Wed, Aug 21, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Existing law better for refugees from HK: source

By Chung Li-hua and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taiwan could grant asylum to Hong Kongers under the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which offers dissidents from the territories an easier route to residency than a proposed political refugees bill, a source familiar with the law said.

Article 18 of the act states: “Necessary assistance shall be provided to Hong Kong or Macau residents whose safety and liberty are immediately threatened by political reasons.”

Hong Kongers can apply to stay in Taiwan for a month by submitting a digital application, and to stay three months by submitting a physical application, with a three-month extension available to those who apply via hard copy, the source said.

Hong Kongers could then apply for temporary or permanent residency if they meet one of 16 conditions, including being a blood relative or married to a resident or citizen; possessing professional skills with the relevant certificates; or having invested more than NT$6 million (US$191,052) in Taiwan, the source said.

The refugee bill has stringent requirements for granting refugee status, such as requiring an applicant’s status to be confirmed by the UN Refugee Agency, as well as evidence and interview, they said.

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