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Ministry of the Interior streamlines application process for foreign nonprofit organizations to set up offices in Taiwan

  • PostDate:2021-03-17 09:53

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has amended the Directions for Foreign Civil Institutions and Organizations to Apply to Set up and Register Offices in the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the first time since the regulations were enacted over 30 years ago. The amendments streamline the application process for foreign nonprofit organizations (NPOs), including those from Hong Kong and Macao, to set up offices in Taiwan. The MOI expects the changes to help increase the global visibility of Taiwan, expand the outreach and influence of Taiwan’s civil society, and cultivate more international connections.

According to the MOI, the changes remove many obstacles to foreign NPOs looking to set up offices in Taiwan. For example, authorized foreign NPOs may now establish secretariats and multiple offices in Taiwan, giving them more flexibility in deciding the level and scope of their operations. In addition, offices are now no longer required to report to the local police, in line with the freedom of association and the spirit of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Other regulations that have been loosened include a six-month grace period for a responsible person of a foreign office to obtain an Alien Resident Certificate. Furthermore, the directions also specifically provide a legal basis for organizations from Hong Kong and Macao to establish offices in Taiwan. However, in the interests of national security, organizations from mainland China are still not allowed to set up offices and mainland Chinese may not work for an office.

The MOI hopes the relaxation of the rules will attract more NPOs from other countries and areas, including Hong Kong and Macao, to set up offices in Taiwan, making the country more visible on the world stage and helping expand its international relations.