Wed, Aug 14, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Davis success may inspire visa changes

Staff writer, with CNA

The National Immigration Agency is to use the case of basketball player Quincy Davis to urge other government departments to make it easier for the country to attract international talent, the chief of the agency said on Monday.

Davis’ performance at the FIBA Asia Championship validated the government’s speedy processing last month of his application to become a naturalized citizen based on his ability to “make a special contribution to the country and society,” National Immigration Agency Director-General Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) said.

For Davis to be on Taiwan’s national team in time for the tournament, which began on Aug. 1 in Manila, his application to become a Republic of China citizen was approved in a matter of days.

Taiwan finished fourth in the event, their best finish at the biennial Asian basketball championship since 1999, and Davis was a major contributor.

He started all nine of his adopted nation’s games during the tournament, averaging 14.7 points and nine rebounds a game while shooting 73.3 percent from the floor.

In Taiwan’s dramatic upset win over China on Friday that fired the public’s imagination, he made all but one of 13 shots, and led the team with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Without elaborating, Hsieh said that there is plenty of room for improvement in the government’s policy on the recruitment of foreign nationals who could make a contribution to Taiwan’s development.

Therefore, the agency will work with other government departments to ease restrictions and to provide incentives to attract foreign talent, he said.

As of December last year, there were 27,624 foreign professionals working in Taiwan, according to Council of Labor Affairs statistics.

The total includes 14,465 people employed in specialized or technical fields, 5,615 English-language institute teachers, 2,445 school teachers, 1,948 working in the fields of religion, entertainment or the arts, 1,853 business executives, 1,269 contract workers and 29 sportsmen or coaches.

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