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Frenchman Remy Gils receives Taiwan citizenship after 15 years

French runner, host of Taiwan TV show 'Sightseeing by Bus' receives Taiwan ID card

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Remy Gils (left). (Facebook, Remy Gils photo)

Remy Gils (left). (Facebook, Remy Gils photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A French television host, who has lived in Taiwan for 15 years, received his Taiwan ID card on Friday (Oct. 15).

The host of Taiwan Public Television’s Taiwanese-language program, "Sightseeing by Bus," Remy Gils (吉雷米), 41, announced on his Facebook page on Friday that he had received his Taiwan ID card. Gils in August became one of the handful of foreign residents granted special permission to receive Taiwanese citizenship without having to relinquish his original passport.

In the post, Gils wrote that obtaining dual Taiwanese-French citizenship as a high-level professional was "really not easy" and confessed that he cried a bit when he received his Taiwan ID card. He expressed his thanks to the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Interior, Kaohsiung City Household Registration Office, Kaohsiung City Service Center of the National Immigration Agency, and his wife Chiang Pei-ching (江佩靜).

He closed his post by saying that he was very grateful to the Taiwanese for giving him the opportunity to "live on this beautiful island." He then added, "Let's make Taiwan shine together."

Frenchman Remy Gils receives Taiwan citizenship after 15 years
Gils (second from left). (Facebook, Remy Gils photo)

Gils, who is a resident of Kaohsiung, is an avid runner, having competed in multiple marathons and jogged around Taiwan proper in 17 days. He has published five books and his show, "Sightseeing by Bus," was nominated for the Golden Bell Award in 2020.

In March 2017, the ministry promulgated a regulation as a supplement to an amendment to the Nationality Act (國籍法) passed by the legislature in December 2016, giving special exemptions and extensions for the requirement that foreign nationals renounce their citizenship before being eligible to become a Taiwanese citizen.

Previously, all foreign nationals had to first give up their original citizenship before they could be approved as Taiwanese nationals, a procedure that might turn them into stateless persons if the Taiwan authorities rejected their applications.

Over the past four years since the amendment to the Nationality Act took effect, 198 senior foreign professionals, or 0.025% of Taiwan's 770,925 foreign residents, have been granted the privilege of receiving Taiwanese citizenship without having to relinquish their original nationality.