General Questions Regarding Military Conscription

  1. I was told that I won’t have to serve until the age of 27? I am currently 24. Is this the case for anyone else?

  2. Can I renounce my passport without serving? If not, what if I secured permanent residency overseas?

  3. If you avoid conscription my staying overseas, when does it become illegal/law-breaking?

  4. Had Covid-19 changed military conscription at all? or for those who currently reside overseas?

  5. Any other tips to help avoid military conscription or shorten it as much as possible?

I appreciate all and any answers!


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Actually, you have to do military service until Dec. 31st of the year that you turn 36.

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This is not true. From 18 unless you put it off for school or are overseas.


No. You just can’t return until 36 unless you want to serve. They won’t let you leave unless you’re doing something like going to school. You need a special stamp to leave once you enter if they see you’re of conscription age and didn’t serve.

Nope. It’s like it never happened in Taiwan.

You can cut off a leg or pop out 2 kids right away to get a shorter conscription.

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Thanks for your reply and everyone else’s. Does that mean, even if I finish with my studies and move on to work in a foreign country, this will not be illegal? I will just have to wait till I’m 36 before returning? Thanks!

In my view, the four months of conscription are more than worth the trade-off by giving up nationality.

Especially as someone who is fighting to end the provisions that require foreigners to give up their original nationality/ies. Being a foreigner is no joke here and comes with a million obstacles in daily life both in government and in private life. If you plan on ever coming here to live, you don’t want to give it up cause you’ll never get it back without giving up your current country’s citizenship.

I wouldn’t even consider Number 2.

This is not possible in the first place like @andrew mentioned.

AFAIK it is only legal to stay overseas and not serve if you left Taiwan before a cutoff age (something like 10 y/o) and have a permanent residence in another country. If you are avoiding service by staying overseas without a valid reason like education, then you might be held liable for draft evasion when you return to Taiwan.


It would be worth considering if you have to go through this, but this is Taiwan where I would have no problem serving.

Right. I would do four months here. I also bite back…hard.

My second son did his four months- seems like he was home almost every weekend as well as a couple of four-day leaves. I used to joke if the PLA invaded on a weekend they’d get a recording “I’m sorry, there’s no-one available to take your invasion right now. Try again on Monday.”


is 183 stay limit still in force for year 2020…covid 19? right?

They won’t even let you renounce citizenship if you are of conscription age and have not served. One of the steps involves checking with ministry of interior to confirm you served.