29 year old Hapa with Taiwanese Mom claiming Citizenship

I’m an American citizen interested in working in Taiwan and becoming a citizen. My mother was born in Taiwan, and was a Taiwanese citizen. She immigrated to America and married my American dad. AFAIK when becoming an American citizen, she never renounced her Taiwan citizenship or anything. I’ve been searching through some old posts on Forumosa from 2010. And it seems like its relatively easy to regain citizenship if you are under 20 and still considered a minor. But over 20 it is a bit of a hassle.

Does anyone know what the process is for those with a Taiwanese mom, and over the age of 20, who want to claim their ROC citizenship? I’ve read different things in different places. Some sources say, that you are pretty much in the same position as any other foreigner trying to get citizenship. While other sources say, its similar to the under 20 process, there are just some other forms and hurdles to jump over.

I was in exactly the same situation as you, and yes, you can totally get Taiwanese nationality without giving up your U.S. passport.

However, you’ll need a whole lot of paperwork and you’ll have to spend quite a lot of time in Taiwan. It’s also very likely that you will need your mother’s help for a lot of the process, so start reminding how much you love her now. :laughing:

Here’s how it goes:

  1. GET AN OVERSEAS PASSPORT. You must do this at the TECO that services the area where you come from in the States. You will need your mother’s passport (with ID number), your parents’ marriage certificate and your birth certificate. (The American documents will need to be authenticated by the TECO that services the area WHERE THE DOCUMENTS WERE ISSUED.) If your mother doesn’t have a valid Taiwanese passport, she must get one. (This is totally possible, even if it’s been decades since she’s had one. The Taiwanese will always recognize its people, even if they take other nationalities. Mom rolled up with the passport she came to the U.S. on when she was 17 and they still renewed it. She did have to provide extra documentation though, including an official Taiwanese address.)

  2. GET AN ENTRY/EXIT PERMIT. Once you have your overseas passport, you have to get an entry/exit permit pasted into it. This allows you to enter Taiwan for up to 90 days. You get this at TECO and I think you can apply for it at the same time you apply for your passport.

  3. COME TO TAIWAN. You must enter with this new overseas passport with valid entry/exit permit. DO NOT ENTER ON YOUR U.S. PASSPORT.

  4. APPLY FOR A TARC. Once you arrive in Taiwan, you must apply for a TARC, which is a residence card for overseas Taiwanese (and others awaiting nationality). DO THIS THE MOMENT YOU ARRIVE. You will need all kinds of documents, including a background check (from your home country), a health check (done locally), your mother’s household registration book (so you’ll need to find a friend or relative to help provide this if your mom doesn’t have property in Taiwan anymore), your mother’s passport, your mother’s ID card (she might have to come to Taiwan and get a new one, which is a simple process, but might require her physical presence), your overseas Taiwanese passport, your U.S. passport (I think), your authenticated birth certificate, your parent’s authenticated marriage certificate (even if they are divorced now), and some passport photos. Also, your mom might have to register her marriage to your dad if she has never done so. This means he will need a Chinese name, so you might have to find one for him. (Your Taiwanese ID will list your parents, so this is why you might have to do this. In my case, my father passed away before I applied for nationality, and my mother never registered him as part of her household, so there’s a gap on my ID where my dad’s name should go.) IF YOUR MOTHER COMES TO TAIWAN TO HELP WITH THIS, BE SURE SHE ENTERS WITH HER TAIWAN PASSPORT.

  5. WAIT A LONG TIME. The 360 day requirement starts ONLY AFTER THE TARC IS ISSUED. I stayed in Taiwan the full year without leaving, which is the fastest way to meet the stay requirement. You can also do 270 days each year for two years, or 183 days each year over five years. But remember, THE CLOCK DOESN’T START TICKING UNTIL YOU HAVE THAT TARC, so make getting it a priority the moment you arrive.

  6. PROVE YOU HAVE WAITED A LONG TIME. Once you have met the residency requirement, go back to immigration and get a paper which confirms that you have stayed in Taiwan long enough. (You just give them your passport and TARC and maybe a SASE which you can buy there.) This takes a couple of weeks to process, I believe. Also, I’m pretty sure this is the last time I saw my TARC, so make copies of it before you hand it in because it’s likely you’ll need them later.

  7. GET ANOTHER HEALTH CHECK. I can’t remember if you need this before or after the proof of stay part, but you definitely need it before the next step.

  8. REGISTER AND GET AN ID CARD. After you have this paper which proves you have stayed in Taiwan long enough, you can register yourself at your housing office. You will need a housing registration book (your mother’s, or one of your own if you know a landowner who will let you use theirs), this proof of stay paper, the health check (I’m pretty sure), and a photo. This whole process takes about 10 minutes and you’ll walk out with your new ID card and nationality.

  9. GET A NEW PASSPORT. Now that you have an ID card (with number) you must apply for a new Taiwanese passport on which you can now exit Taiwan.

This whole process takes a whole lot of time and energy, and there will be all kinds of unexpected setbacks (seriously, even on the day I applied for my ID card, the photo machine broke). However, you’ll find that while the procedures are mind-numbingly detailed and ridiculous, Taiwan is really happy to have you. No one is going to bend the rules for you, but you’ll see that the many, many bureaucrats you will have to deal with in this ordeal really DO want to help you.

My whole process took about a year and four months, including a bit of lag time getting the TARC, then a bit of feet dragging on my part at the end with the health check and ding ju. Also, I think I had to wait about a week for my new passport. However, I’m really glad I went through the process and it’s awesome being a dual-national now!

Also, some notes:

  • Even though more and more of us are coming back now, MOST PEOPLE have never seen an overseas passport and a lot of people don’t know what a TARC is. I’ve had confusion at banks and phone companies, and the HR at my old job had to learn a few things about processing my papers.

  • MAKE A LIFE FOLDER. You never know when you might need which document, so I made a big folder with all of my papers in it and just took it with me anytime I had to do anything administrative. My mom also left me her ID card and chop when she returned to the States and this was also handy to have when I had to navigate this process without her.

  • KEEP COPIES OF YOUR TARC EVEN AFTER YOU GET YOUR ID CARD. You’ll find that you’ll have to update a lot of things (bank accounts, phone accounts, health insurance cards, etc.) once you have your new ID number and these places will only have your old ID on file. Having a copy of the old card is super useful.

  • YOU CAN GET A WORK PERMIT. My first company had to apply for my work permit (which you will still need to take employment, and for reasons I don’t understand, they need your U.S. passport to get it), but I learned when I went part-time that I could get my own work permit after getting the TARC. This permit allows you to work anywhere and you won’t have to be tied to a particular employer.


Great Post! (Above) This is similar to my situation.

Here is some more details, and outlook on: Obtaining Taiwan Citizenship after 20+

1. Obtain Overseas Taiwan Passport:
You need the following: 1. Father ROC Passport, 2. Parent’s Marriage Certificate, 3. Your own US Birth Certificate 4. Application form to apply. 5. Household Registration (Original Copy Valid for only 3 months) Apply at any TECO Office. My parents had actually flown back to Taiwan to get an original copy of the Household Registration at the District Household Registration Office (戶籍事務所). Because my dad had his US Citizenship since 1990, he had lost his old ROC passport. In order to get a new ROC Passport, he needed to apply at the TECO office and provide them with the Household Registration that shows his ROC ID Number. His passport took about 1 month for the 10 year validity, Express (valid for 1 year) takes 2 weeks time to process. Then, we submitted all of the 5 documents for my Overseas Passport. Time took approx. 1 month. No translation needed. Parents were married in New Mexico, so the LA TECO accepted the document as is. I recommend calling TECO office to confirm you have all the correct documents before applying. Once you receive your Overseas ROC Passport, there is no ROC ID number. There is an Entry/Exist Permit in the middle of the passport book. This allows you to stay in Taiwan for 3 months. Extension for another 3 months is valid for a total of 6 months stay. This can be done at the National Immigration Agency. Fill out an extension paperwork, and pay $300 NT.

2. Obtain TARC - Taiwan Area Residential Card:

You need the following: 1. Parents Household Registration (Original) 2. Parents ROC ID Card 3. FBI Clearance (Authenticated, Translated, Notarized) 4. US Birth Certificate (Authenticated, Translated, Notarized) 5. Parents Marriage Certificate (Authenticated, Translated, Notarized) 6. Taiwan Medical Clearance for AF353 7. US and ROC Overaseas Passport. The fee is $1000 NTU and all of the documents have to be submitted at the National Immigration Agency - Overseas ROC counter.
Where to start? My parents did not have their ROC ID Cards, and they had to re-establish their HUKOU (戶口). They had only their ROC Passports Renewed, so they needed to enter Taiwan on their ROC Passports. In order to re-establish their HUKOU (戶口), they needed to: 1. Enter Taiwan on ROC passport, 2. Provide a Grant Deed Paper, or Original Proof Property Tax Paid (for the property they are establishing their HUKOU), or 戶口名簿 (if they wanted to establish their 戶口 under somebody else’s). I recommend bringing all 3 paperworks if possible to the Household Registration Office when re-establishing your 戶口)Please make sure to go to the Household Registration Office that you are going to establish your HUKOU. Do not go to any Household Registration, it must be the assigned one.
My parents were single and married in the US Certificate, so they needed to register their marriage in order to prove I was their child. Therefore, they had to provide the translated, authenticated, and notarized US Marriage Certificate to the Household Registration Office to register their marriage. The US Marriage Certificate can be translated by anyone (yourself, or a formal translator). I just translated it myself since their is a template online. Just fill in all of the information. MINQUAN NOTARY. minquan-notary.com/p/english … ation.html. The original copy of the Marriage Certificate must be authenticated by the TECO office in the US. Since they were married in New Mexico, LA TECO is the assigned office. Pay $15 and fill out authenticated application to have it authenticated. No need for the Translated Version to be authenticated. Only the original. It takes 1 week to have the authentication done.
Once authenticated, bring back the original and translated version and have it notarized. I went to MINQUAN NOTARY, and they charge a fair price $750 NTU. He will have it done within an hour. Back to the Household Registration Office. It took 3 hours for my parents to 1. re-establish Household Registration 2. Register their marriage 3. and Receive their NEW ID cards. It can all be done within one day.
FBI Clearance - I submitted my FBI clearance when I was in the US. I went to a shop that said Fingerprint. I believe if you tell the Fingerprint shop FBI clearance, they know which fingerprint form the FBI department needs. Once you have conducted your fingerprint, mail your application material to the FBI Department in DC. It took me 12 weeks processing time, before receiving my results. So please remember to do this ASAP, since the gov. can really lag. Once you receive your original results, it must be authenticated in the US by the TECO DC office only. I mailed the original FBI result form, $15 cashier’s check only, and completed authenticated application form. Got the results back within 1 week. You must also provide them a return mail envelope already pre-paid. They will not give you back the results, unless you do so.
AF353 Health Check - I went to REN-AI Hospital near the Howard Plaza Hotel (Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT). Its on the first floor. You pay them $1600 NTU, and they give you blood test, and X-RAY for chest. It took 1 hour. You can pickup the results in one week time. I recommend having this done in Taiwan, like many previous have said.
Once you have all the documents, you must submit everything to the National Immigration Agency Items 1-6. Everything for me was authenticated in the US LA TECO office before coming to Taiwan, except for the FBI clearance authenticated in D.C. The translated versions were all notarized with MINQUAN NOTARY when I arrived in Taiwan. Then I submitted everything to National Immigration Office. Process took less than one hour. They asked for my Parents ID Cards (which we got beforehand), and all the documents. They return you the originals, but the keep the translated copies that were notarized. Pickup time is 7 working days. Once received, your TARC has a AF353 which means that you utilized your parents status to obtain permanent residency.


  1. Work Permit - I just submitted my open work permit application to the WDO near Ximen. Here is the address just in case you make the mistake since there are several WDO offices. No. 39, Section 1, Zhonghua Road Fl. 10. Its in the 台糖 building. 5 minute walk from Ximen MRT station. You provide them the following.
  2. Completed Work Application Form 2. Household Registration - Original Copy (Valid for 3 months). 3. Copy of your TARC Front and Back 4. US Passport Copy 5. 100 NTU. 5. Passport Photo Headshot. Process took less than 1 hour. You will take 12 working days before receiving it.
  3. National Medical Card - You can apply for a National Medical Card after 6 months of staying in Taiwan. Note: the time starts from the day you receive your TARC, not when you entered Taiwan on your ROC Overseas Passport. Once you have completed 6 months stay, you can visit the Social Reform Office (usually its in the 區公所building). I have not completed my 6 months so I am not eligible yet. They will need again an original copy of the Household Registration (valid for 3 months).
  4. Military - There is no military obligation since you are not registered on the Household Registration Card. Once you have satisfied the 1 year without exiting the country and apply for Taiwan Citizenship, then you will be required for military service. Something to think about if you go this route. I have heard you can apply for TI DAI YI in April for the Special forces - as long as you hold an overseas degree. I am not able to confirm.
  5. Extend your TARC until 39 - This is what NIA suggested. Since your TARC expires in 3 years, you can keep extending your TARC until the age of 36/39. And then do your one year stay and obtain citizenship. This way you do not have to do the military service. You can’t do some of the things of a citizen, but at least you can do plenty enough. Also, there is no requirement for how many days you need to be in Taiwan for the TARC. You just have to remember to keep extending your TARC up until age 36/39. This can be done at NIA office.

This is where I stand currently, and the process is long and exhausting. But at the same time is rewarding. You can be a dual citizen, and do not have to renounce your original citizenship which is a privilege. Welcome to Taiwan.


Some additional notes:

Thank you for your posts! Super helpful and I was able to get my TARC today! Everybody’s case is different, although there are some steps you should be aware of:

Even though I had a Taiwanese passport, had a copy of my parents’ household registration, I still needed an authenticated, translated copy of my USA birth certificate. (In order to get the Taiwanese passport at the TECO when I was younger, I think my parents had to give TECO my authenticated USA birth certificate.) Still, I had to give my authenticated USA birth certificate to the NIA.

Also. the validity of the FBI report needs to be within 6 months.

Finally, your luck also depends on who you get as a staff member. Some are more experienced, more knowledgable and friendlier.

I’m going to bump this to ask a question.

I’m in a very similar situation as most of those who have posted. I hold a US passport and want to get a TARC without renouncing my US citizenship. However, I have been in the country under an work permit/ARC for 2 years now. I plan on leaving my job so, I will lose my ARC. I know the only way to stay over 90 days and have the benefits of a citizen is to apply for the TARC.

I fulfill all the requirements EXCEPT for the stay requirement. I have been in Taiwan for over 700 days on my work permit. Can this be factored into the “stay requirement”? I know that I need to apply for the TARC in order for the requirement to start, but has anyone used their ARC “stays” to factor into the TARC “stay” days or are those two completely different things?

Two separate things. You entered Taiwan on your U.S. passport and were thus able to obtain an ARC. If you want to obtain a TARC, you’ll need to exit Taiwan, obtain an overseas Taiwanese passport, reenter Taiwan on this passport and then apply for a TARC. It is time consuming and a lot of paperwork, so start soon if you want to go down this road. The alternative is entering on your U.S. passport and doing visa runs every 90 days.

this is so helpful!! does the fbi identity check absolutely have to be authenticated by D.C. TECO or would another location be fine? i’m currently in Taipei and my fbi identity check is in California.

it seems like your requirements are different because both of your parents were taiwanese? if it’s only one parent, then your non taiwanese parent shouldnt have to do all that and get new ID cards.

A post was merged into an existing topic: How to get Permanent Residence as a NWOHR passport holder?

Hello, would kindly ask, maybe some of you may know. Under which reason formulary for NIA can I apply if my Friend is the one adding me in her House Hold Registration. Because my Dad doesn´t have Household Registration and never had before. I have read AF383 and AF384 only apply for direct blood family. My questions is regarding under which reason, aka. which formulary, then. Thanks

If you are a foreigner or NWOHR, then your friend cannot add you to their household registration. The household registration system is a way for the government to keep track of the addresses and household/family relationships of Taiwanese citizens.

Foreigners and NWOHR are not part of that system at all.

If you are trying to get a TARC, your parents or siblings must be Taiwanese citizen with ID. Your friends cannot help you there.


Thank you Alan85 very helpful comment.
May I ask you also: If I cannot ask for TARC through my Dad. Then maybe through getting a Job? In this case TARC will lead to citizenship after 1 year? or need to wait 7 years (of living in TW) to apply Citizenship?

Thanks for the help

You’re welcome.

Yes, getting a TARC (and work permit) through a job would be the only option.

You won’t be able to get an ID after living in Taiwan for a year. You’ll need to wait much longer, probably equivalent to a foreigner getting a APRC. I’m not sure how many years it takes.

In the interests of accuracy, I’m reviving this old thread.

Is this really true? I recently read an article that seems to say that it is possible for a friend (or in this case, a workplace boss) to add an NWOHR to their household registration.

Reference: Becoming Taiwanese (Part Two): Applying for Residency — Chloe Chows


The most difficult part of the process was actually regarding household registration. Due to my father immigrating back in 1960 to the USA, he had no active household registration and also no known relatives in Taiwan. For most people going through this process, this step most likely will not be a problem. For me - the household registration office asked if I had any friends or acquaintances that would allow me to add my father (and later, me) to their official household. This step may induce additional taxes or fees, and legally, my father and I would be part of their household registry, so unfortunately most people were not willing to help me out. As an alternative, you could own a house on your own or provide certificates to prove that you pay property tax, just to ensure that that you or a family member actually lives here in Taiwan.

Long story short, my boss at the time offered to help me out and it was truly a blessing. He drove me to his house, provided his official authorization chop, ID card, household registration papers and I was officially a member of my boss’s household registry (haha). My dad received his ID card, health insurance card, and I received my TARC - Taiwan Area Resident Certificate.

Hmm, upon further reflection, the above-quoted case may be slightly different (but very interesting nonetheless). It seems that the above case involves a father – who was born in Taipei but immigrated to the USA at age 5. That father’s child was then an NWOHR. Then, it was then this father who, apparently, was added into the boss’s household registration – with no family relation, as far as I understand. Then, because the father now again had HHR, the NWOHR child could get a TARC (based on the AF353 condition about a parent having an active HHR being grounds for the TARC).

Unfortunately, this case seems not to shed any new light on the question if NWOHRs (who never had HHR at all) can be added into a friend’s HHR. I guess the answer is still no. But at least the above case provides one specialized route to getting a TARC when a Taiwan-born parent is still alive but living abroad – that parent can apparently be added to anyone’s HHR, which then serves as the gateway for the NWOHR child to get a TARC.


Yes, any Taiwanese citizenship can be added to anyone else’s household registration if they can prove that they live in that household. For example, by showing utilities bills, rental contracts, etc.

They can also just establish a new household registration at a new address if they just bought a house.

NWOHR and foreigners do not need to be added to any households (and cannot), because they are not part of the system in the first place.

to be added to someone’s household, you don’t need these things. if the head of hh agrees, you (taiwanese citizen) can be added. 寄居, if the hh is not your family’s.

if you can show utilities bills, rental contracts, etc., you can also create your own independent household at the address. 另立一戶


This latest case thus confirms that a parent who:

  • was born in Taiwan
  • had HHR registration in the past
  • lost HHR registration due to overseas living
  • had an NWOHR child after HHR registration was lost
  • is still living

can allow the child to gain a TARC through AF353 simply by having the parent re-activate his/her HHR by having the parent added to someone else’s HHR. The living parent is now in the HHR system and gives the NWOHR child the right to a TARC.

The related question, which was discussed earlier but which I think still is a bit murky, is: what if everything is the same, but the parent died in the meantime? In other words, the parent:

  • was born in Taiwan
  • had HHR registration in the past
  • lost HHR registration due to overseas living
  • had an NWOHR child after HHR registration was lost
  • is now deceased.

The non-living parent can no longer re-activate an HHR and thus AF353 cannot apply. But can AF384 (link: https://www.immigration.gov.tw/media/83462/臺灣地區無戶籍國民申請在臺灣地區居留或延期居留及變更居留原因送件須知.pdf) still apply? I think the unclear point is that an NWOHR child born after the Taiwanese parent’s HHR registration was lost might possibly be interpreted as not fulfilling AF384. But I want to believe that it still fulfills AF384 – in other words, I want to believe that after the AF353 “gateway” for the NWOHR to acquire citizenship closes due the parent’s death, the AF384 “gateway” takes its place. After all, the only difference is the parent’s death.

Opinions (if AF384 still applies in the above conditions)?

Ah right. That is to prove that you live in a new household.