Monday, December 24, 2012

Want Citizenship in Taiwan? Peter Whittle with a great piece....

Longtime resident and government regulations boffin Peter Whittle has a long article explaining a fairer path to citizenship for local long-term expats and giving excellent background on the issue at The article addresses an outrageous unfairness in Taiwan citizenship rules: if you immigrate to Taiwan, you must give up your original citizenship, but if you are born here, you can hold two passports, no problem. A taste:
Ms. Hsiao was prompted to raise the proposal on behalf of two Pakistani men, long-term residents of Taiwan with Taiwanese wives, who had applied for ROC citizenship, met all of the qualifying requirements, been issued with candidature certificates, and then duly proceeded to renounce their original citizenship. Having completed the renunciation, they were informed by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) that their applications had been rejected due to disqualifying factors that, through no fault of the applicants, had not been revealed during the initial phase of their application. This left the two applicants in the terrible plight of being stateless, unable to regain their original citizenship, while denied new citizenship here. In this situation, they were unable to travel outside Taiwan, unable even to visit a terminally ill mother in Pakistan, and with no way of resolving this difficulty at any time in the foreseeable future.....
.... read the whole thing; Whittle's discussion of the MOI's reasons for not revising the rule shows once again how silly prejudices dominate the MOI view.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Anonymous said...

Annoyingly the situation in Germany concerning dual citizenship is pretty much the same. In 1998/99 the conservative party CDU ("Chistian" "Democratic" Union) even started a racist campaign in order to defend these outdated regulations against a reform proposed by Social Democrats and Green Party. Sadly they were successful and until now no one ever dared to touch this topic again.

les said...

The comment about long-term Chinese becoming Korean citizens and keeping PRC nationality is incorrect. China insists on it's citizens not holding dual nationality. The US for example agreed to inform the PRC of any Chinese who obtains US citizenship, and the PRC then strips that person their PRC citizenship and cancels their passport.

Anonymous said...

"Annoyingly the situation in Germany concerning dual citizenship is pretty much the same."

That is not entirely correct though.

1. Foreigners from EU countries are not required to give up their original citizenship

2. Foreigners from Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein & Monaco do not need to give up their citizenship to become German

3. Foreigners that can prove significant economic losses if they were to give up their original citizenship are also exempt. E.g. people owning a company in their home country.

4. People who would lose their home country's pension or social security benefits are also exempt, e.g. many Taiwanese qualify here

4. Significant ties such as having elderly parents still in the home country also exempt one from giving up the original nationality

Kepha said...

Ages ago, when I was teaching in Taiwan and starting my family, I renewed my Alien Registration for the umpteenth time and the officer on duty informed me that it was his professional duty to inform me that should I so choose, I was eligible for ROC citizenship. I didn't take the offer, because I wasn't sure I was going to spend the rest of my life in Taiwan or give up US citizenship.

BTW, I like your blog.

Readin said...

Taiwan's policy makes sense. I don't understand why America allows people to take American passports without renouncing their other citizenships. It's a lot like bigamy. Why would we want citizens who aren't willing to fully commit?

Of course most people will always feel some attachment to the place where they were born and raised, so allowing your citizens to gain citizenship in a second country gives you some leverage in the second country - especially if that country has an election-based form of government. Just think, I could get the vote in Taiwan and vote for whichever Taiwanese leaders I think would most benefit America! Of course I won't do that because I'm very much committed to America and unwilling to give up American citizenship.

If you're a citizen of two countries though, you're not fully invested in either. You can vote for short-term self-benefit safe in the knowledge that if things go bad you can always go to your other home. So you're voting for a guy who will give you benefits while raising the debt? Well don't worry, if the country goes broke you can always go to your other country. That's not an option for many of us.