Mon, Jun 15, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Overseas ROC nationals to benefit from proposed bill

WELCOME HOME:The draft bill would see regulations on the length of time that overseas Taiwanese must live in the nation to achieve permanent residency reduced

Staff writer, with CNA

The Overseas Community Affairs Council yesterday said that a draft amendment to the Immigration Act (出入國及移民法) has been submitted for review that aims to address difficulties faced by overseas Taiwanese, including those from the Philippines, who have overstayed their visas and not completed the required household registrations.

Compatriots who have overstayed their visas are unable to obtain a National Identification Card or apply for National Health Insurance, according to accounts from overseas Taiwanese.

Overseas Chinese residing in the Philippines also appealed for residency and employment rights.

The council said that the proposed amendment is the result of extensive inter departmental collaboration at seminars and forums over the past few years among relevant government agencies, including the National Immigration Agency, the Ministry of Labor and the National Health Insurance Administration.

On employment rights, the council said that current guidelines allow only those who have Republic of China (ROC) nationality to be employed without having to first apply for a work permit. The council said that the Minister of Labor would make great efforts to make employers aware of this fact.

Regarding health insurance, the council said that National Health Insurance program requires an individual to complete household registration before they can be insured, therefore overseas Chinese from the Philippines who do not meet the requirements might not be covered under the program.

Current guidelines prescribe that Taiwanese nationals from overseas countries can apply for permanent residency if they have lived in Taiwan for over 183 days each year for seven consecutive years.

The requirements have been deemed too stringent by Taiwanese in the Philippines who are pushing for an amendment to the regulation.

In response, the council said that under the proposed amendment, the requirements for Taiwanese from abroad to apply for permanent residency in Taiwan would be relaxed, with the length of stay being cut from seven to five years.

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