Moving family to Taiwan and Applying for Household Registration

Hello Forumosa,

I’ve lived in Taiwan for around 2 years almost 10 years ago and have been back every year since. My wife and I always ask ourselves why we don’t move there whenever we go. Just so happens that we have a good chance to move back and are trying to set everything up. Been learning a lot from reading previous posts but hope someone can help answer some questions that I have.

My circumstances:

  1. Born in the US
  2. Parents both immigrated from Taiwan to the US
  3. As of 2019, I will be 34 (born in 1985 or TW Year 74 I think)
  4. Have a wife (US citizen), a 10-month old, and are expecting a newborn come Oct 2019

My plan:

  1. Apply for my TW Passport
  2. Arrive in TW and apply for residency and TARC
  3. Apply for JFRVs for wife and kids
  4. Give birth to our 2nd child in TW and take advantage of the “zuo yuezi” facilities there
  5. Stay in TW for 365 days straight or 270 days per year for 2 years, to get household registration


  1. If I leave every 4 months will I still be subject to the military draft? I read that as long as I stay over 183 days in a year I will be subject to the draft.
  2. If I am subject to the draft, as I will have 2 children under the age of 2, will I be able to apply for the minimal 12-day service? Is there a steadfast rule? I’m ok with serving 12-days, but I’d prefer not to leave my wife and 2 kids for longer than that.
  3. Can my wife and kids even apply for a JFRV if I don’t have household registration?
  4. Can my wife work with this JFRV?
  5. In order to get household registration, I need to stay 365 days straight or 260 days per year for 2 years, now is this in a calendar year? or does the “year” start upon my first date of entry into TW?

Thanks for all the help, we’re both pumped to be living in TW by year’s end.


Welcome to forumosa.
Your journey to ever-lasting joy has just begun.


If you turn 35 you are no longer eligible for the draft, so if you can wait a bit…

As hot HHR this could be tough if you don’t have a relative who owns a house because a lot of landlords (like 90%+) won’t allow a tenant to register unless he’s a long term tenant. I think if you lived 4 years or more they will generally soften their stance. There’s ways to force this because the rule is you are supposed to be living wherever you are registered to, however (this is what the HHR office says) this will severely damage your relationship to your landlord and they may not allow renewals. So always work with the landlord on this issue…

I don’t know the rule to avoid conscription but now the time is so short it may not be bad to bite the bullet and do it, as this is the only time you could be a gun nut in Taiwan without going to jail (even if military feels like jail). You likely won’t be doing any paperwork details if you are anything like me (I did military and I can’t write in Chinese). A lot of employers won’t hire you either unless you completed military by the way.

Thanks for the responses.

Luckily, I do have relatives still in TW so I could use their place for my HHR. Good call on the landlord issue though, thanks!

In all my research I read that the military service ends at age 36, and then after even more digging, the LAST year is the year you turn 36, so “technically” its the year you turn 37 that your scott free. Man there’s a lot of paperwork to sort out haha!

I think now military is only 12 months (it was much longer when I did mine and it sucks, my father being a retired brass helps a little). But I don’t know how the rules have changed…

As for conscription

Article 3 of Conscription Regulations for Naturalized Aliens & Returning Overseas Chinese says

A draftee-to-be in the status of an Overseas Chinese having not established household registration in the Republic of China previously shall be subject to conscription enlistment according to law upon expiry of one-year period beginning the day next to his initial household registration following his return to the Republic of China.

To avoid military service, you have to leave every four months (yes, until you turn 37… or the end of the year that you turn 36 in… can’t remember). After checking in at the airport, you go to the immigration counter, same one you can apply for eGate at I’m pretty sure, and they stamp your passport. You then go through security and immigration, and you’re set.
The postnatal care facilities aren’t covered by NHI, that I’ve heard of anyway. Some women opt to just chill at home instead, and there are even companies who cook and deliver the special meals if your wife wants that. But if she wants the peace, quiet and care provided there, do it! There are some really swanky ones.
Good luck with the move!

Giving birth is incredibly expensive in the states anyways. Even without insurance the cost here is much lower.

If you make a white collar US salary and give birth in US youre more than fine financially.

If you make a white collar TW salary most locals can’t afford a baby without a lot of financial help from Mom and Dad or live with them. Its a big problem in Taiwan for this professional working generation.

If you make a US salary and have baby in Taiwan…Youre all set.

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In regards to the Military Draft, I did the same thing and left TW every 4 months. Did it for a few years, was a nice excuse for vacation. You need to go to your local Hukou’s military office at the city hall and fill out some forms. Then get a military waiver stamp each time before you leave Taiwan.

Some landlords will allow a Hukou but you’d have to pay more in rent since they now need to report this rental income as earnings. Im guessing the rent could be 20-30%+ more as thats likely the rate they will be taxed on the rent.

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It’s more than just taxes…

A lot of landlords don’t allow new tenants houkou because they don’t know who you are, and what if you move out, default, or whatever and you don’t move your houkou out (you can’t just cancel a houkou but rather you move them. The only way to really cancel it is if you stay out of TW for more than 2 years). What happens is the landlord ends up getting visits from either debt collectors, or gets mail from courts, etc. and they don’t like trouble (most Chinese people are this way). So I think they gotta know you a little bit before they let you do that… this applies to business registration too. The landlord usually won’t have a problem if they known you for a while, or if you REALLY have to (because they found out you were running a business without a license and all)

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if you have never had a hukou, I think you can avoid it by being on TARC till January of the preceding year you become 36 yo.

I have a Hukou, good to know though.

Yes. As long as you are a citizen and you go through the process to register yourself here theough above mentioned household means, she has open work rights. Arguably the most open work rights a foreigner can have as she is tied to you and can do what you do; whereas even aprc holders are independent and have limitations on the work a foreigner is allowed to do. But getting the jfrv for a foreiger with a local would be more like she can be added to your family tree. Aprc holders can get a jfrv for their spouses but doubt that jfrv allows the same freedoms one does to a local as the aprc holder themself doesnt have the rights (due to no taiwan id) nor household regiatration.

What are the work limitations of APRC holders who are not married to a Taiwanese citizen?

Several of these links didn’t work for me for some reason, I have updated them below marked with an asterisk (Thanks @tando):

National Conscription Agency, Ministry of the Interior


*Act Of Military Service System

*Enforcement Statute for Substitute Services

*Regulations for Exit of Draftees

*Punishment Act for Violation to Military Service System

*Conscription Regulations for Naturalized Aliens and Returning Overseas Chinese


*常備役體位因家庭因素及替代役體位服補充兵役辦法 (“alternate” (shorter) service 12 days a conscript)

國家體育競技代表隊服補充兵役辦法 (“alternate” (shorter) service for athletes I think)

國際組織技能競賽國家代表隊服補充兵役辦法 (“alternate” (shorter) service for people with “skills” I think)

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@bluejasn @Britt

In regards to leaving every 4 months: so every time you leave you need to goto your local Hukou’s military office at city hall to fill out forms AND check-in at the immigration counter (egate counter) is that right? Do you mind me asking what year you guys were born? I heard about leaving every 4 months before too, but couldn’t find any law specifically stating this 4 month rule. And it seems that if you are born in 1984 and prior, the laws are different for males born 1985 and later.



Article 4
The expiry of one-year period set forth in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the preceding article shall meet any of the following requirements:
1.Having continually resided for one year in full.
2.Having resided for three times of four months period minimum each in case a draftee-to-be born in the year before 1984.
3.Having resided for up to 183 days minimum in accumulation during the period of January 1~December 31 of every year for two years in case a draftee-to-be born in the year after 1984.
In case of a draftee-to-be as an Overseas Chinese returning for schooling, the period conforming to the requirements of deferred enlistment shall not be counted into the period of residence.

I was born 1980.
My Hukou was in Taichung.
Prior to me leaving every 4 months I had to go down to Taichung to their Military Affairs Office? (Not sure if name is right). And fill out a form/bring TW passport which they stamped. If you miss 3 times in a 1 yr period you will get drafted. Though It seems its not possible to miss 3 times a year. Since 4 months x 3 =12 months.

Yes if you are born after 1984 the laws are different.

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Yes its 37 not 36. I almost made the same mistake as everyone said 36.