Sun, Dec 05, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Naturalization procedure relaxed for two scenarios

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff Reporter

In a bid to resolve some long--criticized issues of the country’s naturalization process, the Ministry of the Interior has adopted revisions to the Nationality Act (國籍法) to relax some restrictions.

The first change adopted in a meeting on Friday was to shorten the pending period for those who are applying for citizenship through marriage, but have either divorced their spouse or had their partners die before being approved.

Currently, a foreign resident applying for naturalization in the above situation must live in the country for a minimum of 183 day for five consecutive years. The ministry decided to shorten the pending period to three years.

“The revision was made in accordance to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,” the ministry said in a statement. “We consider it more reasonable to treat those immigrant spouses whose conjugal status have changed the same as those in conjugal relationships, as they may be facing more difficult circumstances.”

The ministry also decided to give conditional approval of applications for naturalization since many immigrant rights groups have complained the current rule stipulates a person must first obtain a certificate of renunciation of citizenship from his or her home country before being granted Republic of China citizenship.

Those who are granted conditional approval must submit a certificate of renunciation of citizenship from his or her home country within a year. Naturalization of those who fail to do so within that perioud would be voided.

“The revision is for those whose home countries do not grant a certificate of renunciation of citizenship without proof of citizenship from another country,” the ministry said in the statement.

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