I am a U.S. citizen married to a Taiwan/U.S. dual citizen with a U.S. marriage certificate

We are retired and plan on moving to Taiwan soon. What do we have to do for me to get dual Taiwan/US citizenship and what forms or reports do we need? How long will this take? We want to buy a house or condo. Should we wait until I have dual citizenship?

Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

What you are most likely looking for is permanent residency.


@EddyBear001, welcome and congratulations on smart decision to come to Taiwan to retire.
Does your Taiwanese wife still hold ROC passport?
If yes, then that is the easier path.
Off the top of my head you will need these 2 important documents and maybe more:

  1. proof of marriage to Taiwan wife
  2. criminal background check

All documents must be translated into Chinese and sent to nearest TECO office (quasi-consulate) in US for authentication.

Do the criminal background check at the very end before you finally move to Taiwan, as it only is good for 3 months since its printing date.

If she has ROC passport, then she has a bunch of work to do in Taiwan filling out documents, etc.
If all is okay, you’ll receive an ARC with “spousal visa”, giving you open work rights, etc.

You would Not want ROC citizenship, as you must then give up US citizenship.

Others will chime in with thoughts.
I’m sure you have tons of questions.

What city will you come to retire in?

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Thanks for the reply, but I do not think I qualify for any of the chosen
specialities, and I have had all of the working years I need. We are retired and just like to travel, explore and SCUBA dive on this side of the world.

Thank you for your reply KHHville. We plan on moving to Taipei. My wife does have a ROC passport and a US passport. She has a household registration also. Neither of us are interested in working, although we frequently do voluntary work. I can not give up my US citizenship without seriously affecting my retirement checks and world wide medical insurance that Uncle Sam pays for. I want to buy a house or condo, open check/savings accounts, get a local credit card, get local auto and motorcycle insurance, and not go thru all of the reporting we now have to go thru living in Bangkok (which is getting worse).

you will Not have to give up US citizenship to reside in Taiwan.
your ARC with “spousal visa” is like a greencard. It allows her to put you onto National Health Insurance here in Taiwan (U$3 teeth cleaning, yeah!).
You can buy apartment (for some reason they call them “apartment” for what US considers to be a “condo”) under your name or hers after getting ARC.
You can open bank accounts (Taiwan doesn’t use “checks”) with ARC.
You can get auto and motorcycle licenses with ARC (after passing English test, driving test). If you are lucky and your state has reciprocal agreement with ROC on licenses, you will not need to do the tests (not all 50 states have it.).

With your wife’s household registration, everything will actually go very smoothly.

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Sorry to be a wet blanket but when you are dealing with Taiwanese bureaucracy, nothing will ever go smoothly. I am in exactly the same situation, my wife has a Taiwanese passport and household registration, and despite two visits to TECRO in New York and several phone calls, there are still information gaps that maybe someone here can help with.

You will also need a health appraisal on a form provided, including an x-ray for TB and a syphilis test. Results must be in a sealed envelope with doctors signature over the seal. This has to be sent to the Washington TECRO along with the FBI report. There is a form that must be sent with these submissions and I believe you also have to send $15 per item, a photocopy of your passport and a stamped self-addressed envelope. I’m still trying to confirm all of this if there is anything else. I don’t know if I have to apply for a visa online before sending these or after. NY TECRO is somewhat frustrating to deal with, minus the somewhat. There is also confusion about whether I’m supposed to include a photocopy of the documents to save the overworked bureaucrats from have to make copies themselves. To do that I would have to break the seal on the documents which would render them invalid. Better get used to this kind of logic if moving to Taiwan.

And there’s more. We were married in Taiwan and have a Taiwanese marriage certificate in Chinese plus a notarized English translation but NY TECRO told us we need to provide a US marriage certificate for God knows what reason. So now we have to get married again here and at my age I’m not sure about another honeymoon.

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I thoight it would be illegal to get married twice, even if to the same person (without having divorced them first)?

You don’t need to do online visa application, before you ask for document authentication to TECRO. Usually, all the documents should be authenticated by TECO for the area where the document was issued.

If your health check was issued in the service area of the Washington TECRO, you send it to them, but if in other area, you send it to the TECO in the area.

don’t you confuse it with the requirement from the US?

I think what you need is an affidavit.

Thank you Tando. I just found out that the health check does need to go to my local TECO in New York although they left my wife with the impression that it had to go to Washington.

The FBI report does have to go to Washington TECRO but the instructions they emailed to me are confusing (I called but they don’t pick up the phone at 2:00pm on a weekday and don’t have an answering machine). I don’t know if I receive it from the FBI and mail it to TECRO with the payment and validation form or if I have to ask the FBI to send it directly to TECRO in which case I would have to send the payment and form separately.

I don’t know if it’s illegal to be married to someone you are already married to. Again, this is my wife telling me what TECO told her that we have to get a marriage certificate from the US even though we had a civil marriage in Taiwan 28 years ago and my name is already in her family registry. The affidavit is a great suggestion though and I will try that because the petty officials at my town hall are even worse than those at TECO. Only problem is the AIT is in Taiwan and we are still here. Anyway, thanks very much for your help.

there could be many miscommunication…

didn’t you get an affidavit when she registered the marriage to her family registry?

If you’re already in her HHR, you should call the NIA directly in Taiwan and see what they say. Ask if you can switch from a visa-exempt or potentially a visitor visa directly to an ARC using your wife’s HHR and ID card.

I believe the US marriage certificate is only needed for applying for a resident visa from TECO in the US, which you may not need if you can apply for an ARC directly.

Also FWIW the TECO in DC seems much nicer to deal with than the one in NYC. Or at least it was a few years ago when I went through this rigamarole.

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