Sat, Mar 15, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet backs bills to give foreigners additional rights

Staff writer, with CNA

The Executive Yuan on Thursday approved three draft amendments that would increase the personal freedom and rights of foreign nationals, including immigrants from China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The amendments have been sent to the legislature for priority passage.

The proposed amendments would involve changes to three laws — the Immigration Act (入出國移民法), the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) and the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例).

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said he has asked the Ministry of the Interior and the Mainland Affairs Council to negotiate with the legislative caucuses of the ruling and opposition parties to pass the bills quickly.

The draft amendment to the Immigration Act specifies that foreign nationals awaiting deportation should be given a chance to argue any criminal cases against them if such cases are already in the judicial process.

In addition, any detainee, their spouse, lineal relatives, legal representatives or siblings may file a petition against a detention decision by the National Immigration Agency, which should send the case to court within 24 hours of receiving the petition, the proposal says.

It also states that people from China, Hong Kong and Macau who overstay their Republic of China resident certificates by less than 30 days, but still have valid reasons for residency would be allowed to reapply for residency without having to leave the country.

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