[ROC Passport] Have US Passport, but counts as Overseas Chin


This has also occurred and is utterly ridiculous… when you come in to Taiwan with an American passport (dual citizen) but Taiwan counts it as your Overseas Chinese ROC passport. (means you have to leave the country every 4 months so as to avoid conscription)

I also have an ARC. So what’s the use of an ARC??? Why not just apply for a ROC ID (which I DON’T have) and not an ARC and confuse the entire situation?

And what if you didn’t know this, and the Taiwan gov’t drafted you into their army (only using American passport, unbeknownstly overstaying 3 times)? How could this be rectified???


I believe that the trick is to get your status changed to that of “overseas Chinese” or “Chinese residing abroad”. Then you can avoid such hassles.

I assume that the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission would be able to provide full details.


Hi Ed, meant to reply earlier.

I looked into this issue when we set this site up and put together the Dual Citizenship and Will Get I Drafted sections of the Legal Matters.

I’m not sure what you mean by “when you come in to Taiwan with an American passport (dual citizen) but Taiwan counts it as your Overseas Chinese ROC passport…”

Can you clarify the procedure you went through at Immigration when you came into the R.O.C.?

I am fairly certain that when you ENTER the R.O.C., you may only have ONE passport stamped. I believe (but don’t hold me to this) that this is an international policy, not one specific to Taiwan.

On the otherhand, when you EXIT the country, you may have more than one passport stamped.

I don’t see how, if you entered the R.O.C. with your U.S. passport, that they could have simultaneously logged you with your R.O.C. passport in their computer systems.

The other thing to keep in mind is that passports identify you when you are OUTSIDE OF THE ISSUING COUNTRY… meaning that your U.S. passport does you no good IN the U.S. (except serve as an ID to buy liquor and get into clubs perhaps )

Likewise, having an R.O.C. passport (“Overseas” or otherwise) is pretty much useless while you are IN Taiwan. You still can’t seek legal employment here without an R.O.C. ID or work visa or other legal RESIDENT status, can’t vote, etc.

Your ARC represents you here when you entered the R.O.C. as a U.S. citizen (which is a complementary document should you want to apply for a work permit), i.e., a foreigner. It is not applicable if you enter with your R.O.C. passport, and without an R.O.C. ID, you may not work legally AND you must leave the country regularly as per immigration policy.

That being said, I would strongly suggest that you go directly to the source - National Conscription Administration - to confirm. The Immigration department may not know all the details with regards to conscription guidelines.

I make it a habit never to ask 3rd parties, even related gov. depts, about legal policies such as these because people will give you all kinds of answers and SOUND LIKE THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT when they really do not (something about saving face and not wanting appear “unsmart”). It gives a false sense of confidence and then creates a lot of frustration should you find out otherwise.

Always go to the source and ask 3+ people the same question. Once you start getting the same answers you know you’re pretty safe.

Last but not least, know that the policies of the Conscription Administration are not NATIONAL policies but rather specific to the internal organization.

Their policies are subject to change without notice (though changes are usually posted in the newspapers in Chinese and mentioned in the local news) and yes, ABC and CBC guys have been known to get drafted against their choice.


Almost forgot…

What is confusing sometimes and especially for Chinese Americans in your situation is that for “Overseas Chinese”, R.O.C. passports must be issued BEFORE R.O.C. citizenship (R.O.C. IDs) can be issued – not the other way around.

It seems strange, but one is required to enter the country with the Overseas Chinese passport in order to INITIATE the process of applying for (or re-applying for) Taiwan citizenship.

If I remember correctly, this is the result of much effort made by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission to protect Overseas Chinese men from being drafted should they wish to return to live/work/study in Taiwan.

Remember that the overall objective of the OCAC is to reach out to the overseas Chinese for support, which includes encouraging them to return to Taiwan to live/work (knowledge transfer, overseas contacts, etc.) and/or do business with the R.O.C.

Then again, don’t hold me to this. I am but a third party who speaks with much confidence even if I don’t know what I’m talking about.


After careful consideration it seems to me that the only way to solve this problem is for Christine to invoke the protection of the “equal rights” clause of the ROC Constitution, and demand that she be drafted into the ARMY like all other self respecting citizens (regardless of gender or sexual orientation).

Christine, will you do it?


What about for Canadian Citizens born in Taiwan? Can we declare dual Citizenship and use an ROC passport? Would we have to leave every 4 months?

Any info would be appreciated.



More information would have to be provided before this question could be answered. How old is the person in question? When and where born? Current nationality held? Nationality of parents? Other relevant or extenuating details?


Thanks for the reply Christine.

Actually, there is a rule, #14 (for the Internal Affairs Division I think from June 1998), that state that if have 2 passports, no matter which passport you use, it WILL COUNT AS an ROC passport.

==> A lot of ABC or CBCs probably don’t know this and then they are drafted when they overstay 3 times unbenownstly!!! (even if they think they are “safe” and have an ARC along with a work permit)

Isn’t this ridiculous?

Christine, you mentioned that you “know” of ABCs and CBCs who have been drafted? How were their experiences? Age when drafted? Given special considerations? What if you spoke NO CHINESE?

Spartan… I hope I answered your question.


Hi Ed,

I never asked details of the individuals who were drafted, unfortunately. They were friends of my friends, and it all happened when I was going through the application process myself many years back, so I don’t know (remember) who’s friend said what, etc.

During the time that I was going through the process, I wanted to talk to everyone I could about it because it is quite an unsettling thing to do when the facts are unclear (not to mention language barriers), but once I got my citizenship, I didn’t continue.

Question for you:

Do you know if R.O.C. Immigration (as well as that of other countries) is able to LINK both passports to the same invididual via their computer systems?? If so, at what point did you register as having both?

Meaning, when you entered the R.O.C. with your U.S. passport, how in the world did they know that you also held an R.O.C. passport?

When I enter Taiwan with my U.S. passport, it is not an issue. I just show my U.S. passport with the appropriate visas and they treat me as a foreigner. I could have very easily applied for my R.O.C. passport with just my Chinese name, no association to my English, and vice versa with my U.S. passport.

Did you show up and SHOW THEM both passports?

Perhaps there is a different procedure when ABC males are applying for their R.O.C. Overseas Chinese passports?


I “registered” after i received my ROC passport in 98. I have never used/shown/publicly displayed/or publicly read from/ my ROC passport in any way.

My case is odd because I was “misinformed” by the lame-a#@ gov’t to get a ROC passport with the Overseas stamp because of my draft notice. So I already had my foreign passport before getting the useless ROC passport.

Presumably, when I applied for the ROC passport, they probably asked for info on my other passport. That’s how the 2 passports were linked.

When I received my draft notice, it was a good 18 years since I came back to Taiwan. I’ve heard conflicting info, but should’t the gov’t have closed down my household registry automatically?? (it wasn’t signed off when I left… long story)