Am I a Taiwanese Citizen or even oversea Taiwanese?

Hi all,

I am confused as to whether I am considered a Taiwan citizen or overseas Taiwanese, and also whether this would make me draft-able if I decided to spend a year or two in Taiwan.

I was born in 1991, in Taiwan.
Left Taiwan when I was 2 years old.
Spent the majority of my life in the UK - have a UK passport.

I don’t know if I ever owned a Taiwanese passport, when asking my parents they said no, but they honestly can’t remember either. They said I may have had a Belgium passport when leaving Taiwan originally, not Taiwanese, as my father is from Belgium and my mother is Taiwanese.

On my UK passport it says my birth place is Taipei, however I am not sure if simply being born in Taiwan would give me citizenship/make me a national, especially as my father is not a Taiwanese national/citizen.

When visiting Taiwan I want to get a job there for a year or two, I guess I would have to apply for an ARC, however if I am considered a national/citizen (even an overseas one), then I don’t want to overstay my 183 day welcome and get drafted. I think the only thing linking me to Taiwan is my passport (which says I was born in Taipei). I don’t have a household registration there, neither does my mother - I also don’t keep in touch with any relatives, and don’t even know if they still live in Taiwan or moved to HK or China.

Also would it be safer for me to apply for a Taiwanese passport and get the stamp, so at least I would know 100% I cannot stay longer than 183 days, rather than risk just going on my British passport without the stamp and them drafting me immediately as there is no stamp to prove I am an overseas Taiwanese (if I am indeed one).

Thanks for any insight!



You are a Taiwanese, because your mother is a Taiwanese and you were born after 1980.

Whether you are a citizen depends on if your mother registered your birth in Taiwan. You can check it by getting a transcript of her HHR.

If your birth is registered, you are a citizen, and you are a subject of conscription even if you enter with a foreign passport.

If you are not registered, you would not be conscripted unless you apply for your citizenship by yourself.

Is there another way of checking if my birth has been registered in Taiwan? Perhaps at the hospital I was born in? I am not sure if my mother still has, or knows how to get, her HHR.

She hasn’t lived in Taiwan since 1993 and rarely goes back to visit.

hospital doesn’t know that kind of thing.

Here is how to get a transcript of HHR, in Chinese. I’m assuming your mother reads Chinese. If she has a close relative in Taiwan, she can ask the person, or anyone with a letter of attorney. Or , maybe she can request a transcript via mail with some documents . You or she may ask to TECO in your area HHR office where her HHR was registered.

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Found out that I was not registered. Probably due to the fact that being born to a Taiwanese mother and foreign father I was not considered Taiwanese until the law changed in 2000, so mother didn’t bother registering.

Talked to someone at the Taiwanese mission in London, she mentioned that even with the overseas passport I would only be allowed entry for 90 days and would not be able to work. She mentioned that this passport would not make me draftable and being draftable only occurs after receiving a national ID number.
To obtain a national ID number I would have to apply for something when in Taiwan under my Taiwanese passport, and extend my stay to 1 year. After staying in the country for 1 year I would be issued the ID number. Although I am not sure how someone can stay in the country for 1 year without working to support themselves.

You are a nwohr which is the same boat as all the ABTs and whatnot out there. After getting your roc nwohr passport you can enter Taiwan. Then you can get your TARC. You can then apply for an open work permit with the TARC so you can work where ever you want.

After living in taiwan for 1 year continuously or 2 years with 270 days each you can receive your national ID card and be a full citizen. Given you want to avoid conscription you can instead just keep renewing your tarc until you hit 37 when you can safely get your id. Or you can just get it and spend a few months cleaning your barracks - it’s not that bad anymore I’ve heard.

Note - for the tarc you need a background check from the countries you’ve lived in. This is usually the delaying factor as all the other stuff can be done relatively quickly. So you should just request it now if you are sure you will go over within a year. This held up my tarc by almost 5 months.

because you are born with Taiwanese mother and foreign father in Taiwan between 1980 and 2000, you can register your HHR directly, without the one year continuous stay, if you want.

Hi Endy,

Will the TARC allow me to extend the 90 day limit of my ROC NWOHR passport?

With (or even without the TARC) will I be subject to the conscription rules, I think the rule I am referring to states that if I stay in Taiwan over 183 days in a year on 2 separate occasions (do the years have to be consecutive or can be any 2 years if I break the rule?), then I will be able to be conscripted.

Yes, I have heard it isn’t such a long experience anymore (only 4 months I think), but I need to make regular trips back to the UK, which would conflict with having to staying in barracks for 4 months.

Tarc is a residency permit - you can stay up to three years and can renew it. It also allows you to get an open work permit. It’s basically the best thing you can get short of citizenship, better than arcs or arpcs.

If you do not have household registration then you will not have to serve. Tarc is not household registration. You can stay in taiwan as long as you want without fearing the conscription man. However you should triple check you aren’t considered a citizen cuz it would suck for you if taiwan actually thinks you are.

Like tando said you can actually cut straight to household but then you will have to serve. A tarc gives you the ability to live and work in taiwan indefinitely (well until immigration wonders why you keep renewing instead of just getting household) without having any conscription responsibilities. So a tarc might be a better fit for you at this stage of your life.

You are right, the TARC sounds perfect for me. Do I need to enter Taiwan on my Taiwan passport to get it, or can I enter on my UK passport and simply show the Taiwan passport when applying for the TARC?

Are there other avenues I can pursue to check if I am a citizen? I called the Mission in London and they mention that if I am not registered (household) then I am not a citizen - although the person I talked to could of course be misinformed. We called the HHR office and queried and they said they couldn’t find any records for me.

Notices for the Application of National Living Abroad without Registered Household in Taiwan Area for Residence in Taiwan Area

IIRC if you have a TW passport, you always have to enter Taiwan on your TW passport.

you must enter taiwan on your roc nwohr passport in order to apply for a TARC - they use the record of you coming in with it as a basis for qualification. the background checks (which also then must be translated/notarized) are going to take the longest so you should start now on that. for me, it was sent to the US FBI and they took 5 months. don’t expect applying for a TARC to be a painless process - they require a good amount of documents, all of which must be translated and notarized (same as applying for the nwohr passport). if you are set on going to taiwan in the near future, you should start now on collecting the documents, and definitely get that background check asap.

tando the feb.10 1980 what is the significant of that law?and is it a taiwan law that drafted and become law?

Is this paragraph means if you enter taiwan any kinds of work and you can apply for a tarc?(Has been approved to work in the Taiwan Area by the central authorities in charge of labor affairs or the field of their employment pursuant to Subparagraphs 1 to 7 or Subparagraph 11, Paragraph 1 of Article 46 of the Employment & Service Act…)

This should be easy. I assume your mother is Taiwan Citizen, right? Just go to TECO, along with your mother, I hope she does have her Taiwan documents(such as Taiwan ID and Taiwan passport old new will do, she can just renew it in TECO if it’s old anyway). Then she should be able to apply a Taiwan passport for you.

Check out the Notices part on this link.

PS. I was born in 1990 in the Philippines. Then my father(is the Taiwanese) quickly brought all necessary documents(proof of birth from the hospital and the Philippines Birth Certificate) in Taiwan so he can register my birth to become a Taiwanese as well.

is 183 stay limit still in force for year 2020…covid 19?