Going from Taiwan's Gold Card to Taiwanese Citizenship

It’s very unusual, because AFAIK adding to HHR usually is the last step to apply for a Taiwan ID (after you receive the TARC, prove you don’t have any other citizenship). I’ve had a TARC and Taiwan passport (NWOHR) but could still not get on HHR because I didn’t renounce my citizenship in time. Sorry folks for all the jargon but hey it’s the awful Taiwan immigration system where they even invent crappy special passports for us would-be immigrants!!

I must check my wife’s ID to see if it mentions me. It may do (edit - yes it lists me as spouse with my Chinese name on her ID), but I am not listed on the household registration directly in the household, only as some kind of unofficial byline somewhere. And there’s no way for a foreigner to get listed on the household registration certificate officially as far as I know (or knew).

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I think that’s the point. They don’t. It’s just to look like they are making an effort to the international community


I’m a dual national and think a Canadian passport is worth little more than a dollar and a packet of knickers. :laughing: Taiwan one is more valuable as it gets you residency and even subsidies in China.

To be a contrarian, hearing this story certainly makes me sympathetic to the plight of the poster.

That being said, is it really any different in Canada or other Western nations?

Lots of qualified professionals from overseas driving cabs in Canada because of archaic and protectionist professional certification standards. Liberals in power want immigrants but then make it hard for them to work if they were educated overseas. Like people in the US supporting immigrants but not once they arrive in Martha’s Vineyard

Lots of Western countries requiring numerous hurdles toward citizenship or working visas. Lots of them asking probing questions on backgrounds to counter fraud and error.

In no way am I discounting or being unsympathetic to the red tape the poster faced, I just think that’s the way it is. Taiwan is not that different.

And in Canada with inflation, Ukraine, broken health system etc., does anyone care about the plight of expats in an area of the world they are not familiar with?More pressing concerns.


The original poster is not speaking about decertification in Canada, itself a terrible problem. He is speaking of ROC agencies not recognizing documents issued by ROC agencies.

If this magnitude of dumb****ery is a problem in Canada, I have yet to hear about it.



If I ever did, I’d probably publish it for free on Forumosa first.

I did go through a lot of “bank” type issues too. Those suck too

NDC/Taiwan Gold office is aware of my issues. They just don’t have much influence.

Forumosa is the only place I share everything related to Taiwan. If anyone from the news is actually interested in my story, feel free to write about it. I will even give you photos and documentary evidence. And I’d be happy to do an interview too.


Thank you all for your supportive messages. There’s a lot that I left out. It’s just difficult to recount these experiences each time.

It is true that I am utterly exhausted. It took 7 years, but it finally got to me. I have become one of those foreigners that I used to dislike. The kind of guy who rolls his eyes when he hears excited newcomers talking about how perfect Taiwan is.


If there’s any precedent for this, I could consider it. So far, I haven’t found any successful cases.

I know that ARCs for parents do exist, but they are only offered to parents of naturalized Chinese citizens and only under certain conditions e.g. must be 70+ and there is quota.

Here’s a really good article with a lot of factual data on this subject :

Thank you. I know nationals from countries like mine or my wife rarely speak up in Taiwan. That’s why it’s important for me to share this.

It still exists. Even some other categories that require work experience have the salary requirement. It’s possible to get qualified without it but you’d have to be special or lucky.

I helped my sister get a gold card in late 2021. She is a PhD with a dozen international publications in AI and Machine learning. Her gold card application was initially rejected because Gold Card office wanted her to authenticate her work experience letters which was impossible.

After the first rejection, I reapplied for her in the “other” category under “technology” which doesn’t have a salary requirement. She succeeded but has been jobless for the last 8 months. She applied to hundreds of places but except for cram schools/language centers she didn’t get any interviews. Despite having an open-work ARC she still couldn’t get a job in her desired profession. She is looking at other places now.

My daughter has kept her nationality. I was able to secure a delay of 17 years for her. She will only lose it if she doesn’t provide a renunciation certificate as soon as she turns eighteen.

Thanks, I am trying to convince BOCA to let me do it from TECO HK. Now that I have a Taiwan compatriot card I can easily travel there for a week, get it done and come back. It’s only going to cost me about 20 to 30K in flights, hotels, and lost income but I am used to that by now.

As for TECO Saudia, they are the worst. I am sure you know how Saudi’s treat people from the south Asia. Now imagine a bunch of Taiwanese living there and getting influenced by that.

Yes, that’s correct. All naturalized citizens are not equal.


This is exactly what I want to avoid for my family. I recently went to a kindergarten for my daughter. They excitedly told me as that a Taiwanese I qualify for a 5000NTD subsidy per month, which they could help me apply. But after realizing my daughter isn’t a citizen and is not even mentioned on my household registration, they said sorry.

Another example from a few months ago is when we went to a govt. hospital to try for IVF. The cost per attempt was approx. 160K, which could be reduced to 80K for Taiwanese citizens. Despite being a citizen, I was told we weren’t qualified for the subsidy because my wife’s name wasn’t on my ID card.

That’s exactly what I am trying to say. In fact, this has been said to my face AT govt. offices multiple times. I have heard this a hundred times by now. “If only you’d married a Taiwanese woman, you wouldn’t have had these problems”.

Meanwhile my wife always says that she wouldn’t have had all these troubles if she’d married a Taiwanese man instead.

He said he is mentioned in the notes section of the page. I think it’s the same for my wife too. I am trying to get my daughter mentioned there as well but so far haven’t been able to do it.

I agree with you. Taiwan certainly isn’t the worst place to be. It’s true it is not easy for immigrants anywhere. There is a lot to like about Taiwan. That are many good things about Taiwan that’d be very hard for me to give up, which is why I am still here. But I think there’s no harm in trying to make things better.

Places like Canada and US etc. have much more experience when it comes to attracting and retaining global talent. They have better laws in place when it comes to social migration too. Also, there are far more people that want to go there than these countries can accommodate. So, they have a huge pool to choose from.

Taiwan doesn’t have this luxury, so they should try to do better. I bet anyone (especially from a developing country) who is good enough to qualify for a talent visa to a place like US, Canada or Australia etc. wouldn’t be looking at Taiwan.


I can see Taiwan easily becoming an attractive destination but they really need to up their game. Salaries are already better than Canada or Australia in some industries (mine included) but it doesn’t matter as long as you cannot properly integrate into society.


There are some publishers that specialise in stories related to Taiwan. But I think you have a way with words and if you wrote a book folks from everywhere would be interested , obviously including your father’s story.


Aren’t the two linked? Due to the nature of federal-provincial-territorial relations and divisions of powers, there are many examples of where paperwork in one province is not valid in another and needs either retesting or exorbitant fees to be made valid. Also google “internal trade barriers in Canada”. A billion dollar problem.

Politicos and bureaucrats should clean their own laundry first before looking afar…

Again, totally sympathetic on a personal level—the prob exists everywhere though…let’s not be too hard on Taiwan although highlighting in press does no harm

Thank you, I’ll consider writing a book once I have more time. I have already wasted an incalculable amount of time chasing all these issues. It’s a real productivity killer.

In the short-term if can just get the above story out in the news (a much shorter version of it), that’d be a good start. So, if anyone knows a journalist that might be interested just PM me their contact info.


Not sure I entirely agree with this. In my early 20s, I was hired to consult for a US Senate race (I am a Scoop Jackson type of Democrat/Republican) and it was for a Southern seat. Similarly for a Montana gubernatorial race. Ended up taking a Brussels gig instead.

TN1 Nafta visas —just as much of a bureaucratic hassle with different fed agencies or same ones in different locations not talking. But silo culture is worldwide.

Yes and no. I think where Taiwan screws up is that things start off easy and get progressively harder.

I can’t speak for Canada but in Australia things start off hard but get progressively easier.

Getting a temporary work/family visa in Australia is a lot of money, time, paperwork and evidence and documents but then when you apply for permanent visa it’s not too hard (we paid $15,000AUD and waited 1 year and 7 months to apply for a temporary partner visa but the permanent visa will more or less be automatically issued without even being in Australia or speaking to an actual person). It’s worth noting that permanent residents are treated the same as citizens in almost every way. No one cares what passport you hold as long as long as you have the right to work. Getting citizenship is basically an application fee and formality as long as you can speak English and pass the test. No banking discrimination in Australia.

Taiwan makes people want to leave because getting the ARC is easy but then the longer you stay the harder things get to progress through the system and your life. The more things you want (like purchasing property), and people give up when their limit of BS has been reached.


What a story. Sorry to the OP, but I am glad that your life seems to be in a good place and I appreciate you sharing your story to hopefully affect some change to the system/process. Or at least help make others aware of what lies ahead should they choose a similar path.

Best wishes to your family’s future reunification.


I don’t refute your experience. US visa is difficult to get. But my personal experience for US visa was not a bad one. I applied to the US embassy in Taiwan 6 years ago. At the time I wasn’t married, had no kids, and zero assets in Taiwan. I only spoke to the visa officer for 5 mins and got a 5-year multi-entry visa within 2 days. I ended up only visiting the US twice for a total of 10 days. I didn’t escape which means that officer made the right call by trusting me and using their best judgement rather than following some generic law on how to deal with a Pakistani.

No matter what I do, or what I achieve in Taiwan, the moment I or any of my family members walk up to a TECO, their officers open their list of laws for designated nationals and apply them indiscriminately without context.

Totally agree on this. I have researched this for US and Canada.

For US in general, if you are a senior professional and you successfully apply for EB-1 or EB-2 NIW you can qualify for a green card “immediately”. The number of green cards issued to high-level professionals in the US each year are significant. They are in the tens of thousands, I believe.

Can you imagine Taiwan fast-tracking even a hundred people a year directly to APRC ?

Things do get easier in the US the longer you stay. Let’s say a high-level professional successfully gets a green card, you can then take your spouse and kids with you right away. You can sponsor them for a green card too. You give it another 5 years and you can become a citizen. Now your minor kids qualify for citizenship automatically and your parents can qualify for a green card too. Let’s say your parents stay in the US for 5 years on a green card, now they qualify for Medicare (with premiums). I know US has strict quotas for three specific nationalities, but they still issue thousands of green cards to those nationalities too.

For Canada you can use Express Entry to qualify for permanent residence without ever stepping a foot in Canada. If you succeed (and it’s not easy) your spouse and kids go in directly. While you are a permanent resident your parents can get a 10-year visa to stay with you long-term (but you’ll need private insurance). After 5 years you can apply for citizenship and your minor children naturalize automatically with you. Once you are a citizen, you can sponsor your parents for permanent residence too (though there is a quota and strict admissibility rules). If you are one of the lucky ones whose parents get permanent residence, now they’ll qualify for public healthcare too.

It’s ridiculously hard to get into both US and Canada but things get better the longer you stay, especially in terms of permanent settlement and family reunification.


My husband will have his permanent residence granted without having stepped foot in Australia based on his relationship to me.

My dad’s second wife who is a highly educated Filipino accountant was granted permanent residence based on her education and filling a skills gap without ever having stepped foot in Australia too. She is now a citizen and hasn’t stopped living in Australia since she immigrated 20+ years ago.

I guess the gold card was Taiwan trying to play catch up but they missed the issues other ARC holders face. They skipped step 1-9 and went straight to step 10


I disagree. Getting into Canada is not that hard if you have any skills at all.

Entry and working visas are night and day different.

Problem is with lower level functionaries at border, not the lawyers