Eligibility for NWOHR passport+TARC if no active household registration at time of birth

I would like to know if I might qualify for (1) a NWOHR passport and (2) a TARC. Later, I plan to go to my local TECO/TECRO office to inquire after I have some idea about the options available to me. Here is my situation.

  1. Father was born in Taiwan and must have had a valid Taiwanese household registration (HHR) in his youth.
  2. Father left Taiwan around 1965 for USA for university, with an ROC passport.
  3. Father never traveled to Taiwan again. Therefore, I guess his HHR expired automatically after 2 or 3 years.
  4. Father and mother (non-Taiwanese) married in USA. Marriage was not registered with the Taiwan government.
  5. I was born in 1970s in the USA (so I am over 20 years old now). At my time of birth, I don’t know if my father still had a valid HHR – probably not. He still had his 1965 ROC passport. My birth was not registered with the Taiwan government.
  6. (Probably irrelevant) After my birth, my mother became a naturalized ROC national. Probably, she never had any HHR (so was an NWOHR; an ROC national, but not an ROC citizen). ALSO: father later naturalized to USA citizen, and mother also later naturalized to USA citizen; neither father nor mother renounced any ROC nationality and/or ROC citizenship.
  7. (Probably irrelevant) Grandfather, living in Taiwan, came to visit USA after my birth. Therefore, at my time of birth, my grandfather must have had an active HHR.
  8. Grandfather and grandmother passed away in Taiwan.
  9. Father passed away in USA. Father’s death was not registered with the Taiwan government.
  10. No direct lineal relatives live in Taiwan anymore: grandfather, grandmother, and father all passed away; mother and siblings all live outside of Taiwan and have no active HHR. Aunts, uncles, and cousins still live in Taiwan with active HHR (but I think this is irrelevant for my case).

The key points above are 3 and 5 – I think probably my father’s HHR expired automatically since he never traveled back to Taiwan after leaving Taiwan. Therefore, at the time of my birth, I think he had no HHR.

The only documentation I have is my father’s old 1965 ROC passport. That makes no reference to a National ID number, nor a household registration.

My questions:

  1. Can I get a NWOHR passport? I think the answer is yes – because my claim to nationality is not based on HHR, but instead is based on nationality of the father at time of birth. The only difficulty might be how to prove (based on a 1960s ROC passport) that at my time of birth (1970s) my father’s ROC nationality was still valid.

  2. Assuming I travel with my own NWOHR passport to Taiwan, then can I apply for a TARC in Taiwan? This is the big question and it seems like a gray area to me. I understood from this forum that there are 2 relevant paragraphs from the law that can justify a TARC application: AF353 which requires an active HHR, and AF384 which requires no currently active HHR but appears to require an old HHR that was previously active at the time of my birth. Is this correct that AF384 requires an old HHR that was active at the time of my birth? Or is the mere existence of any old HHR (even if expired before my birth) enough to satisfy AF384?

  3. If I cannot apply for a TARC based on AF384 above, then is there any other way for me to live indefinitely (e.g. after retirement, for several years until my own expiration) in Taiwan? I am considering retiring to Taiwan so I can be together with my extended family members living in Taiwan.

I would love to hear from some of you who have already researched this topic. I cannot (yet) read Chinese, so the English-language information on this forum is very valuable to me.


From my initial understanding, you should be eligible for both an NWOHR passport and a TARC once you get the passport. I base this on:

  • Born to an ROC citizen means you are eligible for ROC nationality, i.e. acquiring an ROC passport. For ROC citizenship, since you are not a child anymore, you must go the NWOHR -> TARC -> citizenship route.
  • Father has had household registration means he can be your “dependent” (依親對象) for your TARC application.

You are descendant of a male ROC citizen, so your nationality eligibility is independent from your year of birth.

  1. (Probably irrelevant) After my birth, my mother became a naturalized ROC national. Probably, she never had any HHR.

This sounds unlikely, or at least it would be something I have never heard about. As far as I know, foreigners who apply for naturalization only stay NWOHR for a temporary time until they get the “real” nationality. I would clarify your mother’s situation first. Does she have an ROC passport? Does she have a Taiwanese ID Card (Shenfenzheng, 身分證)? If yes, she has (had) household registration. Note that many other issued cards also have IDs on them, so you should specifically ask for the Shenfenzheng.

If your mother also had HHR in the past, I’d guess this would make some of the applications a little bit easier, but being a descendant from an ROC citizen alone should make you eligible for both the passport and the TARC. (Then, using your TARC, for Taiwanese citizenship in the end.)

Some terms to be aware of:

  • Being an ROC national means, broadly, having at least an NWOHR passport. Every descendant of an ROC citizen can claim ROC nationality, but you need to claim it once (i.e. start the process) to become one.
  • Being a citizen means having a household registration which in turn means having a Shenfenzheng now or in the past.

Note that you can be an ROC national without being a citizen (this is the case for all NWOHRs), and note as well that your claim for ROC nationality must come from a citizen (there might be some exception, but I’m not aware of them currently), but this is the case of you anyway.

  • An expired HHR is irrelevant for your claim of nationality.
  • An expired HHR can still be used for the TARC application. However, you will be under another “code” (e.g. AF384) which means a little less flexibility while you stay on your TARC.
  • Non-linear relatives are irrelevant for all intents and purposes, other than the case when your linear relatives (e.g. parents) could use their linear relatives (e.g. your aunts/uncles) to claim nationality/apply for citizenship which would make you, in turn, eligible.
  1. Can I get a NWOHR passport? I think the answer is yes – because my claim to nationality is not based on HHR, but instead is based on nationality of the father at time of birth. […]

Yes; nationality can also be claimed if your parent was an ROC citizen at the time of his death. An expired HHR does not revoke citizenship status. Your father should, next to his passport, has had a Shenfenzheng as well somewhere. In any case, he should still be in Taiwan’s “system” as a citizen.

Your father is Taiwanese from his birthright, and you are considered national* from your birthright as well. (This is different to foreigners who naturalize into the ROC; they do not have this birthright.)

  1. Assuming I travel with my own NWOHR passport to Taiwan, then can I apply for a TARC in Taiwan? […] Is this correct that AF384 requires an old HHR that was active at the time of my birth? […]

To put it short, an HHR must not does not need to be active at your time of birth to claim a TARC. The important thing is that your father never gave up his citizenship. Please keep in mind my thoughts on the current travel restrictions later in my post though.

  1. […] is there any other way for me to live indefinitely (e.g. after retirement, for several years until my own expiration) in Taiwan?

For nationals* like you, employment, marriage, or staying in Taiwan for a certain amount of time (and then applying for a TARC). These criteria do not depend on a HHR, but I’m not so knowledgable about them. The “free but long way” for nationals is staying in Taiwan (on your NWOHR passport) for at least 183 per year for 7 years which then grants your eligibility for a TARC.

*As soon as you have your passport.

Something to keep in mind though:

  • Not having your parents’ marriage registered might make it a little bit cumbersome to apply under code AF353 or AF384. You could register their marriage now, but it might require your mother to be present, and it also involves getting translated, authenticated copies of their marriage certificate … once again, first please clarify your mother’s current status. If she has had HHR before, this will be a little bit easier. Theoretically, you might try to simply apply as a child of an unmarried citizen (in the agency’s eyes).
  • Not sure when you plan to start the whole process, but currently, non-ROC citizens can only enter Taiwan if they have some kind of resident certificate. If you already have a TARC, you could enter on the grounds of “having a resident certificate,” but as an NWOHR alone (with only an NWOHR passport), I wouldn’t be surprised (sadly) if you aren’t permitted entrance. This is because without a TARC yet, you are considered a national, but do not posess the same rights as those Taiwanese that are both citizen and national (for example, you also need to have an Entry Permit to enter Taiwan).
    I would first make sure whether you can enter Taiwan with your NWOHR passport and Entry Permit, or wait until the whole coronavirus restrictions are lifted, or try to apply for a TARC from abroad.
  • Don’t give up if someone at the TECO tells you that you might not be eligible for something. The board is full of stories where the initial answer was, incorrectly, negative. The TECO is your helper because you will get your NWOHR passport through them, but especially for things concerning TARCs, being in Taiwan is probably more helpful.

it is possible if a foreigner becomes a naturalized ROC national, submits a document to prove renunciation of original nationality or to prove renunciation is impossible, and doesn’t apply for a citizenship.

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I would like to sincerely thank both of you, Lain and tando, for responding to my post. I think this forumosa forum is the best (and only?) place on the Internet where this complex topic can be deeply and accurately discussed.

Regarding my mother’s naturalized ROC nationality status, but without any existing past or present HHR for my mother – basically, it is as tando says:

My mother has an ROC passport, having renounced her original nationality (from a different Asian country, not Taiwan), but she never lived in Taiwan and only lived henceforth (after leaving her original Asian country) in the USA with my father. The reason for her ROC naturalization was not to live in Taiwan, but rather was to cleanly cut ties with her previous Asian country to which she had no intention of returning. Therefore, she never tried to apply to live in Taiwan, and therefore has no HHR-related documents. In other words (if I understand the terminology) she basically became a naturalized NWOHR and stayed as such indefinitely. In summary, my mothers ROC naturalization (to NWOHR status, without HHR) after my birth has no bearing on my application for a NWOHR passport or a TARC.

tando, I was very glad to see your accurate and quick information that exactly matches with my mother’s case. That gives me confidence in the quality and depth of the knowledge and experience here on the forumosa forum.

And thank you Lain so much for responding in such detail, both in this thread, and in other threads. I have much to consider and analyze from your posts. I highly respect the thorough, detailed, and analytical approach you have taken on this subject, collecting information from several sources and deconstructing the logic and reasoning of the law. I hope to follow in your footsteps to be able to convincingly argue my case to the authorities, when my time comes.

I shall write more on the weekend after I have time to digest the information above. More to come. :slight_smile:

Glad to help. So from yours and tando’s description, if your mother currently is an NWOHR, then yes you should probably just focus on your father’s side for applying for a passport and TARC. (Unless your mother would decide to become a citizen before your application.)

To give you a little bit more data to look for: The passport and/or TARC application threads on Forumosa can broadly be grouped by the applicant’s qualities; yours are

  1. older than 20 years (hence no direct citizenship route),
  2. born overseas (this usually leads to requring the parents’ marriage documents when applying for a TARC, and many other translated documents),
  3. passport application via deceased ROC parent who never gave up citizenship,
  4. TARC application via deceased ROC parent who never gave up citizenship (using his old HHR).

So how do you usually go ahead and do 3. and 4.? For the passport application, a translated, authenticated copy of your birth certificate is usually enough. The birth certificate should state that your father was ROC citizen. Proof that this works: Basically every NWOHR passport applicant. If the TECO asks for other documents, something along your father’s passport or Shenfenzheng should suffice.

As a proof that 4. is possible, just look at those threads where some of our posters have succesfully received a TARC “even though” their ROC parent has already passed away. Only the fact that your parents’ marriage is unregistered in Taiwan might get in the way initially, but we can look at that after you have received your passport.

Good luck!

(Thanks for the clarification tando, I’ll keep that in mind in the future!)


My father and mother did naturalize to USA citizenship some years after I was born (I edited my original post to add this fact).

My father never renounced his ROC citizenship though. My understanding is that in this case (ROC citizen by birthright, plus naturalized USA citizen) both ROC and USA recognize dual citizenship, since ROC does not require renunciation of citizenship to acquire USA citizenship, and USA does not require renunciation of ROC citizenship.

Therefore, at the time of his passing, he still should have been an ROC citizen (even though his HHR probably expired due to having lived outside of Taiwan for so many years without ever returning to Taiwan). So condition 3 above should be fulfilled. Right?

Or, could my father’s naturalization to USA citizenship invalidate the condition 3 above?

I see, all of this is no problem because he never gave up his ROC citizenship. Even if he did, you are still eligible for everything because he was an ROC citizen at the time of your birth. You can also just put it like this: In the eyes of Taiwan, all they need to see is a deceased ROC citizen.

Once again, the active/inactive status only plays a role depending on what “kind” of TARC you want to apply for. Ignoring your mother, your linear relatives to Taiwan have all passed away, rendering them unable to activate their HHR again. Thus, out of code AF353 and AF384, you are only able to apply under AF384 (but you are eligible!).

Clarifying the subtle differences between AF353’s and AF384’s requirements:

  • AF353 is strict on the validity of the HHR (it must be active), but you can use any of your linear relative’s ones.
  • AF384 is less strict on the validity (it can be inactive/expired), but you can only use your parents’.

I interpret “must not” as “need not” in the above sentence, meaning that the HHR need not have been active at the time of my birth to claim a TARC. In other words, you are saying that an overseas-born child of a deceased ROC citzen whose HHR was expired at the time of birth still has the right to apply for a TARC (presumably under category AF384).

Based on the reading I have done (including your past posts) I have not yet been able to find any specific precedent or citation that would justify this argument for AF384; indeed, the posts I read hint that the HHR needs to have been active at the time of birth.

Even if his HHR was expired at the time of my birth and was never re-activated?

Are there any precedents or citations that support the argument of claiming the right to apply for a TARC (based on AF384) for an overseas-born child of a deceased ROC citizen whose HHR had expired before the time of birth and was never re-activated?

The counter-argument, which I fear, is that there never was any active HHR from my birth until my father’s death. There was never any period of time since my birth that an active HHR for my father existed, so there never was a past active HHR which I could claim as justification for my TARC application. Furthermore, there is no active HHR now and no way to get an HHR now since my father is deceased, and lineal relatives are also either deceased (grandfather, grandmother) or NWOHR (mother, siblings, none of whom live in Taiwan).

The counter-counter argument (in my defense) against the above paragraph might be: My father had an active HHR at some point. He could have re-activated it any time during his life, which would have given me the right to apply for a TARC (under AF353). My father never did re-activate his HHR. But I, as his descendant, have inherited the right to quasi-re-activate (or at least re-use) that HHR, in the limited sense that I am using that expired HHR (expired before my birth) as if it had been re-activated (as it could have been re-activated by my father, were he alive), for the purposes of justifying my TARC application.

In other words: this argument (in my defense) claims that the because AF353 is so strict about the current validity of the HHR, the whole reason for existence of AF384 is to allow TARC applications from NWOHRs who have no current, but only a past expired HHR – even if that HHR was expired at birth, and stayed expired until the ROC citizen father’s death – because that ROC citizen father could have reactivated it (which would have been grounds for AF353-based TARC), but did not; hence, it is grounds for an AF384-based TARC.

In other words (again), this argument in my defense is that if, at any point in the past, an expired HHR could have been activated in the past and used as a justification for an AF353-based TARC, but due to death can no longer be re-activated, then that power of the HHR (the power to justify the application for a TARC of the descendant) is not lost by mere death of the HHR registrant and instead that power is granted by the AF384 category.

What do you think? This argument might fly; it might not. It depends on how much “legal power” the expired HHR (expired before my birth) of a deceased ROC citizen has, in order to support my TARC application.

Again, to drive home the point – do I still qualify under AF384 if the HHR was expired at the time of my birth and remained expired until and after my father’s death?

Iiuc, you can. Your father’s HHR was inactivated, but not canceled.




第 三條
四、 居住臺灣地區設有戶籍國民:指在臺灣地區設有戶籍,現在或原在臺灣地區居住之國民,且未依臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例喪失臺灣地區人民身分。

Article 3 of Immigration Act
4. Nationals with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area:
Nationals who have the nationality of the State, are residing in the Taiwan Areas currently or originally, and have not lost personal identification as people of the Taiwan Area in accordance with the Act Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

English version of TARC instruction

Immigration Act

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Yes, sorry, common mistake for non-native speakers. I’ll add a remark to my post.

Yes. The line that tando quotes basically says “born overseas to an ROC citizen who has had household registration.” The important part is having a household (now or in the past) in Taiwan. The fact that HHRs “deactivate” is just, for lack of better words, a bureaucratic thing.

From recent memory, I think @multipass situation should be similar to yours, who has received his TARC through his deceased ROC parent (and is over 20); @paperclip’s application was also based on her deceased parent’s HHR, though she was younger than 20. I think for all of their applications (but you can ask them and make sure), since they were born overseas after some time, their ROC parent’s HHR has already expired.

A household registration is completely cancelled if and only if the citizen gives up his ROC nationality (as far as I’m aware). But this doesn’t invalidate any claims of yours that are based on having an HHR in the past, which your father also fulfills, and which satisfies the requirement that tando pointed out.

For a little bit more insight into the reason why AF384 exists: This criteria was added especially because of applicants who are ROC nationals by birthright, but “who do not have a linear relative in Taiwan anymore.” I mentioned this in my post here Reasons for NWOHR getting TARC, at the end, referring to the 2nd link (it is in Chinese though).

Did your father leave any documents behind next to his passport? The more you have the easier it will be once you collect everything for your application, and we could probably give you some kind of assurance that your case mirrors some we had in the past.


I just realized his citizenship status at death may be unclear. As far as my mother knows, my father never gave up his citizenship. However, I vaguely sense there may be an unfortunate possibility that at some point he may have given up his citizenship (unlikely, but possible).

First, two questions on this point:

  1. How can I verify, for sure, if my father is still “in the system” and never gave up his citizenship? I plan to travel to Taiwan again to visit some relatives, maybe this year, maybe next year. At that time I could make a stop by some city office and make some inquiries. Any idea where I should go, and what I should ask, to check if my father did indeed maintain (never renounced) his citizenship?
  2. In case my father did give up his citizenship, then am I out of luck in applying for a TARC under AF384? Or, is there still the option to argue that my father’s HHR was active at the time of my birth? (I would of course need to prove this somehow).

Next, let me explain why I am worrying about this now. One of my uncles casually mentioned to me that there was some property in Taiwan to which my father had some kind of “claim”, probably planning to inherit it when my grandfather died. But then because my father left Taiwan, at some point he reached an agreement with his other siblings that he renounced his claim to that property. I have no idea when or how this claim to the property was renounced. What I worry about is if, in order to renounce his claim to the property, he in fact renounced his citizenship and canceled (lost all rights to) his HHR and citizenship. The reason I am suddenly worrying about this is because of another post that I happened to read just now on the forumosa forum here: Getting Parents Over to Taiwan

Again, I don’t know if that is the case for my father, or not. But I heard from my uncle that my father somehow “gave up” his claim to some property.

So, how can I find out for sure if my father never canceled his citizenship/HHR (question 1 above)? And if he did, do I still have options to apply for a TARC (question 2 above)?

(added some minutes later) I see that I was writing my post while you were responding, and that you made an important comment below:

Based on the English translation (which is probably imprecise) that tando pointed out from Article 3 section 4 of the Immigration Act, it defines the term “Nationals with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area” as: “Nationals who … have not lost personal identification as people of the Taiwan”, where I interpret “lost” as meaning “canceled” or “renounced”. Does this imply that if the National did, in fact lose (or cancel, or renounce) personal identification as the people of the Taiwan, then that person (i.e. my father) does not fall under definition in Article 3, section 4 of the Immigration act anymore, and therefore the descendant of such a person (who was no longer a NWHR) is not eligible for a TARC application under AF384?

If my above interpretation is valid (or if the officials processing my case use this interpretation), then it would logically seem that the status at the time of birth might, indeed, become important – at the time of birth, is the father still one of the “Nationals with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area” as defined in Article 3, section 4 of the Immigration act? If the NWHR canceled (not through mere expiry, but through explicit renunciation or explicit cancellation) his/her HHR before the time of birth, it would seem such a person is no longer, at that moment of cancellation, a “National with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area”, and hence the descendant of such a person might not be allowed to apply for a TARC under AF384. On the other hand, if the father’s HHR was not canceled at the time of birth, then at the time of birth, the father was still defined as a “National with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area”, and hence his descendant would qualify under AF384 to apply for a TARC.

Not trying to be negative – just trying to understand all of the arguments. So I would summarize my current understanding as:

  1. If father never renounced citizenship explicitly, he was always a “National with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area” as per Article 3, section 4 of the Immigration Act. Then, descendant of a “National with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area” does qualify for a TARC under AF384.
  2. If father did renounce citizenship and cancel the HHR explicitly, then timing becomes important. If the descendant’s birth was before the cancellation, then the descendant is still the descendant of a “National with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area” and qualifies for a TARC under AF384. However, if the descendant’s birth was after the cancellation, things start to look gloomy. It could be then argued that the father was then no longer a “National with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area”, and the descendant as such might not qualify to apply for a TARC under AF384.

I wouldn’t worry too much now whether your father did or did not renounce his citizenship. after your birth. It will not affect your eligibility for applying under AF384. However, I base all of this on the assumption that everything else is conforming. To make sure, what is the reason why you can say this for sure?

  1. Father was born in Taiwan and must have had a valid Taiwanese household registration (HHR) in his youth.

Does his old Taiwanese passport show an ID number?

In any case, it would still be good to know whether he renounced his citizenship, because the one thing I don’t know yet is your best approach of supplying the marriage documents. If your father is still “in the system,” it would probably just mean registering his marriage after his death. But if he isn’t a citizen anymore, the office in Taiwan might refuse to do anything concerning him. Hence my thought of simply applying as an unmarried child, but I’ll need to think over this a little bit more. I vaguely remember though that the marriage documents are sometimes simply not taken into account as long as everything else “adds up,” but here I can’t give a definite answer yet.

To check your father’s citizenship/HHR status, you would go to one of the Household Registration Offices once you are in Taiwan. You would ask for a copy of his household registration where things like birth, changing addresses, marriages, etc., are recorded. It’s probably best to search for the place where your father was last registered; even though the “HHR system” is wired up, sometimes it still happens that they tell you to go to the office where the HHR was “bound to.”

Normally this kind of information can only be given out to the holder of the HHR (or someone else using a written authorization), but since you are inquiring after your father and he has already passed away, there should be no problem in giving you a copy. The more remaining documents of your father you bring with you (passport, old Shenfenzheng, old HHR copy if you find one, etc.), the less difficult it will probably be.

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Yes to everyhing. And that makes it so important to know whether your father really had had an HHR. How do you know it? (Just asking pro forma.)

Yes, if I understand the term “ID number” correctly. There is a 5-digit unique number printed in red ink both on p. 1 (Chinese) and on p. 3 (English). On the English page, the number (above his photograph) is labeled as “NO. CH xxxxx”, where xxxxx is the 5-digit number. On the Chinese page, there are some Chinese characters before the xxxxx number. I will input them here into my post later when I figure out how to type them into my keyboard. It is something like: 台〇〇字第xxxxx〇, where 〇 are the characters that I haven’t figured out how to type yet. Anyway, it seems like it is a unique number to identify the passport, but seems to have no explicit relation to anything else like a family register or a national ID card number.

He told me he had to perform compulsory military service in Taiwan.

Also his father and mother were (as far as I know) full ROC citizens with HHR when he was born in Taiwan. So it seems logical that he was entered, normally, into his father’s and mother’s HHR.

Now, that raises an interesting point, because I don’t know enough about the HHR system.

What does it mean for my father to have had a valid HHR? Is it enough for him to have been recorded in the HHR of his father/mother (my grandparents)?

Or, must my father have had his own, separate, independent HHR at some point after becoming an adult, establishing his own household and his own HHR?

But the fact that he said he had to perform compulsory military service seems to imply to me that he was “registered” to such an extent that he was conscripted. For our purposes of discussion, is that enough evidence to continue on the assumption that my father had his “own HHR” as would be needed in my case?

Alright, having an HHR is a necessary condition for (being asked to) doing military service.

(But for the sake of completeness, you could cross-reference your father’s passport with a specimen, e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Republic_of_China_Passport_Data_Page.jpg, although there might be differences due to the age of the passport. The “citizen ID” thing is the one labelled “Personal Id. No.” (身分證統一編號).)

OK, so as far as I’m aware, it was never the case that NWOHRs had to do military service in the past. This would mean we can now say that your father had had HHR (any other documents that you might have?).

Regarding the possibility of your father renouncing his citizenship; would you say, if this ever happend, did it happen before or after your birth? Is there anything that would help you pin-point “Yes, my father still had HHR at the time of my birth.” For example:

  • What does your birth certificate say? Does it say “Born to XYZ, citizen of the ROC” (mine says that)?
  • When was your father’s last ROC passport issued?

Regarding your updates, briefly:

Don’t sweat this too much. Basically, every person has his own “HHR information,” but for every household there is also a “household master” (戶長, can’t think of a good English word right now) to whom people belong (usually the eldest male person of a family [considering our parent’s generation]). Anyway, we simply state your father has had a household registration which means he must have had “Transcripts of Household Registration” (戶籍謄本) in the past. If he didn’t keep any, then you can ask for a copy of his last HHR data at one of the HHR offices.

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His 1965-era passport looks completely different.

For reference, here are some pictures I found on the web (https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/contents/a-few-versions-of-earliness) of an ROC passport from around that same time that looks similar in style. My father’s passport is slightly different, but the general style is the same – quite different from modern ROC passports.

These are not my photographs; they were found on a public website.

These are not my photographs; they were found on a public website.

These are not my photographs; they were found on a public website.

I don’t possess my father’s passport at the moment (my mother has it) and I have only seen a few quick scans of some of the pages. But the pages I saw so far have nothing remotely resembling 身分證統一編號 – just like the other sample passport photos I showed above.

Really hard to say, since my mother says he never renounced it, but my uncle says that my father somehow gave up his property rights to some Taiwanese property at some point.

It is possible my mother is mistakenly assuming that the existence of the non-canceled passport proves my father’s non-canceled citizenship, whereas in fact it (the question of my father’s citizenship) hinges on whether or not the HHR (not the passport) was canceled – a topic about which I have suspiciously little information, which might not be a good sign.

No. My USA birth certificate specifies only the birthplace of my father (“Formosa”), but not his citizenship.

My father did not have US citizenship when I was born, as he only naturalized to US citizenship after I was born.

That might hint that he was still an ROC citizen when I was born – but that’s not necessarily a given. He still could have explicitly canceled his Taiwan HHR and became NWOHR, i.e. an ROC national but no longer ROC citizen. I really don’t know. If he did become NWOHR, then that would imply that he was actually “stateless” at that time, a citizen of no country? I find that a little hard to believe, but it’s conceivably possible.

On the other hand, my mother insists there is no other documentation other than that 1965-era passport from my father (which was never renewed).

Next time I visit her I will see if I might be able to find any other relevant documents. But if my mother can’t find them, it’s unlikely that I will have more luck. So most likely, that 1965-era passport is all we have to go on. But it’s a start.

Not really, as you can see above. So I think the next steps (once this whole coronavirus thing winds down) are to visit my mother in the USA to check if there really are no other documents, and then to visit the Household Registration Office in Taiwan with my father’s old passport, to see if he still had HHR (probably inactive, but hopefully not cancelled) at my time of birth. It will be a good excuse to visit the other family members too. :slight_smile:

I didn’t expect ROC passports of that era to be this different (I actually assumed there would be more … Chinese), but then let’s put away the search for an Id. No. away for now.

If your father only acquired US citizenship after your birth, I also find it unlikely that your father did the stateless limbo for some time. Let’s assume, for now, that even if he did give up his ROC citizenship that it was after your birth.

If I understood everything correctly, you still have aunts or uncles in Taiwan who are your father’s relatives? If so, they could also go to an HHR office and ask about your father’s registration. Your father has already passed away, so there should be no authorization or similar required.

It’s good to be prepared, and hence lay out every piece of information that might come in handy, but let me just stress that first of all, you need an NWOHR passport. You can also see it like this: If you can claim ROC nationality by your birthright, and you are able to acquire an NWOHR passport in any kind of way, then having the rights to also apply for a TARC is basically guaranteed.

So one thing you could do now is start the process of applying for an NWOHR passport. Use your father’s passport and your birth certificate (no matter that it just states the place of birth) and start the process with your local TECO. They can tell you what is required, but if I remember correctly, it will be something like

  • the application form,
  • passport photos,
  • translated and authenticated translation of your birth certificate,
  • a proof of relationship to the ROC (i.e. being born to an ROC citizen).

For the last part, the birth certificate usually suffices, but the TECO will tell you if they want something additionally. You said that your father’s passport is currently at your mother’s place, but you could first start the process with your birth certificate alone. If they then want any other documents, perhaps in the meantime, your relatives in Taiwan have acquired a copy of your father’s old HHR and could send them to you which should suffice as well.

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Just to pursue this thought to its conclusion: is the cancellation of an HHR by an ROC citizen a huge step that would not be taken lightly? In other words, by cancelling HHR (not just letting it expire), there are serious irreversible consequences to the citizen? Or is it just an easy procedure that has no lasting impact and can be reversed again at any time?

If the HHR cancellation procedure causes irreversible consequences (completely losing the right to return to Taiwan ever again as an ROC citizen), then I find it less likely that my father would have taken this bold step before acquiring USA citizenship.

On the other hand, if the HHR cancellation procedure is just a temporary and easily reversible thing, then I could imagine my father might have done it. While he was living in the USA, and while things looked positive, he could cut ties (and obligations) to Taiwan. But if things became bad for whatever reason, he could simply un-cancel his HHR and return to Taiwan.

So what is the nature of HHR cancellation? Is it an irreversible procedure that a normal ROC citizen would hesitate to take? Or is it a simple and reversible procedure that a normal ROC citizen would not hesitate to take?

Yes, my father’s siblings (my aunts/uncles) are still in Taiwan. I would prefer not to bother them with my little quest for now, since we historically didn’t have too much contact and I don’t want to give the wrong impression that I am only interested in contacting them to help me out. I prefer to do whatever I can by myself – including both at the local TECO office and by myself in Taiwan – while at the same time using the opportunity in Taiwan to cultivate the relationship.

But moving on to practical matters: I will take your advice to heart: first of all, I need an NWOHR passport.

So the argument I would use here, at my local TECO office, is that “Formosa” is shown on the birth certificate, meaning my Dad was born in Taiwan. I can also say he had to serve military service, illustrating that he was a citizen and had HHR (though I have no documents to prove this, it still might help convince the TECO office to allow me to proceed). Then request to get the NWOHR passport by my birthright.

Before doing that, another question: are there any disadvantages (tax obligations, governmental reporting obligations, etc.) to obtaining the NWOHR passport? For example, assume I end up never applying for a TARC and never living in Taiwan, for whatever reason. Does having the NWOHR passport, while permanently living outside of Taiwan, in any way create a lifetime burden or any kind of obligations to Taiwan?

Hey all,

I wanted to leave a few notes since this caught my eye.

First, whether it’s you or a relative going to the HHR office, I think you’ll need to prove your relationship to the person you’re inquiring about. I’m making an assumption here and my memory is a little fuzzy, but I would be skeptical they would give out that personal info without proof of relationship. So if you do go to the HHR office, make sure you bring translated, notarized(?) documents showing your relationship. That probably means your birth certificate showing his name as your father, which I think probably must match his name on the ID you have for him (passport, if I read everything correctly). Some officials/workers are sticklers and will require that it match EXACTLY, so just keep that in mind (but certainly try either way – it’s the only way to know the outcome). Maybe Lain can confirm/reject this. I think you need the regional TECO closest to where the document was produced to authenticate the authenticity of these documents. For example, if your birth certificate was registered in Toronto, Canada, it would be the closest TECO to there because they are responsible for knowing if it’s truly a birth certificate from that local area and that local hospital/office where it was registered (to use a random location as an example). Who knows, maybe they even contact the office/hospital to confirm. I want to mention these things because it would be really, really, really painful to show up at the HHR without the right stuff and get turned away and need to repeat the process, flying back and forth (although maybe you could do it via mail with the TECO office actually, assuming you have enough time to avoid a second trip internationally). Also, it would be financially burdensome. If anyone thinks this is incorrect, please do correct me.

If possible, I recommend bringing a relative or friend to help with language assistance at the HHR office – I’m not sure if they have English services, or what level of support they have for English. Maybe someone else can comment on that.

As Lain mentioned, one similarity between my case and yours is the deceased parent part. To obtain the TARC, I believe you will need to prepare the death certificate to prove death and get the HHR updated. At least that’s what they wanted from me – maybe there is an alternate path to satisfy the related requirement that I didn’t end up finding out about because I was able to provide the death certificate. I would recommend being prepared to get a copy of that if you don’t already have one, and again, you may need to have it translated and authenticated (otherwise anyone could forge or create random death certificate paperwork from all kinds of places around the world, and the local HHR office would probably find it challenging to know if it’s legitimate or not). My memory is a little fuzzy on this. I do know for sure though that the immigration office required me to go to the HHR office with the death certificate to update the HHR showing my mom was already passed. I can’t quite remember why exactly – I think my vague memory is that maybe they would want the parent to do the paperwork if they’re still alive, or somehow be present or authorize the whole ordeal.

For the marriage part, do check up on the different routes for people born without married parents and people born to married parents. I think the English terminology they use is ‘illegitimate’ which is really depressing and probably offensive. I can’t remember if it factors into the passport process, but I would think you may want to watch out and be consistent applying for the passport and TARC in the same way if possible (although I don’t know for sure if it would be a problem to apply for the passport as a child born outside of a marriage and then apply for TARC as a child born to married parents). I’m just paranoid, and try to check these things as much as possible. You’ll probably become as OCD as me and Lain soon, if you’re not already. For example, if someone who was originally eligible for a TARC got a resident visa through marriage to a Taiwan citizen instead, then wanted to apply for citizenship using the rules that apply to nationals with a TARC (i.e. it might be faster), I would guess they would require applying for the TARC anew and switching documents. Anyway, just an example where applying for some documents might have dependencies on documents you applied for prior.

Also for the marriage part, if you do go the route of applying as someone whose parents were married, since your parents were married in the U.S., you’ll need to get that marriage certificate translated and authenticated at the location closest to where the document was registered/produced originally also, I think. That said, I didn’t do this first-hand because my parents were married in Taiwan so in that case I provided the HHR where it was registered. I’m not sure if there are any extra steps needed for if your parents were married outside of Taiwan to prove authenticity – I would think/hope not.

For all document authentication that you’ll need to have done outside of Taiwan by regional TECO offices, I definitely recommend having it done and prepared before coming to Taiwan, otherwise you’ll need to try to do it via international mail and might end up rushed or not having enough time, if you’re under any time constraint when you do this.

Finally, I think we’ve seen at least 1 case where someone’s parent renounced ROC/TW citizenship and that person still got a TARC, so that part itself doesn’t prevent the chance of getting a TARC. Just one thing to keep in mind and keep some optimism as you go through the process of checking for sure.

Before doing that, another question: are there any disadvantages (tax obligations, governmental reporting obligations, etc.) to obtaining the NWOHR passport? For example, assume I end up never applying for a TARC and never living in Taiwan, for whatever reason. Does having the NWOHR passport, while permanently living outside of Taiwan, in any way create a lifetime burden or any kind of obligations to Taiwan?

I don’t know of any, other than being short some money to pay for it and the paperwork. Note that it will expire eventually and need to be renewed – not sure if that factors into this if you’re planning to apply for the TARC much much later. Probably not, but just another angle to consider.

If you don’t mind, let us know what you find about along the way without providing too much sensitive personal info (the land thing is very interesting) – maybe it will help other people in the future!

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@paperclip’s application was also based on her deceased parent’s HHR, though she was younger than 20. I think for all of their applications (but you can ask them and make sure), since they were born overseas after some time, their ROC parent’s HHR has already expired.

Just want to clarify here - my parent’s HHR was not expired at time of application. Despite being born overseas, my parent returned to Taiwan annually, so the HHR was active (until death).