‘I’ve finally become Taiwanese,’ says Ukrainian model Larisa Bakurova

TAIPEI (The China Post) – Taiwan-based Ukrainian model Larisa Bakurova visited her local household registration office on Jan. 24 to receive her new identification card, putting an end to the legal process to become a Taiwanese citizen.

“This is my best New Year’s gift ever; I’ve finally become Taiwanese,” said Bakurova, who broke into tears while saying that she waited for five years to complete her naturalization.

According to the Ukrainian model, renouncing her Ukrainian citizenship requires the signature of the Ukrainian president, and she tried very hard only to get it done in 2017, after numerous phone calls to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The identification card was expected to arrive on Jan. 23, but Bakurova was disappointed again when the household registration office told her that she could not apply for an ID without applying for a resident card first.

However, the Ukrainian celebrity was later told that could claim her ID card as soon as the following day.

“I called my family immediately, and I just want to tell the whole world about it,” said Bakurova, who had gotten her naturalization documents ready since 2013. The entire process was eventually prolonged due to noticeable differences between the legal systems of the two countries.

Bakurova said she was the first person ever to relinquish her a Ukrainian citizen to obtain a Taiwanese ID.

She burst into tears, describing herself as “pregnant foreign model” flying Ukrainian embassies in Beijing, Shanghai, and Russia year-round with immigration documents and spending more than NT$1 million in the process.

She believes that it could be easier for Ukrainians to become Taiwanese in the future. She also promised herself to be stronger for her family, her daughter, and parents, who are currently residing in Taiwan.

Bakurova’s husband was emotional too. The couple cried over the good news after Bakurova’s husband saw the pictures of her ID card.

Looking back at when she wanted to become Taiwanese, the Ukrainian model said she was criticized at first for being “out of touch.”

Since it has become a reality, Bakurova, a Taiwan-based Taiwanese Model said she is happy and will carry her new ID with her every day.