What are my chances of becoming a Taiwanese citizen?

Is it possible for me to become a Taiwanese citizen?

My background:

  • Born in Taiwan in 1988 to Taiwan/American citizen parents.
  • I was born as American citizen and I never owned Taiwan passport.
  • Lived in Taiwan for 18 years before moving to the US. I had ARC when I lived in Taiwan.
  • I have been living in the US ever since.

Due to some family pressure, I am exploring options to obtain Taiwanese citizenship. However, I don’t have plans to live in Taiwan for the long term. Is it possible for someone like me to become a citizen? I was born in Taiwan and to Taiwanese citizen parents (they also have American citizenship)

I guess my background is more like American Born Taiwanese (ABT) but I am not sure if my status of living in Taiwan for 18 years makes a difference for my application.

Is it possible for me to obtain Taiwanese citizenship even though I am living in the US? Do I have to do military conscription?


The procedures to get your citizenship depend on which of your parents is Taiwanese.

Conscription age is till 36.

I guess both of them have Taiwanese citizenship.

Then you first get your Taiwanese passport. It is almost the same with infant in the following instruction.

Then you get your TARC.

After living in Taiwan for a certain period, you can apply for a permission to get your citizenship. Minimum is for a year.

Then apply for your citizenship at HHR office.

Very important is if your Dad was Taiwanese then you are in

If it was your mom then you are out of luck like me

OP was under 20 in 2000, so if his mother is a Taiwanese and father is a foreigner, OP can get citizenship without a certain period of residency.

That is worth looking into !

Both of my parents were Taiwanese.

I am eligible for Taiwanese citizenship even though I have no desire to life in Taiwan?

yes, as far as you are willing to live in Taiwan for a year.

FYI, you are born with Taiwanese nationality, even if your birth is not registered in your parents’ hukou, and you don’t hold a Taiwanese passport.

It great to game the system for generations.
What a country.

Meanwhile we immigrants live here for decades paying taxes and contributing locally but told to give up everything first to get local rights .

And how is it possible to be confused about being Taiwanese citizen if born in Taiwan and grew up here to Taiwanese parents ?!? Thats really really hard to understand

I guess this is a rant so pull the plug on it if you want .


If you have a Taiwanese passport does that mean you are a citizen?

if the passport is with your national ID, yes. If not, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a citizen.

Not all nationals of Taiwan have citizenship.

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I completely understand your frustration. I am used to the concept of American citizenship not the Taiwanese one. I mean I never held a Taiwanese passport so I thought I was never a Taiwanese citizen.

I hope the system open up, Taiwan definitely needs immigrants like you that contributes so much to the country.

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FYI, you are born with Taiwanese nationality, even if your birth is not registered in your parents’ hukou, and you don’t hold a Taiwanese passport.

I see. I’m used to the concept of citizenship in America.

yes, as far as you are willing to live in Taiwan for a year.

So if I don’t plan on living in Taiwan for a year, there is no way for me to get citizenship?

I guess I can just get NWOHR with a passport but not hukou in my situation if I don’t plan on living in Taiwan for a year.

I forgot to mention, both of my parents still live in Taiwan.

Does that change the equation for my situation? Can I use them for hukou registration or I still need to live in Taiwan for a year?

You are over 20, so you need to live for a year.

Thank you for the quick reply!

Citizenship is for people who intend to reside in the country long term. The US government requires green card holders (people who intend to become US citizens) to reside in the US for a certain number of years before they can become citizens. Or you’ll end up with a bunch of fence straddlers who try to reap benefits from both sides. A statement like that leads people to think you’re after the benefits, such as the national health insurance or the right to cast a ballot.


That’s fair but maybe citizenship was the wrong term to use here. I might just be looking for NWOHR and TARC.

Not really. Most of the world has citizenship through descent so that’s how it is. This thread is not about political opinion.

OP asked about his rights to claim citizenship. The concept doesn’t exist in ROC law but de facto citizenship (household registration) is actually harder than obtain than US citizenship. If I am born to two US citizens, I can automatically exercise US citizenship rights regardless of age. On the other hand Taiwan “citizenship” requires residency if the process starts age 20 or later.

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Were you born in the USA or taiwan? I’d be surprised if you didn’t have household if you were born in taiwan. But tarc might be ideal for you since it’s basically a renewable green card that also lets you get the open work permit. But honestly just get household and citizenship if and when you meet the residency requirement. It’s your birthright - ignore the naysayers (who otherwise don’t think twice about passing down American or Canadian citizenship to their taiwan born kids).

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I was born in Taiwan but I only had American passport. I don’t know if I had household registration. I also didn’t have to worry about military conscription so I just thought I was never a citizen.