Select high-level foreign professionals can now obtain Taiwan citizenship without relinquishing their original nationality under new regulations promulgated March 24 by Taiwan Ministry of the Interior, highlighting ongoing government efforts to foster the recruitment and retention of top talents from around the world.
The new rules apply to foreign nationals who have resided in Taiwan for at least five years and possess specified qualifications in the categories of arts and culture, economics, education, science and technology, sports and other, which spans a variety of individuals ranging from democracy and human rights advocates to experts in aviation and high-speed rail.
Under the science and technology category, foreigners can hold citizenship of the ROC and their birth country if they possess skills in high-value technical disciplines such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, nanotechnology, robotics and virtual reality. The economics category covers those with expertise in areas like biomedical technology, medical care, renewable energy and tourism.
Qualified foreign nationals under the education criteria include those employed at local universities as assistant professors or above as well as individuals who have had articles published in major international journals.
The arts and culture category pertains to outstanding foreign performers and creative talents who have received recognition or critical praise, while sports applies to athletes who have placed in the top three in international competitions as well as coaches, referees and others who have helped boost Taiwan’s performance in major events.
Under the category of other, qualified individuals include democracy, human rights and religious advocates; those recognized for their contributions to fields such as finance, medicine, mass rapid transit systems and seismic research; and outstanding talents in areas like fashion, pop culture and nutrition.
The implementation of the new regulations came after the Legislative Yuan approved amendments to the Nationality Act in December last year. They do not apply to those from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China as the naturalization process for such individuals is specified in a separate law, the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.
Easing restrictions on dual citizenship for professionals from overseas was identified in a three-year government program, namely the Perfect Taiwan’s Environment for Retaining Talent project, launched in October last year. Aimed at improving the work environment for foreign nationals, the initiative outlines other strategies like simplifying the visa verification and application procedures for foreign talents; strengthening employment matching and work counseling services; and signing more double taxation avoidance agreements.