Taipei, Dec. 19 (CNA) Sixty-five highly qualified foreigners have become naturalized Taiwanese citizens over the past two years since an amendment to the Nationality Act took effect, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said Wednesday.
Fifty-two and 13 foreign professionals have received Taiwanese citizenship this year and in 2017, respectively, without having to renounce their original nationalities since the amended act went into effect Dec. 21, 2016, Cheng Hsin-wei (鄭信偉), deputy chief of the MOI's Department of Household Registration, told a news conference.
Thirty-two are engaged in the field of education, with 29 teaching at universities, Cheng said, noting that the lion's share of them are from the United States, followed by those from Malaysia, among others from South Africa, New Zealand and Finland.
All have lived in Taiwan for an average of 16 years, with one having lived here for 47 years, he said.
Since October this year, the government has also streamlined the procedure for foreign nationals holding a Plum Blossom Card to naturalize as Taiwanese citizens.
The 90 Plum Blossom Card holders who have made a great contribution to Taiwan or those who have made an investment of US$200,000 or more will no longer be required to obtain a recommendation letter from the agency in charge of their line of business, even if they have lived in Taiwan for less than five years.
Their applications for Taiwanese citizenship will be granted by the agency as long as it gives its approval after a consultation letter from the MOI.