Sun, Sep 08, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Nine professionals granted opportunity to become citizens

Staff writer, with CNA

Nine professionals who specialize in education, medicine and legal affairs have been approved by the Ministry of the Interior for naturalization to become Republic of China citizens without the need to surrender their original citizenship, the ministry said yesterday.

The ministry at a meeting on Tuesday reviewed the applications for naturalization under the Nationality Act (國籍法).

The law was amended in December 2016 to allow high-level foreign professionals to obtain citizenship without relinquishing their original nationality as part of the government’s efforts to recruit and retain top talent.

Since the amendment was promulgated, 100 foreign professionals who have devoted themselves to Taiwan and showed their love for the nation have been approved for naturalization, the ministry said.

Of the latest additions, four work in education, four have medical expertise and one is in the legal sector, it said, adding that five are Malaysian, one is American, one is Canadian, one is Indian and one is from Turkmenistan.

The American, identified only by his Chinese surname, Tan (譚), secured lawyer’s licenses in California and Washington, and has practiced law in Taiwan for almost 15 years, the ministry said.

Tam specializes in intellectual property rights, so his naturalization is expected to help Taiwan in the competitive global IP market, the ministry said.

A Malaysian woman surnamed Fan (范), also among the nine, has devoted herself to paleography, it said.

Fan has won honors for her work, including a Fu Ssu-nien (傅斯年) scholarship granted by Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s top research institute, it said.

Another Malaysian, surnamed Tsai (蔡), is a neurosurgeon and is well known for his sophisticated operating skills, the ministry said, adding that such professionals are in high demand in Taiwan.

With naturalization, the nine have the same voting rights and access to social welfare as other Taiwanese, it said.

A page on the ministry’s Web site, https://www.ris.gov.tw/763, was set up to receive applications from foreign professionals seeking to become naturalized in the hope that they would make a great contribution to Taiwan at a time when the nation is eager to expand its talent pool, it said.

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