2021-10-25

Settlement Eligibility may be Expanded for HK and Macau Citizens

Many Hong Kong citizens have immigrated to Taiwan since the Hong Kong national security law was enacted in July 2020.  In order for Hong Kong citizens working in Taiwan to be eligible for settlement in Taiwan, the Taiwan Government plans to amend the Regulations for Permitting Hong Kong and Macau Citizens to Enter Into and Settle in Taiwan (the “Regulations”) to allow Hong Kong and Macau citizens who come to Taiwan and work as professionals to apply for settlement in Taiwan after staying for a certain period.
 
According to the National Immigration Agency of Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior, 10,813 Hong Kong citizens applied for permits to stay and 1,576 Hong Kong citizens applied for permits to settle in 2020, both of which reached their all time highest records.
 
According to the Regulations, currently Hong Kong citizens who come to work in Taiwan may only stay in Taiwan and may not apply for settlement.  However, in the future, the Regulations will be amended to expand eligibility for settlement to specific professionals who have graduated from Top 500 universities, start-ups under age 35, and who have stayed in Taiwan for three years, and to professionals who have stayed in Taiwan for five years.
 
It is also planned that the Regulations will be relaxed to allow Hong Kong and Macau citizens who have studied and obtained Masters or Doctors Degrees in Taiwan to deduct one or two years from the required consecutive stay periods when they apply for settlement in Taiwan based on their employment in Taiwan.
 
The Taiwan Government also indicated that in order to provide opportunities for Hong Kong professionals to become Taiwan citizens, the amendment to the Regulations will address issues of concern to many Hong Kong citizens by designing a three layer review process, i.e., for temporary / short stays, for long-term stays, and for permanent settlement.
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