Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

I was trying to find out how to apply for a Overseas Chinese Identity Certificate on the basis of Chinese ancestry, as described at forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 8#p1348325

Has anyone been able to apply for one of these in the States? I contacted TECRO in DC (which serves the area that I live in), but they politely referred me to OCAC headquaters in Taipei, who seems to be failing to receive or ignoring my emails and faxes. For that matter, has any non ROC passport holder ever successfully applied for this post-2004 ?

I’ve wondered about this, too. Apparently they are no longer useful as a means to get an ROC passport (2nd class–no hukou), so the trade offices have little occasion to issue them. Is it still good for something, or do you just want one to hang on the wall?

In my case, it’s the latter…

Were you ever able to figure out how to obtain one?

Not in any solid way. I did happen to meet somebody from one of those offices (my wife knew her) who seemed to think they had been phased out. The US (DC) TECRO a couple of years ago seemed willing to issue one (we e-mailed), as long as I had some sort of documentary evidence. They did not specify what this might be–after all, passports and birth certificates do not usually note ethnicity. Perhaps they hoped that me, or one of my ancestors, had been enrolled in some sort of Chinese benevolent association, or that an immigration record could be found (and linked to me). One of these days I may solicit letters from various anthropologists attesting that group identity is notoriously fictive and fluid, and submit that!

Drat. Oh well.

Was she from TECRO, another TECO or TRO, or with one of the OCAC offices?

Hmm. If they had actually been phased out, that might explain why TECRO referred me to OCAC in Taipei.

That’s in the FAQ -http://www.ocac.gov.tw/OCAC/Eng/FAQ/List.aspx?nodeid=455 , though a bit vague:

I’m just guessing here but I think something like a US Naturalization certificate, which shows that your former nationality (or your parent’s or grandparent’s) was Chinese, would fit the bill.

I looked it up, and it seems that at least Malaysian birth certificates do list ethnicity: macvaysia.com/2009/12/02/some-in … -ancestry/

Anyways, if these had been phased out, you’d think they’d at least update their websites to say so… especially seeing how that OCAC faq page was last updated in Feb of this year!

Not OCAC. She was on the diplomatic staff of…whatever they call the pseudo-embassies these days. One of those.

Malaysia didn’t exist as such before 1963. As for the other stuff–if this is what they require, then it represents a fundamental confusion between ethnicity, ancestral nationality, and emigration records. For example, a number of Jews and White Russians departed China in the 1940’s and 1950’s, but their travel record tells us nothing about their ethnicity. Another issue is that since any ancestral line will represent gradually diminishing portions of one’s genetic and cultural heritage, how many grandparents or great-grandparents have to be proven to be Chinese? Finally, I can’t help but suppose that many ethnic Chinese would lack documentary evidence of how their ancestors came to dwell in…wherever the are. Are such people really just out of luck?

Ah, ok. Sounds like she ought to know in that case. Though maybe, hopefully, they just phased out the issuance from TECRO/et al and moved it to OCAC directly (due to the low demand)?

I imagine the colonial government probably had some form of official documentation specifying ethnicity though. Maybe if you were born in Malaysia before that date, you can apply now for an official birth record of some sort that states your ethnicity for the official record.

Agreed. I think the theory goes that this was always based on nationality, however it would go as far back as to the Qing dynasty Nationality Law and Chinese customary (i.e. unwritten) law regarding nationality before then. So a national of the Qing dynasty was always still a national of the Qing dynasty, and so were any direct decendants born overseas. Their children would, since their parents were technically Qing dynasty nationals, inherit Qing dynasty nationality at birth, and so would their children’s children, and so on. And when the ROC supplanted the Qing dynasty after 1912, every Qing dynasty national became a ROC national by virtue of the ROC being the successor state to the Qing dynasty. (Actually customary law only allowed transmission of nationality from father to children, but since SE Asian states like Malaysia originally treated ethnicity as being inherited from the father, there’s probably no conflict here.)

The Qing dynasty virtually never allowed male Qing subjects to renouce their Qing nationality, as they hated having to give former Qing subjects the same extraterritoriality treatment that was due to foreigners (women could do it if they married a foreigner I think though), so anyone of Han ancestry would almost certainly have be a Qing and later ROC national.

Possibly the nationality could be inherited from not only Qing but even Ming dynasty era ancestors, on the basis of Qing being the successor state to the Ming, and the two sharing the same customary nationality laws. On the other hand, if Icon is right about it being limited to 6 generations, that leaves out anyone descended from Ming dynasty era settlers.

Well, I found a reference stating that Mongolians from Outer Mongolia were once eligible to apply for these certificates and could use them to settle in Taiwan. (This seems to no longer be the case now that the ROC in Taiwan has accepted Outer Mongolia as an independent state.) And the PRC did give PRC nationality to Russians who lived in its territory, treating them as one of the official minorities in China. So if one of those travelers possessed a PRC passport, PRC ID card, PRC entry or exit permit stating their nationality as Chinese, or documentation for a PRC hukou, their children and grandchildren would probably be eligible to apply for these certificates on the basis of Chinese ethnicity as well, despite clearly being non-Han.

Probably just one. It might have to be from the male line though.

Perhaps, if they knew which of their ancestors migrated, a DNA test proving relations to someone with ethnic Chinese documentation would be accepted.

Another idea - just a guess, but - if you can figure out how to join a traditional lineage association line the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, they might accept that membership as proof. IIUC those associations limit membership to ethnic Chinese only.

Another long shot - earlier versions of the U.S. census recorded a person’s race (e.g. Chinese or Japanese or Black or White). Since some versions of the U.S. census broke out Chinese as its own category, perhaps the appropriate census record would be proof enough…

So … A response from OCAC HQ came in the mail today.

What’d they say?

Dunno. Although I sent my questions in English, the reply was in Standard Chinese…

Haha, that’s taiwanese government for you.

Care to post it here?

[quote=“Hokwongwei”]Haha, that’s taiwanese government for you.

Care to post it here?[/quote]

Sure, here’s a scrubbed version. Anyways, I had someone else take a look at it and according to that person, the gist of it is that I’m not eligible for the Chinese ancestry version of the Overseas Chinese Identity Certificate since I don’t have Taiwan ancestry, only PRC ancestry. (I’d really appreciate it if someone could type this up or OCR it into some form of text that I can copy&paste into my computer dictionary, though. The letter looks to be highly detailed and I’d at least like to fully understand the basis of my ineligibility.)

:doh: hi
I am chinese from indonesia.
What are the requirements to be able to receive the Overseas Chinese Identity Certificate.
help me,thanks

Hi East Sun:

Here is a FAQ link:

ocac.gov.tw/OCAC/Eng/FAQ/Lis … nodeid=455

does anyone have any recommendations for how an American citizen can prove his/her ethnicity?
I can’t recall any documents noting my ethnicity

Would a 23andme test work as proof…?

Give you example for Chinese Indonesians. Chinese Indonesian who were born before 2006 have this in writing in their birth certificate
“According to Stbld. 1917-130 jo. Stbld. 1919-81, on dd/mm/yy in city Y, has been born X, son/daughter of Z and A.”

If he/she was an adult between 1978 and 1996, he/she must have a government issued letter called SBKRI (proof of Indonesian citizenship for Chinese Indonesian), that listed the parent’s Chinese names.

If he/she listed as resident of Jakarta in his/her national ID, he/she must have a letter called K1 (Intro to National ID for Chinese Indonesian listed in Jakarta).

Pretty sure in the old days, your any of your parents/grandparents that coming from China (or Taiwan) have some sort of immigration documents that acknowledge their coming to the land of freedom of hope. Or taking other direction, maybe your birth certificate listed your parents Chinese name?