A US missionary doctor who has dedicated himself to caring for Taiwanese patients for nearly a quarter of a century has been given permanent residency in the country in recognition of his significant contributions to the nation.
Randy Adams on Friday became only the 22nd foreign national to be granted permanent residency for special contributions, just days after William Stanton — the former director of the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan — received a similar honor.
Adams came to Taiwan in 1987 as part of a religious mission and decided to settle in the country when it was apparent his medical skills were sorely needed. He began practicing in the southern town of Hengchun (恆春) in 1989 after getting his Taiwanese medical license, but also continued his religious activities and spent time learning Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese).
In the 20 years he spent in Hengchun, he became a household name as the foreign doctor who could speak fluent Taiwanese. He later transferred to a hospital in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華) and has practiced there ever since.
Having lived in Taiwan on an alien resident certificate for more than two decades, Adams applied for permanent residency earlier this year. According to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖), his initial application did not succeed because he did not meet various criteria, but Chen said that, with his help, Adams re-applied based on Article 25 of the Immigration Act, which stipulates that those who have made special contributions to Taiwan are entitled to permanent residency.
The application was later approved.