What happens when your local spouse passes away

The result of investigations so far - info mainly from the Foreign Affairs Police - indicates that in this event the Taiwan authorities do not consider the marriage to be at an end, marriage can only be ended by divorce. At such time as my JFRV based ARC was about to expire then I would need to take certain documents, including household registration, death certificate etc along to the FAP and they would then give me a new ARC still based on the JFRV.

Just wondering if this goes along with anyones elses knowledge or experience.[/quote]

Well, as someone who has gone through this personally recently, I still can’t say that I can give you a completely clear answer.

First telephone call got the results that, if you have children who are Taiwan citizens, you are allowed to continue to reside under your deceased spouse’s name. As this was not the case for me, upon describing my situation, I was told that I would be given one extra year and had to provide all of the documents you mentioned above, plus a letter stating my living conditions and financial status. There was no statement that this is a standard provision. This extra time was explicitly given to have the funeral, clear up any issues related to my wife’s estate and any other related issues, but the underlying understanding was that it was also to give me enough time to apply for an ARC on my own (ie: investment, employer, etc).

Upon actually going there, I was surprised that they extended my JFRV for 16 months to the exact date that would have marked me having a JFRV for 5 years and entitling me to apply for an APRC. I’m assuming that the fact that I previously had almost 6 years of employer based ARCs before shifting to a JFRV might have made some difference here and the good people at the FAP cut me a break.

It is very clearly stated, though, that a foreign national holding a JFRV based ARC has to report the death of his/her spouse within 15 days under risk of having their ARC cancelled and, presumably, being deported.

All in all, they (the FAP) were very helpful, sympathetic and understanding, so I can’t corroborate with all these stories of people being tossed out as soon as their spouse passed away. I was actually very grateful at the kind and gentle way that all of the officers that I dealt with handled the situation.

Hope this helps someone.


I’d just like to say thanks for that, Citizen K. It can’t have been easy for you to write, or at least, it wasn’t easy for me to read. I hope you’re hanging in there. Keep on keepin’ on.

Thanks, Sandman; not easy, but necessary. I’ve had so many close friends who own businesses and have assets all in their local spouse’s name for who this has been a huge wake-up call. I thought that it was pretty important to share it here, as well.

An example, a little off-topic, but pertinent nonetheless: There’s a law on the books in Taiwan that states that your spouse’s family (father, mother and any other direct siblings) have a right to claim 50% of any assets that are solely in your spouse’s name at the time of death. This, apparently, even superseeds a notarized will. There are also some pretty intriguing tax laws regarding the distribution of assets in your spouse’s name before they can be transfered into your possession…so you may want to re-evaluate if that extra half a percent you might save by having your mortgage solely in your spouse’s name is really worth it.

I guess I’m pretty fortunate. My wife lost a couple of colleagues/good friends in a plane crash off Penghu a few years back; that was our wake-up call. We both looked into all of this and made arrangements so that either of us would be taken care of if anything should happen to the other. I never thought that it would happen so soon and so early in our relationship, but I am pretty damn grateful to her for having the sense and presence of mind to have brought it up. Love you, sweetie. Always…

Pay it forward, right? This is something that I’ve lived first hand. Hopefully sharing it will help some of you. :wink:


citizen_k, thanks for taking the time to make these posts, at what must be an unpleasant time. I can only echo sandman’s words and hope you are hanging in there.

citizen k, the fact that you took the time out of what is most likely a very busy and painful time, speaks of your humanity and character.

As one who is getting married soon, I want to thank you for sharing your story.

keep yer chin up

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My wife came up with this very conversation a few months back, what happened to you CK was my wake up call. We are taking all necessary precaution now.
Thank you for your post. God bless you.

I lost my wife thru divorce. Equally hard. My empathy with with you CK

One of the reasons I became a citizen was that wanting to live here permanently and knowing the issues faced by others who had spouses pass away and find out they were in fact financially a lot worse off than expected was one of the reasons amongst many others that led me to my decision.

Clealry there are many laws that are not clear to foreigners as well as their local spouses here.

I hope Citizen K is able to let us know more about whats happens in his case as times passes by.