How to prove my mother is a citizen so I can apply for NWOHR?

My mom’s parents left mainland China for Taiwan in the 1940s and my mom was born in Taiwan in 1949. She and her parents immigrated to the US when she was 8. I was born in the US (after 1980) and my father (her husband) is American. I’m Male and over 20. My mom doesn’t have any Taiwanese documentation (birth certificate, HHR, passport). Her parents have passed away.

My thinking is that she must have had a Taiwanese passport to leave Taiwan and enter the US. If so, I think i need to start with her renewing her Taiwanese passport? Can she do that by just submitting the renewal form without including a previous passport and it’s details? Her US identification/passport is an English name, not romanized Chinese name. How can she prove she is the same person as on her previous Taiwanese passport?

If getting her birth certificate is necessary she knows which hospital she was born in…



Bump! Any ideas? I’m actually headed to Taiwan next week for vacation and thought I might try going to a Household Registration Office with my US birth certificate, my mom’s wedding certificate and her parents’ death certificates which would show a tree of date of births, locations and names (English for me, my mom, romanized Chinese for my grandparents and great grandparents).

Any other suggestions/feedback?


Get her birth certificate from the hospital she was born in


I haven’t done this myself, but my understanding is that the US documents should be (or must be) “authenticated” before the HHR office can accept them as authentic.

There seem to be various ways of getting the documents “authenticated”, but one way that was reported to work is:

  1. Get the TECO office in the USA, responsible for the state that issued the US document, to authenticate the document as an authentic US document.

  2. Take the TECO-authenticated US documents to the BOCA in Taiwan, and get them authenticated again. The Taiwanese BOCA authenticates that the US documents have been authenticated by a TECO office.

  3. Take the TECO-authenticated and BOCA-authenticated US documents to a English-Chinese translation and notarization office in Taiwan, get the documents translated from English to Chinese, and have the notary officer notarize the documents as being a (correct) Chinese-language translation of the English-language documents.

  4. Finally, having the TECO-authenticated, BOCA-authenticated, Chinese-translated, and notarized-in-Taiwan documents, you can present the documents to the HHR office in Taiwan and they should accept them, as they are now able to verify the notarization and able to read the Chinese-language translation.

The above procedures probably cannot be completed before you leave. My understanding is that the HHR office will not accept your non-authenticated, non-translated, non-notarized US documents as-is, but it might be worth a try anyway. If you do try, please report back with your results, as it could be useful to know if the HHR office does, in practice, accept US documents as-is.

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Thank you for your very prompt and thorough reply! That sounds like a lot of work but it’s somewhat encouraging that you think this is doable without having any ROC-issued documents and only US-issued documents with romanized Chinese names. I think I will go to the HHR office and try, and if it doesn’t work, at least I’ll hopefully be able to thoroughly understand/confirm the requirements.

Question: Does it matter which HHR office I go to? My mother was born in Taipei but I believe she and her family lived in Hsinchu most recently.

I think getting your mother’s birth certificate is also a good idea, as was recommended above.

With your mother’s birth certificate (from Taiwan), you can prove that your mother exists as a Taiwanese citizen (with HHR). Then:

You might need a US certificate of naturalization for your mother, to prove that your mother’s chosen English name corresponds to her original romanized Chinese-language name. This proves that all subsequent documents with your mother’s chosen English name correspond to the romanized Chinese-language name, with the Chinese-language name being on your mother’s Taiwanese birth certificate.

Next, with your mother’s US marriage certificate, you can prove that your mother married.

With your US birth certificate, you can prove the relationship between you and your mother. Combined with your mother’s marriage certificate, this also proves the legal family relationship since you were born after your mother was married.

In my understanding, all of the HHR offices should have digital access to all HHR data.

It’s not clear to me exactly what your goal is at the HHR office, but I guess that for your NWOHR passport application you need some documents from the HHR office concerning your mother. My guess is that the above-listed documents are probably a good start to proving your family relationship to the HHR in order to receive the documents.

However, since your mother is still alive, the HHR office may want her to go to the HHR office instead of you. For you to have access to her HHR documents, it might also be required for you to have a “power of attorney” statement from your mother authorizing you to be her legal representative. You can see some forms here: Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China(Taiwan)-Application Forms .

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The issue is that my mother’s US Naturalization certificate only has her English name, not her romanized Chinese name. I recall that my mother got her English name when she was baptized in Taiwan, so perhaps there’s a possibility that the ROC has documents/records of her with her English name? If so, that would make things substantially easier…

Great, that makes thing substantially simpler.

Yes, my thinking was that I needed HHR documents so that my mom could re-apply for a Taiwanese passport which then would then allow me to do the same.

Yes, I can look into that but again since she doesn’t have any ID showing her Chinese name any power of attorney would only give me power of attorney via the individual named by her English name. My hope is that the in this first HHR office visit they could confirm they found the HHR and exactly what requirements are needed for me to return and actually take receipt of said registration documents.

Hm, that is interesting, and different than my case. In my case, my father’s naturalization certificate has his romanized Chinese name, which matches the romanized name in his ROC passport.

Since your mother’s name on the US naturalization certificate is a different name than her romanized Chinese name, I assume that the she had to show some kind of Taiwanese document to the US officer in order to get that name on the naturalization certificate. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, would seem to be to find that Taiwanese document that was presumably presented at the time of US naturalization.

One possibility may be that somehow your mother’s currently-adopted English name (not the romanized Chinese name) was the English name on the Taiwanese passport (because the passport has entries for both the Chinese name and the English name).

That would make sense, then, if that passport was then presented to the US naturalization officer, who then used that English name from the passport on the US naturalization certificate. This would then mean, unfortunately, that the only link proving the connection between the Chinese name and the different English name would be the old Taiwanese passport, which you said your mother no longer has.

But there must be records of that old passport somewhere. Maybe this might be a starting point: Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China(Taiwan)-Applying for Past Passport Records .


That’s an interesting possibility and if true, might make things a bit simpler! Thanks for sharing!

Update on recent visits to the Taipei Daan Household Registration Office and BOCA.

The household registration office said that I had to present Taiwan/ROC issued IDs or documentation of which I have none. I thought that my grandfather’s US death certificate with his romanized Chinese name could be used but they said they don’t accept foreign issue documents (which is obviously not true to some extent as children born abroad are eligible for citizenship based solely on the foreign issue birth certificate). They told me to try BOCA.

At BOCA, I asked to see if they could lookup old passports, perhaps for my mother but they said they didn’t have records earlier than the 1980s. They told me to try the SF TECO because that’s where all the documents I have were issued (death, marriage and birth certificates).

I don’t have any ROC/Taiwan issued documents or ID and they seem unwilling to go off a family tree composed of US documents which state their place of birth ad Taiwan.

We’ll see how my visit to TECO goes…


They’re sending you on a wild goose chase. All TECO will do is forward your requests to the HHRO.

It would probably help if your mother could find her ID number… at least you could start pulling records with that.

Then you need to find the link between your mother’s names

I’m not sure how privacy laws etc work in the US but could you place a freedom of information request or request a search of the archives of the documents your mother provided when she naturalised? Surely everything you need would be in her US citizenship application



do you know where she was baptized? if so, the church might have some record, which might be a supporting document.


No. Foreign birth certificates and other documents first need to be authenticated and certified by the TECO office in the jurisdiction where it was issued. Obviously a household registration office in Taiwan isn’t going to know whether your foreign-issued document is valid.

Also, once the documents are authenticated, they don’t go straight to the HHR office. You need to first deal with the TECO office where you live overseas. They are the ones who will decide whether you are Taiwanese, since you were born overseas. If you are able to prove your Taiwanese citizenship to them, THEN they will issue you a NWOHR passport.

Once you enter Taiwan on that passport and satisfy all requirements, the National Immigration Agency will issue you a piece of paper called 定居證 which you must take to your household registration office to exchange for your ID.

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op’s mother could request retuen of the original documents submitted for her green card. there might be original birth certificate and hukou.


I have filed a freedom of information request for my mom’s immigration documents. Let’s hope something is found!


I understand that that the HHR office wouldn’t accept the US documents as is but they didn’t even suggest getting them authenticated and translated. That’s why I took away that they didn’t care about them. But perhaps they didn’t look at them closely enough or couldn’t read English well enoi to understand them. I did have a fluent Chinese friend there assisting and translating for me. But I will go to TECO to have the documents and authenticated and translated and see where that leads.

They wouldn’t know, because they are not the ones who receive your documents. The NIA receives them.

The only document the Household Registration Office receives from you is your 定居證, which the NIA will issue to you.

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I have her sisters baptismal record which states her English name, date of birth, baptismal date and her parents romanized Chinese names. Annoyingly it doesn’t have anyone’s name in actual Chinese. I tried looking up the address on Google and Google Street view (Guang Fu Lu no. 666, Hsinchu) but can’t find any church being there.

I’ve thought we are talking on documents op needs to get mothers hhr transcript or something from hhr office.