OCAC to aid overseas citizens without ROC household registry
Taiwan’s Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC, ) said yesterday that an Immigration Act amendment draft bill has been submitted for review, aiming to address difficulties faced by overseas Taiwanese compatriots, including those from the Philippines, who have overstayed their visas and not completed the required household registrations.
Compatriots who have overstayed their visas are unable to obtain a National Identification Card or apply for the National Health Insurance, according to accounts from overseas Taiwanese compatriots.
Taiwanese compatriots residing in the Philippines also appealed for residency and employment rights.
The OCAC said that the new bill is the result of extensive interdepartmental collaboration among the relevant government agencies including the National Immigration Agency ( ), the Ministry of Labor, and the National Health Insurance Administration ( ) through numerous seminars and forum events over the past few years.
On employment rights, the OCAC said that current guidelines only allow those who have official R.O.C. nationality status only to be employed without having to apply for a work permit first. The council said that the Minister for Labor will make great efforts to make employers aware of this fact.
Regarding health insurance, the OCAC said that the National Health Insurance requires an individual to complete household registration before they can be insured, therefore the Taiwanese nationals from the Philippines who do not meet the requirements may not be covered under the National Health Insurance program.
Current guidelines state that Taiwanese nationals from overseas countries can apply for permanent residency if they have lived in Taiwan for over 183 days each year for seven consecutive years.
The requirements have been deemed by the compatriots in the Philippines as too stringent and should be improved.
In response, the OCAC said that under the amendment bill, the requirements for Taiwanese nationals from abroad to apply for permanent residency in Taiwan will be loosened with the length of stay being cut from seven to five years.