The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has come up with a draft package of amendments on foreign residency regulations, including revised articles on simplified immigration procedures, to attract more foreigners to live in Taiwan.
The decision was made during a meeting held by the MOI on Thursday that amended the Regulations Governing Visiting, Residence and Permanent Residence of Aliens (外國人停留居留及永久居留辦法).
According to the drafted amendment, starting on Aug. 1 foreign nationals will be able to apply for Alien Resident Certificates (ARC) without having to apply for a resident’s visa first.
Current regulations require foreigners to send applications to the Bureau of Consular Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before applying to the agency.
“[With the planned amendments] foreign nationals holding visitor visas may apply for ARCs directly through the National Immigration Agency [NIA] without having to apply for a resident’s visa at the Bureau of Consular Affairs first,” NIA deputy director-general Steve Wu (吳學燕) said.
The second part of the draft stipulates that employers of foreign workers must inform the agency upon expiration of their foreign employees’ visas to help the government maintain precise data on the foreign population in Taiwan.
The draft’s third part covers new regulations on foreigners’ applications as investment immigrants.
“Those [foreign nationals] who make investments of NT$30 million [US$988,000] or more in businesses that hire at least five or more Taiwanese nationals for three years running, or those who invest NT$30 million or more into immigrant investment funds designated by the NIA and government authorities may be granted permanent residency,” Wu said.
Their spouses and children will also be allowed to file, he said.
To keep those holding dual citizenship from avoiding military service, Wu also said that those with dual citizenship who entered Taiwan on a foreign passport and are listed in Taiwanese household registration records must withdraw from household registration before applying for an ARC.
“Those who haven’t completed their military service or are approaching the draft age will not be allowed to [obtain ARCs],” Wu said.
The draft will be referred to the Cabinet for approval and the Cabinet will confirm a date for the new regulations to take effect, he said.
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