Sat, Aug 18, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taiwanese `model immigrants' in US: study

EXPATS A recent survey showed that while Taiwanese who emigrate to the US are relatively happy, a greater number than ever before are considering coming home

By Max Hirsch  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese immigrants in the US are known as "model immigrants" among immigration authorities there because most of them have high levels of education and are white-collar workers, Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission (OCAC) Chairwoman Chang Fu-mei (張富美) said yesterday.

Chang made the remarks yesterday at a press conference to announce the results of a survey of Taiwanese immigrants in the US, home to 55 percent of all Taiwanese emigrants, according to a 2003 commission survey.

The commission serves the interests of Taiwanese abroad.

"Many of us in the commission have resided in the US for many years, so we're not surprised at the [positive] results of this year's survey," she said.

The survey, which is conducted every three years, is meant to gauge immigration trends among Taiwanese in the US.

Based on mail and Internet-based questionnaires filled out by nearly 1,400 Taiwanese immigrants in the US last year, the survey found that more than 70 percent of Taiwanese immigrants have college or university degrees, with more than 35 percent having doctorates.

Seventy percent of Taiwanese immigrants in the US who are employed there work in white-collar jobs, and earn higher-than-average salaries, the survey showed.

The results are compiled in The 2006 Investigative Report on Taiwanese in the US.

"Taiwanese immigrants don't create problems for the US government," Chang told the news conference, which was held to release both the survey and the report.

The report said that more than half of those surveyed reported that they had "absolutely no trouble" adjusting to life in the US; those who did cited language barriers, economic troubles, their children's education and residency status, among other concerns, as the sources of their problems in the US.

Despite getting along in the US overall, more Taiwanese immigrants there "are considering returning to Taiwan" than ever before, the report said.

According to the previous survey in 2003, 27 percent of respondents said that they would consider coming back to live, while nearly 33 percent of respondents in the latest survey would consider returning.

Chang said Taiwan's relatively good healthcare system and the desire to "come home" were behind the trend.

Some 600,000 Taiwanese reside in the US, she said, adding that that figure was a "conservative estimate."

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