PRC wife and Travel

My wife is a PRC citizen, she has full UK work status (FLR/settlement visa) and can travel freely between the UK and China.

I have started my job in Taipei, and have started my ARC application.

We have started the Visa process in the UK for her to get, at first, a one month visitor visa, and then eventually work towards getting her on my ARC (or her own??? - Advice !!) so we can settle and bring the kids (UK Passport holders).

The Taiwanese Office in London has been very helpful and although time consuming, because of the various documents that need to be notarised, there has not been a show-stopping problem yet.

Now come the questions,

  1. She wants to visit her family in Chongqing before coming to Taiwan, can she travel from Chonqqing to HK and on to Taiwan, without an HKSAR permit, according to the HK gov website, the answer is yes, but will Chinese immigration officials on the departure side be a problem?

  2. Can she walk into a travel agency in Chongqing and book a through (HK) ticket to Taipei?

  3. What questions is she likely to face on the Taiwanese immigration side? this may seem daft but we want to be 100% prepared. I’ve heard rumors that the Chinese passport is sometimes held by the police until departure?

  4. Any general Advice ?

When I talked to the Irish Taipei Rep Office they were adamant that a PRC passport holder could only get a visa to go to Taiwan after 4 year’s residency in a country other than the PRC, and even then, could not become resident and would have a time limit on the stay of 3 months. No good for me working there long term (or yourself either)

On the face of it, what you are trying to do seems impossible. If it is not, I have spent the last four years living in the UK for nothing.

  1. Q:For the people who lived in Mainland China, how can they apply for visas with foreign passports?
    A:In accordance with Statute Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, they must have resided in foreign countries for at least four years and have legally obtained the nationality of the foreign countries.

I don’t know if the rules have changed, but

I have in my hand, an offical letter from the Tapei Rep’s office in London, stating the procedure for her Visa.

It reads (relevant section)

“Your wife will be able to apply for and obtain her entry permit only from the Taipei representative office in London. She will apply directly in Taiwan for a residency permit. Her application will be made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Taipei”

My wife, has spoken to the Taipei office in London on several occasions, and we have started the Visa process.

I will admit that the Lady we are dealing with said that this is the first time she has met this particular situtation, but we have not yet hit any brick walls.

Velly intelesting… Can I just clarify whether your wife has a British passport or not? We were told it was (virtually) no go on a PRC passport.

yep, she has a bog standard PRC passport.

I will keep you informed on how we are progressing.

Thursday, June 6th, 2002

See page 11 article in Chinese language daily “United Daily News” today concerning PRC wife of German national who was refused a visa to come to Taiwan.

This German national has an ARC based on employment and currently lives in Kaohsiung.

Anyone have a url for that story ?

UDN is at but my little 14" screen is so incredibly bad that I can barely read Chinese on it any more. It’s gone all fuzzy time for a new one I guess (can hardly read English on it either!)

I found this story in Chinese at

Now I’m worried,

I have just come off the phone to the Taiwanese rep office in London.

They told me each case will be dealt with on it’s own merits.
This actually means, well she probably won’t get it, but it’s a good paper exercise for our staff.


We have jumped through the first two hurdles,

  1. Getting our UK Wedding certificate notarised by them.

  2. Getting my GOV invitation letter approved.

That’s the odd thing, My wife’s invitation letter from Taiwan, comes directly from a GOV sponsored organisation.

Now I’m not saying I’m indispensable but,

They headhunted me, they knew I came from a mainland working background and during my interview I made it clear that I would bring my PRC wife and family to Taiwan or the deal was off. My contract specifically mentions my wife and children’s settlement package. They offered me the Job and so far, have delivered all promises. The letter for my wife has all the right Chops and her PP number and states SHE is on a Mainland passport.

We will wait and see !!!

How long has your PRC spouse been outside of the PRC, with a foreign passport and/or permanent residency in another country? I believe that the minimum requirement (according to the Taiwan law) is four years. Also, how long have you been married?

The PRC lady in this news story has not met that four years requirement, in fact she still lives in the PRC. She has residency rights in Germany, based on her marriage to a German national, however she does not have permanent residency rights in Germany, nor does she have a German passport.

I never knew your Chinese name. According to the article your most salient attribute is that you are a “Yang nu xu” (“Foreign son-in-law” - for non-C speakers) - I thought your wife was Japanese ? I have confirmed with my wife that I too am a Yang nu xu, so I am obviously over the moon. But anyway, that is beside the point.

The crux of the matter seems to be that as Ms Chen holds only a PRC passport she is not therefore a foreigner and the Waijiaobu were correct to reject her application which should have been made to the Bureau of Not Letting Mainlanders into Taiwan.

Now, what would be the case if she had a German passport ? Would she then be a foreigner ? Not really, according to BOCA. She would be a second class German citizen, one who had previously been a Mainlander.

When she gets her British passport, will my wife be regarded as British by Taiwanese Waijiaobu, or as a Mainlander ? Same scenario - a British Citizen with Chinese Characteristics, if you like.

Is it then the case that Mainlanders holding foreign passports have to as well as being a foreigner also satisfy a further criterion of having lived abroad for four years ? Yes, it seems.

Does this living abroad have to be residency ? Does it have to be permanent residency (“Indefinite Leave to Remain” in the UK) ? It says “you ju” on the BOCA website - “you” meaning travel, and “ju” meaning “reside”. But “ju” in visa-speak means “reside” on a permanent or semi-premanent basis, so holidaying wouldn’t be enough, or would it ?

This is all obviously of paramount importance to my wife and I, and I imagine to subway52.

Where can I find online the “Taiwan diqu yu dalu diqu renmin guanxi tiaolie” referred to in the article ? Would it perhaps be an enormous and boring document only available in print ?

It also seems to me that Taiwan is not prepared to recognise validly issued passports issued by other countries, whether it be the USA, France, or the UK. The UK recognises ROC passports, and does not enquire behind the passport and grade ROC p/p holders into various classes of citizenship. How does the ROC ever hope to have itself taken seriously on the world stage as a sovereign nation if it will not recognise the travel documents of countries such as the USA and the UK ?

I am currently drafting a letter to my Member of the European Parliament to ask what is the official position on the ROC not recognising the Irish or British passport of a person who was once a PRC citizen and what implications if any that has on the recognition of ROC travel documents by member states of the EU. I expect a reply (if any) by my 60th birthday.

Taiwanstatus, your views on the travel document issue, with regard to the USA ?

Check out the Ministry of Justice website:

Statute Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area所有條&#2 5991;&Lcode=Q0010001

Implementing Regulations of the Statute Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area

Please note that as a UK citizen, even if you are living in Taiwan with an Alien Resident Certificate, you are not a “People of the Taiwan Area” – that term refers exclusively to Taiwan citizens with Household Registration in the ROC area.

Household Registration is a part of citizenship, and foreigners do not have it.

Thanks for those.

The first link (quoted below) wouldn’t work for me. Kept getting a SQL Server error.

Statute Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area所有條文&Lcode=Q0010001

Check out the Judicial Yuan website:

Statute Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area

Implementing Regulations of the Statute Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area

Just Recieved the following from the BCTO

Q1 Seems like you will encounter some problems to apply for your wife's residency in Taiwan. I phoned the Bureau of Immigration, department in charge of PRC citizens, about your situation; however, they are not too sure about the proper procedures, either.

Therefore, they suggest you to apply for your ARC first, then you can apply for her residency in Taiwan. You will have to contact the Bureau of Immigration for processing.

They should need the following documentation:

your contract with your employer
your passport & ROC visa
your ARC
*application form
two photos (applicant)
your wife’s PRC passport and ID copy
**sponsor letter
application fee: NT$400

*I have a copy of the application form. Please give me your post address or fax number, so I can forward it to you.
**I suggest that you and your employer should draft a letter to sponsor her stay in Taiwan.

This seems to be based on her actually getting her foot in the door, e.g a visitor visa.

The next problem is maybe this whole thing will cause visa problems for my number 1 son.

He was born in Beijing, firstly obtaining a Chinese passport and then a UK one.

He is a UK citizen, but will they get upset when see Place of Birth: Beijing

What does your employer have to say about it all ?

My employer are a very large multi-national, in a joint venture with the Tawainese authority.

They have already said they will do everything they can.

Why don’t you have the company’s legal staff get in touch with me by email, and then we can arrange a time to meet so that I can give them a copy of the German fellow’s court decision. I should receive that sometime next week. They would probably find it interesting reading.


My wife recieved a phone call today from the ROC London office. They will be interviewing her next Wednesday.

The paperwork will then be submitted to Taipei and a decision will made within two months.

Fingers Crossed


I know the application was unsuccessful, but have you considered getting a Hua Qiao ROC passport for your wife ?