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Chinese spouses want ID card wait cut down to 4 years

2015/05/10 17:39:40

Zhan Xiuying (湛秀英). CNA file photo

Taipei, May 10 (CNA) Hundreds of Chinese immigrant spouses of Taiwanese nationals in Kaohsiung on Sunday urged the government to shorten the wait required to obtain Taiwanese citizen identity cards to four years, from the present six. The call received support from several Kaohsiung elected officials.

Chinese spouses in the southern city have since March 2013 urged the government to cut the waiting period for them to four years in line with the waiting period for foreign spouses of other nationalities, said Zhan Xiuying (湛秀英), the director of Kaohsiung New Immigrant Social Development Association.

Currently, it takes Chinese spouses six years to obtain a Taiwanese citizenship, while it only takes four years for immigrant spouses from other countries, according to Chan.

Taiwan has nearly 350,000 Chinese spouses of Taiwanese nationals and about 27,000 Chinese spouses in Kaohsiung have not yet obtained ID cards. Although the government cut the waiting period to obtain IDs from eight to six years for mainland spouses in 2008, there is still a huge gap in waiting time for them and other foreign spouses.

In a show of their support, ruling Kuomintang (KMT) legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), KMT Kaohsiung City councilors Li Mei-jhen (李眉蓁) and Tsai Chin-yen (蔡金晏) held a press conference Sunday, calling for a law revision to accelerate the naturalization process for the Chinese nationals.

All of them blasted the green camp led by the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for discriminating against Chinese spouses by stalling the law revision bill.

Chinese spouses present at the press conference also said they hope the restriction which limits eligibility for Chinese to serve in public offices in Taiwan to 10 years after gaining citizenship can be relaxed.

(By Wang Shwu-fen and Evelyn Kao)