I recently saw this video of a woman who couldn’t stay in Taiwan for as long as she likes despite having her whole family here, due to the stiff immigration/employment laws. As someone who grew up in Taiwan, have my whole family here,speak native level mandarin and is much more familiar with Taiwan than where I supposedly belong to(USA),I can really relate to the struggles. The comment section is divided too. Some agree that Taiwan should automatically grant legal long-timers permanent residency, or at least lift some restrictions, while others think that the fact that someone grew up here doesn’t make them worthy of permanent residency. Since Taiwanese people face these difficulties abroad too, foreigners should quit whining and just follow the regulations.
Which begs the questions: Is Taiwan doing enough to offer foreigners with a fair chance to stay? Immigration Restrictions are necessary, but how much is fair and how much is too much?
I personally think that these problems don’t simply come from too much restrictions, but from lack of consideration for people in certain particular situations(since there were way less foreigners before, and these laws are made by people who never knew anyone who had to deal with such issues)
The laws and amendments, are ironically, so specific that it rarely helps those who need it the most.
A foreign professional can simply work 3-5 years and become a permanent resident, yet somehow, you can spend the first 20 years of your life here and basically have the same rights as a tourist who had just landed in Taiwan. Is Taiwan’s permanent residency/citizenship hard to obtain? I really don’t know the answer. It’s both easy and hard as hell, depending on who you ask.
On the other hand, despite the flaws of US immigration laws, I have yet to see a Taiwanese family get torn apart like this in the United States-Most of them are citizens and own multiple properties. If the parents can make it there, their children/adult offspring almost never have issues staying there.
Those who have to leave are mostly people who just go there for work or school. Sure, if their dream is to study and work in the states, it would be a bummer to not be granted a work permit and having to go back-by all means, I hope they can all stay if they want, but even if they have to go back to Taiwan, it’s not like they’re being banished to a foreign land and leaving everything they value behind. There’s a fundamental difference between having the option to study and work in another country, and having the the basic human right of living with your family. The former only loses a career opportunity, while the latter loses almost everything they know of, value and love.
Personally I think Taiwan can adopt a similar system as the US Naturalization Test as one of the ways to obtain permanent residency or citizenship-taking language, law, history, civic knowledge and cultural understanding into consideration instead of over-simplifying the reasons why one must stay here as work, marriage, and studies. It’s never that simple.
If someone is here to be with their family, they shouldn’t have to leave if they couldn’t find a job, and rely 100% on their employer to get them an ARC. The last time I checked, there’s no such thing as a family ARC, at least not if you’re above the age of 20 or unmarried.
I might be biased, after all, and would love to hear what y’all think of this.