Taipei, May 21 (CNA) The National Immigration Agency is planning to launch several measures this year to help provide a more favorable environment for foreign spouses in Taiwan, including defining them as "new residents" rather than "new immigrants," the agency's head said Monday.
Foreign spouses including those from China, whether naturalized or not, will all be called "xinzhumin" in Mandarin Chinese -- meaning "new resident" or "new inhabitant" in English -- Hsieh Li-kung, the agency's director-general said at a forum with foreign spouses in Kaohsiung.
He did not explain further what the basis was for changing the original designation.
Among the new measures that will soon be put in place, a Foreign Spouse Assistance Fund will be launched in September to provide financial support to schools with either over 100 students or more than one-tenth of its student body from "new resident" families.
Other measures will focus on family counseling, the training of multicultural lecturers, and the teaching of parents' own mother tongues, Hsieh said.
Meanwhile, a mobile neighborhood service, which will hold courses periodically to help foreign spouses adapt to their new lives and help them develop job skills, will tour local communities twice per month, Hsieh said.
(By Chang Che-fon and Hanna Liu)