Taipei, June 24 (CNA) Vietnam remains the major source of foreign spouses in Taiwan, with 3,907 Vietnamese becoming naturalized citizens last year alone, according to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).
The ministry said Vietnamese accounted for 72.8 percent of the total number of people in Taiwan who gained citizenship last year, with most of them being spouses of Taiwan nationals.
Of the 5,366 newly naturalized citizens last year, 3,907 were from Vietnam, 533 from Indonesia, 471 from the Philippines, 122 from Thailand, 56 from Malaysia, 40 from Myanmar, 12 from Cambodia, and six from Singapore, MOI data showed.
The total number represented a 65 percent increase from 2016, but was a 59.4 percent decline from 2008, the ministry said.
Its data showed that 91.7 percent of the people who gained Taiwan citizenship last year were women, 86.9 percent were spouses of Taiwan nationals, and 95.9 percent were from Southeast Asian countries.
In 2015, the number of people who became naturalized citizens was 3,252, a record low in a declining annual trend since 2008 when the number was 13,230, the data showed.
The MOI attributed the decline to a regulation implemented in 2005 that requires an interview with immigration officials before a couple can file for admission of a foreign spouse.
The regulation was introduced to screen out fake marriages, among other reasons, according to the ministry.