domains of technology, economy, education, arts and culture, sports, religion, democracy and human rights can apply for a Taiwanese passport without having to give up their own original nationality.

Other foreigners cannot combine Taiwanese and original citizenships. After complaints that some could become stateless if their application for a Taiwanese passport was turned down after they gave up their own, the government changed the rules to allow them to show proof of having relinquished their original citizenship after having been approved for a Taiwanese passport.

The MOI said that a meeting Friday had approved the applications from three Americans and a French citizen who have been teaching in Taiwan for some considerable time and were recommended by the Ministry of Education. The fifth person, a Kyrgyz, received a positive mention by the Ministry of Science and Technology. The tech expert works at a prominent Taiwanese international information security company and has practical knowledge contributing to the country’s IT sector, the MOI said.