TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Cabinet on Thursday (Sept. 21) said it had approved a draft amendment that eases naturalization rules for foreign professionals, and assists the application naturalization process for stateless children living in Taiwan.
At a press conference the Cabinet said it approved proposed amendments to provisions of the Nationality Act (國籍法) put forward by the Ministry of the Interior. Among the amendments approved include relaxing the required residency period for foreign "high-level professionals" applying for naturalization.
This will exempt individuals who have made substantial contributions from paying the nationality documents fee. It also allows stateless children to be represented by social welfare organizations.
Amendments to Articles 5 and 9 of the Nationality Act, will relax the residency requirements for foreign high-level professionals applying for naturalization. Instead of the current requirement of maintaining legal residence for at least 183 days per year for three consecutive years, the new regulation lowers the requirement to two consecutive years of legal residence.
An amendment to Article 6, includes a provision that waives the Taiwan nationality permit certificate fee of NT$1,200 for foreign nationals who have made "significant contributions" during their long-term residence in Taiwan. This includes professionals in healthcare, social welfare, education, and service to remote rural areas.
To align with the lowering of the legal age of majority, what is considered the threshold of legal adulthood, from 20 to 18 in the Civil Code (民法), the provisions related to foreign nationals have been modified to use an age-based standard. The term "unmarried minors" has been amended to "unmarried and under 18 years old."
Amendments to Articles 4 and 7 enable stateless persons who are unmarried and under the age of 18 years to apply for Taiwanese citizenship if they are represented by social welfare authorities or social welfare organizations as their guardians. Currently, only adoptive parents of such stateless minors can apply for naturalization on their behalf if at least one adoptive parent is a Taiwanese citizen.