1 year wait after TARC to get citizenship - in 2019?

Has there been any changes to the “1 year prison sentence” as described by @Northcoast_Surfer.

As of 2019, do people still need to wait for 1 whole year on a TARC (and not travel anywhere) before they can get their Taiwan ID ? Or, are there any exceptions to the rule ?

How about high-level professionals or plum blossom card holders (who were allowed to retain their original citizenship) ? Same rule for them too ?


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basically yes, for ordinary people.

Article 10 of Immigration Act

A person, …, shall reside in the Taiwan Area for one (1) year continuously; reside in the area for full two (2) years and two hundred and seventy (270) days or up each year; or reside in the area for full five (5) years and one hundred and eighty-three (183) days or up each year.

they don’t need the 1 yr. When their naturalization is approved, they can make their hukou.


Although it’s unfair and they should extend this rule to everyone, it’s good to know that there’s a way around the 1 year wait, even if it’s nearly impossible to be in that special group.

Since it’s a nightmare to renunciate my citizenship I went ahead and sent an application for high level professional last month, based on my piss-poor bachelor’s degree, just 10 years of experience, no professional certificate, no award, no patent & no publication.

99.99% I am expecting that they will reject it, but it’s worth a try anyways. I specifically wrote in my application detailed reasons why someone can be a professional without having awards and patents. Let’s see how they will take it.

I will share my rejection letter once I get it. I expect it will be arriving soon. :grinning:

I’m pretty interested in knowing if they rejected or approved your application @Fuzzy_Barbecue …do let us know the outcome.

As am I. I applied under similar circumstances to the FSC and was shot down 2 years ago. Would be interesting to see others experiences.

@dan2006 @springonion

Short answer first, I did not get it. :expressionless: I wasted 5 months overall, and it was an incredibly tiring and frustrating experience, as I spent weeks preparing documentation & printing everything (because they wouldn’t accept anything via email) only to know that they didn’t actually check/read much of what I sent because it was all in English and perhaps beyond their comprehension. Also, important to note that the people I interacted with spoke little English and wouldn’t respond to my emails directly but instead call to my Taiwanese friend who I put as my reference.

One really strange aspect about all this was that in the end when they decided not to accept my application, they insisted that I write them a formal letter to “rescind” my application. They didn’t want to send any email or letter stating that my case was “rejected”.

Obviously, I refused to provide them any such letter because I DID NOT want to rescind my application. Since they were the one who were rejecting my application, it was only fair that they do it explicitly. Perhaps for some bureaucratic reason that’s how they reject most cases, by asking applicants to give up their applications (kind of like making someone hand in their resignation, when in fact they are being fired).

I have to mention that I did pass the first two committees but failed only at the last step because they were confused about my case. I applied in IoT (Internet of Things) category, which was a technical category, but my experience in the segment is a bit complex, i.e. a mix of executive management / marketing / product management experiences.

They had no setup for handling business/marketing/management cases (unless it was in the scope of education i.e. PhD / academic research etc…). The only other types of cases they understood were technical ones, specifically software/hardware engineers.

I only have a 4 years bachelor’s degrees so academic route was out of the question. I applied for special talent category (which is for management/business etc…), yet they still forwarded my case to their regular technical team because I listed my industry as IoT (which is a technical category).

This is where the problem started. That team kept asking me to provide them with R&D patents awards or certificate. I kept telling them I cannot have patents because I have never been an engineer. I have directed entire product/R&D teams (even companies) in to building patent-winning products, but those patents are always awarded to the engineers, not to the company executives or managers.

Just for reference, I will share some of what I prepared for them (so you get the idea). I sent them two sets of documents, two months apart. The first set was over 50 documents (all of which I had to print + put in a USB flash drive) and ship to them by post: These included:

  1. Basics (Passport, ARC Gold Card, Application form – {where you need to write in detail everything you have done in your career - this was many pages long})
  2. Experience certificates (business cards, and experience letters from every company I worked which showed the positions I held - which were most director/executive level)
  3. A copy of my detailed LinkedIn Profile (English), 104 profile (Chinese), and a detailed CV in both English and Chinese
  4. Several articles of mine that were published on international IoT news websites
  5. Whitepapers I had written & published when I worked as head of division for an IoT company widely regarded as No.1 globally in this segment
  6. Videos of me being interviewed by local tech news at international exhibitions (IoT specific)
  7. Photos of me giving seminars/workshops/trainings in over a couple dozen countries
  8. LinkedIn Endorsements (I have like 60 of them, and believed these personal recommendations written by professional/executives from different companies around the world would show that I am really good at my field and recognized internationally).
  9. Consultation experience (I showed emails and records showing that well-known International consultation companies from US/Europe/China regularly seek me out for my knowledge/experience in this field and I get paid over 10,000 NT$ for each hour of phone consultation, which is not much but it’s not that little, because that’s way more than what I can get paid an hour working in a Taiwanese company)

After sending all these documents, a month and a half later I received a letter from the “final” committee (the third step), asking for R&D patents/awards/certificates which can prove I am a professional. They also asked for work materials to show the kind of work I did.

So I prepared a 2nd package (50 or so documents + another USB flash drive) which included various word, excel, PowerPoint documents that I had exclusively made for companies (these included dozens of detailed analysis, product specs, business plans, roadmaps, business strategies, my work with international research organizations etc. ).

Along with these documents, I sent the following explanation to them for why it wasn’t possible for someone like me to have international patents or awards but still be regarded as a professional:


  1. Patents:
    As a business professional in IoT, it’s impossible for me to have any patents. I am not an engineer or directly involved in R&D. Although I have generated many successful product concepts, patents are typically not awarded to Sales/Marketing/Management even if they produce the original idea.

I will include several documents in the attached USB where you can see the level of contribution I have done towards helping my employers making innovative products, but I didn’t build them myself. I only did market/industry/competitive analysis and created product concepts/ideas and detailed specifications.

  1. Awards:
    Awards in IoT field typically go to the companies from industry bodies. There aren’t any international awards in IoT that are given to professionals. Companies do give out internal awards, but they are usual given by management to engineers and other mid-level staff. They rarely award it to themselves. I haven’t received awards from my company. In each of the IoT companies that I have worked I have not known any director/executive who ever received one.

  2. Professional Certificate:
    There aren’t any professional certificates for IoT know-how. In fact, I don’t know of any internationally recognized degrees/certificates in IoT. If there are such certificates existing (that I don’t know of), then I would most probably qualify as teacher to teach people to get them, rather than become a student to receive them.

I haven’t known any person in top management (in any of the IoT companies I have worked) who has received a professional IoT certificate. The reason is because all of us came from totally different backgrounds. IoT is a relatively new industry. It’s not something anyone could learn or get certified in (especially 5 to 10 years ago).

Almost every senior business professional/executive in IoT business today (e.g. in sales/marketing/management) has come from a different industry, and I can confidently say none of them would have any degree/certificate to prove that they were an IoT business professionals, besides their work experience.

E.g. My background is “bachelor’s in computer science” and I have never been trained or educated in IoT field. I was just lucky enough to work for leading IoT companies, one after another, and in senior management roles. So, my know-how and knowledge of the IoT industry comes purely from my unique work experience of the last 12 years. I have no document that can certify my knowledge of IoT (but I am available for an interview to answer any questions you may have)

My only proof of my professional knowledge is the following:
a) Employment i.e. World’s leading (top-ranked) IoT companies have hired me in senior management positions, and they had a good reason to do it.
b) I am a sought-after consultant in IoT. International consultancy groups (like xxx / xxx) regularly contract me for their clients (who are usually big investment firms or even big banks) to consult them on which IoT companies their clients should invest in. I have included proof of this in the USB. Again, all I can say that there is a good reason, why consultancy companies from Europe, US and China will look for me whenever they have a client who needs consultation on IoT xxx business. I am one of very few experts in the world (at my level) in this segment of IoT.

After the 2nd set of documents, a month or so later the final committee sent me another letter, which was exactly the same (more or less). They asked me to give them my international patents, awards and certificates which proved that I was a professional. At that point I gave up and send them this one final email (excerpts):

I just received the two letters from you, again asking me to provide you with “R&D patents, awards and certificates”.

  • How can a business professional have patents?
  • Why do you apply “technical” criterion to non-technical professionals?
  1. Please confirm, if Taiwanese Government’s “Foreign Senior Professional” program is only for R&D people and University PhD’s?
  2. Please confirm that you do not acknowledge any senior business professionals in sales, marketing and general management, even in highly specialized industries like IoT?

I am not an engineer, and I have never worked in R&D, and I have never built any products personally.

If I were an R&D engineer, I would have applied to the Ministry of Science not the Ministry of Economy. I applied to you because I thought you could evaluate my unique industry experience and knowledge from a “business/economic” perspective. I am already exhausted, having spent several months trying to tell you that I am not an engineer and I do not have patents. I will not be presenting any more documents or data for my case.

I know I went a bit overboard in the last two paragraphs. I was a bit angry. Anyways, I never got any answer from them. Just found a package 2 weeks later with some of my printed documents returned and just 1 USB flash disk (seems they kept the other nicer one for themselves :slightly_smiling_face:).

Overall it was an interesting experience, as I did it all alone (with zero Chinese). I already had very low expectations given that less than 0.01% cases are accepted, but I was more disappointed about the reasons why my case failed at the last step. All this makes sense. Now I know why so few people ever qualify.

My suggestions for those who want to apply; don’t waste your time, unless you are:

  • a PhD, preferably a professor (with several international published researches and citations; international conferences will help too)
  • an R&D Engineer (hardware or software) (must have patents or international awards and professional certificates)
  • a famous local coach, athlete or TV/radio personality (better have some awards/certificates - just in case)
  • a kind of a God or celebrity in your specialized field, so internationally renowned that you could easily emigrate / find work in any of world’s most developed economies and probably have little reason to choose Taiwan.

Another thing to consider. If you are potential applicant, just take a good look in the mirror and see if you can make the Ministry of XXX “look good” when they have to publish a news article about rewarding you with this “special” honor. I thought a lot about this after reading all those news articles about successful cases. It was clear that were boastful about each case. That’s when I realized how difficult it would be for them to present me in good light.

I imagined mine would read : "We gave the honor to a guy with a bachelor’s degree. He has no awards or patents or professional certificates whatsoever and we are not entirely sure what he does … "

Take what you can from this. I can’t be sure that I didn’t make many mistakes in the whole process. There wasn’t any good guide available. Information was scarce. I just did what I thought was best. Lack of Chinese made things more challenging too. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have applied in the first place when I knew exactly the kind of applicants that had succeeded. Deep down I knew I was not at that level, not yet at least. On the other hand I also I shouldn’t have sent them so many documents to “read” when all I needed was international “patents, awards and certificates”.


Thanks for sharing your experience @Fuzzy_Barbecue

To better understand, was your application for a plum blossom card or was your application for high-level professional naturalization recommendation? I heard someone mentioning on the forum that plum blossom is harder than the naturalization recommendation…

Seems like a lot of work just to circumvent the one-year residency requirement. Do you travel so often that living in a country for a full year is considered “prison time” to you?

If you’re trying to get a Taiwan ID, then I assume Taiwan is still pretty new and fresh to you. There are plenty of great places to vacation within Taiwan, and I guarantee you won’t be able to see everything within a year, assuming you’re employed full-time.

If you really want to vacation overseas during this one-year wait period, then I’d suggest opting for the two-year wait period instead, which allows you to leave for up to three months within each of the two years. Surely you don’t need to vacation overseas for more than three months per year?

it’s not to avoid the 1 year, to avoid the renunciation, in the case of the poster. For some foreigners, the residency requirement is not easy to fulfill due to their job natures. If foreigners are trying to get a national ID, often they know Taiwan more than NWOHRs who have never lived here, don’t know their country’s regulations , or don’t understand their national language.

If the poster is trying to get a Taiwanese ID, I just assumed he/she is already living and working in Taiwan full-time, and should have no problem staying in Taiwan for a year. I don’t see why someone living and working outside of Taiwan would want to get a Taiwanese ID, as it would provide no benefit to them.

there are jobs requiring frequent overseas travels.

Ah, I guess that’s true.

No, the original poster @Fuzzy_Barbecue wasn’t trying to “escape” the one year “prison sentence” whilst living on a TARC. On the contrary, he wanted to bypass the need for giving up one’s original citizenship before attaining Taiwanese citizenship, which a high level senior professional need not.

Huh? He said nothing about giving up his original citizenship in his original post. He was asking if TARC holders need to wait a year before getting full citizenship.

It would be better you read the thread before you reply to the OP, especially when the thread is old.

Just to update, I finally managed to apply for citizenship but as a regular applicant. I got the Taiwanese nationality (and a passport), and I have been on a TARC for 6 months already.

Just to clarify, I didn’t do all that effort just to avoid travel restriction. I did it to avoid renunciation of my original citizenship. And not even because I like my original citizenship. I did it just to avoid the hassle of renunciation. For some countries it is a lot of work, much more so than applying for a senior professional in Taiwan.

Since I failed to get the exemption, I have had to spend the last 6 months trying to renounce my citizenship. It’s still in process, and I am unsure if I will succeed before March 2022 deadline.

Taiwanese nationality has a time limit of 12 months. I must renounce within that period, or my Taiwanese nationality gets cancelled (unless I apply for an extension, which is another big hassle).

Hope that clears it all up.

PS. Though it wasn’t the main issue, I was concerned about the 12-month travel restriction. Not as much because of work but more so because I wanted to be able to visit my parents. But all this was before COVID so…


Hope you get the renunciation done before March 2022 and all the efforts are worth it! I am on TARC as well until May 2022, but I had my exemption passed since I can’t renounce my original citizenship.

Thank you and congrats on the getting the exemption! I wish I could do the same but sadly Taiwan doesn’t give exemptions unless you are from a country where it’s in their law not to allow renunciation. I am sure Taiwan’s MOFA knows all such countries, so there is no way to fool them.

My country allows renunciation by law, so I would never qualify for an exemption. But in fact, there is so much corruption there, that sometimes if you don’t pay off the right person, or even accidentally piss-off the wrong guy, you may never get your renunciation certificate.

But Taiwan doesn’t accept special cases.

My daughter is in a similar situation. She is only 2 and a Taiwanese national like me. Since she is under 18, she isn’t allowed to renounce. Taiwan will not offer any exemption in her case. They say, “wait till you are 18, then renounce, then come to get your ID”.

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Hi. Please PM me.

Good luck.
I’ve been through some of this process and it’s a real grind.
I lost a lot of respect for Taiwan by their shitty attitude and laws and general incompetence when dealing with immigrants and new citizens.

I remember I had the TARC and the immigration official was still referring to me as ‘nimen waiguoren’…They are pathetic.

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