The time it would take holders of Taiwan’s Plum Blossom Card to become Republic of China (ROC) citizens has been reduced by four or five months, the Ministry of the Interior said on Thursday.
The decision to expedite the process was made earlier in the day during a ministry meeting, based on an amendment to the Standards for Defining High-Level Professionals for Naturalization (歸化國籍之高級專業人才認定標準).
Effective immediately, holders of the Plum Blossom Card can apply for ROC citizenship without having to obtain a recommendation letter from the government agency in charge of their line of business, even if they have lived in Taiwan for less than five years, the ministry said.
This would help shorten the naturalization process by four or five months, it said.
Previously, Plum Blossom Card holders applying for citizenship were required to undergo a review by the ministry that was similar to the one carried out by the National Immigration Agency to grant the Plum Blossom Card, a special type of Alien Permanent Residence Card.
Highly qualified foreign nationals who have made a great contribution to Taiwan or those who have made an investment of at least US$200,000 in the country are eligible to apply for the Plum Blossom Card.
The card is currently held by 90 foreign nationals, agency data showed.
Since October last year, the government has been working to streamline the process for Plum Blossom Card holders wanting to obtain ROC citizenship.
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