Dual Citizenship

My 4.5-year-old son is a US citizen by default but he was born here and will live here in Taiwan for many, many more years. I want him to choose whether he wants to be politically Taiwanese or American, but the government is giving me and my wife problems. When he was born he HAD to be American. My wife asked the authorities here about Taiwanese citizenship for him but they said he had to give up his USA nationality to get Taiwan citizenship. If I were Taiwanese and his mother were American, this would not be the case–he could have dual citizenship till his 18th birthday.

What’s the true story here in Taiwan? Anybody know for sure? You can reach me at franke@seed.net.tw.

I must point out that most of your analysis is still in the “pre February 2000” period.

According to the new ROC Nationality Law promulgated on February 9, 2000, children may obtain ROC nationality through the blood line of an ROC mother, or an ROC father. Hence, if your wife is an ROC citizen with Household Registration in the ROC area, her children would be eligible to apply for ROC nationality. If you are overseas, you should contact your nearest ROC Overseas Office for full details. If you are in Taiwan, you should contact the Househould Registration Bureau where your wife is registered.

According to US law, your child also qualifies for US citizenship, so the child can be a dual national. Although there are many rumors to the contrary, such a dual national status does not violate any US or Taiwanese laws. Nor is there any law or regulation which says that such dual citizenship can only be maintained up to the child’s 18th birthday.

For reference I would add that children in Taiwan are considered to have reached “adult age” on their 20th birthday. But again, this in no way affects the status of a USA-Taiwan dual national.

Some countries, such as Japan, forbid their citizens to have dual nationality, but that is another issue.

Thank you for this information. Someone else has given me the URL of the Ministry of Immigration http://www.immigration.gov.tw/e-home.htm
and the law is printed in English there. I will read it thoroughly and see if I can determine which sections apply in my case: I work and live in Taiwan with my son and ROC national wife, who has a household registry here.

I’ve scanned the law but it’s too complicated to understand without a complete reading.

I want to be fully prepared when we go to the government office to apply.

You will find the relevant stipulations in Article 2 of the Nationality Law.

I note that Taiwan has no “Ministry of Immigration”, so what your associate has given you is probably the URL of the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bureau of Entry and Exit, or the National Police Administration.

Please post further on this topic over here: Dual Citizenship