The APRC and latest changes are great, don’t get me wrong. I really appreciate the governments moves on this. It’s almost laughably easy to move to Taiwan and get working for middle class folks from developed countries (160k monthly salary ).That’s a good move. And they made it easier for spouses to work and kids to stay too. Really positive. But not being able to get a national ID is ultimately very limiting (eg credit , household residency, voting, online services, education subsidies). It’s really a nasty roadblock after a few years .
TL DR - ‘Taiwan itself ultimately loses more from losing potential naturalised citizens than those would
-be Taiwan immigrants who end up leaving Taiwan with their famies in tow.’
Regarding citizenship I just feel that they are pointlessly making many long term residents who want citizenship and the national ID number to jump through hoops for no reason. People who have worked here for decades , paid taxes, created jobs , raised families.
It’s a very outdated process that seems to be based on KMT refugees from SEA (such as descendants of KMT troops in Myanmar) and huachiao who wanted to move to Taiwan and they needed to show further links to Taiwan by residing after getting the overseas passport. The overseas passport stuff is really weird for people who are already resident in Taiwan for many years.
When people get older and have kids and settle down they like to have citizenship if possible and participate in civic society. Those settled people can have major businesses or high level management, they don’t always want to be living as second class. They have families who contribute a lot to the local economy, buying property, education etc. They want to be able to get loans and education subsidies and more legal rights all round so they feel secure here. That’s the argument from an economic perspective. You might not want those people moving off somewhere that welcomes them with full citizenship.
It’s not an economic argument only though. Taiwan is kind of stale in a lot of ways , more immigrants from different backgrounds could make it a more vibrant place. I sincerely believe that. And Taiwan is facing a serious existential threat, it definitely needs more links with the outside world and more supporters . Immigrants can look at things and go, why don’t we try this or this? Maybe offer new perspectives and skills.
We can help raise Taiwan’s profile internationally.
Engaged citizens are a previous resource, if I am a citizen of Taiwan I will be able to contribute more to this place and less likely to leave and take my whole family with me. If we leave then my money, my future investments, my taxes, my kids future contributions and investments and taxes, my contacts, my wifes contributions and taxes are mostly lost to Taiwan. That’s actually a big economic and societal loss if played out over many people. For my family alone it would surely be in 10s of millions NTD over 10 years. Perhaps 100s or 1000s of millions if my kids or myself started a successful business somewhere else. One will notice that most multicultural families with Western or Japanese partners tend to leave Taiwan when they have children.
It’s Taiwan that loses more. Citizenship could help to hold onto more people who are already contributing to the island .
People ask me regularly , why do you choose to live in Taiwan ? It’s seen as a strange choice by many Westerners and even other Asians. Chinese also regularly criticise my choice to Iive here saying it’s poorer and isolated etc. China is really trying to push Taiwan down and Taiwan needs all the help it can get from people who have already made a long term commitment to Taiwan. Even just becoming a citizen of Taiwan is telling China that it has no jurisdiction here and people see value in being Taiwanese.
There’s lots of good reasons to live here but unfortunately not because I am Taiwanese (or the Summers!).