The Legislative Yuan greenlighted amendments to the Immigration Act on Tuesday, relaxing the residency requirements for dependents of foreign professionals living in Taiwan.

Lin You-chang, Minister of the Interior, described it as the most significant reform of the Immigration Act in 24 years since it took effect, Liberty Times reports.

The amendments include provisions that allow spouses or underage children of “foreign nationals who have made “special contributions” to Taiwan, who have “won a first place award” in a professional field, who hold an investment visa, or high-level professionals needed by the country, to apply for permanent residency. The rule also applies to children over 18 years old “who are unable to take care of themselves due to physical or mental disabilities.”

To apply for residency, the amendment states that foreign nationals are now required to stay in Taiwan for an average of 183 days within five years, instead of 183 days per year. In addition, the period for foreign nationals to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) after entering the country will be extended from 15 days to 30 days “in order that they have time to find a place to stay and familiarize themselves with the environment.”

The amended law also requires that foreigners who have seriously violated internationally recognized human rights principles be denied entry into Taiwan. For foreign nationals who have overstayed, illegally resided, or engaged in illegal employment, the ban on entry will be extended for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 7 years (previously up to 3 years).

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TNL Editor: Bryan Chou (@thenewslensintl)

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