[quote=“bismarck”]Would be great if you could find out more about this.
I’m also in limbo, because since I heard about this I wanted to find out if there’s any truth in it. Would suck if I renounce and then a few months later that requirement gets dropped.[/quote]
My inquiries indicate there’s there’s nothing presently in the pipeline. At most, it has just been informally discussed. I’m guessing that the rumour you mentioned stems from the articles advocating a change in the law that Steven Crook has written for the GIO’s Taiwan Review and Taiwan Today. But that doesn’t mean the government has any plans to initiate a change in the law.
However, it has been suggested that I submit a suggestion for revision of the law to the CEPD’s deregulation mechanism. The CEPD will then refer it to the competent agencies for response, and then coordinate discussion on the issue and make a decision about it three months later. I need to act quickly to get it on the agenda for the next round of this process, so have hastily thrown together a suggestion as below. If anyone has any constructive comments to make about it, or any ideas about ways to improve or add to it, please post here. I’ll be aiming to submit the suggestion no later than tomorrow.
Here it is, still a rough and ready first draft:
To revise Article 9 of the Nationality Act (國籍法), to rescind the stipulation that a foreign national who applies for naturalization must provide certification of his/her loss of previous nationality.
第 9 條 外國人依第三條至第七條申請歸化者，應提出喪失其原有國籍之證明。但能提出因非可歸責當事人事由，致無法取得該證明並經外交機關查證屬實
Article 9 A foreign national who applies for naturalization according to Article 3 to Article 7 shall provide certification of his/her loss of previous nationality. But if he/she asserts that he/she cannot obtain the certification for causes not attributable to him/her and the foreign affairs authorities investigate and determine that this is true, then he/she shall not need to provide certification of the renunciation of his/her original citizenship.
(1) Delete the requirement entirely.
(2) Revise it to provide as follows:
Article 9 A foreign national who applies for naturalization according to Article 3 to Article 7 shall provide certification of his/her loss of previous nationality, unless either of the following situations applies:
(1) If the country of which the applicant is a citizen allows ROC citizens to obtain naturalization without renouncing their ROC citizenship, then the applicant shall not need to provide certification of the renunciation of his/her original citizenship.
(2) If the applicant asserts that he/she is unable to obtain such certification for causes not attributable to him/her and the foreign affairs authorities investigate and determine that this is true, then he/she shall not need to provide certification of the renunciation of his/her original citizenship.
Rationale for Deregulation:
Other advanced countries do not impose such a condition for naturalization.
For example, in the United States, although naturalizing citizens are required to undertake an oath of citizenship renouncing previous allegiances, the oath has never been enforced to require the actual termination of original citizenship.
As another example, the requirements for naturalization as a British citizen are comparable to the requirements for naturalization as an ROC citizen, except that there is no need to renounce other citizenships in order to become a British citizen.
Many countries, for example the UK, allow citizens to reclaim their citizenship after renouncing it. So a British national who is required to renounce his British nationality in order to obtain ROC nationality can immediately reclaim his British nationality after obtaining ROC nationality. This defeats any purpose of the requirement and makes it pointless. It just means that the applicant will need to go to a great deal of trouble and expense to first of all renounce his British nationality and then reclaim it, but the end result will be the same as if he did not have to renounce it at all.
Similarly, many people already hold more than one passport. For example, a high proportion of Canadians, Australians, South Africans and New Zealanders, among many others, hold second nationality in the UK. Since the law requires them to show proof of renunciation of a foreign nationality, they need only renounce one of their nationalities and can still keep the other one. Hence, they will be dual nationals of the ROC and another country after naturalization, which again defeats any purpose of the renunciation requirement.
Another objection to the requirement is that it is applied inconsistently, with citizens of some countries being required to renounce, but citizens of other countries (e.g., Japan, South Korea and Germany) not being required to do so. Such inconsistency is fundamentally unfair and inconsistent with the basic human right of equality of treatment under the law. Also, the consequences of renunciation are inconsistent, with some (e.g., British nationals) being able to reclaim their original nationality, but others (e.g., US nationals) not being able to do so. Again, such inconsistency is fundamentally inequitable.
Furthermore, applicants for naturalization who have renounced their original nationality must still wait for a considerable time before they obtain ROC nationality. During this time, they will be essentially stateless, which creates many difficulties and uncertainties for them, and puts them in jeopardy of remaining stateless if their application for naturalization fails.
Hundreds of thousands of ROC citizens have obtained citizenship in the US, Canada, Europe, and other advanced countries without needing to renounce their ROC citizenship. Those countries accept them as citizens without requiring them to give up their original citizenship. In accordance with the fundamental principle of reciprocity, the ROC should accord to foreign nationals the same rights and privileges that their countries accord to ROC nationals.
The vast majority of foreigners who apply or would like to apply for ROC citizenship have Taiwanese spouses. Their children born in Taiwan automatically acquire ROC citizenship from birth. In most cases, their spouses and children are entitled to citizenship of the foreigner’s country, and will usually obtain this very easily. But while the Taiwanese spouse and children can enjoy dual nationality without any obstacle or restriction, the foreigner cannot – under the law as it presently stands, he or she must choose between retaining his original citizenship and giving up the chance of becoming an ROC citizen, or obtaining ROC citizenship and giving up his original citizenship. His family members can be dual citizens, but he cannot. This is manifestly absurd and unfair! It can only have a negative and undermining effect on families that a new immigrant is debarred from holding the same dual nationalities as his family members.
The majority of applicants for naturalization are Southeast Asian or mainland Chinese brides of ROC citizens. Changing the law as suggested will not affect the number of such people applying for citizenship – they are sure to apply for citizenship whether or not they have to give up their original citizenship. But the change will encourage white-collar workers from developed countries, who would like to become ROC citizens but are not willing to give up their original nationality, to apply for ROC nationality. Most of these people will be highly educated and skilled, able to contribute significantly to the economy and society, and hence highly valuable as new immigrants. If they are discouraged from becoming citizens, and can obtain only permanent residency (which actually offers little in the way of permanence or security of residence), they are far less likely to put down deep roots in Taiwan, and far more likely to move to another country if an enticing opportunity arises. The loss of such valuable human resources (including their family members) will be substantially negative for Taiwan, and will run counter to the government’s policy goal of attracting high-caliber international talent to move to and settle in Taiwan, to augment Taiwan’s human resources and enhance its multicultural vibrancy.
In today’s increasingly globalized world, there are no compelling reasons for retaining this irrational and onerous requirement, but many highly persuasive reasons why it should be deleted from the law or substantially revised. It is a very simple reform, which will cost Taiwan nothing, have no adverse effects, and deliver substantial benefits for Taiwan’s economy and society.
Benefits to Taiwan
- Enhancing Taiwan’s international standing as a country that abides by the principle of reciprocity.
- Demonstrating to the world that Taiwan is a place where new immigrants are treated fairly, not subject to unreasonable exclusionary barriers, and accorded rights and privileges on a par with those of native-born Taiwanese.
- Encouraging high-caliber permanent residents, such as business executives, entrepreneurs, academics, artists, and technical experts, to become ROC citizens, which will enable them to better integrate into and contribute more to society. Having the stake of citizenship will make them more willing to invest their money, skills and energy in the country. The US is a prime example of how greatly a country can be enriched by welcoming immigration of the best and the brightest from around the world.
- Helping Taiwan compete with other countries in attracting high-grade talent to meet the needs of globalization. This matches a key policy goal of manpower planning for Taiwan’s economic development.
- Bringing Taiwan into closer alignment with prevailing international practice in respect of requirements for naturalization.
- Matching and supporting the basic government planning goals for the internationalization, international alignment and global linkage of Taiwan’s economy.
- Reducing the administrative burden of the naturalization process.[/color]