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Interviews help reduce mixed marriages of convenience: officials

Interviews help reduce mixed marriages of convenience:  officials

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) An interview system to screen transnational marriages has succeeded in reducing the number of marriages of convenience by an average of 25 percent annually over the past three years, government officials said Monday.
Lo Yu-chung, director-general of the Bureau of Consular Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and officials from the National Immigration Agency (NIA) under the Ministry of the Interior made the remarks while fielding questions from lawmakers at a legislative committee meeting about related mechanisms.
Since the MOFA implemented the interview scheme in May 2005 to step up the screening process for transnational marriages involving Taiwanese citizens, Lo said, Taiwanese officials posted overseas have turned down an annual average of 25 percent of such applications following face-to-face interviews during the 2006-2008 period.
In 2008, Taiwan's representative office in Vietnam rejected 35 percent of the total marriage applications between Taiwanese and Vietnamese people.
Taiwan's representative offices in Indonesia and Thailand recorded rejection ratios of 36.2 percent and 33.8 percent, respectively, last year, while the representative office in the Philippines reported an 18.3 percent rejection rate, he went on.
Conducting interviews has proven very effective in preventing immigrants from entering Taiwan under the guise of foreign spouses through marriages of convenience with Taiwanese men and women, Lo said.
According to Lo, the U.S. State Department in its annual global human trafficking report has also praised the effectiveness of the interview method in helping crack down on cross-border human trafficking.
As of the end of February this year, the number of foreign husbands and wives of Taiwanese citizens living in Taiwan had hit around 140,000, according to statistics.
As high as 58 percent of the foreign wives in Taiwan are from Vietnam, he noted.
As a large number of Vietnamese women get married to men from Taiwan, France, the United States and South Korea every year, the authorities here, as well as those in the other three countries, all require their outposts or embassies in Vietnam to conduct interviews with would-be Vietnamese spouses seeking to marry citizens from their respective countries, Lo pointed out.
The Vietnamese government also interviews its own nationals, as well as their would-be foreign wives or husbands, before issuing marriage certificates, also in a bid to crack down on marriages of convenience, he pointed out.
Speaking on the same occasion, NIA Director-General Hsieh Li-kung said NIA agents have detained 302 foreigners suspected of having entered marriages of convenience with Taiwanese people since the agency's establishment Jan. 2, 2007.
Hsieh echoed Lo's view that the interview mechanism has been very helpful in cracking down on the practice.
(By Flor Wang)

Updated : 2021-10-23 22:38 GMT+08:00