Looking for some help with my situation. As background, both of my parents were born in Taiwan, and left in the 1970s to the US, after my father did his 2 years in the military.
I was born and raised in the US, and currently am a US citizen. I’m 34 years old & unmarried, and thinking about potentially moving to Taiwan to learn about my heritage and experience something new. Both of my parents still have their Taiwan passports, but both have been expired for many years.
I’ve done some research and I believe there are 3 options for an eventual path to PR/citizenship, each with upsides and downsides. I’d like to keep my US passport, whatever I end up doing.
Since my dad was a Taiwan citizen, I believe I can apply for NWOHR. At age 34, to get household registration, I believe I would have to do military service, which I would be fine with. However, I believe to get household registration, it requires me to stay in the country 365 days straight (or 2 years @ 270 days), which might be difficult to do if I have any family emergencies.
$30m NTD investment into government bonds
I have some money saved up and don’t mind investing in the government and country. It looks like there are no restrictions on the number of days I can be outside of Taiwan, and I can apply for household registration after 5 years. Besides the opportunity cost of other investments, are there any downsides to this program?
I applied for this (3 years), and am wondering if there are any downsides besides to this besides that fact that NWOHR would give me a quicker path to citizenship (1 year, vs 5 years). Would there be any disadvantages of this compared to #2 ($30m NTD)?
First of all, you should be in Taiwan on TARC as a NWOHR to apply for household registration.
You can get your TARC through your father or through investment. Then you should be here for one year, two years 270 days each, or 5 year 183 days each.
You get gold card as a foreigner, so it won’t give you hhr, iiuc. And, you cannot get APRC because you are Taiwanese even if you don’t have a passport, which foreigners can apply for through investment after 5 years without being here.
Go thru nwohr. It’s the only path that lets you get shenfenzhen without needing to renounce USA citizenship (actually I think gold card does too but nwohr tarc is a lot more straightforward). It’s also the easiest and quickest and you get a tarc which is like a green card and a lot better than arcs. Don’t worry about dangbing, by the time you get citizenship you will almost certainly be aged out. Having a tarc doesn’t force you to dangbing and you can apply for your shenfenzhen after you’re aged out.
That does seem to be the case according to what’s written in that section of the immigration act. However this “$30 million investment” residence option remains theoretical (I assume you are referring to the government bond investment scheme).
There are many complications and roadblocks. EG the rules of the central bank say that non-residents can only invest 30% of any money they exchange to NT$ in government bonds - so in order to invest $30million in the bonds, you actually need to transfer $100million, and the other 70% needs to be invested in other stocks/shares or mutual funds for the 3 years you are waiting on permanent residence, and it all needs to be approved by some government finance department).
Also you need to find a bank which is prepared to open a brokerage/custody account for a non-resident, AND which is prepared to go through the approvals processes with the government departmens, and buy the bonds and other investments on your behalf (within various time limits). Even if you find a bank manager who seems keen to help, it will likely get blocked when he tries to get approval from higher up.
From conversations with some immigration people (about 3 or 4 months ago), since this bond scheme was first offered, no one has ever successfully applied. Some have started initial inquiries, but then given up after discovering all the ‘gotchas’.
is it counted as special contributions to the country and the society?
As for foreigners, Immigration Act says investment immigrants with 30 mil NTD get permanent residency without living here as well as those with special contributions or talents.
for NWOHRs, it says just those with special contributions or talents are exempted from the continuous residency, and people with investment more than 10 mil NTD need to live here before applying for hhr.
he moved here on the gold card as a foreigner, but did he get his hhr through that route? Didn’t he already have his HHR since his birth time? If not, but he got his hhr later, isn’t it due to his special conditions or talents, so without the restriction of the continuous stay?
to this day i’m not sure how he even qualified for that since no where did i read he gave up his taiwan citizenship (which he obviously would have had given he was born in taiwan to taiwanese parents and lived in taiwan til he was 8). he never dangbinged either so he couldn’t have renounced until recently. the taiwan govt def used him as a model example tho since he was the #1 gold card and had a press release and everything. but uh it’s still really odd since either he renounced and came back on a gold card (why would you brag about this taiwan?) or he’s still a taiwaense citizen and got a gold card meant for foreigners (why would you brag about this taiwan?).
well regardless of what steve chen did, it’s definitely not a map for anyone else.
ah yeah you are right, you can move out your household registration and then come in on your foreign passport and get it, as long as you aren’t conscription age or have already done it. man to me this is just so nutty that you can do this. like if an american citizen could also apply for a green card for fun, or apply for an h1-b visa and work on it in the US cuz why not. taiwan doesn’t allow naturalized taiwanese citizens to have dual citizenship, but literally doesn’t care if existing dual citizens come in on their foreign passport with a tourist visa. seriously boggles my mind.
yeah, i meant when getting naturalized you can’t have another, i.e. renouncing your previous citizenships. afterwards you can collect. but they seem to not care at all about ppl using 2nd citizenships to go into taiwan, so being so strict about naturalizing seems odd. i mean in literally every other country that i know of, citizens must go into that country with their country passport.
but US expats can vote abroad. definitely for federal elections and for state/local elections if you still have a voting residence. even us citizens who have never been in the US can vote in most state elections.
Crazy that there are so many hoops to jump through, you’d expect the government to want outside investment money. So I guess this pretty much eliminates that option, and leaves the debate for people like me between NWOHR and Gold card.
On a broader note, I think the $30m investment being basically impossible to get is just another side effect of how difficult some of the government’s immigration policies are to understand. A flow chart or diagram might be able to save a lot of headaches for other people doing research on immigration to Taiwan!
Long time lurker who has benefited greatly from your advice. (thanks!)
Had a follow up question to this point. I am a NWOHR and managed to move to Taiwan and get my TARC. I’m not starting the clock on my 365 days of continuous residence to get HHR.
I also happened to simultaneously apply for the Gold Card under special talents in IT and was accepted but was notified that I could only pursue one or the other. Since I eventually wanted HHR I went for TARC/HHR and declined the Gold Card option.
What I thought I read earlier from your comments was that I could potentially accelerate or skip the 365 day residency requirement if I have special talents/skills to offer? Is that correct? And if so, would my qualification for the Gold Card be sufficient for that requirement? How would one go about applying for such an exemption?