NWOHR passport: Frustrated with TECO LA

Hey all,

As an update to my last thread, I’ve been trying to apply for a NWOHR passport from TECO LA, but have run into nothing but difficulties:

  1. Marriage certificate
    My parents got married in Taiwan, and have an English certified copy of their marriage certificate, notorized and stamped by a court in Taiwan. When I talked to the employee downstairs, he said that this marriage certificate would not be valid for authentication, and that my parents should update their Hukou instead to “prove” their marriage. Doing so would require my parents to fly to Taiwan. I’m not sure how true this is. Because, if my parents instead had gotten married in the US, would TECO LA also require them to update their Hukou? This is my top issue and if anybody has insights into this, I need some help here.

  2. Birth certificate authentication
    The TECO website ( https://www.taiwanembassy.org/uslax_en/post/134.html ) states that authentication should take “5 working day to 1 month after processing a receipt”. My birth certificate has been sent in more than a month ago and it’s still not authenticated, and one person in line with me said that her papers haven’t been authenticated in more than 4 months. After talking to the employee downstairs, he informed me that the website is “incorrect” but did not offer to have the right person update it with a more correct ETA.

  3. Appointment system
    The person at the desk said that I should try booking an appointment online. The appointment system only shows 2 months, and anything beyond that, there are no appointments released. So instead of booking an appointment for the future, users must constantly check to see if appointments are released, which defeats the point of an appointment system.

  4. Attitude
    Overall, I would say that the employees here have a negative attitude. There are worse horror stories online ( https://www.yelp.com/biz/taipei-economic-and-cultural-office-los-angeles ) and I feel like this pushes people away from wanting to deal with the TW government. How can TW fix brain drain when the process of getting approved to move there is so frustrating?

As far as I know, if Taiwanese get married abroad, there is a deadline for registering their marriage in Taiwan, and maybe there is a fine for going over it? When I got married in Japan, I believe they said 30 days when I got the marriage certificate certified at the Taiwan representative office there.

I’m frustrated with them as well. I got my Gold Card approved but the last step which is the easiest (Passport Verification) seems to be the hardest with TECO-LA. Other TECO’s its a 5 minute process but the LA office is so slow.

I sent in my passport for verification via slow mail and been almost 4 weeks, just crickets…

I do not think its the Taiwan government, the Taiwan government portal for my Gold Card process was quick and efficient and if they needed additional documentation they asked for it via their portal. Very easy and quick process. The problem is dealing with corrupt Los Angeles people, I swear that county has gone down hill in the last 3 years…

Good luck.

if it makes you feel better, most consulates in LA (regardless of country) are the same.
give them a break, its a small office, that has to deal with like a 200,000 people requesting stuff. they are over worked,underpaid and have no incentive to improve.

Same thing for the London office. Min 25 working days to process a visa right now. Ridiculous

Hey izzy,

I understand that, but they could make so many small changes that would help everybody out, including reducing their own work.

For example:

  • They could open up the appointment system so that people can book appointments months in advance, rather than needing to constantly refresh the appointments page to check for an open slot. I would rather book an appointment 6 months in advance than need to keep checking the page.
    One person I talked to had to drive from San Diego to TECO LA to stand in the waitlist line (since it’s so difficult to get an appointment). If that person was only a little bit late and missed getting a wristband slot from TECO, he would have to drive back to LA again.

  • They could update their website to provide a more accurate ETA on when documents get authenticated. Instead of promising 5-30 days, they could say 120 days, for example. People get upset when you tell them X and it takes longer than X.

  • There could be clearer explanations on what marriage certificates need to be authenticated- I personally would expect that those notarized in Taiwan would NOT need to be authenticated.

  • Their PDFs are absolutely terrible. For example, one of the required documents for a passport is the Surname document, which is located here: https://www.roc-taiwan.org/uploads/sites/31/2015/09/925151571.pdf
    The document is UPSIDE DOWN, and is not vectorized; it’s a scan of a printed sheet of paper. This means the text on the document can’t be copied and pasted, and when printed, is blurry.

  • Inconsistent info on the website. For example, in the document authentication page ( https://www.roc-taiwan.org/uslax_en/post/6119.html ), it says:
    “TECO-LA only forward accepted and processed applications via Express Mail provided by USPS.”
    Yet, on the same webpage, there is contradictory info, where the cheaper Priority mail is “recommended,” implying that neither Express or Priority Mail is actually required:
    “We only accept USPS returns, and $28 Priority Express Mail is recommended.”

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i sympathize with your troubles, though i must tell you that for every suggestion you made someone will find fault.
you prefer to schedule 6 months in advance, someone else will complain that this is too long.
i can tell you as a foreigner living in Taiwan, getting a passport for my daughter took 4 months. my home country uses biometric passports that require a special printer, there is only 1 for all of Asia…
it happens to all of us, just need to be patient.

Sorry, what I mean is that it would be better to open appointments for the future, rather than artificially limiting the number of appointments and having people check the website constantly for an open slot. I’m not suggesting that all appointments should require 6 months of advanced notice, but at least having the ability to make a reservation for the future would be better than the current system, where it’s almost impossible to get a reservation.

TECO LA serves the states of Arizona and New Mexico as well. Can you imagine driving/flying from those states without an appointment, and trying to get in the waitlist line?

One other thing, this process is taking so long that if it takes any longer, I will miss my opportunity to do my military service.

od you want to do your military service, im sure you can fly here on your us passport and enlist :slight_smile:
no one will stop you.
somethings are just out of our control, you need to accept it and move forward.

Actually this is the crux of the issue, nobody can fly to Taiwan without a proper visa or entry/exit permit. So it would be impossible to fly to Taiwan on a US passport, without a separate visa. Given the delays at TECO, getting paperwork done for this is extremely slow and challenging.

Taiwan Visas and Entry Requirements - American Institute in Taiwan.

U.S. citizens seeking entry as tourists or visitors are required to present a valid passport that will remain valid for the period of intended stay. You must also possess a confirmed return or onward air ticket. As a U.S. passport holder, you will be allowed to enter Taiwan without a visa for up to ninety days if your passport is valid for more than 90 days. If your passport has less than 90 days of validity remaining, you will be able to enter Taiwan for a time equal to the expiration date of your passport. No extensions or changes of status are permitted.

This may work if you’re doing the 12 day conscription.

The AIT information is from before covid-19 restrictions. Taiwan was one of the first places to close their borders off to tourists and has remained shut for 2 years. US citizens are not allowed to enter, unless obtaining a visa in advance, which is difficult to do with how TECO is operating.

IATA, which airlines check before allowing passengers to fly, publishes its latest data here:
https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php

Published 09.05.2022

1. The following passengers are allowed to enter.:
- passengers with a Chinese Taipei travel document;
- passengers with an Alien Resident Certificate;
- passengers with a “SPECIAL ENTRY PERMIT FOR COVID-19 OUTBREAK” visa with “A”, “B”, “CC”, “CF”, “DC”, “EN”, “ER”, “FC”, “FD”, “FL”, “FO”, “FR”, “FS”, “HC”, “HS”, “M”, “OC”, “OS”, “P”, “SC”, “SF”, “TC”, “TS” or “X” stated on remarks;
- passengers with a MOFA ID;
- passengers with an APEC Business Travel Card valid for travel to “TWN”. They must prove their business travel purpose.
2. Passengers are not allowed to transit.
3. Suspension of visa exemptions, visa on arrival facilities and e-visa entry.

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It won’t because visa waiver entry is currently suspended. He needs to enter on his Taiwan docs, or with a special COVID-19 visa in his US passport. Although I’m not sure if he can do conscription if he enters on his foreign passport, maybe.

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