The Supreme Administrative Court rendered the 108-Pan-495 Decision of October 24, 2019 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that mainland Chinese spouses living together with their Taiwanese spouses is the prerequisite for approving their residence permit, and that if they do not factually live together, the Chinese spouses will lose their basis for their spouse residencies or long-term residencies in the Taiwan Area, and therefore should be denied residence permits.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellant was a citizen of the mainland China area and married to a Taiwanese national, A. She applied for a spouse residency in the Taiwan Area, granted by the Appellee, the Ministry of the Interior, and applied for a long-term residency again. After the second approval was granted, a residence permit was issued by the Appellee with a term expiring on April 10, 2017. The Appellant subsequently applied to extend the residence permit on March 22, 2017. The Appellee’s specialized operation corp. then conducted an on-site inspection and interviewed the Appellant and A. It turned out that there were facts sufficient to conclude that the Appellant had failed to live together with her Taiwanese spouse without justification, and that the statement on the verity of the marriage is not consistent with the evidence. Therefore, a disposition (hereinafter, the “Original Disposition”) was rendered to decline the Appellant’s application for an extension to her long-term residency, revoke the permission for her long-term residency and cancel the long-term residence permit so issued in accordance with Article 27, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 3 and Article 29, Paragraph 2, Subparagraph 1, and Paragraph 2 of the Rules for Granting Permission for the Spouse Residency, Long-term residency or Residence in the Taiwan Area for the People of the Mainland China Area (hereinafter, the “Permission for Residence Permit Rules”). Dissatisfied, the Appellant brought an administrative action at the Taipei High Administrative Court seeking to set aside the decision on the administrative appeal and the Original Disposition, as well as to compel the Appellant to render an administrative disposition to approve the Appellant’s application for an extension to the long-term residency. After the administrative action was overruled by the original decision, the Appellant was still dissatisfied and, therefore, appealed.
According to the decision, Article 27, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 3 of the Permission for Residence Permit Rules, if there is any fact sufficient to conclude that citizens of the mainland China area applying for a long-term residence permit fails to live with their Taiwanese spouses or if the statement on the verity of marriage is inconsistent with the evidence, the permission may be canceled or revoked. The purpose of the above provision is to allow the mainland Chinese spouses to live in Taiwan for their marital relationships. If the mainland Chinese spouses fail to live with their Taiwanese spouses or if the statements on the verity of their marriages are inconsistent with the evidence, the purposes of their spouse residency in Taiwan will be violated. The purpose for granting people of the Mainland China area who are spouses of the people of the Taiwan area residence permit or allowing them to reside in the Taiwan area is to allow the couples to live together and take care of each other to maintain the their normal, ideal and true marital relationship. Therefore, the fact of both parties living together is a precondition for approving the residencies of the mainland Chinese spouses. In the absence of such fact, the basis for the spouse residencies or long-term residencies in the Taiwan Area for mainland Chinese spouses will be lost, and therefore mainland Chinese spouses should be denied such residencies.
Moreover, according to the Decision, the original decision concluded, based on the on-site inspection and interview by the specialized operation corp., that since the parties had had inconsistent statements on whether A was accompanied the whole time when he was hospitalized and on the circumstances around their family activities during the Moon Festival and the Lunar New Year, it is sufficient to conclude that the statements of the Appellant and A on the verity of their marriage after the Appellant entered Taiwan for a long-term residence permit was inconsistent with the evidence. The Supreme Administrative Court concluded that the Original Disposition rendered based on Article 27, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 3 and Article 29, Paragraph 2, Subparagraph 1, and Paragraph 3 of the Permission for Residence permit Rules was not erroneous in the finding of facts and application of law, and that the Appellant’s appeal arguments were groundless.