Sat, Jan 20, 2018 - Page 3 News List

TV host, academics among new citizens

TALENT:A Turkish soccer coach, a US business manager and a Malaysian employee at a semiconductor company were also among the 10 approved for naturalization

By Chen Yu-fu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday approved the naturalization of 10 applicants under the Standards for Defining High-Level Professionals for Naturalization (歸化國籍之高級專業人才認定標準), bringing the total of Taiwanese naturalized under the law to 23 since its promulgation in March last year.

The standards allow foreigners to gain Republic of China (ROC) citizenship while retaining their original nationality if they have unique talents in technology, economics, education, sports, arts and culture, and other areas.

The newly naturalized citizens include Ugur Rifat Karlova of Turkey, who is better known by his Mandarin name, Wu Feng (吳鳳).

He was granted naturalization for his promotion of Taiwanese products through the Turkish Trade Office in Taipei, said a source with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named.

As host of the TV show iWalker (愛玩客), Karlova in 2012 won the Golden Bell Award for Best Travel Host.

Turkish soccer coach Mehmet Fatih Kale, also known by his Mandarin name Wu Fa-ti (吳法悌), was granted naturalization for his contribution to sports and physical education, the first foreigner to be naturalized under the category, the source said.

In the education category, two US citizens, one French, one British and one German were naturalized, with one of the Americans listed as a researcher at Academia Sinica and the German teaching at National Tsing Hua University, the source said.

Another US citizen, who manages a toy and gifts company, and a Malaysian citizen, who works at a renowned domestic semiconductor company, were also naturalized in the economics category, the source said.

The ministry’s Household Registration Administration said that the 10 new citizens could apply to the National Immigration Agency for residency as a citizen without household registration data, adding that they would receive their identification cards at their local Household Registration Office.

Naturalized individuals can vote and submit their candidacy for political positions, the office said.

In terms of retirement, they could also opt to receive their pensions in monthly payments, instead of receiving a once-off lump sum, which is the only option for foreigners with Alien Resident Certificates.

The government strongly encourages talented individuals to apply for naturalization, the office said.

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