Taiwan mulls relaxing residency law for divorced Chinese spouses

06/14/2019 10:06 PM
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Taipei, June 14 (CNA) The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has drafted an amendment bill that will allow Chinese nationals who divorce Taiwanese spouses, but are denied custody of their children, to remain in Taiwan.

The bill is being proposed as a revision of the "Regulations Governing the Residency, Long-term Residency or Residency for Naturalization of the People of the Mainland China Area Living with a Relative in the Taiwan Area" and seeks to strengthen the rights of Chinese spouses married to Taiwanese citizens, the ministry said Friday.

Under existing law, Chinese nationals are not permitted to stay in Taiwan after a divorce if they are denied custody of children who are registered as ROC citizens.

MOI officials said the law-revision, if approved by the Executive Yuan and then the Legislature, will enable divorced Chinese spouses to remain in Taiwan even when they do not have custody of their children under the following conditions:

Namely, that after a divorce the divorced parent continues to take regular care of his or her children and where their forced departure from Taiwan is deemed detrimental to the wellbeing of the children.

The proposed amendment will bring the law in Taiwan more into line with the spirit of international human rights conventions, the MOI said.

In addition, the amendment also shortens from four years to two the length of time required before Chinese widows or widowers of Taiwanese citizens can apply for permanent residency.

If the amendment becomes law, Chinese spouses will enjoy the same rights as their counterparts from other countries, MOI officials said.

(By Yu Hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu)


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