ABT (36+ years old) w/Dual Citizenship Parents (Taiwan/US) wanting to become Dual?

Hi All,

I’ve been researching for the past several days and trying to make sense of everything. I’m hoping someone might be able assist me in clearing up some of the noise to see if what I want to do is even possible. Here’s a quick background on my situation:

#1. I’m an American Born Taiwanese. My parents immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan during the 1970s. Years later, both became U.S. citizens. I’m a U.S. citizen only (by birth); no other citizenships.
#2. I’m married, to a dual-citizen. She’s Canadian and Hong Kong (Born before 1997 and has an expired BN(O) but not really relevant to this discussion I believe). We have one daughter, she’s also dual-citizen, U.S. and Canadian.
#3. I have many uncles and aunties on both sides of my parents who still live in Taiwan (ie., Taipei, Tainan, Kaohsuing, etc.)
#4. My parents (who permanently reside in the U.S.) claim each of them are still listed on their respective families’ “generational” properties’ HRC. I don’t have a quick way to verify this or know if this is required or not. But both my parents still hold valid Taiwanese Passports with IDs.

I guess my first question is, if I were to pursue getting full Taiwanese citizenship, I would most likely have to renounce my U.S. citizenship. Is this correct? If so, it might be a non-starter for me.

Second question, if I’m able to keep my U.S. citizenship, it looks like I "just:

#1. Head to my local “Not-an-Embassy” TECO with forms and documents (and probably one or both of my parents) and apply for a NWOHR.
#2. Travel to Taiwan and get one of my uncles or aunties to write me into their household registry.
#3. Apply for a National Identity Card.
#4. Live in Taiwan, continuously, for a year. (I’m assuming I cannot leave the country at all during this time unless there are other options?)
#5. tl;dr: PROFIT?!!!? (I know there’s a lot red-tape I have to do here but otherwise).

Any help or answers to my questions above would be greatly appreciated in advance. Thanks!


You don’t need to renounce your US citizenship.

  1. You apply for your NWOHR passport at TECO.

  2. You apply for your TARC.
    Notices for the Application of National Living Abroad without Registered Household in Taiwan Area for Residence in Taiwan Area

  3. You live in Taiwan for a certain period.

  4. You apply for your HHR, and apply for your national ID card.
    Notices for the Application of National without Registered Permanent Household in Taiwan Area for Residence after Continuous residence or residence for certain period of time


Is this the only option? I seem to recall hearing that you can choose to make it 2 years instead of one but you would have to spend X days in Taiwan per year ( like 365/2 = 183 days). You can even make it 3 or more years (with proportional days in Taiwan) but it means you take that many years get something you could do in a shorter period of time.

I hope someone can clarify this

I just simplified. I edited the sentence and the conditions are explained in the last page I linked in my previous post.


Thank you so much, tando. This post is extremely helpful!

So several more questions, if you know the answers to:

#1. During the residency stay requirements before I apply for my HHR, having a TARC allows me to seek and/or become employed in Taiwan, correct?

#2. Is there a citizenship path for my daughter (she’s a toddler right now) after I become a Taiwanese citizen without her losing her existing citizenships? (U.S. and Canadian?)

#3. What are my options for my wife who is Dual Canadian & HK (Born in HK) after I become a citizen?

Thanks in advance. You’ve been extremely helpful!

You can apply for an open work permit, then can do whatever jobs with the same criteria with locals, except for few jobs like lawmakers.

Your daughter can get her passport, TARF, citizenship in the same way you do, using her grandparents HHR.

Your wife is applied regulations for HKers, and can get a citizenship without renouncing her current nationality.

Instructions for HKers
In Chinese



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Tando, I see in various threads that you’re a frequent contributor of helpful answers, and so first and foremost – thanks in advance. Following up on the OP’s questions:

  1. What would the process look like for the non-NWOHR spouse of a NWOHR who wishes to apply for the TARC and then stay in Taiwan for a certain period (let’s say 365 consecutive days) to obtain the national ID card – specifically, is there a way for the non-NWOHR spouse to join the NWOHR’s application and also apply for a TARC together and therefore be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 365 consecutive days with the same rights as the NWOHR? If not (and assuming there’s no employer in this scenario), do you see a way for the non-NWOHR spouse to accompany the NWOHR’s 365 consecutive days in Taiwan without using a visitor’s visa, which presumably means entering and exiting Taiwan multiple times alone? Is there a spousal visa?

  2. In the OP’s scenario, the non-NWOHR’s spouse happens to have dual nationality in Hong Kong and Canada, and you helpfully provided special procedures for HKers to apply for citizenship without renouncing her Hong Kong nationality. What about her Canadian nationality – do you think Taiwan would require her to renounce that or would Taiwan treat her as having only Hong Kong nationality for this purpose? And when can she start her HKer application, can she do it at the same time as her NWOHR’s initial TARC application, or can she only start applying after the husband has already applied for HHR and received the national ID card? If after, does she have a separate residency requirement before she’s issued her own national ID card?

  3. If the non-NWOHR spouse doesn’t have the HKer option (let’s say because she’s unable to gather the HK paperwork for whatever reason, or let’s say we’re not talking about the OP’s wife in this case and just a generic non-NWOHR who is only a citizen of a country like the USA), can the non-NWOHR spouse acquire Taiwanese citizenship through her spouse without giving up her Canadian/US citizenship?

In my research I had trouble finding the legal citations for when an applicant is required to renounce citizenship. My understanding from your posts is that NWOHR applicants are not required to, but if you can share the legal basis for that as well what the renunciation rules are for spouses/family, that would be enormously helpful.

  1. Foreign spouse of a TARC holder can apply for residency visa and then ARC.

You might be able to submit the allocation for your spouse together with yours at the same time, but should confirm it at the TECO you would do the application. I’m not sure on spouse. Minor children can apply at the same time.

Resident Visas for Foreign Spouses of R.O.C.(Taiwan) Citizens Without Household Registration, Foreigners, Hong Kong Residents, Macau Residents, or Mainland Chinese Citizens

How does a foreigner renew or apply for an ARC?(Serial No. 0902)

  1. If you are HKer, you don’t need to renounce any nationality. You can apply for TARC as a spouse of a TARC holder. If you can apply at the same, see 1.

  2. A foreign spouse of a citizen should renounce the original nationality to get a Taiwanese citizenship.

Article 9 of Nationality Act

In the case of the OP’s wife who is a dual HK & Canadian citizen, I’m assuming from your response that Taiwan views her a HKer and not a “foreigner”, so she does not need to renounce any prior nationality, correct?

So in order to join her husband while he’s staying in Taiwan for 365 consecutive days, she has 2 options: either apply for a residency visa OR apply for a TARC as the spouse of a TARC holder? Which one is better?

TECO gave me seemingly conflicting advice, and I am so confused.

Let’s assume the NWOHR husband successfully receives a TARC from TECO, they said that the non-NWOHR wife has no legal basis to apply for a spousal Resident Visa or the TARC until the husband has fully completed his residency requirement (365 consecutive days living in Taiwan or whatever the alternative 2 or 5-year options are) and also completes household registration and obtains a national ID. They said this is because the spousal Resident Visa (is this also commonly referred to as JFRV in this forum?) is only for spouses who already has household registration in Taiwan. This doesn’t make total sense to me when looking at the title of the link that @tando sent above, which I talk more about below.

Anyway, therefore according to TECO, in order for the wife to be in Taiwan together with the husband while he’s fulfilling the residency requirement, the only way is for the wife to be on a visitor visa, which for most passports would require her to leave Taiwan alone every 90 days, can’t get a TARC, can’t work, etc. Does this guidance from TECO sound right?

(For what it’s worth, the person I spoke to did not sound sure and at first said the spousal Resident Visa was indeed available, but later “changed his mind” after he checked with his supervisor. He also initially said the wife could only stay in Taiwan for a total of 6 months per year on a visitor visas, but later retracted that as well and said the wife could visa run as a visitor however much she wants.)

I clicked the link above for “Resident Visas for Foreign Spouses of R.O.C.(Taiwan) Citizens Without Household Registration, Foreigners, Hong Kong Residents, Macau Residents, or Mainland Chinese Citizens” at https://www.boca.gov.tw/cp-166-281-b948e-2.html but found it confusing, because although the title implies that the spousal Resident Visa WOULD be available for the foreign wife, clicking through and choosing for example a US passport for the wife to apply for a 180+day visa for the purpose of joining family then pops up a message that says:

Before you apply the visa, Please confirm you have obtained:

Foreign spouses of Taiwan citizens having Household Registration:

  • Taiwan Household Registration certificate
  • The marriage registration issued by competent authorities of the applicant’s country.

I’m confused because thought this link was specifically for foreign spouses of Taiwan citizens WITHOUT household registration, so I’m not sure why this reminder message that talks about Taiwan citizens WITH household registration is relevant. :confused:

So my questions are:

  1. Is it actually possible for a foreign (US or Canadian passport) wife of a NWOHR husband already holding a TARC to obtain a Resident Visa based on the reason of joining the husband in Taiwan? If yes, should the foreign wife just ignore that website message and continue with the application? Has anyone on this forum moved to Taiwan as a citizen WITHOUT household registration and gotten a TARC and also figured out how to get their non-Taiwanese spouse to join and get the spousal TARC?

1a) What if the foreign wife is not “foreign” in the eyes of Taiwan but is a HK passport holder? The Resident Visa application website does NOT list “Hong Kong” as a country during the drop down menu so presumably that’s not the correct link for someone in that category. How does a HK passport holding wife apply for a Resident Visa to live in Taiwan based on joining her husband who himself is working towards getting household registration on a TARC?

  1. Stepping back, is it necessary for the wife to apply for the Resident Visa at all? Or could she just travel to Taiwan as a visitor (entering with either the US, Canadian, or HK passport) and then apply for a TARC in Taiwan using joining her husband as the basis of the application, again if the husband does not yet have household registration but is working towards it on a TARC?

If anyone has personal experience or could even just point me to more detailed info, like a list of documents the wife has to prepare for either a Resident Visa or a TARC, that would be much appreciated! It’s unclear whether the wife needs to obtain the same documents as the husband has to for the TARC application, and it would be a lot more efficient to do all those all the same time, like FBI checks, health checks, etc.

Is is due to covid19 relayed restrictions?

I’m not going to be super useful here, because I’m not married and I haven’t researched the HKer path in detail.

However, based on what I saw on this page, I do think spouses of nationals without household registration are allowed to apply for a resident visa (probably not a TARC, if I had to guess, but a different type of visa) in at least some cases: https://www.boca.gov.tw/cp-9-181-b5735-1.html

Unfortunately, I don’t know if this indicates they can apply for ALL cases where there is a national without household registration, or only under some conditions (i.e. if the national without household registration fulfilled some requirements). Often, for the sake of brevity, this level of specificity is not provided in these documents.

The best way to try to get clarification is to ask the NIA directly – they are the people who actually administer the visas per the relevant laws, and they make the call on who gets the visa or not, it’s not actually TECO. So, asking NIA gets you an answer from the source more directly. Unfortunately it’s better to ask in person, which it sounds like would be hard for you right now.

For the case where the spouse is an HKer, I would think that it would be best to evaluate which is the best/easiest/most beneficial way to apply for residency in Taiwan. One method may be better than the other, based on the specific aspects of the couple’s personal case.

Unfortunately that’s all I have off the top of my head.

I would guess that the requirements TECO told you are probably wrong, but it’s just a guess on my part for now, without having checked into it carefully. I would guess that if spouses of non-NWOHR foreigners are allowed to apply for a permit relying on their spouse, it should seem reasonable that a NWOHR (another category of people sometimes considered ‘foreigner’ in some legal cases) with a resident permit should also be allowed to have their spouse apply for a similar permit. If I were in your position, I would start by asking NIA if the spouse of a TARC holder can apply for a resident permit relying on that TARC-holding spouse. If so, are there any conditions involved like the TARC holder needs to be in Taiwan for a specific number of days? Are there cases where the spouse would not be allowed to apply for a resident permit based on being married to the TARC holder?

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It may be the headquarter of BOCA where you ask on visa.

Usually it is easier for HKers to get enter in Taiwan than foreigners, but currently with covid19 restrictions, Taiwan is open more widely for foreigners than HKers.

Thanks both for weighing in. There are indeed Covid restrictions in effect, and I understand the non-NWOHR spouse is not allowed any visa at this time other than perhaps qualifying under some sort of emergency visa situation, but the TECO advice was given to me in terms of “after Taiwan reopens,” meaning I think that TECO felt these were the default rules. And this seems consistent with what happens on the website when the spouse actually tries to apply for the Resident Visa – it pops up that reminder message that I quoted above that seems to indicate it’s not possible unless the husband already has a household registration.

But conceptually, I agree that it seems counter-intuitive that spouses of foreigners without any Taiwan connections (such as the ones who are there for employment purposes) are allowed to apply to stay in Taiwan without having to do visa 90-day runs, but spouses of NWOHRs who are trying to regain household registration aren’t. Does anyone know if the NIA have an email address they respond to and/or are receptive to phone calls?

In the meantime, the husband’s TARC application can still proceed with TECO. And if the TARC is approved and he goes right away to start the residency clock during this Covid restriction period, the wife can at the minimum join him as a visitor either after the Covid restrictions are lifted or if there’s a family/business issue that qualifies for an emergency entry visa. I still wonder about these spousal visa/TARC eligibility rules though, because it impacts that planning process for when one is still outside of Taiwan and can still with relative ease obtain documents like FBI background checks and TECO-authentication of the marriage certificate. If only the visitor route is available to the spouse, then all those seem unnecessary, right?

I’m also just generally surprised that it seems like no one on this forum has so far posted on what I thought would be a somewhat common situation, i.e., that a NWOHR who is interested in getting household registration and settling down in Taiwan already is married to someone without Taiwan connections (and/or has kids, like the OP).

there are some posters I recognize so. combining with some instructions on BOCA and NIA, I believe foreign spouse of a NWOHR can get a resident visa.

It might be “others” instead of “joining family(foreign spouse)” the category for a spouse of a non citizen.

You may ask in this thread.

I don’t want to get your hopes up excessively, but I would strongly suggest asking to double check this. For example, today I applied for the national health insurance card. Based on what I saw online for the directions, it looked like I knew what I should do for NWOHR, but once I got to the actual steps, it kept mentioning Household Registration, which I do not have. So, they just used my address of residence on my TARC for the Household Registration office and they’re just going to mail me the card and I can just pay the fees at a local post office or convenience store. Basically this is a long-winded example to say the forms can be wrong or misleading, or there may be alternate routes that are not obvious with the forms. With web forms especially, because they have validation rules and block you in many cases, an inaccurate web form could block you unnecessarily.

Does anyone know if the NIA have an email address they respond to and/or are receptive to phone calls?

I don’t have any special info here, just their contact info on their website: https://www.immigration.gov.tw/5475

I still wonder about these spousal visa/TARC eligibility rules though, because it impacts that planning process for when one is still outside of Taiwan and can still with relative ease obtain documents like FBI background checks and TECO-authentication of the marriage certificate. If only the visitor route is available to the spouse, then all those seem unnecessary, right?

I believe that is correct; and again, I strongly recommend cross-checking what TECO told you because they’re not the direct authority on this matter. Not trying to cut them down, just saying they have some distance from the actual decision makers, and humans sometimes provide ‘answers’ before checking the source or authority on the subject.

I’m also just generally surprised that it seems like no one on this forum has so far posted on what I thought would be a somewhat common situation, i.e., that a NWOHR who is interested in getting household registration and settling down in Taiwan already is married to someone without Taiwan connections (and/or has kids, like the OP).

NWOHRs are a small group, and I think the number of us who get here is even smaller. NWOHRs who are older also faced different rules, like I think maybe before the ROC law said that kids couldn’t get nationality from their mother if their father was a foreigner. Luckily we’re moving further and further away from those old laws (and now I’m going to censor myself before I get political).

One other thing to consider, that I was thinking about: if you apply overseas, I believe you don’t actually get the TARC until you get here (at least that was the case for me – I turned in a paper which was like a one-time entry permit for the purpose of picking up the TARC from NIA). So, let’s say the spouse can apply if married to a TARC-holder. Does that mean they can’t apply until AFTER the spouse has actually physically obtained the TARC and not simply after being approved for the TARC? Maybe another thing to clarify along the way as you ask around.

Thank you both so much! I feel much more encouraged with your responses. The thread that Tando pointed out appears to be very relevant, and there’s a lot of good and detailed information there that I’ll have to parse through carefully. I agree that trying to do this from outside of Taiwan adds a layer of complexity, plus now also with the Covid restrictions, but it’s reassuring to me that there’s always an option of discussing issues with the NIA directly in Taiwan if things don’t pan out.

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Actually in this case, Taiwan immigration would not view her as a HKer, because she also has a foreign passport. Check out this immigration page that talks about the process for applying for a TARC as a Hong Konger - they ask you to sign a document saying you don’t have any foreign nationalities or passports.

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Interesting, thanks for pointing this out. The document itself presents a slightly ambiguous reading though, at least to me, and I’d be interested to hear what people think (even if these discussions might turn out to be theoretical at this point).

Is it that they care about foreign nationalities, or is it foreign travel documents that they care about? The language says: 香港澳門關係條例第 4 條第 1 項及第 2 項規定,本條例所稱香港居民,指具有香港永久居留資格,且未持有英國國民(海外)護照或香港護照以外之旅行證件者;(bold added by me)

Without knowing anything else about this law, it strikes me as strange that they didn’t phrase the law or this document in terms of whether the HKer has a foreign nationality per se, but rather, in terms of whether the HKer has foreign travel documents in addition to their HK passport/BNO passport. For example, what about a born HKer who moved to Canada when she was young and got Canadian nationality plus a Canada passport, but decided to move back to HK to live and got a HK passport, and then allowed the Canadian passport to expire (but for argument’s sake retained the Canadian nationality)?

What do you all think 且未持有 means in this context?

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