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!