Permanent residency and the Legislature


#1

I’m wondering if the story in all three English papers today about the government having another look at the permanent residency requirements for foreigners is likely to be a good thing for lots of us, or for just a few old-timers who leave the country often?

Any scuttlebutt about this, Richard? An opening for better changes?

Here’s the version from the Taipei Times.


#2

If you have a specific suggestion for a change or changes to the Immigration Law, I suggest that you send a copy to me and to Legislator Apollo Chen too.

Basically, the situation for these old-timers was that when my team was negotiating for changes to the Immigration Law in the spring of 1999, visiting Legislators and their staff every day, before the second reading, they were off partying or otherwise involved in other pursuits which at the time they felt were “more important.” After the law achieved a third reading on May 14, 1999, and was promulgated by the President on May 21, they suddenly noticed that having lived in Taiwan over thirty or forty years, they were in fact not eligible for permanent residency, under the terms of Article 23. At that point they got a bit upset.

There was no deliberate oversight here of course. I was negotiating for the “foreign spouses,” and was told to limit my suggestions and comments to that area. The Legislators said: “If the business people, old timers, or other foreigners want to come in and discuss their problems or their suggestions, they are welcome too.” Nobody showed up.

Now some of the old timers have gotten together and are trying to make up for their initial lack of action. Of course we wish them the best of luck.


#3

Galley Gong: Yea, like Taiwan legislators care about foreigners. Galley Gong: This is simply a PR stunt, the sort of cheap, puissant, barely significant PR stunt that Taiwanese politics can afford. They’d make Michael Jackson a permanent resident for his occasional tours if they could. This is Taiwan’s cheap way of “knighting” a few seudo-dignitaries. Galley Gong: And it’s more like they are giving themselves a warm fuzzy for being so grateful for these yanggui giving their lives to “serve the Chinese people.” How insulting!


#4

Well, if you believe the Taipei Times, you can now get Taiwanese citizenship if you live here for five years. At least, that’s what they quote Interior Minister Chang Po-ya as saying (p.2, Efforts afoot to ease permanent residency rules):

“Under the Nationality Law, foreigners living in Taiwan for 183 consecutive days per year for five years are qualified to apply for Taiwanese citizenship, which is far easier than applying for permanent residency.”

Looks like you’ve been wasting your time all along, Richard – we should just be applying for citizenship and saving ourselves a lot of extra trouble.


#5

Sandman,

Richard didn’t waste one minute of his time lobbying for us, and I’m very grateful for the progress that has been made so far because of Richard’s hard work.

What the Taipei Times failed to mention is that the only way to obtain Taiwanese citizenship is to first become stateless by renouncing your citizenship of every country which you are currently a citizen of.

The only exception is that if your parents are Taiwanese, then you don’t need to renounce your citizenship of any other country, and you can have dual citizenship, regardless of the country you were born in.

The Taipei Times also failed to mention that if you are male, between the ages of 18 and 45, and have lived in Taiwan for at least 12 months (even 12 non-consecutive months), then you will immediately be drafted to serve in the Taiwanese army, navy, or air force for the next two years, even if you can’t speak a word of Chinese and regardless of your ethnicity. Are you willing to do this?

Mark


#6

Oops, sorry. I’ll take my tongue out of my cheek now, shall I?

You are quite right. As you say, the paper failed to point out several pertinent and important points. The point I was making is the extent to which you can be misinformed by trusting the local papers.

For the record, I have a high regard for Richard’s sterling work, and hope to be actively involved in the near future.


#7

Apollo Chen [xuesheng]'s assitant said Chen will not push for citizenship, but instead just for residency expansion, as citizenship is unacceptable to the majority at this time. Odd, dual citizens abound here, it just is when one wants to become a minister does it become a issue.


#8

I was in Legislator Chen’s Office last week. Are you referring to the Ms. Li who works in there? Is she the one stating that Legislator Chen will not go after the citizenship issue, or is it Dr. Ho, or the other young gentleman who works in there?


#9

The Taipei Times also failed to mention that if you are male, between the ages of 18 and 45, and have lived in Taiwan for at least 12 months (even 12 non-consecutive months), then you will immediately be drafted to serve in the Taiwanese army, navy, or air force for the next two years, even if you can’t speak a word of Chinese and regardless of your ethnicity. Are you willing to do this?

Can you clarify “…lived in Taiwan…” for me? You mean as permanent resident/citizen or ANY foreigner (expatriate)? Make me worry, you know …


#10
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Nagel: The Taipei Times also failed to mention that if you are male, between the ages of 18 and 45, and have lived in Taiwan for at least 12 months (even 12 non-consecutive months), then you will immediately be drafted to serve in the Taiwanese army, navy, or air force for the next two years, even if you can't speak a word of Chinese and regardless of your ethnicity. Are you willing to do this?

You forgot the Marines!

Seriously, though, if you can’t speak a word of Chinese and are not willing to accept the responsibilities involved in ROC citizenship, you might want to reconsider your decision.

And what does one’s ethnicity have to do with this? Should that matter? Should people be able to say “I’m white, dernit! You can’t draft me!” ?


#11

I sent FAPA a e-mail asking if they approved of me wanting to be a Taiwan citizen, as spelled out on my web page. However, they didn’t reply. They must have been too busy lobbying their US Congressperson as certainly they are all citizens.,
http://www.fapa.org/update/generalinfo/fapacitizencampaignguide.pdf


#12

Richard: Chen Xuesheng’s assistant, Chen yixin[g?]=Charles Chen, told me. He said Chen xuesheng cannot make any proposals that would be fail to meet general acceptance, therefore he will only push for broadening Residency, not citizenship.
Indeed, citizenship was the original goal of the Puli Hospital crowd, only to be be talked down by legislators to more “realistic goals”.
Doris Broughham’s assistant says she is habituated to the yearly application, and does have no strong feelings about the citizenship issue, and was just relating the inconvenience experience.
There was a letter to the editor of zhongguoshibao saying that these folk should be granted special citizenship. it was written by zhan shouzhong, assistiant to Li qingxingxiong of the jianguodang party, who however is gone as of Feb 1. as he didn’t run for reelection.

As far as the Army, many of us are over 40, or female anyway.

Even though my pal processes the mail at zhongguoshibao, I think she got tired of me sending letters every time there was a dual citizen minister… so this time i didn’t bother sending yet another letter. Maybe they could ask us instead of us telling them, next time.

Another scenario is when they do the hearing thing for the 20 year green card tiny breadcrumb offer, we make a sceene outside the hearing room with leaflets and interviews… however we need someone who looks more deserving of citizenship than us… someone in a wheelchair. However, maybe they are all complacent and happy with just a permanent resident card. Anyway, you’ll need someone with those years of contributions to Taiwan to be the symbolic mascot, someone the Taiwanese would feel comfortable with to get citizenship… us types with no contributions would probably do more harm than good. But then again, they might rig it so you must wait 40 years…


#13

FAPA is not exactly run by US citizens. And don’t get me wrong as it is truly run by some very good people, but please don’t ever assume that the political allegiance of all of them is to the US Constitution. FAPA was clearly organized as a “press club” in order to not be registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. It is also the hub of political activity for “Issued In Taiwan” press cards. If the domestic non-profit corporations are legally forbidden from political coordinating activities, then why does FAPA not seem to wish to register itself voluntarily?

Friends of Beijing might find it as an open invitation to declare open season on the ROC in Congress.

Meanwhile, Dan’s burning desire to become a Taiwan national under Taiwan law should never become a contravention of the American interest in the people of Taiwan. Forcing him to renounce his US citizenship under Taiwan law is contrary to the American interests in Taiwan under SFPT.

“Statelessness” is cruel and unusual punishment under the SFPT.

Are those human rights of TRA only applicable to “Chinese”? What about Hakka, Min, or those minority stateless “white guys”?

The “people of Taiwan” are not as “Chinese” nor as racially homogenous as Washington might have once been once lead to believe. Hmmmm, just who has lead them to believe that?

Even in the old days of the notorious Chinese Exclusion Act, those labeled as “Chinese aliens” still had some basic constitutional rights under American law! Some were even declared US citizens (USA v. Wong Ma Ark, 1898) because of serious contraventions of the civil rights act of 1868!

Don’t compromise your civil rights of TRA. It is not as benign as you might have once thought.

Even Chinese burearucrats are subjugated by the rule of law, or they ought to be.


#14

http://www.dgbas.gov.tw/dgbas03/bs3/report/N900719.htm is a report
showing the tons of S.E. Asian brides getting Taiwan citizenship.
Hmmm, next time I’ll be a S.E. Asian bride.

Maybe somebody could weed out the other critical parts of their
website, even the English stuff.


#15

Even Southeast Asian brides are required to give up their original citizenship, are they not?


#16

The rules might be the same for all comers, but it could not be a coincidence that there are 5000 new Taiwan citizens originating form S.E. Asia, and 0 or 1 per year from N. America.
The rules may be fair, but one may argue that they are rigged.
There obviously is a rule that requires a very painful experience for a North American, but is no big deal for a S.E.Asian.
[Circumcision? only joking]
Anyways, I bet there are examples from the US South of old laws rigged like this.
If the Taiwan gov’t wanted to be fair, they would find something that was painful for the SE Asians and rig that in too, as well as requiring PRC citizens to give up their citizenship.

Anyway, it seems the current scheme could be seen as just the right formula to keep most whiteys and blackeys out.
So, fair it may be, but just looking at the statistics the effects are clear as to who gets Taiwan nationality ID cards and who just gets permanent residency — permanent as in “permanently not to ever be a citizen”.


#17
quote:
Originally posted by Dan Jacobson: The rules might be the same for all comers, but it could not be a coincidence that there are 5000 new Taiwan citizens originating form S.E. Asia, and 0 or 1 per year from N. America. The rules may be fair, but one may argue that they are rigged.

There obviously is a rule that requires a very painful experience for a North American, but is no big deal for a S.E.Asian.

If the Taiwan gov’t wanted to be fair, they would find something that was painful for the SE Asians and rig that in too, as well as requiring PRC citizens to give up their citizenship.

Anyway, it seems the current scheme could be seen as just the right formula to keep most whiteys and blackeys out.
So, fair it may be, but just looking at the statistics the effects are clear as to who gets Taiwan nationality ID cards and who just gets permanent residency — permanent as in “permanently not to ever be a citizen”.


Maybe Southeast Asians simply don’t have a problem with giving up their original citizenship while people from more advanced nations do. I don’t think the Taiwan government has the power to raise the standards of living in Southeast Asian countries to a level where those persons from those nations desiring ROC citizenship would have an equally hard time renouncing their original nationality as those from more priveleged Western nations. The only other, equally impossible alternative would be ‘devaluing’ US/British/Canadian, etc. passports to a degree that citizens of those countries would have an easier time giving them up. If there were an actual rule against any white people ever gaining citizenship, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.


#18

I doubt that complaining about this whole state of affairs on this website will have any worthwhile effect. What is needed is for someone to step forth and challenge the regulation. As I have stated before, that will require time, money, and legal expertise.


#19
quote:
Originally posted by Hartzell: If you have a specific suggestion for a change or changes to the [i]Immigration Law[/i], I suggest that you send a copy to me and to Legislator Apollo Chen too.

What is Apollo Chen’s e-mail address? If that is not available, how about a snailmail address? I chcked the Internet, but I found nothing.


#20

Chen Hsueh-sheng’s e-mail address as found on the Legislative Yuan’s site (www.ly.gov.tw):

lym143a@ly.gov.tw