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2017-05-19 09:00
Recruiting foreign talents and protecting rights of new residents
The amendments to the Nationality Act promulgated on Dec. 21, 2016, have significantly relaxed regulations regarding recruitment and employment of foreign talents and naturalization of foreigners.

For people with special contributions to the Republic of China and those high-level professionals in science and technology, economics, educational, cultural, arts, sports and other sectors who can contribute to the ROC, they are no longer required to first renounce the citizenship of their nation of origin before applying for ROC citizenship if the application is recommended by the central competent authorities and approved by a screening committee of the Ministry of the Interior.

American Catholic priest Brendan O'Connell, one of the pioneers of Taiwan's special education and the "Grandpa Kentucky" of many children with cerebral palsy, was the first beneficiary of the relaxation of naturalization regulations, obtaining a Republic of China identification card for his "special contributions to the country".

On Jan. 6 this year, Premier Lin Chuan visited O'Connell at the Bethlehem Foundation in Tainan to present him the ROC ID card. The priest founded the Bethlehem Foundation in 1996 to take care young children with development delays.

To facilitate the interests and rights of new residents, the amended act allows foreigners to submit certificate renouncing the citizenship of their nation of origin after having acquired the ROC citizenship, and foreign spouses applying for naturalization are no longer required to submit statements of financial independence. The process to apply for naturalization is simplified since the appliers need not to first apply for the Certificate of Quasi-Naturalization of the ROC. In addition, there won't be cases leaving the applicants stateless after renouncing their home country.

For those foreign spouses, who have not remarried after divorcing the Taiwanese spouse due to domestic violence, and, for those whose Taiwanese spouses have died, who can prove to have kept regular contact with the family, who, after being widowed, have kept the marriage for more than two years, and who are raising underage children of ROC nationality, to apply for naturalization, the requirement regarding the span of legal residence is reduced from five years to three years. In addition, no minimum sum is required in the statement of financial independence.

Furthermore for the convenience of the public and avoiding mistakes or missing information, the competent authorities will prepare naturalization application forms with personal information kept at the household registration system and conscription information system of the Ministry of the Interior, and the applicants need only to check and sign. To save time and expenses for the applicants, the competent authorities will also help checking dates of entry and exit, duration of residence as well as police records and real estate certificates.

Related nationality regulations can be found at the Ministry of the Interior website ( or acquired from city or county governments and household registration offices.

Recruiting foreign talents and protecting rights of new residents
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