I got my feet x-rayed before I got my household registration. And now knowing that my feet aren’t flat enough, I’m not going to get my household registration until Jan 1 of the year I turn 37 (which is 2022 for me). At that point I’m exempt from the draft. So I’ll just stay on my TARC for now, unless having my full citizenship is worth me going through the limited 12-day boot camp (which I’m actually not totally against, might be fun to meet some locals, but my wife may kill me).
Have your brother goto any 三軍醫院 like this one in Songshan District in Taipei - Goto the “bone doctor” 骨科 and tell them you want your feet to get x-rayed for see if you qualify for being exempt. Have the doctor eye-ball your feet first…so you don’t waste the time if its obviously not flat enough. Anyways, once you get the x-ray, the doctor will then compute some angle on the x-ray and if the angle is right he will issue you an official report that you can take to the HHR office I guess. (my feet were flat enough so I was isn’t a report. so I also don’t know how long its valid for, but I don’t think it would expire?)
Thanks for being so detailed, maybe I’m wrong…maybe the translation does have to be somehow authenticated or notarized? My memory is now getting fuzzy… Can someone else vouch?
I may have accidentally avoided this problem, because I had my birth certificate translated and the translation notarized in the US, and then TECO authenticated the notary of the translation. For my 1st daughter’s birth cert, I had it translated and notarized in TW (so maybe the notary on her’s didn’t need to be authenticated since it was done in TW…) See images below:
My translated BC (on the bottom left, I signed my English name, printed my English name, and signed my Chinese name (not sure if this matters):
Yep, you just need their Signature stamp, and I think 2 IDs (national ID and their TW health insurance card). You can fill out a POA form right on the spot there. Or maybe you can have one done through TECO before you arrive. I’m unsure if there is a way to get 1 in the US beforehand or online. Sorry, and one else know?
Yes, NHI has a day count on you. So if you leave the country for 3 days, you’ll have to stay an extra 3 days to fulfill that day requirement, which I think is 180 days. My wife and oldest were also able to apply for their NHI when they fulfilled the 180-day requirement starting from the day their ARC was issued. There is a monthly fee, and if you are the oldest son, you will also be paying for your parents haha. But I think its a pay for 4 or 5 people and get the rest free. I think its 750NT or something per person per month? Peanuts compared to the USA…
I believe you can pause it for up to 6 months, I think someone also said that as well.
Ya, I tried to be over-prepared, but honestly it didn’t help me much…if just helped me give one less vial of blood for testing. And I was afraid the NIA wasn’t going to accept it my test results, but they did. Overall, I haven’t had any use for it yet.
Yes, my sister did all 3 at the same time. The national ID exam requires more stuff, but all can be done simultaneously. Forgot how much to be honest…sorry I don’t think its more than 800NT per person if even?
My brother in law was NOT able to get a TW license based on his NC license with the affidavit from AIT. Sorry my original post was unclear, from what I’m told, not all states DL’s are reciprocal in Taiwan, but only for ARC holders. So he has to take the tests to get a scooter or car license. TARC or National ID holders can freely get it exchanged, or at least my sister and I were…go figure.
I think one other reason is that you may not be able to rent those “shared” scooter/car services like WeMo, iRent, GoShare. But I haven’t tried it with the int’l driver permit yet. But I haven’t had the need, youbike is plenty enough for me in Taipei. I’ve driven in Taipei and don’t really care to do it that much.
Yes she’d have to renounce her US citizenship. I’m not sure on the duration that she’d have to stay. We don’t plan to have her renounce US citizenship to gain TW citizenship. Having the JFRV is pretty much everything except voting I think. Good enough for us.
I believe you just have to be in the country for 180-days/6 months to get it, whether it be on a ARC/TARC/National ID. They don’t have to be consecutive either. Reminder, once you get your National ID after your TARC, you need to get an updated TW Passport and NHI Card. Probably need to update your bank account information too.
Thanks for the comment on the flat footed process. I think he might not be flat footed enough, as it sounds like it’s pretty strict. So he’ll probably go with the overseas stamp situation.
Just curious how this might work in practice. For example, I got my ID directly without a TARC as I wasn’t under 20 at the time. Since then I haven’t gotten my registration canceled since I’ve been back at least once every two years. Do you think I could enroll in NHI? Or would I need to actually be in the country for a full six months? I did live there for a while after I got the ID but never registered as healthcare is rather cheap anyway.
So I recall you said her JFRV was initially issued for a 1-year term. Do you know if the subsequent renewals are also for 1-year terms or can they be longer? Seems a bit of a hassle to have to remember to update her JFRV every once in a while (as I’m guessing accidentally overstaying on the JFRV probably carries some sort of penalty) but that does still seem better than going through the whole renunciation process.
Could I ask if you guys just decided to not have health insurance for the first 180 days you were in Taiwan? Or did you purchase some sort of local private insurance and/or had travel insurance or US insurance that covered you while you were in Taiwan? We’re healthy, but the idea of just going without insurance is still scary, so would be interested in what people tend to do while going through this process.
Oh also, does anyone here have insights on what the Taiwan tax obligations are? I understand the US has a worldwide taxation system and therefore still requires US persons living abroad to file and pay US taxes if their income is over a certain exempted amount, but does anyone know if Taiwan taxes US-sourced income? For example, let’s say you’re not yet working in Taiwan, but in order to pay expenses there, you continue to receive passive income from the US such as rental income, royalties, dividends, interest, etc. – does Taiwan have a claim to tax you on those after you’ve acquired the TARC and/or the National ID?
Many thanks @scrubolio for sharing the notarization and translation language! I anticipate they will be very handy for TECO documents.
yes, initial 1 year term then after that it can be up to 3 years max I think. But it’s also based upon the validity of your TARC. So I got a 3 year TARC, my wife when she went to renew her ARC was only allowed to get an additional 2 years up until the expiration of my TARC. Once I get my TW national ID, I believe she will be able to renew it for 3 years.
We still had insurance in the US. We self reported to our insurance the receipts and other documentation of the medical expenses that we had here. We didn’t even have to have them translated which was nice. They break it down for you and reimburse you for what they think is appropriate. We had the chance to dispute if we didn’t feel that it was adequate, but we were just happy to get money back. Although, your typical medical bill here is pretty cheap comparatively even if out of pocket (unless you have some major surgery/operation I guess). Medications are ridiculously cheap, even without the insurance. But, I’m not a good person to ask, I’ve never been afraid of not carrying insurance.
no idea. but I haven’t heard of anything where TW would have a claim on your US income. someone else may know better. I think if you have income in TW, the first 105,000 USD is exempt from US taxation? Good question though, I haven’t even thought about paying taxes in TW.
My impression from other threads is that once you have been in Taiwan for a certain number of days you become liable for taxes on income earned while working in Taiwan, even if from a foreign source. I am trying to figure out the details myself and will eventually need to talk to an accountant in Taiwan.
Submitted the TARC application to TECO last week, so just adding a data point here that this is still doable from the US. TECO estimates it will take about a month because they send it to Taiwan to adjudicate. In case this helps anyone, the TARC application package included:
Signed application form
A copy of US passport and a copy of the Taiwan passport
TECO-authenticated birth certificate in English plus a TECO-authenticated Chinese translation
TECRO-authenticated FBI Identity Summary in English plus a TECO-authenticated Chinese translation
TECO-authenticated health check form
A copy of parents’ National IDs
Application fee of $45 in cash
Will report back once the results are in!
Turning now to the spouse visa application and assuming they grant one at all in light of COVID-19 restrictions, does anyone have insight on whether it’d be better to apply for a Visitor Visa or a Residence Visa for the spouse to enter Taiwan? I understand that relying on a landing visa or using the visa-exempt entry that’s normally available to US citizens socially to visit Taiwan does NOT work for the spouse, because neither of those are convertible to an “ARC” (Alien Resident Certificate, plus those routes are suspended due to Covid-19 anyway). The cost of either a Visitor Visa or a Resident Visa appears to be the same at $160 for US passport holders. However, it seems like a Visitor Visa has fewer documentation requirements than a Resident Visa. And at least according to this immigration guidance as well as the experience of @scrubolio above, it seems like a Visitor Visa for the spouse is convertible to an ARC after arrival in Taiwan. So am I missing something – does anyone here know why one would bother applying for the longer-stay Resident Visa instead of the shorter-stay Visitor Visa just to enter Taiwan?
Separately, does anyone holding a US passport have recent experience during Covid-19 of applying for a “special entry permit” to visit family in Taiwan? I’m wondering if this is this an additional permit needed on top of the Visitor Visa or Resident Visa (separate application, extra fees?), or is a special entry permit granted if they grant the visa? Would be interested to hear what the application process was.
when you convert a visitor visa to an ARC, you should provide the documents you didn’t need for a visitor visa, and you should pay the fee to get a resident visa in addition to the fee for an ARC. I guess people choose to do this because doing health check in Taiwan is easier and cheaper.
Where did you access the documents for the TARC application form and the health check form?
This NIA page lists the TARC application requirements in Chinese and then the forms are provided on the bottom of the page in various downloadable formats. “中華民國臺灣地區入境居留定居申請書” is the TARC application form, and the one right below it is a filled-out sample. “健康證明應檢查項目(乙表)” is the health check form. One very helpful tip from a prior commenter here is that the health check form must be in a sealed envelope in order to be submitted for authentication, with an office stamp added on the sealed part of the envelope. This measure is supposed to help TECO confirm that the health check form was not altered after the doctor signed and stamped it.
Did you have the get the Chinese Translation for birth certificate notarized before getting it authenticated?
No, it turns out. I did it just in case and had the notarized version in my back pocket, but I first showed them the non-notarized version and they accepted it after applying their own stamp on the bottom of the page. The stamp’s text in Chinese stated that the signer confirms that the Chinese translation is consistent with the English original and it provided a space to sign and date (本人 [SIGNER’S NAME] 聲明上述中文譯本與英文原件文義相符). It also indicated that the signer was signing in person (本人親簽). As a result, the TECO authentication page for the Chinese translation of the birth certificate says this in English: “This is to certify that the signature of [SIGNER’S NAME] is authentic” and in Chinese on the bottom: "本文件依據 “外交部及駐外館處文件證明條例"驗證申請人聲名翻譯屬實之親簽. 僅證明簽字屬實, 內容不在證明之例.”
They did not ask if I translated it myself. I suppose they just need the signer applicant to stand behind the accuracy of the translation, so I wondered what would’ve happened if the applicant is obvious to them that they do not speak/read/write Chinese or if the application is submitted by a proxy. I also wondered what would have happened if the applicant were to mail the application in or otherwise could not show up in person to sign in front of them. In those cases, I would think having it pre-notarized might be necessary and perhaps the authentication language would then be different, like it might say instead that they authenticated the signature seal of the notary public.
I have read that parent’s marriage certificate (registered in Taiwan) is also needed, including parent’s household registration. Are these not required for this application?
Not so far. In addition to the link I sent above for the general application requirements, there is also this this supplementary detailed requirement chart based on the exact category you’re applying under. The first 4 categories, which I imagine are the most common, do not seem to spell out an exact requirement for a marriage certificate, so long as the applicant can show lineage relationship (足資證明親屬關係文件). The lineage connection, I believe, could be established by the birth certificate showing the parents’ names, along with the translation showing their names in Chinese, so I suppose if the parents’ names are fairly standard and consistent throughout their identity documents, then something additional like the household registration or National ID or Taiwan passports that show the parents’ names in both languages should suffice.
That said, NIA could still come back and ask for that so if the parents’ marriage certificate is available in your case, it can’t hurt.
There also appears to be a difference between what we in English discussions simply refer to as the “household registration” document. There’s the 戶口名簿 versus the 戶籍謄本, with the latter I sometimes see being referred to as the “household registration transcript” and required to have been issued within a 3-month window. I imagine this requirement might not pose undue hardship on an applicant submitting the application from inside Taiwan or if the applicant has relatives inside Taiwan assisting, but with my limited research capability, I could not figure out a way for this transcript to be issued electronically or mailed to someone outside Taiwan, especially during Covid. The original 戶口名簿 should technically be acceptable whenever it was issued (they would examine the original and return it to you on the spot and take its copy), and I believe I read about a law passed around 2014 actually replacing the concept of the 戶籍謄本 with the 戶口名簿 that is issued after the new law is passed, but there are nuances that I am sure I did not understand and one could, in any event, bypass all this potential headache by bringing the parents’ original National IDs. The parents’ original Taiwan passports might in theory also work, but for whatever reason, that is not as conveniently spelled out as an option in the supplementary chart.
Do the copies of the US Passports/parent’s national ID’s have to be notarized too?
The applicant’s US Passport copy did not have to be notarized or authenticated, although the original US Passport was shown to them in person for examination upon submitting the application. Good question, and I don’t know why, since they say documents issued outside of Taiwan need to be authenticated. My best guess is that their authentication process does not accommodate a passport, because the authentication process actually makes permanent changes to a document. For example, the original birth certificate after authentication and notarization of the translation are permanently altered and then stapled together – TECO applies a seal that spans the TECO-issued document itself and the original birth certificate (for a sample, see those half seals on documents that scrubolio shared above). I think the idea is that a person could always apply for a replacement birth certificate from the Department of Health of their birth state if necessary so this particular original birth certificate permanently becomes a TECO-linked document. That probably couldn’t work with an original US Passport, and they also probably couldn’t solely authenticate or notarize the copy of it without attaching the original. Just my guess. They could theoretically apply some sort of stamp like the translation where they make you certify that you photocopied the original without alterations but maybe they figured they could avoid that by examining the original passport and photocopying it themselves, plus the US Passport seems the most peripherally related document in the entire application package.
The parents’ National IDs were issued in Taiwan so no need to authenticate because NIA could presumably just check internally, and no need to notarize either presumably due to no need for a translation. Like the applicant’s US passport, they examined the originals of the IDs, returned them, and photocopied them to include in the TARC application to be sent to Taiwan.
It sounds like you applied physically at a TECO office in the states. If you don’t mind, which office was open for you to go in and show documents? For some reason I thought they were all closed, and only accepting mail applications, due to COVID.