Mon, Apr 08, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Chinese spouses have easier path to ROC citizenship

By Tseng Wei-chen, Su yung-yao and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A closer inspection of immigration laws shows that Chinese spouses do not have to give up their nationality to obtain citizenship, an obstacle that spouses of other nationalities face.

The Nationality Act (國籍法) and Immigration Act (入出國及移民法) state that if foreign spouses do not wish to become a citizen and only wish to obtain permanent residency, they must reside in Taiwan for five years consecutively and must spend more than 183 days a year in the nation.

The regulations stipulate that foreign spouses may also obtain permanent residency if they reside within the nation by legal means for more than 10 years, with more than 183 days spent in Taiwan per year for five out of 10 years.

However, according to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), Chinese spouses need only reside in Taiwan for four years, with more than 183 days of each year spent within the nation, to gain permanent residency.

In addition, if non-Chinese foreign spouses wish to become a Republic of China (ROC) citizen, they must first renounce their original nationality after they have resided within the nation for more than three years and spent more than 183 days a year in Taiwan.

They must also take a test on the basic rights and duties of a citizen before they can obtain citizenship.

After non-Chinese foreign spouses receive citizenship, they must continue to stay in Taiwan for one full year, reside in Taiwan for two full years with 270 days of each year spent in Taiwan or stay in Taiwan for five full years with 183 days spent in Taiwan each year before they may settle and register their residence with local household registration office and receive their ROC identification card.

However, such rules do not apply to Chinese spouses.

After they gain permanent residency, Chinese spouses need only stay two full years, with 183 days spent each year within Taiwan, to gain citizenship, register their residence with local household registration office and gain their ROC identification card.

They also are not required to renounce their People’s Republic of China citizenship.

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