30 something ABC wanting to get Taiwanese dual citizenship


I’m a 30 something American Born Chinese female born to 2 Taiwanese American naturalized parents.

My parents have been pushing me to get my Taiwanese citizenship. I would love to get this, but I am finding a lack of uniform consistent clear information on the Internet about the process.

The closest thing to transparent information I could find was this blog: Becoming Taiwanese (Part Two): Applying for Residency — Chloe Chows

I have done “Step 1” in Chloe’s blog. I have a Taiwanese passport.

I guess my question is:

  1. As outlined by Chloe, I am on “step 2”. I need to apply for residency. Say I fly to Taiwan from the United States and arrive in Taiwan on January 1st, 2024 as day 1. I understand that I need to enter the country using the Taiwanese passport. Does the 365 day residency start counting the day I enter the country? Or is it the day I am issued a Taiwan Area Resident Certificate (TARC)?
  2. On her list of required documents, and also outlined in an email sent to me by Washington DC Teco today that I will copy paste on the bottom, I need to submit an FBI background check. My concern is that these FBI background checks are only good for 6 months from issue. What is the most efficient way to get this background check done?
  3. Is it best to do the FBI background check right before leaving the US for Taiwan?
  4. And am I correct in understanding that on the FBI web site, we should ask for a paper copy to be sent to Washington TECO rather than our home addresses in the US, because I would already be in Taiwan and have no way of forwarding the letter to Washington DC?
  1. On Chloe’s blog, she lists also that this is needed: “Marriage certificate (TECO authenticated and translated): also need TECO authenticated foreign spouse’s name declaration”

Is she talking about my parents’ marriage certificate or my marriage certificate? I have never been married.

  1. Chloe’s blog also states that this is needed: “Copy of Taiwanese parent’s household registration if available (will be issued by the specific local household registry office where your family is registered) - needs to have your parent’s marriage registered”. My parents never registered their marriage in Taiwan. https://www.ait.org.tw/marriage/ . This web site states
    " You can register your marriage at any HHR office. The couple must go to the HHR office with passports, ARC (if applicable), and a prepared written marriage agreement between the two parties which has already been signed by two adult witnesses (witnesses do not need to appear at the HHR office). Download a sample marriage agreement. (PDF 122 KB)"
    So my parents have to go to Taiwan to register their marriage then?

  2. Is there a professional lawyer or someone I can ask about all these questions?

"Here is the email Washington DC TECO office emailed me today regarding my FBI background check validation:

  • 5 to 7 working days. Forward the original FBI email to our office ( consul.tecro@mofa.gov.tw ), Forward Pin# email from FBI to us .

Required documents

  • Complete a copy of the Document Certification Application Form .
  • A photocopy of the basic data page of a valid U.S. passport. If you have a passport from the Republic of China, please also provide a photocopy. Applicants who hold a non-U.S. valid passport, please attach a copy of the visa green card.
  • An original copy of the FBI non-criminal record issued directly by the FBI (must be sealed and cannot be opened). How to apply for FBI no criminal record (or criminal record), please refer to the US FBI website .
  • The FBI no criminal record email issued directly by the FBI can directly print out the FBI no criminal record. And forward the original FBI email to the office email ( consul.tecro@mofa.gov.tw ), and attach the pin code for verification.
  • However, if it is an FBI-approved Channeler issued by a private company authorized by the FBI, since it is not directly issued by the FBI, such a channeler must be verified by the US State Department and then sent to this office for verification.
  • The English name of the FBI with no criminal record must be consistent with the English name on the passport. If the English name is inconsistent or the surname and first name are reversed, a new application is required.
  • If you need to verify the Chinese translation of the FBI’s non-criminal record, please complete the translation in detail (no excerpts or excerpts are allowed). Declare that the translated content is true, or send it to a local notary or competent authority in the consular jurisdiction for notarization, certification or verification, and then send it to this office for verification; the parties can also only verify the English version of the FBI no criminal record at this office, and then translate it in detail by themselves The Chinese translation shall be verified by a notary or civil notary at the notary office of the court when it is returned to Taiwan.
  • If you want to entrust the office to return the documents by mail: please prepare a self-addressed envelope with the recipient’s name and address, affixed enough stamps, and attach it with the application.

application fee

  • The verification fee is $15 per copy. You can choose to pay by cash, money order (Money Order) or cashier’s check (Cashier’s Check). Please fill in TECRO for the payee. Personal Checks are not accepted.
  • If it is processed by mail and needs to be sent back to Taiwan by this office, it is recommended to use prepaid DHL, FedEx, UPS, and then please paste the Label on the envelope and send it to this office together with the documents. If you want to send it back to Taiwan by USPS Express, you can purchase a USD money order of US$76 (please adjust according to the USPS rate), and send it to this office together with the documents. (The office is only entrusted with the mail, and will not be responsible for damage or loss during the delivery)

verification time

  • 5 to 7 working days."

Thanks in advance!! I’m very overwhelmed and would appreciate any guidance.

1 Like

not answering to your questions, but thos thread may be relevant

Thank you so much! This is amazing news!

You won’t find much info online in English so your best bet is to look up the steps in Chinese on the official NIA website.

To answer your questions: The 1-year period begins on the day you receive your TARC.

The FBI background check is good for six months so you should get it just before moving to Taiwan, and then submit it when you apply for your TARC. Don’t forget it needs to be translated and authenticated, and you’ll also need a health check once you arrive in Taiwan.

Or just wait until the new law comes into effect. Who knows when that will happen though.

I understand, thank you for your help!

1 Like

Just in case you have not checked yet. These instructions must be revised when the amendment becomes effective, though.

Instructions on Document Submission in Applications for Residence or Extension of Residence or Change of Reason for Residence in the Taiwan Area by R.O.C. (Taiwan) Nationals Without Household Registration in the Taiwan Area

Instructions for applying for Registered Permanent Residence as a Taiwan National without household registration who has met the required period of residence/continuous residence

1 Like

Thank you for pointing that out! I will wait for revisions.

Are there any updates on this? Have revisions been made? I apologize for asking for help, but I can’t read Mandarin.
Thanks for help in advance!

Latest update is the new law comes into effect on January 1, 2024. No revisions that I know of, so I think it’s safe to say that you can just go by what’s in the new law.

You mentioned you don’t read Chinese. In that case your best bet is to call the TECO in your jurisdiction and ask them about the process and what documents you need for each step. But wait until after January 1 to call them.

This is what I believe you need to do:

  • Apply for a Taiwan NWOHR passport with TECO
  • Apply for an entry permit with TECO (waived after 1/1/2024 under new law)
  • Apply for a criminal background check in the country of your residence
  • Move to Taiwan (enter on your new passport)
  • Get a health check at any hospital. Tell them it’s for a TARC/National ID (not sure if this is waived under the new law)
  • Apply for your TARC (waived after 1/1/2024 under new law)
  • Apply for a work permit with the MOL if you need to work, and then live in Taiwan for one year starting on the date you receive your TARC (waived after 1/1/2024 under new law)
  • Pick up your new NHI card at your local NHI administration office after six months of living in Taiwan
  • Apply for a residence permit with the NIA
  • Take your new residence permit to your local household registration office and exchange it for a National ID card. Congratulations! You are now fully Taiwanese! You will also be issued a new NHI card which reflects your new ID number. You will get it in the mail.
  • If you want to travel, apply for a new Taiwan passport (not NWOHR) which will also reflect your new ID number.

That’s it! For each step above, call the relevant department and ask them what documents you need to provide. It will be different for everybody, depending on your situation.

Note that pretty much all documents that are not issued by the Taiwan government need to first be authenticated by the TECO in the jurisdiction where that document was issued, and returned to you, before you may send it to the TECO of your own jurisdiction to proceed with the application.

For example, a birth certificate issued by the State of Texas needs to be sent to the TECO in Houston, and an FBI criminal background check issued by the US Federal Government needs to be sent to the TECRO in Washington DC to be authenticated.

Also note that any document sent to TECO that is NOT written in English or Chinese, and any document sent to an agency in Taiwan that is NOT written in Chinese, first needs to be translated (by you or anyone else) and notarized (either in Taiwan or abroad).


This was super helpful, thanks! I’ll wait until after January 1st to call TECO.

1 Like

Why does the title say “to be dire”?

Huh? The title of this thread?

It’s been edited.

I think that the notarization of the translation may be a little tedious. As far as I understand, it must be a notarization that is accepted either by the TECO office abroad, or by the BOCA in Taiwan.

The TECO office abroad may only accept a notarization from a notary who is located in the same country and state as that TECO office, which might require you to travel in-person to the notary’s office in that country. Similarly, the BOCA in Taiwan probably only accepts a notarization that has been done in Taiwan (requiring travel to Taiwan), or a notarization that has already been approved by a TECO office abroad.

I’m investigating a company that may be able to act as my representative at the BOCA so that I don’t need to go to Taiwan myself for the notarization, but I’m not sure yet if they can offer help with the notarization process, or only with the document authentication process at the BOCA.


Just to update anyone following this thread–I called my local TECO office, I asked if the 365 day residency requirement was removed for children of Taiwanese born parents. They said no, it’s not true.

They suggested that I call the Immigration Office in Taiwan to ask about this.

Looks like the final draft of the bill that was approved by cabinet got changed to 335 days, according to this article.

Committee members also reached an agreement on a stipulation that would change the rules for Taiwanese who do not have household registration in Taiwan (for example, those born abroad to Taiwanese parents). Currently, they need to be in Taiwan for one year prior to applying for permanent residency, but the amendment would reduce the required length of stay to 335 days. This would allow them to spend one month outside the country, in case there is a family emergency or other issue, the committee said.

Any comment on this, @tando?

One thing to keep in mind is to always go by what is in writing and not by what officials say verbally. Many a time the officials are not up to date, unfortunately.

No idea about your situation and taiwanese born abroad, just as a heads up. Always ask for the official source and double check it. Noting that governemnt workers speaking are not official sources, always in writing and displayed publicly on governemnt pu licatiins/websites staring they are indeed the letter of the law :slight_smile:

Just in case you were going by phone calls/in person visits :slight_smile:


You’re right Explant!

I went to the news announcements of the Taiwan immigration site here and clicked through the graphics. Page 3 is relevant to me: https://www.immigration.gov.tw/media/101024/regulations-for-newly-revised-immigration-act-effective-as-of-january-1-2024-3.jpg

“Nationals without household registration in Taiwan born abroad with at least one parent with household registration…. Can apply for residency upon entry into the country.”

1 Like

Still not very clear. Residency is different from permanent residency. The former is a TARC, and the latter is a National ID.

Bullet point number one mentions permanent residency, and bullet point number two (which you quoted) only mentions residency.

Thanks for your clarification HongKonger.

I guess I will have to call the Taiwanese Immigration office in Taiwan sometime and just ask them.