Moving family to Taiwan (NWOHR + US spouse/child): Qs about citizenship & HHR for entire family

Hoping to enlist advice on my situation from knowledgeable folks here.

My situation is:

  1. I am a US citizen/passport holder by birth
  2. I have an NWOHR passport (expired and needs renewal but I have one)
  3. My spouse is a naturalized US citizen who was born in China but relinquished her PRC citizenship when she naturalized in the US; her parents (also now naturalized US citizens with no present PRC citizenship) and their parents before that were all born in China (no known family tree in Taiwan, no current or prior family members in Taiwan)
  4. My child, who is under 20, is a US citizen by birth and currently holds no other passport
  5. Both my parents are very old and reside most of the time in the US; before COVID-19, they traveled to Taiwan at least every 2 years allowing them to maintain HHR
  6. My parents are my only remaining direct lineal family in Taiwan with HHR, although I have several uncles/aunts/cousins not in my direct lineage
  7. I can prove all blood relations / HHR via authenticated birth and marriage certificates, ROC passports, national ID cards, and HHR transcripts

We are considering moving back to Taiwan to raise our child for a period of years. I’d like to claim citizenship for myself, my child, and if possible also pursue citizenship for my spouse. We would likely register our HHR, at least initially, at the same address that my parents are registered at. I’m already >40 so probably too old for military conscription

Ideally, we hope to solve for:

  1. Being able to travel to Taiwan together at the same time (same flight)
  2. Being able to start our respective residency requirements around the same time
  3. Being able to minimize the duration for each person to acquire Taiwan citizenship

I wanted to sanity check my understanding of our options with this group. I broke out each of our situations individually and would be very grateful for any analysis/feedback.

My status:

(A) My understanding is: I can claim Taiwan citizenship WITHOUT renouncing US citizenship due to my parent’s current citizenship/HHR status. True? (i.e. re: not needing to renounce US citizenship) (Of course, I’ll need to fulfill the requirements of getting a TARC, residency requirement, and applying for a national ID card.)

(B) While I wish them a very long life, my parents are quite old…and in the sad event that they were to pass before I can accomplish (A), my understanding is I can actually still accomplish (A) as long as I have an HHR transcript that proves e.g. my father’s active HHR status on the date of my birth. True? (again, re: not needing to renounce US citizenship) And if true, is it also true that the other requirements re: TARC, residency, etc, remain substantially identical in this scenario as in (A)?

My child’s status:

© My understanding is: my child can claim citizenship by virtue of my parent’s (child’s grandparents) HHR status, as the grandparents both have current active HHR status and also had it on the date of my child’s birth. Hence, both path (A) and path (B) above would also be valid for my child; moreover, my child would not have to renounce US citizenship, either. Of course, my child would still need to procure an NWOHR passport first + TARC + fulfill residency requirement before I can apply for HHR/national ID for my child. Have I got all this correct?

(D) My understanding is: if we time the paperwork correctly, my child and I could both pursue citizenship in parallel, because we’d both be using my parent’s HHR status as the basis for claiming citizenship – and this would therefore allow us both to fulfill the residency requirement together, during the same calendar year, as well as acquire citizenship around the same time. Is this correct?

My spouse’s status:

(E) My spouse’s case seems harder. I assume there is no path for her, based on her past now-relinquished PRC citizenship, to acquire an NWOHR passport. True?

(F) If (E) is true and she has no current or prior family in Taiwan, her only path to Taiwan citizenship (I think) is through naturalization. Namely:

  1. Enter on a visa using her US passport (Visitor, Resident, or JFRV)
  2. Get an ARC
  3. After I become a citizen, apply to naturalize as an ROC national
  4. Fulfill residency requirement by residing in Taiwan for 3 more years (min 183 days / year)
  5. Apply for resident certificate
  6. Forfeit US citizenship(!)
  7. Convert to APRC
  8. Fulfill another residency requirement (min 1 continuous year)
  9. Apply for HHR/national ID card


(F)(1) Is this order of operations correct?

(F)(2) Is there no path to bypassing step 6 (forfeit US citizenship)…other than meeting one of the exceptions (e.g. “high-level professionals”)? I’m guessing my status as NWOHR, or even subsequently as a Taiwan citizen, would not open up such a path for her. Correct?

(F)(3) If my spouse does, in fact, get stuck at the “ARC” stage (since we wouldn’t renounce her US citizenship), would she still be allowed to utilize Taiwan’s national health insurance system? Or would her status as an ARC bar her from that, even though she’d be married to a citizen (i.e. after I claim it)?

I’ve spent hours reading through prior posts on this super helpful forum and have learned a great deal about the process of pursuing Taiwanese citizenship. But it’s a complex process (especially for my spouse’s situation), so would love any feedback/analysis you may have if you’re knowledgeable about these topics. Thanks so much.

Your status:
(A) yes, true
(B) yes, almost true

Almost true, but you cannot get an open work permit, which you can get in case (A). iirc.

You child’s status:
(D): yes, true

your spouse’s status:
I’m assuming she renounced her PRC nationality long time ago, and have not visited PRC for more than certain duration in past 4 years or something.
(E) yes, true
(F) basically true.
(F1) the order is slightly incorrect.
3 is after 4
if she naturalizes, 7 is not required.
(F2) no path, unless she is one of extraordinal foreigners, who are allowed naturalization without renouncing original nationality. Your NWOHR or her previous PRC nationality do nothing.
(F3) As far as she is on ARC, she still be allowed to utilize Taiwan’s national health insurance system.


Thanks so much for your feedback, @tando - I’ve read numerous of your other responses in other threads and have learned a lot from your posts.

1 Like