Taipei, Sept. 7 (CNA) Another nine foreign professionals specializing in education, medicine and legal affairs have been approved by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) for naturalization to become Taiwanese citizens without the need to surrender their original citizenship, the ministry said Saturday.
The MOI said the ministry held a meeting on Tuesday to review the applications for naturalization under Taiwan's Nationality Act and issued the greenlight to the nine applicants.
The Nationality Act was amended in December 2016 to allow high-level foreign professionals to obtain Republic of China (Taiwan) citizenship without relinquishing their original nationality, as part of the government's ongoing efforts to recruit and retain top talent from around the world.
Since the amendment, a total of 100 foreign professionals who have devoted themselves to Taiwan and showed their love for the place have been approved for naturalization as Taiwanese citizens, according to the MOI.
In the latest reviews, the nine foreign professionals include four coming from the education arena, four with medical expertise and one from the legal sector, the MOI said.
In terms of their original nationality, five are Malaysian citizens, one American, one Canadian, one Indian and one is from Turkmenistan, the MOI added.
In the latest group of foreigners granted Taiwanese citizenship, the MOI said, the only American, who secured a lawyer's license in California and Washington D.C., has practiced law in Taiwan for almost 15 years.
Identified only by his surname Tan in Chinese, he specializes in intellectual property rights so his naturalization is expected to help Taiwan advance in the competitive global IPR market, the MOI said.
Also in the latest group of naturalizations, the MOI said, a Malaysian woman has devoted herself to paleography, the study of ancient literature.
The newly naturalized Taiwanese have won honors for her work, including a Fu Ssu-nien scholarship granted by the Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institute, to commemorate Fu's contributions in education and linguistics study, the MOI said.
Commenting on another Malaysian who is also on the latest naturalization list, the MOI said he is a neurosurgeon and is well known for his sophisticated operation skills to cure diseases related to the nervous systems. It added doctors like him are in high demand in Taiwan.
After their naturalization under the amended Nationality Act, these new citizens will have voting rights and enjoy social welfare as other Taiwanese citizens do, the MOI said.
The ministry has set up a special page on its website at https://www.ris.gov.tw/763 to receive applications from foreign professionals who want to become naturalized Taiwanese citizens, on hopes that they will make a great contribution to Taiwan at a time when the country is eager to expand its talent pool.