ABT wanting clear steps to apply for a NWOHR passport

Hi there,

I’m an ABT whose parents and siblings were all born in Taiwan but were naturalized here as US citizens in the 80s and 90s. I’m the only unfortunate soul who doesn’t have a Taiwanese passport. With this pandemic raging on in the States, I’d like to get my NWOHR passport (because I’m older than 20) so I can go to Taiwan and live a somewhat normal life for a few months until other borders open up.

That said, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States site, in my opinion, is convoluted and inconsistent—especially given that each office location has its own site. And depending on which site you go to, the level of detail in the information varies a lot.

They’re also slammed, and neither my friends nor I have had much luck in getting good info from the TECRO reps.

I simply refuse to believe that I’m a one-off special case here; there has to be a not-insignificant number of people who were / are in my exact situation. So I’m asking those who’ve been there and have successfully obtained a NWOHR passport from a US office, what steps did you actually have to take?

For the record, I’d be applying through the Los Angeles office. Here’s my understanding:

  1. Obtain the necessary documents to send in:
  • Parents’ original marriage certificate
  • Mom’s original Taiwanese passport
  • Dad’s original Taiwanese passport
  • My original birth certificate
  • My original US passport
  • A photocopy (non-notarized) of my US passport
  1. Fill out the original Chinese version of the passport application (because they don’t seem to have a blank English one)

  2. Take a valid passport photo according to Taiwan’s Bureau of Consular Affairs site

  3. Into a USPS Priority Mail envelope, place:

  • The necessary documents
  • The Chinese application
  • 2 glossy 35mm x 45mm photos
  • A service fee check for US$45 (made out to TECO)
  • A USPS Priority Mail / Priority Express return envelope with my return address info on it
  1. Mail everything off and wait for the documents to be returned to me and, hopefully along with it, a brand new NWOHR passport

Sooo… I have a few questions:

First off, is my general understanding correct?

Are the details in my steps correct and up-to-date? Did I miss anything? E.g., do I need to include photocopies of all of the original documents, not just for my US passport?

Do I have to include all of those original documents, or can I include photocopies of some of them instead of sending in the originals? If yes, which ones? And do the photocopies have to be notarized? I ask this only because I’m honestly hesitant to mail off so many important original documents. (But if it has to be done, then I’ll just have to swallow that pill.)

For the USPS Priority Mail return envelope, do I prepay the fee for it myself, or am I supposed to cut TECO an additional check for the Priority Mail / Priority Express service fee?

Assuming I get my NWOHR passport, do I have to obtain anything else in order to travel into Taiwan?

How long did you wait to receive all your documents and new passport back? I’m especially curious about anyone who’s gone through this process during the pandemic.

Thanks to anyone who’s willing to read through my wall of text and provide answers! :grin:

1 Like

entry and exit permit, if you travel as a Taiwanese.

Not have to, but you can apply for a TARC before your travel.

@analisa, your understanding is generally correct. However, staff members have some leeway in interpreting requirements in individual cases.
Do you speak Chinese? If you don’t, you’ll get better answers from TECO by writing emails. If your parents can write the emails in Chinese, that would be even better.
Some TECO offices can send off your passport back to you in 2 to 3 weeks.
Certificates from other TECO regions may need to be authenticated by the correct TECO first.
Include a FedEx envelope with a label that is prepaid and preprinted on the computer (not hand-written)
I definitely think you should use FedEx and not USPS for original documents. UPS has no guarantees right now. Their volume is too high due to shipping for Amazon. UPS lost my documents twice. USPS will have too high volume due to voting and is generally less reliable than FedEx. Also FedEx will do a better job of tracing and possibly finding your lost documents if necessary. FedEx specializes in important documents. You do not want to lose all those documents.
I would fill out the form, include scanned copies of everything and email it all to TECO first. Ask them if everything looks right. Ask them if they require the originals. TECO offices don’t want to lose your originals, and a lot of them prefer to look at scanned copies first.
In some cases you may need to provide photocopies of the front and back of your driver’s license.
Look at these links

1 Like

At FedEx you can say you need two envelopes, one of which is a return envelope, and they will give you a document envelope that fits inside a larger document envelope.