The Ministry of the Interior yesterday said it has drafted an amendment to help overseas Republic of China (ROC) nationals who do not have a household registration to enter Taiwan without entry permits.
The ministry was responding to requests by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) and representatives from the Chinese Residents’ Association in Seoul at a press conference in Taipei.
Under the current law, about 60,000 ROC passport holders who live overseas are required to apply for a permit to visit Taiwan because they do not have household registration, Lai said, demanding that the government fix the situation.
Despite holding ROC passports, overseas Taiwanese are excluded from the visa-waiver privileges offered by many countries to Taiwan, association president Lee Chung-hsien (李忠憲) said.
Overseas nationals who have graduated from local schools have to apply for a resident permit if they want to remain in Taiwan, which will only be granted if they have a monthly salary of at least NT$37,619, national policy adviser Hao Ming-yi (郝明義) said, adding that this was another form of discrimination.
Vice Minister of the Interior Tseng Chung-ming (曾中明) said the amendment had been sent to the legislature for review and that during the interim, overseas Taiwanese can apply for a special entry permit or a landing visa when they arrive in Taiwan.
However, National Immigration Agency Deputy Director-General Ho Jung-chun (何榮村) said that if the regulations are relaxed, as many as 39 million people of Taiwanese descent around the world could be eligible for an ROC passport and enter the country, swamping the 23 million already living there.
Bureau of Consular Affairs Director-General Thomas Chen (陳經銓) said he would ask Taiwan’s overseas representative offices to discuss with their host countries the issue of granting visa-free treatment to overseas ROC passport holders.