92 Vietnamese wives in limbo after Taiwan rejects citizenship

TN News

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Vietnam's Justice Ministry on Wednesday convened a meeting of related agencies to discuss how to deal with 92 Vietnamese women who had gone to Taiwan after marrying Taiwanese men, but have failed to get Taiwanese citizenship.

The ministry recently received a report from the Vietnam Economy and Culture Office from Taipei, saying the local government has officially refused to grant them Taiwanese citizenship for various reasons, the Tien Phong newspaper said in a Thursday report.

The office asked Vietnamese agencies to help them return home as they are facing many difficulties in Taiwan without an ID, having to resort to social welfare to meet their daily needs. The report did not make clear if their husbands have abandoned them.

It said the temporary residence cards, which is an obligatory document to register for Taiwanese citizenship, had expired for 51 of the 92 women.

The women had lost their Vietnamese nationality when they left the country after their marriage, the report said.

Tran That, head of Administrative Department at the ministry, said "Each case must be studied carefully."

Nguyen Minh Vu, deputy head of the Consulate Department of the Foreign Ministry, said at the meeting that agencies should be lenient in dealing with the women, once it is ensured that they pose no security threats.

"Those women still have parents and siblings waiting for them in Vietnam."

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Vu said 47 of the women had not been able to get Taiwanese citizenship because the government suspected their marriages were not genuine, while 31 others had violated some of Taiwanese traditional norms and rituals, without stating the specifics.

Dinh Trung Tung, deputy minister of Justice, also said Vietnamese  agencies should be supportive of the women.

"This is also a matter of humanity," Tung said.

An official from the Ministry of Public Security said at the meeting that there will be more Vietnamese women getting married to foreigners, and the government should make sure they will not get into the citizenship dilemma by issuing stricter regulations on such marriages.

"Tightening controls will protect Vietnamese women," the representative said.

Many Vietnamese women from poor families in the Mekong Delta are enticed by brokers to marry Taiwanese and South Korean men, most of whom are either too old or too poor to find a bride at home.

These marriages have been plagued by problems caused by language and cultural barriers, and very few Vietnamese women enjoyed the better life they imagined for themselves and their families.

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