A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator said yesterday that for the sake of national security, the waiting period for Chinese spouses of Taiwan nationals to obtain Republic of China (ROC) citizenship should not be shortened to four years from the present eight years.
DPP Legislator Chang Ching-hui (張慶惠) made the remarks as a legislative committee is set to review an opposition-initiated draft amendment to the Statute Governing Relations between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) on Wednesday to cut the waiting period in half.
Chang said that the DPP should consider the views of the Mainland Affairs Council and the Ministry of the Interior before deciding on how to deal with the issue.
She said that in addition to considering national security, one should also consider the cross-strait situation and the population density in Taiwan, adding that she had reservations about the amendment, especially in the wake of reports of Chinese women coming to Taiwan to engage in prostitution under the guise of marriage.
The current regulations state that Chinese spouses of Taiwanese citizens can apply to stay as a dependent after being married for two years.
After an additional four years of residence with at least 183 days in each of those years, foreign spouses can apply for a long-stay visa. After two more years, they can apply for citizenship, as long as they do not have a criminal record.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chu Feng-chi (朱鳳芝), one of the authors of the amendment, said that the waiting period should be shortened based on human rights considerations.
KMT legislator Diane Lee (李慶安), meanwhile, said that under current immigration laws, foreign spouses of Taiwanese citizens can obtain ID cards after four years, making it unfair for Chinese spouses to wait eight years.