600 foreign nationals obtain Taiwanese nationality in past 2 years

Naturalized Taiwanese citizens include foreign spouses and senior professionals

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(Image courtesy of the National Immigration Agency)

(Image courtesy of the National Immigration Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — More than 600 foreign nationals have obtained Taiwanese nationality since the country’s Nationality Act was amended in December 2016, the authorities said on Saturday (May 4).

As many as 502 foreign spouses have been naturalized as Taiwanese citizens in the past two years, after the authorities loosened naturalization requirements for people who have got a divorce due to suffering domestic violence, who have lost their spouse, or who have children under the age of 18, said the Ministry of Interior (MOI) via a press statement.

Among the five hundred naturalized new immigrants, 137 people are victims of domestic violence, widows or widowers, and 365 people are parents with minors under their care.

In addition, 57 people recognized by the authorities as having made special contributions to Taiwan, and 76 people who qualify as senior professionals also acquired Taiwanese nationality during the same period.

Adjustments to the law have been made since 2016 with the aim of attracting foreign skilled workers, said MOI. For instance, foreigners who have made special contributions to Taiwan or qualify as senior professionals are eligible for adopting Taiwanese nationality without having to give up their native one.

Starting last October, the ministry has also launched one-stop services so that foreigners are able to go through naturalization application and such subsequent procedures as household registration all at the household registration office near their residence.

Besides, financial proof, the residence permit, or language efficiency certificates are not required of applicants if they have already submitted those documents to the authorities before for prior affairs.

The ministry said it will continue to revise relevant regulations, streamline systems, and simplify naturalization procedures as part of its effort to build an inclusive and friendly environment for those who wish to be Taiwanese.