Descendants of fomer Kuomintang soldiers to obtain residency

The National Immigration Agency will issue temporary alien status to over 300 persons

The National Immigration Agency began procedures yesterday to issue temporary alien resident certificates to over 300 "stateless" descendants of former Kuomintang army troops who had remained in Myanmar and Thailand following a Chinese civil war.
As long as the descendants of the soldiers are listed as students in Taiwan by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission and the Ministry of Education, they are entitled to one-year ARCs that will permit them to live in the country with temporary identity status until the Immigration Act is revised to allow them legitimate status, the NIA said.
Minister of the Interior Liao Liou-yi expressed the hope that the Legislative Yuan will pass the amendment to the law by September, when the next legislative session opens, to "realize the dream of the students" who have no nationality.
The descendants of KMT soldiers who fought against the Communists during the civil war came to Taiwan on forged passports because they did not have residency or citizenship in either Myanmar or Thailand due to their special situation.
During the war, thousands of KMT soldiers were deployed along the northern borders of those Southeast Asian countries in preparation for "the return to the mainland" under the KMT flag. However, the KMT-led Republic of China government was forced to retreat from China to Taiwan following its defeat in the civil war that ended in 1949.
To "chase a dream" of their parents to "return to the motherland, "the soldiers' offspring years ago responded to a college enrollment drive by Taiwan's Ministry of Education and the OCAC. They enrolled in colleges and universities in Taiwan after being told that they could obtain permanent residency if they lived in the country for at least five years.
However, the "dream" became a nightmare as their residency applications were rejected because they held no "valid" passports, according to a human rights association of ethnic Chinese refugees from Myanmar and Thailand in Taiwan.
On July 4, representatives of 380 stateless descendants staged a protest outside the Legislative Yuan and a sit-in at Liberty Square in Taipei to ask the KMT-run government to recognize their legitimate status. The protesters complained that as they do not have citizenship in Taiwan and some have no legal status, they were often worried about police inspections.
Yesterday, Minister Liao urged the soldiers' descendants in Taiwan to "turn themselves in" to the authorities.
Under the new regulations, the category of students who came to Taiwan to study under OCAC and MOE enrollment projects between May 21, 1999 and December 26, 2007 are eligible to apply for temporary ARCs, as long as they have a clean criminal record for the last five years, according to the NIA.