Have NWOHR passport, want to apply for citizenship - military conscription and other questions

Hi everyone,

I’m planning to move to Taiwan in order to gain citizenship, though my main goal is to have a fully functional second passport as I travel quite a lot. I was born in the west to a Taiwanese father, also lived/studied in Taiwan for a few years 2 decades ago (if that makes any difference). I already have a valid NWOHR Taiwanese passport (which is kinda useless tbh) and been reading about the remaining process (TARC, 365 days wait, etc).

My questions are:

1- If I move to Taiwan this year, get the TARC and wait 365 days, by the time I’m eligible for citizenship next year I’ll be 36 (almost 37), which means I won’t risk being conscripted for military service, correct? (I was born in 1984)

2- My legal name (which is a chinese name in pinyin) is basically “inverted”, meaning it follows the chinese order of Surname Name (example: “Smith John”). Therefore all my documents have “Smith” as my legal name, “John” as my legal surname, which those who don’t speak chinese wouldn’t realize anyway. Yet on the NWOHR Taiwanese passport, they actually list “John” as my name and “Smith” as my surname (maybe since they can distinguish which one is the actual name and surname). Was never an issue before, even when I studied in Taiwan, but I’m wondering if this discrepancy will be a problem when applying for citizenship?

3- Once I get the citizenship and new passport, I’ll probably leave Taiwan immediately. Will my Taiwanese citizenship/passport be somehow revoked if I don’t set foot there again for, say, the next 10 years?

Xiexie!

As for question 1 (conscription)

As for question 3

Your passport will be expire after 10 years, though you can renew it overseas.

https://www.roc-taiwan.org/uschi_en/post/51.html

Your household registration will be moved out if you don’t enter in Taiwan with your taiwanese passport for two years, so you will lose your citizenship. Though, you can reactivate your HHR anytime by entering taiwan with your taiwan passport.

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Citizenship is not lost ever. You don’t become a NWOHR just because you left Taiwan for more than 2 years. Otherwise every Taiwanese men would just leave Taiwan for years to avoid military service (NWOHR doesn’t have to do military).

You lose household registration, meaning you also lose any government benefits tied to it (NHI and all that), and you would reestablish them getting them all back.

If you are conscription eligible, a hold will be placed on your record as soon as you enter Taiwan and you will not be allowed to leave regardless of passports you use to leave until either you finish your military service, or if you obtain permission from the conscription unit at the household registration office.

Meaning as soon as you gain citizenship and you’re of conscription age, you will not be able to leave Taiwan. The US State department has issued warning regarding this. There is little they can do about it.

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I know someone with dual citizenship who HAS household registration, and after moving back here from abroad, would leave every four months to avoid conscription, until he was too old to be enlisted. There’s a booth at the airport where he had to state that he was leaving the country (and yes, you must enter and depart on your TW passport if you have one).

OP: re question 2, it totally varies depending who you talk to. If you don’t make a big deal of it, they probably won’t either. If they notice the names are out of order, you can just say “yes, silly foreign country, not knowing what order to put my names in, haha” and they’ll probably just ignore the problem.
If you go in pointing it out like there’s a big problem, they’re more likely to be concerned. But, as I said, may entirely depend on who’s doing your paperwork!

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