Getting married and applying for JFRV

I am a South African, who go married in the beginning of last year (2004) to a Taiwanese lady.

Due to very confusing posts and being quite confused as to what to do next, this is the process I went through.

Firstly, getting married
I got married here in Taiwan. I was married by a Notary in Hsindian (新店).
At the “Notary public office of the Taipei District Court” located at No. 248, Chung-Hsing Rd., Section 1, Hsintien City, Taipei County (臺北縣新店市中興路一段248號).

The reguirements for getting married can be found here:

To summarize (I still reccommend you read the above document):

Application: NT$2 (the form to apply for the whole thing)
Ceremony: NT$1000 (weekends and public holidays NT$1500)
English marriage certificate: NT$400 each
Chinese marriage certificate: One included in the price, extras are about NT$20, but I can’t remember exactly.

You need to prepare the following:

  1. A certificate to prove you are single.
  2. Copies and originals of you and your spouse’s IDs (passport for foreigners)
  3. Copies of your two witnesses IDs (or passports for foreigners)
  4. You and your spouses name chops.

Regarding 1): I got mine by asking my mom in South Africa to apply for me. When she got it back, she sent it to the ROC office in Johannesburg (in South Africa), including a note to state that we needed them to stamp it. She then sent it to me here in Taiwan. I then got it authenticated at the MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) 3~5Fl Chinan Rd, Sec 1, Taipei (台北市濟南路一段2-2號3~5F).
I read that if you just get this from the South African office in Taipei, then you just need to get it authenticated at the MOFA (Authentication is free).

Regarding 3): These two witnesses have to be able to attend the ceremony, their names will appear on the marriage certificate.

Regarding 4): This means you need to choose a Chinese name. Note that any children you have will inherit the last name of the father, even though the name is just made up. I chose my wife’s last name, as hers has meaning for her and her family, and I thought it was the best choice. You will then have to get a stamp made for yourself. This you will use on the day of the ceremony.

Once these are all ready, head off to the office (there’s one in Taipei City, too, I went to Hsindien). You need to book an appointment to have the cermony. You have to book at least 3 days in advance. At this time you can tell them how many copies of the marriage certificate you want. I suggest you opt for at least one English copy and a Chinese copy.

Then arrive on the day, you have to put your chops on the certificates. Go through the ceremony and there you go, you’re married.

Oh, you also need to go to the household registration office in your spouses registered town to make sure your marriage is put down in her household registration.

Second, changing your VISA

Next part in the process is to change your Visa to what is called a JFRV (Joining Family Residence Visa). This is not mandatory, but it means your stay is connected to your spouse, not to your employer.

Cost: NT$3000 (Americans: $NT4400)

To do this you will need:

  1. A passport (bring it and make some copies)
  2. An application form
  3. 2 ID photos (2" x 2") (having more is good)
  4. A marriage certificate (Chinese if you have one & make some copies)
  5. Household registration (bring originals)
  6. Police clearance certificate (original and 3 or more copies)
  7. A health certificate (with stool test)

NOTE on 4): If getting married in Taiwan, the Taiwan marriage certificate is enough. If using an overseas one, you need to have proof of registration of the marriage, which then has to be stamped by the ROC office in your country, and then authenticated at MOFA.

I took so long to do everything that my original police clearance certificate had expired, so here is what I did the second time around (I never completed the first time).

Apply for the police clearance certificate. I did this at a police station in SA near my parents home. That took about 2 months to get back, some people never get them back, but if someone at the SA end keeps asking, it will come. After waiting for 2 months, my mother tried Police Headquarters in Jo’burg where these things are processed, but no one picked up the phone. She asked the local police station to help out, and they got it back in a week.
She then sent it to the ROC office in Jo’burg and got it stamped.
Then she sent it back to me.
I did this all by courier, so as to get the process moving.

NOTE: All documents are only valid for 3 months, which is why I recommend doing the police stuff first, as it might only get to you once all the other things have expired.

When you know the Police Clearance Certificate is on it’s way, go get the health check. I went to RenAi hospital. Make sure it’s a MARRIAGE check, which is different to the teachers’ check. I had to give a stool sample, no big deal. This cost less than NT$1000, or in that region, take along your passport and a photo for each health certificate (usually 3 or so). It takes RenAi Hospital in Taipei it’s 10 days till you can pick it up.

Also go get the “Household registration” from the local office that issues them (I just know where the one near my house is, so sorry no other details about this one). It’s issued on the spot for a small fee (NT$20 each), I got 2, just in case.

When the Police clearance certificate arrives, take it to the MOFA, and get it authenticated there. You’ll need to give them the original and 3 copies, take your passport along too. Processing time is 3 days.

After picking up the Police Clearance Certificate, you will have everything you need.

Take all the required documents and their copies to the MOFA, fill out the form, making sure to tick “Joining Family” as your reason for stay. Give them the stuff at the counter. Processing time is 10 days.

Lastly, the foreign affairs police

You now have 15 days to get to the foreign affairs police to get your ARC.

Cost: NT$1000 (They only stamped mine for 1 year, they charge you NT$1000 for each year they stamp it for. ie. stamped for 3 years: NT$3000)

Make sure you take:

  1. Your passport with the new VISA
  2. Your household registration
  3. A photo (ID size)

Go back in a few days and get your new ARC.

Great post. Someone should make it sticky so that it’ll be the first one seen in this section.

Great post. :notworthy:

Just one problem. This link [quote=“pumpkinslayer”] here</a [/quote] doesn’t work.

Excellent. This was pretty much the same process my wife went through once she got here. Even used the same Renai Hospital at Fuxing & Renai.

One thing on the copies of documents, make sure you get originals. In our experience, all the clerks required the originals. You can’t make copies of your originals and pass them along in the application process. This is particularly true of the household registration certificate.

I would also add that the health check report took 10 calendar days to be ready for pick up at the Renai Hospital.

Interesting… Fix the link though. :sunglasses:

Thanks jlick, butcher boy, Yellow Cartman and Frost.

I fixed the link.

I changed things where I had said copies and have now specified originals or both. Also added the processing times for the various steps.

I also added prices where I could.

Thanks pumpkinslayer. The Renai Hospital charged us NTD900 for the marriage health check report. In the lobby of the South Building entrance, there’s a billing counter where you fill out the forms and there’s a sign there for those for marriage and those who are english teachers. The ladies there don’t know English so you’ll need to know how to read/translate the forms. The whole process from start to finish in the hospital took a couple of hours.

This is an important step. Thank you for mentioning it again.

Again, when you do this, they will be registering the foreign spouse’s Chinese name. For the reasons above, it is best to give the foreign spouse the same surname as the local spouse.

PS, it is possible to get married at a Notary Public’s office. No advance notice is normally required, although my wife and I did make an appointment. Click here for my blog entry of that day.

This is an important step. Thank you for mentioning it again.

Again, when you do this, they will be registering the foreign spouse’s Chinese name. For the reasons above, it is best to give the foreign spouse the same surname as the local spouse.

PS, it is possible to get married at a Notary Public’s office. No advance notice is normally required, although my wife and I did make an appointment. Click here for my blog entry of that day.[/quote]

After you choose your Chinese surname, do you have to go to a lawyer and make it “legal”?

No, your Chinese name becomes official when you get married here, or if married abroad when the marriage is recorded in the household registration.

And, on a side note, even if not getting married, asking the police to put your Chinese name on your ARC, and getting a chop with your Chinese name are two ways to make it pretty official (you could also put it as an alternative name when renewing your passport).


Supppose somone already has a chinese name which is just a close approximation of their english name. This mythical person wasn’t really thinking about getting hitched when this name issue came up, and the name is now on his ARC and motorbike papers etc. Is it easy enough for this mythical gent to change the Chinese name he is using so that his possible future kids don’t end up with a howler? :blush:

The name your kids go by is what is in the household registration. If you are not yet married and in the household registration, you could avoid getting your current chinese name recorded there by avoiding using your ARC as ID when getting married. If you used your foreign passport instead and gave them a new made up name you liked better, that’s probably what would end up in the household registration. Don’t know if that’d work reliably, but worth a shot.

And by the way, if your wife’s father had no male children then you can use her name for your children. That’s what we did. Use search for more details.

When you register your Chinese name, (at Household Registration, after getting married) you don’t need to use the one on your ARC. When I did it, they asked me if I wanted to change it, because once in the HR it would be ‘extremely difficult’ to change. I assume that if you did that, when you got your new JFRV ARC it would have your new name. Note, your Chiense name also goes on your spouse’s ID card.


The Chinese surname on my ARC was originally Dai, a name I used out of convenience because it resembled the second syllable of my surname, van Dyck. However, after I married my wife, she had to change her household registration details, and my name had to be entered (in Chinese characters). I told them my surname was Pan, the same as my wife’s, and they entered it thusly. When it came time to renew my ARC, I went to the office and told them to change my name. They did it, and on the back of my ARC are the words Zhongwen Xingming Geng Zheng: Pan Longquan (Chinese name changed to Pan Longquan.) My father-inlaw is thrilled that any future children will carry on the Pan family name (at least in Chinese). It also makes a very fair trade-off for my wife, who uses my surname in English, while I use hers In Mandarin.

I think most hospitals let you do health checks.

OK, this may be a silly question but:

What if you can’t poop during the poop test? Can you take the container home and bring it back the next day?

I don’t know…wake up in the morning and don’t go…hold it and “it” will come. :sunglasses:

Adding to Frost’s post:

There’s a photo booth there, so you can do the photos there if you don’t bring them.

Renai is very convenient compared to other Taipei hospitals, becaus the first place you go is set up to do the checks. You only have to go three places. I’ve done the test at another hospital before, and I had to go to about 10 departments in different corners of the hospital (on cruthches with a broken foot).


[quote=“Bu Lai En”]
Ren’ai is very convenient compared to other Taipei hospitals[/quote]

Oh [i]r-i-g-h-t ![/i] Sorry…I put Ren’ai and Mackay at the very bottom. I’d rather see a vet than go to either “hospital”.

[quote]The four-year-old girl, surnamed Chiou, reportedly fell into a coma and suffered an internal hemorrhage after being beaten by her drunk father on Monday.

Records of the Taipei emergency operations center show that an ambulance rushed the girl to Taipei Municipal Jen-Ai Hospital at 1:55am on Monday, but was declined by the hospital…

In response to suspicion that Taipei Municipal Jen-Ai Hospital might have mishandled the case, emergency room chief at the hospital, Li Bin-chou (李彬州), yesterday emphasized that the hospital’s decision was proper.[/quote] … 2003219040

[quote]“It is not the EOC’s [Emergency Operations Center] fault. It is, rather, an issue of hospital discipline and practitioner ethics,” Ma said, referring to the Municipal Jenai Hospital which declined to operate on the girl, and neurological surgeon Liu Chi-hwa (劉奇樺), who was absent at the time.

The Municipal Jenai Hospital, the first hospital to reject Chiu on Monday night, yesterday admitted it mishandled the affair and censured two surgeons yesterday.

Hospital president Wu Chen-lung (吳振龍) said night-duty surgeon Liu Chi-hwa and his colleague Lin Chih-nan (林致南) should have come to the emergency room to examine Chiu within half an hour.

Lin, who was also in the intensive care unit at the time, saw Chiu’s brain X-ray, then called Liu, who was away from the hospital, saying she needed immediate surgery.

But both surgeons failed to go to the emergency room to help her.

“It is the doctors’ responsibility to look after their patients. They failed their patient. They were in the wrong,” Chang said.[/quote] … 2003219164