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MOI considers changes to naturalization laws

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Existing laws that require foreigners to renounce their original citizenship before being granted Republic of China citizenship should be amended, Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) said yesterday, amid calls from lawmakers.

Lee noted that current regulations should be changed as they can make many foreign nationals “stateless” if they are denied R.O.C. citizenship after having already given up their original nationality.

“I personally believe the rules should be changed so that one gives up their original citizenship 'after' instead of 'before' they are given R.O.C. citizenship,” Lee noted.

The Ministry of Interior (MOI) will present the amendment proposal to the Cabinet for further review, he noted.

Lee made the comments in response to lawmaker inquiries on this aspect of the Nationality Act (國籍法) in the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Article 9 of the act stipulates that a foreign national who applies for naturalization to Taiwan must first provide certificate proof that they have renounced their previous nationality.

Lawmakers said the regulations have left many foreign nationals “stateless” after having first given up their original citizenship and then having been denied Taiwanese citizenship.

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