Conscription issue! Overseas chinese being drafted..?!


Last year I visited Taiwan for the first time since I left at the age of 1 back in 1992 (actually second time, I spent a week there in '99 which I barely remember). I followed all the regulations and knew I was still considered a Taiwan citizen by Taiwan. Because of that I renewed my TW passport and got TECO to stamp it with an overseas Chinese endorsement. I was also able to obtain an exit permit from the National Immigration Agency in Taipei and left successfully after about a month and a half in Taiwan last summer.

I recently heard from the person who is head of my household registration that the Taiwanese government/military had contacted them about my service, and that if I was ever to return to Taiwan I would be drafted.

How is this possible? I did everything TECO told me to do. I provided them with evidence of permanent residency here, such as passport, school records etc and was issued an “overseas chinese endorsement” that would eliminate being drafted unless I settled in Taiwan. Which I obviously did not do, and which Taiwans government should be aware of, as I had to apply for an exit permit and then was stamped out of the country well within that 183 day (or whatever it was) period…

Anyone experienced anything similar? Also, I do not speak any mandarin at all. So I feel pretty helpless when dealing with the government agencies down there…

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I’m not a lawyer, so don’t go to the bitter end on any of this, but a couple of possibilities occur to me:

Your family members misinterpreted the letter.

There’s some issue with your “Overseas Chinese” status–It doesn’t sound like there should be, but I don’t know the regs.

It’s a bureaucratic mix-up which could be easily ironed out.


Just an update… The conscription agency required me to provide them with copies of my passport and translated copies of my college diploma… Still haven’t heard back from them… wonder what’s taking so long… and also why they want my college diploma…


Any final word on this? Got a friend in the same situation. :slight_smile:


Unfortunately no. Still haven’t been able to get this issue solved. Seems like my only option is to not vist Taiwan…

Wonder if the conscription office have even read their own laws.


I took a friend to visit the conscription office recently since he doesn’t speak Chinese. It seemed clear that they didn’t know much beyond how to get you into the military asap.

You have the overseas endorsement so I agree that the letter either was sent in error or mis-interpreted.

I know it’s not something you want to “try” but I bet if you come you wouldn’t have any issues. Departments don’t talk much and immigration will almost certainly treat you as they should—no service required if you don’t stay over 183 days per year during two different years.