Taiwan Passport for US born Children

I went to visit TECO NY yesterday to inquire how to get my 2 US born kids Taiwan passports. (I want to move to Taiwan early next year for the kids to attend school for a few years). I spent an hour and a half talking to them along with my parents and the entire process seem so complicated to me. If anyone’s been through similar process, please let me know if this sounds correct or if there is anything I may be missing.

Instead of a resident visa and ARC for my kids, I’ve decided to apply for Taiwanese passports for them. At first I thought the passport process might be too complicated, but I think overall it is easiest which allows us to stay long term and come in and out of the country. For the resident visa and ARC, I would have to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ office (BOCA?) each time I want to leave Taiwan whether or not I can return… depending on what kind of Visa they gave me whether it is single or multiple entry. So, to apply for a passport these are the steps I need to take.

  1. Both me and my husband need to have an up to date Taiwan passport. (We were both born in Taiwan… just have expired Taiwanese passports)
  2. Translated marriage certificate, translated kid’s birth certificate and sealed health checkup reports for my kids. Health check up forms need to be sealed with doctor’s office stamp or signature in back on an official envelope from doc’s office.
  3. Bring the above three documents to TECO NY for them to verify and stamp. It should be returned to me in a week.
  4. Bring these three documents to Taiwan. There is a 30 or 60 day expiration for these documents. If I don’t go to Taiwan within the allowed time, my verified documents will expire and be of no use.
  5. My husband and I will go to Taiwan using the Taiwan Passport and my kids will use their American Passport.
  6. Once in Taiwan, the first thing I need to do is “activate” my registration? I’m guessing this is the Hukou?
  7. Second thing to do is go register my marriage in Taiwan using the verified document from TECO.
  8. After steps 6 and 7, go apply for Taiwan passport for my kids and get it within a few weeks.

Does anyone know what is the average turn around time for getting a Taiwan passport when in Taiwan?
I’m a little nervous because I am basically going to Taiwan “unprepared”. I am assuming the kids will get their passports and be allowed to attend school.
Also, does anyone know what is the age for boys to be drafted? Since my son will hold a Taiwan passport, at what age would they not allow him to leave the country?

Please let me know your past experiences, thoughts, comments or suggestions. thanks.

I can’t answer most of your questions, sorry, but I do know military service is soon to become voluntary. By the time your son’s eligible I very much doubt it’ll be a concern.

Getting a passport here is pretty fast. Normal service is 5 working days. I believe they have an expedited service for a little more money.
Boys were drafted at 18 unless they are in school and can be put off until they finish. If you stay in school until 30 then that’s when you serve. They weren’t allowed to leave Taiwan after 15 or 16, but I’m pretty sure that it’s voluntary now or very soon.

I am US-born and my parents are from Taiwan. I successfully got a Taiwan passport two years ago. There was a good bit of confusion and bureaucracy involved but it was doable, so I wrote this guide. Hope it helps others who want to do the same.

[Unfortunately as a new user I’m not allowed to post more than 2 links so I’ve removed the links, mostly to Wikipedia. I’ll try to edit this post and add them later.]

ROC (Taiwan) Passports for Overseas Chinese

If your parents (or ancestors) are from Taiwan but you were born overseas, you may be automatically a Taiwanese national and therefore eligible for a Taiwan passport. This is not applying for citizenship; this is applying for a passport based on the nationality you already have!

Note that holding a Taiwan passport does not make you a Taiwanese “citizen”. Taiwanese nationality law defines “nationals” (國民, guómín), not “citizens” (公民, gōngmín). As an overseas-born Taiwanese, you are a “national without household registration” (NWOHR). Without household registration, your Taiwan passport is only as useful as a photo ID and travel document. Citizenship-type rights and responsibilities, such as right to vote, right to work, right to adobe, health insurance, conscription duties, etc. are restricted to those with a National Identification Card, which is in turn restricted to nationals with household registration.

Household registration can be obtained by living in Taiwan continuously for one year. That’s a different problem; see the guide “How to get Taiwan Citizenship - Primer, FAQ, and Resources” on this forum.

Applying for passport

You must apply for your passport from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) closest to where you reside. Each TECO office has a specific consular jurisdiction. Make sure you use the correct office!

Summary of instructions

In addition to providing the

  1. passport application form
  2. passport photos
  3. application fee

… you need to provide proof of an ancestor’s ROC nationality, together with proof of descent.

In the case where it’s one of your direct parents, this consists of:
4. your photo ID
5. your birth certificate (authenticated if necessary)
6. your parents’ marriage certificate (authenticated if necessary)
7. copy of one parent’s ROC passport (including photo) -OR- copy of parent’s household registration record (hùkǒu, 戶口).

If you were born before February 9, 1980, the ancestor must be from your father’s side (i.e. through the male line).

Authenticating documents

If a document originates outside your (local) TECO office’s jurisdiction, you will need to get it authenticated from that (remote) TECO office. For example, if you live in San Francisco, you were born in Indiana, and your parents were married in Pennsylvania, you must send your birth certificate to TECO Chicago for authentication, your parents’ marriage certificate to TECO New York for authentication—and then finally everything to TECO San Francisco. :stuck_out_tongue:

Note: “the legalized marriage certificate is valid only within 30 days after authentication, as for the birth certificate, within 60 days after authentication.”

Summary of instructions

You need to send

  1. authentication form
  2. The original birth certificate, death, the original certificate, marriage certificate original (county office issued)
  3. photocopy of your American passport, Taiwanese passport photocopy of your parents (with photo on that page),household registration record (hukou) is OK
  4. Fee-(Please buy one money order,payable to TECO)
  5. Sufficient postage or self-addressed and stamped envelope is required for returning the original document(s).