Sunday, November 03, 2013

APRC regulations and children of foreigners here

You never know where a Taiwan ride will take you.

A needlessly cruel law is the regulation that when minor children of foreigners here become twenty, they can no longer remain in Taiwan on their parents visa. This is a simple issue to fix, and one that affects a number of families. Ralph Jensen, whose daughter has become the face of this issue, writes:
My wife and I started a project to encourage the Taiwan government to relax APRC regulations for spouses and children of APRC holders.
There's an online petition at but our main focus is PR through Facebook, newspaper articles and TV interviews. (See links on petition site or Facebook page.)
A video of Ralph's daughter speaking on the topic.
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!


Raj said...

So even if they've lived in Taiwan for a very long time, even most of their life, they can't settle?

Sure, I can see how it might work if they came over when they were 18 or 17, but

Raj said...

So even if they've lived there most of their lives they can't apply to settle? I can understand if they moved over when they were 17 or something, but it seems pretty harsh if they've effectively grown up in Taiwan.

What do they do under the current regime, is there an alternate way to staying, or leaving and coming back?

Readin said...

I think it would make a lot more since to say they can stay until they finish their education + 2 years. That would be 20 for a high school graduate but later for someone attending an accredited (or whatever similar idea they have in Taiwan) university. After they graduate they get 2 years to find a company that will sponsor them for a work-visa and permanent residence.

If they're getting higher education followed by a good job it seems to me that they're the kind of people you want in Taiwan - especially since they are far more likely than other foreigners to feel loyalty toward the country, to respect its culture, and be fluent in its language.

Under such a system, I think most kids (though by the time we're talking about they're not kids anymore, they're adults) would end up being able to "settle" as Raj calls it.

As for letting them become citizens, their is certainly a good argument for it, an argument that gets better the younger they arrive, but I suspect Taiwanese will need to open their minds a bit more about what being "Taiwanese" means before that is possible (and similarly the KMT will need to open their minds about what being "Chinese" means). In the near term a less ambitious plan would be more likely to succeed, in my opinion.

I wonder what America's written policy is on this kind of thing - not that it matters much given the state of immigration law enforcement in America.

Anonymous said...

Why the need for the work visa if as this lady she was in Taiwan 15 years already with her family?
Needless requirement.

Thoth Harris said...

Until Asia changes such xenophobic outlooks, it will never be the most important economy. China is always blustering about how the USA is going down. And maybe that's the case, considering how immigration in the USA has been closing up (while Canada's, despite what some "progressive" pundits like to say, is still opening up, with a lot of recent innovations that allow new immigrant to more easily get certain skilled jobs). Say what you will about the European Union, too, but a lot a people have emigrated over there, as well, due to its more open policies.
Taiwan, China, Japan, and Korea really need to look at themselves in the mirror when it comes to how they see themselves and their citizens. The cultures over here are very closed. Most other places in the world these days, including Canada, some of the U.S., a good deal of South America, including Brazil and Argentina, France, Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, and Spain consider you belong to them and to their culture if you simply speak the language like a native, work there, and live there for a good amount of time. So why the need for closed-mindedness of so many Asian nations? It's not like there is the same kind of post-colonial complex that exists with African nations. And yes, this is a rhetorical question. I don't think there is a clear, scientific answer to this question. The reasons are cultural and complicated.