Sat, Jan 26, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Most new citizens came from Indonesia, Vietnam

CHINESE MIGRATION:The number of mainland Chinese applying for permanent residency has decreased annually, falling to 4,538 people last year

By William Hetherington  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan-based Ukrainian actress and model Larisa Bakurova holds an entry and exit permit on Wednesday at the National Immigration Agency’s Taipei Service Center.

Photo courtesy of the Ministry of the Interior

The majority of people who obtained Republic of China (ROC) citizenship over the past 31 years came from Vietnam and Indonesia, a Ministry of the Interior official said.

The population grew by 18,000 people last year, Department of Household Registration Deputy Director Chen Hsin-wei (鄭信偉) said on Saturday, adding that population growth was hampered by a birthrate that was lower than the number of deaths.

One of the reasons the population saw any growth at all was the naturalization of foreigners, he said.

From 1987 to November last year, 124,154 foreigners and foreign spouses gained ROC citizenship, the ministry said.

The period that saw the greatest number of foreigners and foreign spouses gain ROC citizenship was from 2005 to 2008, when more than 10,000 people were naturalized per year, the ministry said.

The year 2008 marked a historical high, with the addition of 13,230 new citizens, of whom 13,081 were women, it said.

During those three years, between 8,000 and 10,000 Vietnamese women and about 1,000 Indonesian women were naturalized annually, the ministry said.

From 2009 onward, that number dropped annually before reaching a low in 2016 of 3,252 naturalizations, the ministry said, adding that the number went up slightly the following year to 5,366 people.

China has also been a large source of population growth for the nation, with 215,222 people from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau gaining permanent residency from 1991 to November last year, the ministry said.

In 2009, there were 28,189 people from mainland China who obtained permanent residency in Taiwan and a further 13,499 the following year.

However, the number of new applicants from the mainland decreased after that and fell to 4,538 people last year.

Conversely, the number of permanent residence applicants from Hong Kong and Macau has been steadily increasing, rising from 498 people in 2010 to 1,164 people last year, the ministry said.

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