Good luck on your endeavor, it’s good to be prepared. I’ll give some input where I can:
Question 1. [About age]
Yes, it doesn’t matter. But of course, if you apply for passport or something else now, then they might already be expired when you want to apply for the TARC (just speaking in general). NWOHR Passport and Entry Permit expire separately from each other.* In any case, you can renew these documents provided there is no unforeseen change in the law.
*You should get an Entry Permit with your initial NWOHR passport application (it will already be attached in it). This one is only valid for 3 years if I remember correctly. If that has expired and you renew it, the new Entry Permit should be valid for the validity of the passport (this is according to some guidelines). I actually had to do the latter, renewing the Entry Permit.
Note that a similar approach is possible as well: Apply for the TARC in the near future, but only start accumulating the “residency days” when you are ready. The TARC might be expired by then (it’s valid for 3 years), but a TARC holder can always renew it.
Question 2. [About health examination]
It’s this document: https://www.immigration.gov.tw/media/22363/健康證明應檢查項目-乙表.pdf (just for reference and for others who can’t open ODT).
From my understanding, you don’t have to worry about being “good enough for residency.” They just check whether you have one of those grave communicable diseases. [If it’s something more sensitive, I can also answer your questions about the health examination via private messages.] Also, depending on where you are from, you only have to do an X-ray check against tuberculosis, and they will take blood to check against hepatitis and whether you are vaccinated against measles. I originally wanted to show them my vaccination form, but the doctor simply didn’t bother because it will be in the blood.
Question 3. After applying for the TARC, when am I eligible to enter the national health insurance system?
After 6 months of staying in Taiwan. Something noteworthy, this is actually not bound to your TARC application; the eligibility for NHI just depends on your duration of stay. Now, when you apply for it, you obviously have to have any kind of residence permit (ARC/TARC/real ID) which is the point a “normal” foreigner cannot go further (together with the fact that it’s not possible for foreigners to ever reach the required amount of continuous stay using a visitor visa).
Question 4. If my wife wants to live with me during the first year while I am establishing residency on the TARC, she must leave Taiwan every 90 days, correct?
There seems to be a case for spouses of TARC holders currently residing in Taiwan under “Foreign spouse of foreigner or ROC citizen without household registration.” However, I must admit that I’m not really familiar with spouse cases because I’m not in that situation. Perhaps other people have more input on this matter.
In any case, I would assume that you will need to bring over your marriage documents and register the marriage in Taiwan. Registering a marriage without having HHR seems like a difficult question though to which I would like to know the answer myself as well.
For NHI: If your wife can somehow stay over 6 months, then she is eligible. But as far as I know those spouse, work, or student visas automatically sign up the holder from the beginning anyway.
Question 5. [About wife joining after acquiring citizenship]
See #4, with the difference that you are now a citizen with HHR, so registering your marriage in Taiwan is an every day matter I suppose. Spouses joining (or being the spouse who joins) is probably Forumosa’s bread and butter topic.
Qustion 6. [About different statuses]
Status 1: Correct.
Status 2: You have a residence permit which means you can stay. You are still an NWOHR. I wouldn’t say that there is a “permission to your own HHR” or something like that. Rather, you simply don’t have HHR. Throughout some legal documents, this status is being referred to as “establishing residency.”
Status 3: Yes, you are still an NWOHR. Yes, you will later get added to the HHR of your dependent. Just to clarify some specific parts though …
- Renting an apartment is not really connected to your TARC. After all, foreign tourists could theoretically rent an apartment as long as the landlord is willing to.
- Now, if you mean buying an apartment … then I’ll have to hand over that question to someone else. It’s not my time yet, but perhaps in the future …
- Under certain circumstances, you may leave some time during this year. They just won’t get calculated into the total sum.
- I probably will know more about this when it’s my turn, but just to clarify: Where you live (what you rent) won’t magically create an HHR at that address. At least as far as I understand. You will simply appear in the list of members at your father’s old HHR. This is then also your HHR.
- Where you live and the address of your HHR is often not the same. Just consider students living somewhere else but being registered in their hometown.
- What you describe as “completing the HHR” is “acquiring your ROC ID card” to be exact. Yes, you will have to do this proactively—fill out a form, do another health examination and some standard stuff. Acquiring the ID card will have set up your HHR. It is then that you are not an NWOHR anymore.
Status 5: Yes, this is mostly the case of status #4, but it’s important to clarify that nothing happens automatically: First you stay a year, and then you apply for what is called “定居,” settling down for lack of a better word.
Something noteworthy: You would be a national with HHR—a citizen!—without a proper passport. After acquiring the ROC ID card, you are eligible for the “national with ID” passport, but which is also done proactively. Leading into …
Status 6: Well, you are a citizen, so just consider what happens when Taiwanese go abroad. The HHR “deactivates” automatically after 2 years, but can be made active again anytime. NHI usually does not expire if you don’t want to (you would just continue paying it), but as an “Overseas Taiwanese,” you also have the possibility to stop paying NHI for a period of time if you know that you will be outside of Taiwan longer. NHI can then simply be activated again later. There is some bureaucracy involved in that, e.g. a minimum period that you need to pay so that you cannot hop on and off NHI anytime, but in any case it should just be what other Taiwanese have to handle from time to time as well.
By the way, you might want to look into being an “Overseas Chinese/Taiwanese.” This is actually an official status in Taiwan. If you have official residency in another nation (e.g. possess that nation’s passport), you can sign up for being an Overseas Chinese (Taiwanese). This mostly affects matters of NHI and conscription, so perhaps is not so interesting for you, but anyway. For NHI it’s e.g. the possibility to stop paying temporarily (see above).
What happens if … my apartment rental contract expires?
Something that is related to Status 3, just as an addendum: To stress this, where you live is not in any way related to your HHR. Nothing happens to the HHR if you don’t have a place to live in Taiwan. Of course, one would assume that you could always live at the address of the HHR, but let’s say that it is your uncle’s home and you can’t live there, then you could very will live under the bridge in Taiwan, and still have an HHR. The rental contract won’t affect your HHR. It will just “deactivate” after 2 years of being away, but can then be reactivated like mentioned above.
Just tell me if you want something clarified or if you have other questions, I’ll be happy to help! However, as mentioned before, I can probably be more specific when my residency is complete. Until then some parts are just what I have researched myself.