How To Get Dual US/TW Citizenship For Family (If I Already Have Taiwanese ID + Passport)

Hi there! I’ve been looking all over the forums, but I can’t seem to find an exact answer for my particular situation…

I’m a male in his mid-40’s that was born in TW but with dual US/TW citizenship (and a Taiwan ID). I primarily live in the US now, but recently traveled to/toured Taiwan with my immediate family (wife + 2 kids) and, with newfound passion for my homeland, am interested in obtaining dual citizenship for them as well.

My wife is a US-born US citizen with parents born in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Both of my kids were born in the US with US citizenship.

The information available online is both confusing and overwhelming. For example - I’ve heard that I just need to show our marriage certificate so that my wife can “inherit” dual citizenship as well, but have read conflicting information that she would need to renounce her US citizenship (which would be a non-starter for us). Is that true?

Also- I’m slightly concerned re: 1) tax implications; and 2) any “conscription risk” (down the road- he’s still young) for my son. Would the benefits outweigh any potential downsides?

Any insights would be welcome and appreciated. Thanks in advance!!

Did you call your local TECO, (serious question)?

If at least one kid isn’t turning 18 soon, as long as you do it in this order, your wife shouldn’t have to renounce her US citizenship, but it’s best to let someone else answer that part, plus the part about tax implications since I don’t pretend to understand the tax laws of any country.

First, get your own HHR reestablished, which can be done very quickly if your passport is current; everybody would have to get a passport while in the US, and it would need paperwork such as your marriage cert, your children’s birth certs, potentially other documents, and passport applications to be sent to be authenticated at the appropriate Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO, similar to an embassy) of each region. Either way, you won’t be able to enter with your US passport and start the process, no matter how much my mom insists that her friend (who was just fine with getting a passport, no ARC or citizenship) tells her it’s not necessary (my own experience lol).

Next are your kids; recent laws have allowed for a parent to claim citizenship if their child(ren) is/are under 18 (AF353), so all you need is a your marriage certificate and each child’s birth certificate, notarized and translated, then authenticated at TECO that proves your wife is married to you and your kids are both of yours. Your son may have to serve in conscription unless you’re cool with him holding NWOHR until after his 36th birthday or even holding off altogether until then to start the process; either way, your children wouldn’t have to renounce their citizenship at all.

After at least one under 18 child is squared away, then last but not least, your wife has the right to claim that she has a child that is a citizen and shouldn’t have to renounce her citizenship (others please feel free to correct me).

However, if both your kids are over 18, if you plan to let your son(s) wait out the conscription age, or if one is your son and the other is your daughter and she’s over 18 (contextually, since you said a singular “son” and not “sons” so my apologies for assuming wrongly if I did) and also avoiding conscription, then as mentioned, I’ll let someone else answer that part.


Soon!! I just started exploring this topic online recently, and plan to call the TECO office in my area sometime this week. Hopefully the hold times aren’t too long!

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To increase Taiwan’s number of citizens, it is very likely they’ll call you back if have to leave message. Good luck!
We’ve dealt with TECO before over the phone. Rather helpful.

Unless it’s Seattle… Although my situation is much more complicated and I was dealing with a secretary that was perpetually unavailable and it took me 6 tries of staying up and calling them at 1 AM, but still, dealing with TECO Seattle was like herding cats as they NEVER reply to calls/emails!

Also, other Google Maps reviews confirm that they’re a bit smarmy if you don’t understand certain procedures, and are sluggish to respond in general.

Ours was Seattle. YMMV, lol

Your wife cannot inherit Taiwan citizenship through marriage, she would need to live here for at least 3 years then renounce US citizenship.

Your children can have Taiwan citizenship but that’s assuming they are still minors.

Yes for males military service if they stay in Taiwan is compulsory.rself

USA requires residents to pay tax on worldwide income. Taiwan does not as you yourself are not tax resident in Taiwan as you do not live here.

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Wife would have to renounce she is not entitled to citizenship just from being married to Taiwan citizen or being mother of children with Taiwan citizenship

Your wife cannot “inherit” your Taiwanese citizenship as she did not come out of your womb. She will need to naturalize as your spouse.

This means she will need to renounce her original citizenship.

Your children may inherit your Taiwan citizenship as long as you were a Taiwanese citizen with HHR at the time of their birth.

They can have Taiwan citizenship (with HHR) even if they are adults, as long as OP was a Taiwan citizen with HHR at the time of their birth. They just need to go to Taiwan to claim it. Although OP will need an address in Taiwan on his HHR.

I thought the kids would have to live in Taiwan for some period of time to become full citizens. Has this changed?

Yes under new rules in 2024. Discussed in other citizenship threads on this forum.

Ok thanks this is helpful. BTW- what does “OP” stand for? (“Original Parent”?)
And- do they have to go to Taiwan to claim it? Can they submit the necessary documentation from the US?

Can you link me to the thread? Curious what the new rules are for my children to apply for full citizenship.

OP Original poster who started the topic

You can use the search function and find the threads.

Ok thanks- while it’s not what I wanted to hear, this is clearer than the other stuff I’ve been able to find. Curious, though- is there any way around this? My wife is faculty at a “top ranked” academic/medical institution in the US.

Also, re: my children inheriting TW citizenship- that’s great news. But curious if there’s a way to minimize their “conscription risk” given that they’ll grow up in the US but travel to Taiwan occasionally/regularly to visit relatives/grandparents between now (they’re in elementary school) and when they are “conscription age.” Can they declare as overseas Chinese now, and minimize the “future risk”? Trying to decide if this is something we should do NOW … or something they we let them decide LATER/let them go the process/paperwork as an adult.

If conscription is what you’re trying to avoid, just have them do it after the age of 36. Unless they want to live and work in Taiwan, there’s no benefit to having Taiwanese citizenship while living overseas.

Is she a sports star, celebrity artist, movie star, Nobel Peace Prize winner, influential scientist, or someone who has made a significant contribution to Taiwan society? If not, then probably not.

She can still obtain Permanent Residency through you, and that’s pretty much the same as being a citizen except no voting rights, etc.

Ah, ok- interesting. Maybe getting Permanent Residency through me is a good “plan B”- thanks for that. That would require that I “live” full-time in Taiwan, right (which I don’t, I reside in the US now)?

Re: children- the only thought I had was having them do it NOW in case before China takes any action against Taiwan. No idea where that will end up, but thinking they should “secure” their dual citizenship now, just in case (since China doesn’t allow dual). Any thoughts or recommendations on that (or am I over-thinking it)?