Becoming a Taiwan citizen so you can work/live in China visa free on an open work permit

Hey everyone

I’m currently getting Taiwanese citizenship primarily for the purpose of working and living in China. I’m aware of the need to renounce my current nationality to become Taiwanese, which is not an issue for me due to the ability for Australians to resume citizenship immediately after.

So my questions are…

  1. What exactly is the Taibaozheng, and how does it facilitate the life of a Taiwanese citizen in China?
  2. What are the specific benefits associated with holding a Taibaozheng for work, residence, and travel within China?
  3. Are there any legal or financial advantages, such as tax benefits or ease of doing business, for Taibaozheng holders in China?
  4. How does one apply for a Taibaozheng, and what are the eligibility criteria for Taiwanese citizens?
  5. Are there any limitations or considerations that I should be aware of when using the Taibaozheng in China?
  6. Do you need household registration for it or would a TARC be ok?

You must have household registration.

NWOHR without other nationalities can get a PRC travel document to travel in China for up to 2 years but can’t work or anything


I believe you get a taibaozheng from a travel agency. They will tell you what you need.

That’s going to be fun. I can imagine you breaking some Chinese brains when they refer to you as “laowai” and you respond that you’re Taiwanese…



The Taibaozheng is essentially the Shenfenzheng issued by the PRC to Taiwanese citizens and the China entry exit permit. It is an electronic biometric identification card that contains all of your biometric information and an ID number in the same format as Chinese citizens Shenfenzheng. I believe the Taibaozheng gives you access to all the exact same services Chinese citizens holding the Shenfenzheng have, especially in Shanghai. Buying train tickets, getting a phone contract, opening a bank account, doing currency exchange, doctor’s appointments, blood tests, sitting certification exams, enrolling into school, getting a Chinese drivers licence all can be done with the Taibaozheng. Additionally it facilitates entry and exit from China at the same level of a Chinese passport. The only trouble you might have is anything that you need a Hukou in that city to do, like accessing public housing or sending your kids to public school. However I believe in Shanghai Taiwanese citizens holding the Taibaozheng are able to access those services at the same level as those with a Shanghai hukou. To clarify a hukou is essentially the citizenship of a city. Chinese citizens with a hukou in Harbin can’t do everything in Beijing that Chinese citizens with a hukou in Beijing can do, as an example.


Didn’t some other poster said that once you have a job and live in china for 6 months or more you can get an id that is essentially like a Beijing houkou?

Not sure but if that’s correct then that’s also good to know

the biggest different may be you can join social insurance with the resident id.

That’s cool!

I remember when I was traveling in China with my Taiwanese friend, the TaiBaoZheng isn’t a Shenfenzheng and my friend hit issues similar to what an APRC holder in Taiwan would encounter - difficult to get credit cards, use automated gates, etc. because when they ask if you have a Shenfenzheng you don’t.

I am not sure if the permanent resident id is the same as a Shenfenzheng but I doubt it. When you enter parks or train stations you can use a fast lane for scanning Shenfenzheng, and those don’t work with TaiBaoZheng, which uses same gates as foreigners with passports and has to do manual inspection.

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To correct my previous reply, actually the Taibaozheng’s ID number is NOT in the same format as the Chinese Shenfenzheng however the resident card introduced in 2018 that @Taiwan_Luthiers was referring to does have an ID number in the same format as the Chinese Shenfenzheng. Should be able to use automated gates etc with this guard. It does have the requirement to be in China in a stable situation for a period of 6 months before you can get it.


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and your hhr should be registered at a taiwan address. it is be possible you have a valid resident ID in mainland but your Taibaozheng expired, if you stay for years. you cannot travel to taiwan without a travel document.

  1. It’s the main travel document that Taiwanese are required to use when traveling to China. It is also used for general identification purposes when in China.

  2. It allows you to live in China without any time restrictions. It is also an open work permit. In addition, Taiwanese in China are considered foreigners when it comes to immunity to certain laws that only apply to locals. For example, Taiwanese may enjoy religious freedom, internet freedom, and don’t have restrictions on childbirth, etc.

  3. I don’t believe so.

  4. All Taiwanese with HHR are eligible. Officially, you apply with CTS (China Travel Service). Unfortunately CTS does not exist in Taiwan yet, so you’ll need to apply through a local travel agency if you’re in Taiwan.

  5. The main limitation is a numbering format that doesn’t correspond to local ID card format, so it will be more difficult to live (similar to APRC holders in Taiwan). To fix that, you may obtain a Residence ID which requires you to have an apartment, a job, and live in China for six months.

  6. See point number 4 above.


I seem to recall reading somewhere that the locus for Taibaozheng is actually Beijing…? :thinking:

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Correct. It is equivalent to having a Beijing Capital Hukou, which allows you to live and work anywhere in China, and send your kids to public school, etc.

Shanghai Hukou allows the same, I believe, which is why someone above compared it to Shanghai.

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Right, but I read that post as being the “default” rights accorded to a Taibaozheng holder, but I have definitely seen mixed messages as to whether the Taibaozheng automatically has full rights to all/many major cities on the mainland, or whether it defaults to Beijing initially and other cities are simply easy to get as needed.

And of course the details could easily change from year to year or whim of the PRC. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s multiple supposedly definitive answers from different govt offices. :man_shrugging:

From what I understand, yes. Of course, you need to actually be living in that city to access the full rights. You can’t live in Beijing and send your kids to public school in Shanghai for free.

It’s a grey area if you’re a foreigner who acquired Taiwan citizenship (especially dual) and then applied for a mainland China travel permit and subsequently a mainland Taiwan resident ID. It’s a unique situation for Taiwan that doesn’t apply to administrative regions like HK / Macau.

If you look at the mainland China travel permit for HK / Macau residents, a requirement for that permit is that you’re a Chinese national. HK/Macau PR residents who aren’t Chinese nationals can’t get the mainland permit. China does not recognize dual citizenship, so a foreigner in HK / Macau can’t get that permit.

If China starts noticing dual citizenship Taiwanese (born in western countries) entering China using this permit, maybe one day they’ll deem it a security issue and change the rules. If you have multiple nationalities, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to bring your other passports to China. In the past if China finds out someone has Chinese and other nationalities, they can force them to renounce their other nationalities. When you’re in China using this permit, you’re a Chinese national.

This is false. My sister is a Hong Kong Chinese-USA dual citizen, and has the HK Home Return Permit.

They don’t care if you have a foreign citizenship, as long as you also have a HK passport.

No, they can’t. What they do is cancel their Chinese citizenship.

However, there are scenarios where someone can legally be a dual Chinese and foreign citizen, such as those who acquired both citizenships simultaneously and automatically at birth. In those cases, they simply just don’t recognize your foreign citizenship because it’s irrelevant.

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So is your sister a Chinese national with HK PR? Or a foreigner with HK PR?