Taiwan plans to ease certain restrictions on residence permit extensions for people from Hong Kong and Macau, and make it easier for those with master's and doctoral degrees from the two territories to qualify for registered permanent residence, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said Tuesday.
One of the planned changes, which applies to people from Hong Kong and Macau who are studying or working in Taiwan, will allow them to apply to extend their residence permit and entry permit for "necessary reasons," including finding a job.
The extension will last for six months, and can be further extended for another six months, according to a draft amendment on the existing rules released by the MOI.
However, the change does not apply to people working in the fishing industry or in domestic care work, the MOI said.
Previously, extensions were only granted if the reasons for which the residence or entry permit were granted in the first place remain unchanged, according to the MOI.
Another planned amendment will allow people from Hong Kong and Macau, as well as their dependents, to extend their residence permit and entry permit if they are applying for an Employment Gold Card, the MOI said.
The card is a combination of an open-ended work permit, a resident visa, the Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), and a multiple entry permit.
The MOI is also planning on granting people from Hong Kong and Macau who obtained master's and doctoral degrees in Taiwan an easier path to apply for registered permanent residence.
With this residency status they can then apply for Taiwan household registration and a national identification card.
Under current regulations, people from Hong Kong and Macau who graduated from a Taiwanese school have to live in Taiwan continuously for five years after graduating, staying in the country for more than 183 days in each of those years, as well as earn a salary that is double the minimum wage in the most recent year, in order to qualify for registered permanent residence.
The proposed amendments would allow master's and doctoral degree holders to shorten the five-year requirement by one year and two years, respectively. The two deductions cannot be used in combination, according to the MOI.
The MOI will solicit public opinion on the proposed changes until Nov. 26 and revise the amendments if necessary, before they become law.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel