Regulations for Chinese spouses to be relaxed: agency

RELATIONSHIPS::The rules have been revised because cross-strait marriages have become more common, the immigration agency said

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 - Page 3

Chinese spouses of Taiwanese no longer have to be fingerprinted every time they enter Taiwan if their data are already on record, National Immigration Agency Director-General Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) said yesterday.

The relaxation of the fingerprinting regulations, which takes place with immediate effect, is stipulated in a legal amendment put forward by the agency.

The amendment was approved last month by the Ministry of the Interior and made public on Friday, Hsieh said, adding that about 300,000 Chinese spouses of Taiwanese would benefit from the new measure, as will other Chinese citizens who are in Taiwan on special resident permits and who are also required to have their fingerprints taken.

Mandatory fingerprinting of Chinese nationals was introduced at a time when many Chinese people were trying to enter Taiwan using false identification documents, according to Hsieh.

The regulations were revised because cross-strait exchanges and marriages have become more common, he said.

Nevertheless, Chinese visitors to Taiwan will still be fingerprinted at points of entry if immigration officers have cause to question their identification.

This, he said, is because cosmetic surgery has become more popular in recent years, and people’s faces are sometimes markedly different their ID photos.