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Draft law amendment will better protect divorced foreign spouses: NIA

2018/12/18 21:28:33

Taipei, Dec. 18 (CNA) The government is seeking to revise the Immigration Act to better protect the rights of foreign spouses of Taiwanese citizens after a divorce, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Tuesday.

According to the draft bill, immigrants who divorce their Taiwanese spouses on grounds of domestic violence and do not remarry will have the right to remain in Taiwan on an alien resident card (ARC), the immigration agency said.

The same applies to foreign spouses who have to care for their minor children or have visitation rights after a divorce, the NIA said in statement explaining the draft amendment.

In the case of divorced foreign spouses who have left Taiwan, they will be allowed to return to care for their minor children and to apply for ARCs if they have custody of their children or visitation rights, according to the NIA.

Under the draft law amendment, foreign workers will be granted the right to remain in Taiwan if they are exposed to some disaster on the job, the NIA said.

The agency issued the statement after several immigrants' rights groups called for better protection of the rights and interests of new immigrants in Taiwan earlier in the day.

At a press conference held in front of the Legislature to mark International Migrants Day, the groups said foreign spouses who obtain a no-fault divorce should not be forced to leave the country.

The groups included the Alliance for Human Rights Legislation for Immigrants and Migrants, and the Legal Aid Foundation.

The number of foreign spouses in Taiwan has surpassed 540,000, with mainland Chinese making up about 66 percent, according to government statistics.

(By Huang Li-yun and Evelyn Kao)