Taiwan is planning to make its permanent residency rules for investors from Hong Kong stricter, according to Taiwanese reports quoting government officials.
Currently, investors from Hong Kong can obtain permanent residency in Taiwan by investing at least $214,000 for a minimum period of one year. This scheme is said to have been popular with many wealthy retirees from Hong Kong who seek a second residency option for themselves and their families near their homeland.
Many such investors usually arrive on the East Asian island on a family visa first and then apply for permanent residency status following the mandatory one-year period of stay.
In 2020, a record high 1,576 people from Hong Kong became permanent residents in Taiwan via this investment route, according to Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency statistics. A total of 57 applicants received their permanent residency in the first three months of 2021.
The Taiwanese government, however, is now looking into changing the residency law for the people of Hong Kong and Macau, requiring new applicants to invest their money for a period of at least two years before becoming eligible for permanent residency.
The increase in the waiting time is expected to encourage the younger generation from Hong Kong to live and study in Taiwan for longer terms compared with the older generation who mostly do not end up running businesses on the Taiwanese island.
The proposed changes to Taiwanese residency laws also reportedly have a security aspect to it, given the fact that they come after Hong Kong saw a spate of anti-mainland China protests. Taiwan, which has been struggling for independence from mainland China and maintains its own president and runs a parallel government with close ties to the U.S., views the increase in applicants from the Hong Kong Area with suspicion, according to Taiwanese media. The longer time period for permanent residency is expected to increase due diligence of all applicants from Hong Kong.
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