New legislation to ease requirements for naturalisation, punish ticket scalpers

21 September, 2023

Courtesy of ICRT

The cabinet has approved draft amendments to the Nationality Act to ease residency requirements for foreign professionals applying for naturalisation.

The amendments will also allow social welfare government agencies to apply for naturalisation on behalf of stateless children residing in Taiwan. The Ministry of the Interior says the moves are aimed at improving professional talent retention and the required period of residence would be cut from three to two years for foreign professionals applying for naturalisation.

The draft bill stipulates that foreign nationals who have made substantial contributions in the fields of medicine, social welfare, or education, or who have contributed to remote areas, will also be exempt from paying the NT$1,200 fee for their nationality documents. The draft bill includes a new provision that allows social welfare authorities or institutions that act as guardians of stateless children to apply for ROC nationality on their behalf. The interior ministry says that the revision is further aimed at better protecting children's rights.

The cabinet has also approved an amendment to the Sports Industry Development Act to address the issue of ticket scalping at sporting events. The amendment stipulates that individuals caught reselling tickets for sporting events above their face value or a predefined resale price may incur fines ranging from 10 to 50 times the original ticket price while individuals found guilty of ticket scalping through the use of "scalper bots" or other types of software to rapidly purchase tickets online will be subject to a prison sentence of up to three years or a fine of up to NT$3 million. The amendments have been proposed by the Ministry of Education. Cabinet spokesman Lin Zi-lun says it is hoped the move will prevent scalpers from purchasing large quantities of tickets and reselling them at inflated prices.

Separately, the cabinet has approved a draft bill to tighten battalion security in a bid to patch up loopholes in current related acts. The draft bill says people without a military pass will receive a prison sentence of up to three years for taking unauthorized pictures or video within a military facility, potentially endangering national secrets or defence secrets while those who engage in such activities from outside a military facility will face a fine of up to NT$150,000. The military facilities covered by the draft act include critical military infrastructure, garrisons and areas viewed as military bases for the purpose of drills or training, the draft bill reads. 

The draft also stipulates rules and regulations for critical infrastructure - meaning anyone who steals, destroys or damages critical military infrastructure will receive a maximum prison sentence of seven years and a fine of up to NT$10 million.

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