TARC Questions

Hi everyone, i chanced upon this forum and was amaze by the amount of information for immigration for Taiwan.

I am an overseas Chinese and have obtained my ROC passport without household registration.

I am now deciding whether to apply for the TARC.

Have a few questions that i hope can be answered here.

  1. As i work overseas, i cannot stay in taiwan for a year at this moment to get the full citizenship. I do however go to taiwan more than 10 times in a year.My wife and kids are all full Taiwanese with household registrations. Are there any benefits of me applying for the TARC in this situation? What happens if i do not fullfill the requirements after application?

  2. How long is the TARC valid for ? Is it valid for life? Meaning after application, as and when in the future i manage to meet the requirements, i can then apply for a citizenship?

  3. After getting the TARC i understand that i have to stay a full 6M to get National Insurance.

Thank you and i hope kind members can help me here.

I could be wrong, but I think if you arrive as a overseas Chinese national then you use an entry permit for the first year, then they give you national insurance after six months, and a TARC after a year of continuous residence.

This is not right. You can use an entry permit as long as it is valid and can apply whenever you need to. However, to get a TARC, you must apply for it AFTER you enter on your overseas passport. It’s a process and not at all automatic. However, once your completed application is submitted, it only takes a couple of weeks to get the card. I’m pretty sure I got my insurance soon after I arrived in Taiwan, but I was working, so my work arranged it. I do think it takes a bit of time after you get the TARC, but I don’t think it’s as long as six months (though I may be wrong).

A TARC doesn’t really benefit you unless you want to live in Taiwan. The first one is good for three years and I think you can renew at least once. However, it’s kind of the stepping stone to nationality and I think the only real benefit in having it if you don’t live in Taiwan is it allows you to enter without a entry/exit permit.

However, the one exception may be is if you really are in Taiwan A LOT, getting the TARC would allow you to start accruing the necessary time to qualify for nationality… It’s 360 days over ONE year OR 270 days each year for TWO consecutive years OR 183 days each year for FIVE consecutive years.

But unless you spend that amount of time in Taiwan, there’s not much point in going through all the paperwork to get the TARC.

I guess so, I think the one year wait is if you are arriving with an entry permit only, as opposed to an overseas passport. But he already has the overseas passport. So there would not be a wait. Although I think the immediate health insurance would only be if he was working. I know for a fact that health insurance for dependents takes six months before it kicks in.

No, the entry permit goes INTO the overseas passport. You can apply for the TARC only after arriving in Taiwan on the overseas passport with the entry permit. And then you have to wait the year to apply for a national ID number (which means nationality). But I’m certain the once he has the TARC, he can apply for health insurance. I just don’t know what that time requirement is.

Not every Chinese national has an ROC passport. Chinese nationals who don’t have an ROC passport can arrive in Taiwan on an entry permit in the form of a stand alone piece of A4 paper. Chinese nationals, resident in Taiwan, who do not have an ROC passport can also get a TARC. I personally know people who have a TARC but who don’t have the passport.

I’m not sure how this is relevant to this discussion. The original poster very clearly explained he has an overseas Taiwanese passport. This means he has no Taiwanese ID card/number. If he wants to get this ID card (which will mean full nationality rights just like other Taiwanese: to work without a permit, live as long as he wants there and vote in Taiwan), he must enter Taiwan on this overseas passport which must also contain an entry/exit permit, and then make an application for the TARC. After receiving the TARC, he must wait a year (or however long as described above) and then get an ID card.

While indeed, there are many other situations in which someone might have either an entry permit or TARC, please do not confuse the matter. There is not a lot of good information out there for overseas Taiwanese to reclaim nationality, so let’s please try to leave accurate, useful information for these guys who want to know about the process.

The OP didn’t describe himself as overseas Taiwanese

The OP didn’t ask about reclaiming nationality - and as he already has a passport he already has ROC nationality - that’s why he qualifies for the passport.

The OP did not ask about how to get Taiwanese ID.

Not every ROC entry permit goes into an ROC passport.

It is not true that you can apply for a TARC only after arriving in Taiwan on the overseas passport.

There is a six month wait for health insurance if he enters as a dependent.

I had to look up TARC and this is what I found:

Which is related to this…

I thought the OP misspelled it :blush:

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Yea the wiki page says there is a one year wait for health insurance. I think that’s what they told me when I applied, but they issued the cards after six months.

I think you might not be too familiar with some aspects of this topic and the language used. I know you only want to be helpful, but you are providing inaccurate information. Let me clear up a few points.

The original poster said he was an “overseas Chinese with an ROC passport without household registration”. “Overseas Chinese” can mean a lot of things, but it very likely means he is of Chinese blood, born in the US/Canada/Australia/UK or some other country outside of China/Taiwan/HK/Macau. In this case we know he has a Taiwanese connection, or he would never have gotten an ROC passport.

However, there is more than one kind of ROC passport. Having an ROC passport WITHOUT household registration means that he is the definition of an overseas Taiwanese. These passports DO NOT have a national ID number (身份证). THAT’S THE ONLY DIFFERENCE. So while he is indeed a Taiwanese national, he does not have the right to just live and work and vote in Taiwan like a Taiwanese person born there does. He does not have full nationality.

To get full nationality rights, he must “reclaim nationality” or get an ID number.

To get that ID number, he must first enter Taiwan on his overseas Taiwanese passport WITH an entry/exit permit (usually valid for 90 days) AND THEN make an application for a TARC.

One year after the TARC is issued (or the time requirement described previously), he can go to the housing authorities REGISTER HIS HOUSEHOLD, and then get this national ID number (which comes on the ID card). THEN he will have FULL nationality rights like other Taiwanese people and can apply for a Taiwanese passport WITH HOUSEHOLD REGISTRATION.

If he has an ROC passport WITHOUT HOUSEHOLD REGISTRATION it is definitely true that he can only apply for the TARC AFTER entering Taiwan on that passport.

I belive that non-Taiwanese who wish to become Taiwanese go through another process to get a TARC, but that’s not what we are talking about here.

I don’t know about the use of ROC entry permits in non-ROC passports, so I can’t comment. But again, this is not relevant to this particular case.

You are definitely right about the 6-month wait on the insurance. However, I have learned that that six months begins AFTER the TARC is issued (and not when the person enters the country).

Taiwanese immigration is very complicated and there is a not a lot of good information out there. Even the people at TECO don’t always have the right information. I had to learn this stuff by myself, going through all of the procedures. This meant many, many trips to the immigration office, getting piles and piles of documents translated, notarized and authenticated, lots of phone calls to my family in the US, having my mother come to Taipei to update her information, taking bad advice from well-meaning people who just don’t know what they are talking about, and waiting and waiting and waiting for answers to what seem be simple questions but are not.

And I was in a very similar situation to the original poster–I was a Taiwanese national without household registration.

It’s very important to try to leave accurate information for others looking to go through this process themselves. If you are not very knowledgeable about the details of these specific cases, it’s best to refrain from clouding the issue.

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I am familiar with the topic and the information I gave was accurate.

He said he was Chinese, he didn’t say he was Taiwanese. That is a fact look at his post.

There is no such thing as a Taiwanese national. The OP already is an ROC national, so he cannot become an ROC national, or reclaim his nationality. When talking about this topic in English people usually equate establishing household registration in Taiwan as gaining ROC citizenship rights, not nationality.

You can only apply for a TARC if you enter on an exit entry permit. But like I said you dont have to hold an ROC pasport to get an exit entry permit. It can be issued to ROC nationals who do not have an ROC passport. In that case it is a stand alone piece of paper.

Yes Taiwanese immigration is very complicated. I have been through similar hoops to the ones you describe.

I might also add, again, that he was not asking about establishing nationality, getting an id, getting household registration or any of those things.

He wanted to know about the TARC, and the health insurance.

I see what you are saying, but the language is confusing (which is no one’s fault, except possibly Taiwan’s and that of the people who translate the immigration laws into English).

There are no ROC or Taiwanese citizens, nor is there citizenship. Everyone is a national, either with or without housing registration, and they have nationality. I believe this has something to do with Taiwan’s complicated political situation, though I’m not an expert in this area. However, I do think because this distinction is very subtle, most people use the terms interchangeably.

When people who have at least one Taiwanese parent, but were never registered in Taiwan (because they were born overseas or to Taiwanese women and foreign men), talk about going back to Taiwan to get full nationality rights, it’s referred to as “reclaiming nationality”. Even the immigration agency uses this term. You are right that by definition a national shouldn’t need to reclaim nationality, but this is often how this process is described in English. Indeed, it really just means getting that ID number, and then having all the rights that an ordinary Taiwanese person might have.

Based on what you are saying, it seems there are a few ways for different kinds of people to apply for a TARC. However, I will repeat yet again, anyone who has an ROC passport (without household registration), must enter Taiwan on it to apply for the TARC. They check for the stamp and confirm it in their system when you make the application at the immigration office. Now, maybe someone who has an exit/entry permit and NO ROC passport can make an application for a TARC, but an ROC passport holder cannot.

Yes, the poster said he was an “overseas” Chinese. He didn’t need to say he was Taiwanese, because it’s very clearly implied: He has an ROC passport (but without an ID number). That means he’s an overseas Taiwanese. I suppose there may be exceptions to this rule. If you know of any, please share. But very usually, anyone with an ROC passport, but no registration, has a blood connection to Taiwan, or some special political connection (such as the KMT fighters from China who fled to Thailand after the civil war). And in any case, if you have an ROC passport, of any kind, and you are not in Taiwan, you are very much an overseas Taiwanese, by definition. I wasn’t being careless in this claim.

Now, perhaps you differentiate between being “Taiwanese” and being an “ROC national”. That’s a rather political matter, but I do feel that most people do not make this distinction. For the purposes here, I am using the terms interchangeably.

Indeed, this conversation of the TARC has strayed to one of establishing nationality (which is the same, bureaucratically-speaking, as getting an ID card/number or getting household registration). This is not an illogical progression, despite being a diversion. The poster mentions that he cannot at this time spend the year needed to get full rights, so clearly, he has considered it.

I have already argued that I don’t think it’s worth it for someone who does not live in Taiwan to bother getting a TARC, unless they were planning to put in the time to get full nationality rights. Perhaps you can move the conversation forward with reasons why it would be worth it.

I agree with the bulk of what you say there. And yes the language is very confusing and full of contradictions.

I also find it hard to imagine though why someone would want a TARC if they aren’t resident in Taiwan. Other than speedy immigration and the nice feeling of having an official resident permit, then I don’t know what other benefit it might have.

With regards distinguishing between “ROC national” and “Taiwanese” bear in mind that:

All PRC nationals are ROC nationals - according to ROC law. That’s 1.4 billion ROC nationals who are highly unlikely to describe themselves as Taiwanese. Some PRC citizens in Taiwan have TARCs, the biggest demographic is that of mainland wives. That is hundreds of thousands of ROC nationals in Taiwan right now who are unlikely to identify as Taiwanese.

They used to issue ROC overseas passports to people of Chinese descent, provided they had a foreign passport, and didn’t have a Chinese passport or household registration. I met one Chinese American who told me that this was her status in Taiwan. No connection, other than being Chinese by descent and not having a PRC passport.

Some people who were born in China and came to Taiwan from China after the war still identify firstly as Chinese and/or according to their home province in China. I only ever met one old man who spoke about his background to me in this way. But hey, that apparently was his identity: ROC Chinese.

My wife and my son are ROC nationals but have no connection to Taiwan other than the fact that we are living here now.

Fair enough. Though it’s still amazing how the Taiwanese government will cling to this notion that all PRC nationals are ROC nationals, even though they make it hard for them to settle in Taiwan, and they need that purple booklet just to visit. (I think that’s still the case. On the other hand, the PRC makes it very, very easy for most ROC nationals to visit, live and work on the Mainland).

You’re spot on about the identity thing, though. Eddie Huang, the American who wrote the book that become the TV series “Fresh Off the Boat”, calls himself “Chinese-Taiwanese-American”. In my family, we all identify as being Chinese, but whenever it comes to official documents we’re Taiwanese (so pragmatic this way). And in the PRC, where I spend a lot of my time, people will say I’m Chinese, but have a Taiwan hukou (and rarely will say I’m Taiwanese), and one step further, proud Shanghai people will insist I’m “half-Shanghaiese” (and only that!) because my 老家 is Wuxi (not even Shanghai!).

I have heard that in the past, basically anyone with Chinese blood could get ROC passports, but I guess that changed awhile ago. Ironically, when I was born, I was not eligible for nationality because the laws then dictated only the children of Taiwanese fathers were Taiwanese, and it was my mother who was born there.

I think they are forced into keeping the nationality law more or less fixed because it would be seen as a step towards declaring formal independence if they changed it.

The purple book is issued by the PRC, So that is a control put in by the China side.

The Taiwan side controls it with the requirement to get an ROC entry permit, and the various hoops to jump through to get a TARC, and Taiwan household registration. Basically an all you can eat red tape buffet.

I guess the mainland authorities generally want to encourage Taiwanese to live and work in China for economic and maybe political reasons, so they give as many or more rights with a Taibaozheng, as they give with their own household registration. Not to mention the people in China who have no id. Whereas on the Taiwan side they are wary of all sorts of bad things that could - and definitely would - happen if they opened the gates that wide.

Yea that’s crazy about the gender clause with the nationality. They also had something like that in the UK, but in reverse.


I am flying to Taiwan this October using my entry/exit permit with my ROC taiwan passport that has no ID Card. I would like to apply for my TARC but I have few concerns:

My father (he has a Taiwan Passport with ID Card) died in 2004 in the Philippines, he did not include us in his Hukou when he was in Taiwan. So, we have no residence permit.

I would like to apply for TARC but the TECO told me they do not issue TARC and therefore could not tell me for sure the requirements that I would need to apply for the TARC.



Unless you have an employer sponsoring you, applying for the TARC can be complicated and is not recommended unless you intend to stay a long time (at least a year without leaving or two years with a total of 270 days in Taiwan) and eventually apply for the ID card. Keep in mind you will not have full working rights during this time unless you are living with a direct blood relative, so it’s better if an employer sponsors you.

If you try to apply for the TARC using your parents, you would need a minimum of:
-Birth Certificate, translated and both certified by TECO in the country it was issued at.
-Foreign Passport or Foreign Residence Permit.
-Criminal Background Check from the country you currently have citizenship or residency for. Will need to be translated and notarized in Taiwan. This may take a long time depending on your country.
-Health Inspection Certificate. Medical checkup is done in Taiwan and takes about a week.
-Hokou/Huji Certificate of your parents
***Hukou “expires” once you’ve been out of the country over 2 years and need to be re-established when you return. Since your father does not have an “active” hukou (as he’s been away from Taiwan since 2004), I’m not sure whether you can go this route.

I highly recommend you go to the immigration agency when you arrive in Taiwan. Make sure you enter Taiwan using your ROC passport or you will need to exit and re-enter before applying for the TARC.

If you can read Chinese, here are the classifications of people that can apply for TARC:

The supporting documents will vary depending on the classification you apply under.

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