Foreign youths can now change dependent status before they turn 20

Foreign youth dependents used to have difficulty staying in Taiwan after they turned 20, but the rules have been amended, making it easier for them to remain in the country, an immigration official said Wednesday.

Yang Chia-chun (???), deputy head of the National Immigration Agency (NIA), said that under the amended rules, foreign youths who have been living in Taiwan with their parents for 10 years, staying in the country for more than 270 days each year, and those who came to Taiwan before they were 16 years of age but have since stayed here for over 270 days per year can apply for continued stay when they reach 20.

A foreign national born in Taiwan who has stayed here for 10 years, during which period he or she has lived in Taiwan for 183 days or more each year, can also apply for a permit to continue living here for a maximum period of 6 years, Yang said.

He cited the example of a German girl who has since the age of 7 been living in Taiwan with her parents. When she reaches 20, she can continue to stay as a student. After graduation, she can then apply for a permit to stay for another three years, with the possibility of a three-year extension, during which time she can make a career decision, including whether or not to obtain permanent residency in Taiwan, he said.

The rules on foreign dependent youths were actually amended April 22, 2014, but "not many" people have taken advantage of them, according to the immigration official.

He said the government hopes the amended rules will attract more foreign young people to work in Taiwan, which is facing the problems of a falling birth rate, an aging population, and declining labor participation.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel