About the National Immigration Agency
About the National Immigration Agency
Taiwan Province Garrison Headquarters and Taiwan Province Police Department were initially in charge of Taiwan¡¦s border control and they took different measures towards military personnel and civilians respectively. Until 1952, Military Personnel and Civilians Exit and Entry United Scrutiny Department was established and became the competent authority of border control. In March 1957, the department¡¦s name was changed to Entry and Exit Control Department, subordinated to Taiwan Vigilance Headquarters and then to Taiwan Garrison Headquarters set up in July 1958. Until 1972, the government assigned border control, originally under the jurisdiction of military system, to a common administrative agency in response to the needs of social development and thereby the Immigration Bureau under the National Police Agency was established.
For decades, Taiwan¡¦s border control and immigration had been separately subject to various agencies, resulting in the administrative inefficiency of the government. The Immigration Act was promulgated on 21 May 1999, which provides the National Immigration Agency, called the NIA for short, shall be established under the Ministry of the Interior to take charge of border control and immigration. Afterwards, a few statutes related to the NIA were also drafted and then passed by the Legislature on 8 November 2005 and promulgated by the President on 11 November 2005. Therefore, the NIA has been officially formed since 2 January 2007.
In accordance with Article 2 of the Immigration Act, the NIA¡¦s functions and powers are based on the border control subject to the former Immigration Bureau and businesses related to immigration from the Council of the Overseas Chinese Affairs and the Department of Population under the Ministry of the Interior. The NIA also encompasses partial duties of the Foreign Affairs Division of the National Police Agency, the Foreign Affairs and Mainland Affairs Sections of the Police Bureaus nationwide, the Document Examination Brigades of the Aviation and Harbor Police Offices, and Special Police First, Fourth, and Fifth Headquarters.
The NIA, headed by a Director-general and assisted by two Deputy Directors-general and one Chief Secretary, consists of four divisions, four offices, five corps and more than two thousand official personnel. The four divisions are Entry and Exit Affairs Division, Immigration Affairs Division, International Affairs Division, and Immigration Information Division. The four offices are Secretariat, Personnel Office, Accounting Office, and Civil Service Ethics Office. The five corps are Service Affairs Corps, Detention Affairs Corps, First Specialized Operation Corps, Second Specialized Operation Corps, and Border Affairs Corps.
The term"human migration" or "exit and entry" means that people travel across national border, including immigrants and non-immigrants. Managing human migration represents a symbol of national sovereignty, while immigration guidance focuses on the protection of human rights of immigrants. These measures are very important to any nation in the world and that is why some nations have the Bureau of Managing Exit and Entry such as Japan and Hong Kong or the Immigration Bureau such as the U.S. and Canada to handle the following areas:
The mechanism of managing human migration integrates the overseas face-to-face interview, the document examination and passenger assessment on the border line, and domestic face-to-face interview, home inspection, and follow-through, aimed to control the movement of the people of the Taiwan Area, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and foreigners.
The 25 Specialized Operation Brigades of the NIA nationwide, combined with the local police and labor authorities, actively implement crack-down, inspection, detention, and repatriation on those who are illegal immigrants, overstayed, and in violation of the Immigration Act or other relevant laws. Meanwhile, the companies that engage in immigration and cross-border matchmaking are subject to strict management and their transgressions shall be punished to effectively curb fraudulent marriages and human trafficking.
In the past, only six service centers, located in Taipei City, Taichung City, Kaohsiung City, Hualien County, Kinmen County, and Lienchiang County, were available for Taiwan nationals and people from the Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau who wanted to apply for exit and entry, residency, or settlement. Foreigners who wanted to apply for residency had to go the local police bureau before they had acquired ROC nationality. Now the situation has changed after the NIA upgrade its service quality and expand service capacity by establishing 25 service centers nationwide and integrating the relevant functions.
In addition to processing various applications, the NIA¡¦s 25 service centers place special importance on such assistance and guidance to foreign and Chinese spouses as follows:
With the rapid economic development and the effects of global village, people who engage in transnational business, travel, study, work, and marriage unendingly enter and exit the country. Combined with the relieving relations and close contacts between the Taiwan Strait, violations such as overstay, illegal employment, human smuggling and trafficking and other offences against criminal and administrative regulations derive from a considerable amount of transnational human migration. The existence of illegal immigrants has a great impact on social stability, economy, public order, and sanitation. Therefore, we carry out management of illegal immigrants through prevention, crackdown, detention, and repatriation as follows:
In addition to the NIA, those agencies involved with illegal immigration include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Coast Guard Administration of the Executive Yuan, the Council of Labor Affairs, Social Affairs Units, and the National Police Agency. In order to have a good performance of managing illegal immigrants, the NIA devote every effort to intensify the inter-ministerial communications, integrate the resources of the government agencies, upgrade the quality of immigrants, and reduce the quantity of illegal immigrants.
With the establishment of the NIA bearing high expectations from compatriots, the NIA continue to implement its original functions¡Xthe management of human migration and the detention and repatriation of illegal immigrants from the mainland China. The NIA also expand its businesses into immigration guidance, the inspection of illegal stay and residency, and the Service Centers increasing from 6 to 25 as well. In addition to proceeding with the current measures of protecting legal immigrants and clamping down on illegal immigrants, the NIA will provide care and guidance to new immigrants and help them quickly adapt the Taiwan society and build up a multi-cultural living environment together in the future.