Red Brick Daily

Ralph and Grazyna Jensen might be close to winning what they, their supporters … and so many others have spent years fighting for: the right to permanent residency for expat kids either born or raised in Taiwan.

The Jensen’s petition … plus open letters to the government, media interviews and Facebook activism may have paid off — after government officials said Friday changes are on the way … and cited the Jensens as an example.

German national Ralph Jensen works as a software engineer in Kaohsiung … he and his family have been in Taiwan for 18 years.

He wrote in a letter to the United Daily News on Thursday explaining his family’s predicament.

Daddy and Mommy Jensen have Taiwanese APRCs (Alien Permanent Residency Certificates or permanent residency) … but despite being born in Taiwan, their now grown up children are barred from applying for an APRC … as they have already turned the age of 20 and are no longer considered “dependents.”

After the “dependent ARC” is gone, a foreign kid born and raised in Taiwan would need to apply for a residency visa like any other foreign national … but here’s the twist: the person could go to school here and get a student visa — but student visas don’t allow you to work, meaning you either do so illegally or have no income.

Second option? Get a work visa. But to get that, you need a few years of experience and a four-year college degree … how is that supposed to work if you just turned 20 after being born and raised in Taiwan?

–Answer: it doesn’t.

Jensen said the law is literally forcing families to separate.

The Ministry of the Interior responded to Jensen’s letter by noting that visa changes have been made, with children of foreign nationals now getting up to six more years in visa extensions after they turn 20.

But that’s not enough for the Jensen’s and many others … who want APRCs for their kids so that families can stay together.

And in happy news, on Friday the Ministry also said more changes are coming … and that it is now working to amend the Immigration Act to allow children of foreign nationals in Taiwan to apply for permanent residency if they’ve been in Taiwan for ‘X’ number of years.

Should that simple change actually come into effect, many will have the Jensens, their supporters … and numerous other advocates to thank for what could be a life-altering APRC.


(Photo via — The Jensen family pictured at an unknown date)