Lawmakers in Taiwan are considering whether to offer students and skilled workers from Southeast Asia citizenship, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.
If passed, the bill will allow a larger number of immigrants from Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who possess professional skills to apply for citizenship.
Although the legislation would target people from ASEAN nations, other foreign students and professionals could also see restrictions on their application process loosen significantly.
According to the South China Morning Post, the proposals have been “generally been well received by industry leaders but critics point out that prospective new Taiwanese citizens would no longer be required to invest either in government bonds or a for-profit enterprise to spur local job creation.”
The bill initially contained a clause allowing foreigners who invest heavily in local industry or government bonds from also being fast-tracked into Taiwanese citizenship, although it was later removed because it was considered too difficult to implement.