PRC visitors to Taiwan

The “moving to Taiwan” thread prompts this question. I have many mainland friends from my days as a teacher in the PRC. Some of those friends now live abroad. Can they visit Taiwan as tourists if they have US or UK citizenship? (I know US citizens can visit visa-free, but does Taiwan regard this as a special case?) How about just permanent residency in a Western country?

According to my knowledge of ROC Immigration Law, a person is considered a national of the country indicated on the passport presented at the “Immigration Counter” when entering the ROC area. (For the sake of discussion, let’s call this the “nationality recognition via passport” rule.)

A person presenting a French passport is considered a French national. That is straightforward enough.

A child born in the USA of an ROC father and a German mother would be eligible for triple nationality. Assuming the child did have three passports, and presented the ROC passport when entering the ROC area, he would be considered an ROC national. His brother (in the same situation) who presented a German passport would be considered a German national.

Therefore, if your PRC friend does now possess a valid USA passport, and he/she presents that when making travel arrangements and actually coming to Taiwan, he/she will be considered a USA citizen. There is no problem.

If this person only has permanent residency rights (in the USA or some other friendly country), then that is a different situation. In terms of a short term visit to the ROC area on a PRC passport, many people are not eligible to come. However, there are dozens of categories of people who may get permission to come, and those categories do change from time to time. I suggest that you contact your nearest ROC Overseas Office for specific details on the current situation.

(Note: There are some subtle contradictions in this entire “nationality recognition via passport” policy, however I don’t think that these affect the situation which you have brought up for discussion here.)

Richard’s comments are right on target unless I don’t understand immigration laws at all.

I have both a U.S. and R.O.C. passport, and depending on the reason, I use a different one to enter a country (be it US, ROC, European nations etc.)

You are whatever you present at immigration upon arrival, period. And when you leave the country you must show that same passport.

You can only have ONE passport stamped when entering a country. Any other passports which you hold is not relevant at that moment, and the passport you DO use must have the appropriate visas to enter, if it is NOT the passport of the said country and if it is required by the local laws.

For example, when I enter the R.O.C., I use my R.O.C. passport (obviously). But when I visit HK, I always use my U.S. passport. If I were to use my R.O.C. passport to enter HK, I would need to apply for visa to HK as R.O.C. citizens are required to do so but not U.S. citizens.

Your friends must check with the immigration office to confirm what documentation (if any) is appropriate but the fact that they are originally from the PRC doesn’t matter unless of course they are blacklisted from Taiwan!

Please continue this discussion over here: PRC visitors to Taiwan II