Discussion: On immigration laws and keeping family together

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.

When the age of adulthood was changed last year wasn’t there changes to the immigration laws that the dependant visa and permanent residency application age references where modified from 20 years old to 18?

I think information on government websites need updated with this. For example on the immigration website it states at the beginning it uses the legal basis of article 25 from the immigration act, then says need to be age 20 or over to apply APRC.


Though if go the source of the immigration act on the Ministry of Justice website you can see it actually says 18 years old.


So does that mean that an expat’s child gets kicked out when reaching 18/20 ?

They changed that a bit, more flexibility, but not much. Just a breath of time, not a permanent solution.

And also the foreign parent when the Taiwanese child reaches adulthood if on JFCV.

The authorities here can be flexible, on a case by case basis, but it is not a given and it feels wrong not to have an official policy.

Yes. They’ll usually have no issues extending their residency for University, but it gets tough after that.

How so? I was under the impression that if one graduates from a Taiwanese uni then the requirements for a work visa are quite easy to meet. Am I wrong?

No morally wrong choice here, it’s really up to the Taiwanese to decide whether they want immigrants or not. They can be Canada or Japan, up to them.

It is easier if they wanna teach at a buxiban, much harder if they wanna work in other industries. Many companies that wanted to hire me for my other skills couldn’t because they aren’t allowed to hire foreigners without open work permits.

If you meet certain criteria, you are eligible to open work permit, and three year extension of ARC as a child of an ARC holder.

They and you can get dual citizenship. Also birth citzenship in US. Also joining family citizenship process. Once you have a green card or passport it’s easy street in the US.

Taiwan’s immigration system is basically about keeping permanent immigrants and family migration at bay.
You can call it the anti immigrant system which accounts for the massive lack of diversity and long term immigrants in Taiwan (except for South East Asian female spouses…But even their numbers have dropped off massively…).

Forcing the vast majority to give up our citizenship so most won’t do this except for developing countries .
It sucks for people here long term

It also helps to keep us poorer than we should be because banks often won’t give us credit , government agencies won’t hire us so we can’t get civil service pensions , block our access to many subsidy and training schemes , and many internet services are difficult to access because they won’t give us a similar ID number to locals . Many restrictions. The biggest problem by far is how difficult it is to become a citizen of Taiwan,that’s the original sin.


Agree, same with work. There’s also this stereotype/stigma around being a foreign teacher. Many people think that they’re the losers of their country with no practical skills besides their own language without taking the legal employment restrictions into account. There are laws set to attracted well-established white-collar professionals, but the legal pathway for young professionals to start doing specialized work is seriously lacking. Again, I don’t seem to see the same restrictions on Asian immigrants in the US (especially second-generation immigrants). They get to work wherever they want to as long as they’re good enough for the job (which is the way it should be if they really want to attract the best). A western version of Andrew Yang could never happen here under the current system, it simply wouldn’t be allowed.

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The reality. Needing to be married to Taiwanese .

And even the number of SEA brides becoming citizens is NOT high. It is almost 1/3 of 20 years ago .

And almost all women !!!

Bullshit system that discriminates against foreigners especially men.

Beyond that I guess they just want some HKers and this or that Prof. If so make your policy clear.