Hi Forumosa, I've been reading through the forums on and off over the past year and seems like one of the biggest gripes (including my own) about Taiwan is about the archaic Immigration Act, even more so when it comes to citizenship issues and related. We can all agree that Taiwan does not have the most friendly immigration policy for either outright foreigners or even overseas Taiwanese who want to return to Taiwan.
I find myself in the latter category: son of Taiwanese mother, in my 20s, global, Master's Degree, various entrepreneurial companies, interest in returning back to Taiwan. And I know there are many other members on this forum who have similar backgrounds and are equally or more qualified, and clearly Taiwan could benefit from an influx of people like us, our skills, our cash. Singapore wants people like us, Hong Kong opens the doors. Taiwan closes it despite having a lack of domestic professionals, an aging population with continually declining birth rate, and an overall declining competitiveness relative to elsewhere in Asia.
Anybody who is born to a Polish mother or a Japanese mother or a Brazilian mother or whomever automatically acquires the citizenship of their mother at birth. Still Taiwan, as "advanced" as it portrays itself to be, continues this outdated requirement of making us reside in Taiwan for 1 yr (365 days), 2 yrs (540 days), 5 yrs (915 days). The result? People who otherwise could and would contribute to the land of their heritage don't. Taiwan loses all the potential benefits.
Yesterday I went to the National Immigration Agency in Taipei to inquire further about the matter. As always, it seems that everybody there has no real idea about anything going on in the "big picture", but I did get a few people to acknowledge that there currently the Immigration Act is under review and that might be able to expect some changes in the next two or three years. A few articles online seems to confirm that the ball is in motion and this matter is being discussed at higher levels:
* http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/nati ... ations.htm
* http://www.moi.gov.tw/english/print.asp ... 6342&type=
* http://taiwantoday.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1454 ... e=453&mp=9
(this one is older, and turns out then CEPD Minister since sacked)
My questions to everyone on Forumosa are:
1) Do you believe that the situation is finally changing or is this just more of the same so Taiwanese Ministers can look like they are doing something?
2) Has anybody heard about what changes that the MOI and NIA are considering to the Immigration Act? That Singapore and Hong Kong were invited to the recent invent here seems to be a very good sign.
3) Does anybody have any idea what changes might take place regarding individuals born overseas to a Taiwanese parent? I've heard there is some serious talk about completely removing the residency requirements for these people to be able to attain an ID Card and Household Registration.
4) Does anybody have any intuition as to how long this process might actually take to go through the Taiwanese legislature?
A final point:
Seems like there are many of us in the same boat. Is there no way that we can collectively meet with lawmakers involved with this issue to try to influence the policy discussions? Seems like if we join together and make our case we should at least be able to get an audience with some decision makers?