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Government mulling easing naturalization requirements

Government mulling easing naturalization requirements

Taipei, March 15 (CNA) The Ministry of the Interior is considering the possibility of conditionally allowing foreigners in Taiwan to obtain Republic of China citizenship without having to renounce their original nationality, an official said Saturday. Chang Wan-yi, head of the ministry's Department of Household Registration Affairs, made the remarks after media reports that an American priest living in Taiwan for the past 50 years is not able to obtain ROC citizenship. Chang said that some legislators have recently proposed abolishing Article 9 of the Nationality Act, which requires foreigners to relinquish their original nationalities before applying for ROC citizenship. The ministry, however, would prefer to keep that requirement but add an exception for people who have made special contributions to the country or outstanding people who fit national development goals, she said. Either way, any reform of Taiwan's strict immigration requirements would benefit foreigners struggling with the system. Local media reported early this month on a Malaysian woman who was left stateless when her Taiwanese husband died partway through the immigration process. She had been living in Taiwan without any valid citizenship for 18 years before finally getting temporary travel documents to return to her place of birth. (By Hsieh Chia-chen and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-02-28 22:03 GMT+08:00