Hi Lain, sorry for the late reply. I didn’t get any notification that there was a new comment here.
If you get “refused,” I encourage you to just talk through it with them, and ask them directly if they’re saying the law should not be applied this way, even though the National Immigration Agency has been telling people it should be applied this way. I think it would be a huge headache for TECO if they are blamed publicly for turning away people and at the same time other people successfully applied under this law. They probably would want to avoid that kind of controversy (I would hope).
For my application, I did hand it over to TECO. It takes much longer, but I did this because:
- I plan to move several months later (be careful though, I think there may be some expiration to use the TARC like it must be used within 6 months or something like that if I recall correctly – I can’t say this is 100% accurate, so if you have concerns, please check this part too)
- I prefer to prepare the paperwork ahead of time in the U.S. where I’m currently residing, because TECO can at least tell me if I’m missing anything and I can go get it (i.e. at first I didn’t realize I needed to get the FBI background check authenticated by the Washington D.C. TECRO office). If you live in another country like Germany, I would think the national/federal level TECRO would need to authenticate that criminal background check document also. For me that means TECRO in D.C., the capital of the U.S. I could have worked these things out in Taiwan instead, but I just prefer to know I can have the TARC in hand before I plan to move my entire life to Taiwan. Imagine if someone like us moves to Taiwan and gets rejected – that would be pretty uncomfortable.
That said, your plan to go to NIA directly could have benefits. As far as I know, you do not need to go through TECO (except to authenticate the criminal background check with the national-level TECRO) other than for the passport, which I think needs to go through them. If you have papers from outside of Taiwan like birth certificate, parents marriage certificate, hospital check outside of Taiwan, etc., I think those things need to be authenticated by a TECO (I had to send my birth certificate to the Sydney TECO to get authenticated in the past, even though I live in California). In fact, TECO would probably prefer you just go to the NIA so they don’t have to deal with the complexity of this kind of case (I think they just didn’t want to deal with my case, or they were being prejudicial, or both). Going directly to the NIA would be easier because you cut out the middle man and deal directly with them. They also know the law far more clearly, it seems, because they specialize in this area of the law. Finally, the wait time is far shorter if you go directly to the NIA, so you would in theory get the TARC much much faster.
As far as I know, you can theoretically do all of your application overseas by submitting your application to the TECO. After this, you will get a carbon copy of your TARC and an entry permit to Taiwan, which you should use to enter Taiwan and get your real TARC.
This is what I have read from other forum posts and I think is true. I can’t remember if I saw this described in official papers anywhere. They leave details like this out all the time.
For the hospital part, I used the official form that is supposed to be used for the application – it should be on the NIA website. It has both English and Chinese. The tricky part is they have crazy requirements. For example, the TECO office worker told me that I needed to go back to the hospital and get a ‘stamp’ on the form. I asked, “what if they don’t have an official stamp…?” She said that even a mailing address stamp is okay, so that’s what I got from the Kaiser Permanente hospital system in California. The form also wants you to get signatures from a chief medical technician, hospital chief executive (or whatever the title is called), and finally the doctor/physician filling out the form. It’s really overkill and in my opinion insane to think people can just get the signature of the chief executive of the entire hospital system. The people at the hospital looked at me like I was absurd, so eventually I just got the closest signatures I could and I’m hoping that will fly. If it doesn’t, I guess maybe I’ll need to just go to a hospital in Taiwan, but I’m not sure that will really be so much easier. I really hope I don’t need to, but if that’s what it takes to get past the absurdity, I guess I’ll do it. Anyway, TECO accepted it, and they’re supposed to be experts on the foreign country side, right?
I don’t think you need to apply for the Entry Permit if you already have the Taiwan passport with the Entry Permit. That should be taped in your passport already, unless you didn’t have that part done when you did the passport for some reason (I guess technically they could be done separately, but I think that’s not normal). In fact, the TECO person said that the entry permit will get cancelled after I receive the TARC (assuming I receive it), because it’s not really necessary and you should use the TARC to enter the country so they’re keeping a record that you entered with the TARC. If you haven’t done the passport yet, I would suggest doing that first – I think that you actually would need to do that in your current foreign country of residence, if I recall correctly (double check this if you need to – I’m going off of memory for this part, and because my aunt recently had to re-do her passport but was rejected when she entered Taiwan on a U.S. passport so she had to come back and apply in the U.S. to get the Taiwan passport). You probably won’t need to apply for an entry permit if you’re doing both at the same time at TECO. If you’re doing the passport at TECO then want to enter Taiwan to apply for the TARC at NIA, you may actually need to apply for the Entry Permit to get in on that Taiwan passport and apply at NIA (don’t enter on a foreign passport or else you can’t apply for Taiwan paperwork as a Taiwanese person because you’ll have entered the country as a foreigner).
Let me know if that all makes sense or if you need any other info.
It’s been a few weeks already, but I think once TECO accepted my application the worker said it would take something like 4 to 6 weeks to hear back from them. Again, who knows if that’s accurate – I thought I read in the official NIA documentation that if applying abroad, it can take up to 3 months to process. I’m not planning to move for another 4 or 5 months so I’m not in a hurry.
If I hear back from TECO about the application, I’ll definitely post an update on these threads.