Here’s the story. I had lived in Taiwan for six years on a work ARC before swapping it for a marriage ARC in September. Then in October, I quit my job and moved back to the states. My wife quit hers a couple days ago and will join me. When I left Taiwan, I maintained NHI as my wife’s dependent through her work and she paid the premiums for me. I continue to have a valid ARC and both of us intend to maintain NHI for the time being. So I have had some form of ARC continuously for 6.5 years, held the marriage ARC for 5 months, and been away from Taiwan for 4 months.
Today, when she tried to move both our NHI plans to the district office, they refused to enroll me, saying I had not “lived in Taiwan for six months.” They saw that my current ARC was issued in September and stopped there. I think they’re wrong and forcing me to violate the NHI Act.
“在臺居留滿六個月” means having attained 6 months of residency in Taiwan. For me, this already happened in the year 2014. The six months refers to eligibility to enroll in the system. If it didn’t, and referred to an ongoing status, any foreigner flying out of Taiwan more than two times in any six month period would lose NHI. Once in the NHI system, there’s no getting out unless applying for withdrawal (and not coming back for at least six months) or losing the residency rights in the form of allowing the ARC to expire. Nowhere in the law is the logical absurdity that a foreigner who changes the purpose of his residency with NIA, or even simply renews his ARC while not employed, will automatically lose NHI coverage and need to wait another six months.