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Spouses from four Southeast Asian nations excluded from fingerprinting

Spouses from four Southeast Asian nations excluded from fingerprinting

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Spouses from four Southeast Asian countries will not need to submit fingerprint records when applying for resident visas, Foreign Minister Timothy Yang said Friday, one day after the ministry announced it would include the group in a new fingerprinting scheme next year. "The preparation work is not yet complete and it is not an issue of immediacy," Yang told the local media after attending a swearing-in ceremony for new diplomats to be stationed abroad. Early Thursday, the foreign ministry's Bureau of Consular Affairs announced a new visa application requirement for workers and spouses from Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Under the scheme, the designated groups would have to have their fingerprints taken at Taiwan representative offices in their own countries when seeking resident visas. The rule was a part of the ministry's efforts to curb identity fraud, Thomas Chen, the bureau's director-general said yesterday. Chen explained that there have been cases in the past in which nationals of these countries have re-applied for visas under a different name when their old visas have expired. Grilled by reporters about whether the exclusion of the spouses from the policy had to do with securing votes for the ruling Kuomintang in the Jan. 14 presidential election, Yang denied such a connection existed. "There were some problems with foreign spouses in the past, but the incidents have reduced drastically now," the minister said, adding that laborers, however, still pose some security risks to Taiwan's society and will have to undergo fingerprinting. (By Nancy Liu)


Updated : 2021-06-21 22:03 GMT+08:00