More than 100 Tibetans who began a one-month sit-in at Taipei's Liberty Square in December have been granted what they had waited years for - the right to residency in Taiwan, which will allow them to work and live in the open. According to the Taiwanese newspaper Liberty Times, 113 Tibetans stranded in Taiwan will get residency rights once the island's Immigration Act is amended next month. The changes will also grant residency to the 800-plus children of Kuomintang soldiers who were left behind in Thailand and Myanmar after the civil war. The act exempts people under certain circumstances from the usual residency requirements, but exempted groups must be covered by a specific sub-clause. The new amendment specifies that Tibetans who entered Taiwan between May 1999 and the end of last year, and the children of veterans, will be granted residency. Lobsang Tenpa, who travelled to Taiwan from India on a fake passport 10 years ago, said: 'We are extremely happy. 'It might be difficult to find a job right now, but at least we have resolved the biggest problem. We are now legal immigrants.' The Tibetans and the veterans' children have been pressing for residency in Taiwan for years, but the Tibetans are the more politically sensitive group. Historically, the Taipei government has encouraged Tibetans to settle in Taiwan as Chinese citizens. Most of this group of Tibetans came to Taiwan three to eight years ago, mostly from India, with a few from Nepal and Bhutan. They said they had left because they faced basic problems of survival there and could not return to Tibet for fear of political persecution. The island's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party had attempted to turn the Tibetans' plea into a third-country-refugee claim, making it a potential cross-strait issue with Beijing. The swift consensus reached between the ruling KMT and DPP legislators on amending the act before the current legislative session ends next month came as a pleasant surprise to the Tibetans and their advocates. Human rights activists welcomed the news but said the government should implement a general asylum law rather than make piecemeal amendments. Some political commentators expressed concern about Tibet independence activists in the group.