Taiwan's Ministry of the Interior aims to shorten naturalization process to 10 days

For now, the naturalization process takes up to two months.

A foreigner granted permanent residency in Taiwan. (Source: The National Immigration Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) —Taiwan's Ministry of the Interior (MOI) is proposing the streamlining of the naturalization application process to enable foreigners awarded for a special contribution to be able to obtain a Taiwanese ID card within 10 days.

For now, the naturalization process takes up to two months to complete. First, applicants have to submit their applications to a Household Registration Office near their residences. The application will be reviewed by the local government, the MOI, and the Executive Yuan. After the application is approved, the applicant has to apply for a residence card at the National Immigration Agency, and then apply for an ID card back at the Household Registration Office.

In order to simplify the process, the MOI proposed that the application not go through the Executive Yuan, thus shortening the process to 10 days. However, the MOI's proposal still needs to be approved by the Executive Yuan.

The proposal was made after the death of Jerry Martinson, an American Jesuit missionary and educator who died one day before receiving his Taiwanese ID card, prompting discussions about the naturalization procedures, which have been criticized for being complicated and time-consuming.   

According to the Nationality Act Article 6 passed December 2016, foreigners or stateless people who have been awarded for their contribution to Taiwan can apply to naturalize as Taiwanese citizens without giving up their original nationality.

However, foreigners may still face other difficulties getting Taiwanese nationality. In order to be awarded for their contribution, foreigners need to be recommended by the authorities and a committee will be convened to decide whether they are entitled to the award.