Why not become a Taiwanese citizen?

For those people who are the serious long-termers in Taiwan (with no intention of returning to the old country [wherever that may be]), what are the disadvantages of becoming a citizen? Why not give up your original citizenship to become Taiwanese?

I look at my case as a Canadian, and what I would lose if I became a Taiwanese citizen vs staying on an APRC - not much really:

  1. I lose my passport and whichever countries Canadians can visit visa-free that Taiwanese cannot
  2. I can’t flee to Canada if China invades
  3. I lose healthcare in Canada (personally I think Taiwan’s healthcare is on par with Canada’s, and the wait times are much, much shorter)

Things I wouldn’t lose as a new Taiwanese citizen (contrary to what is believed by some):

  1. My Canadian government CPP (Canadian
    Pension Plan)
    • You get money from this pension based upon what you put into it from working
  2. My Canadian government OAS (Old Age
    • You get the basic OAS as long as you have lived in Canada 20 years after the age of 18

It can be a bit of juggling act to maintain some things as a non-resident of Canada (bank accounts, etc.), but the banks don’t care if you are a non-resident or a non-citizen - in Canada residency is all that matters. My work pension still has to be deposited somewhere in Canada, as does (eventually) my CPP and OAS money. Some banks have no issue with allowing current non-residents who were previous residents to maintain a bank account, some will not allow it.

I know that this topic can stir up a whole lot of strong feelings in people, but let’s try and ignore the dual citizenship elephant in the room, please?


I can’t ignore the elephant. It’s too large to ignore.
It honestly comes down to why should I be forced to renounce when they dont need to.

I have elderly family and need to go back to visit. Why should I be a stranger in the country I was born in? You have no rights once you renounce, if your country of origin decides they don’t want you to visit your friends in the future you are SOL as you’re not a citizen.

That and Taiwan is generally not recognized as a country. And if China does invade all the dual citizen Taiwanese will get to escape and you can’t… wouldn’t that be a slap in the face and ironic too


It comes down to a large extent IMO on from which passport you are switching and your attachment to tw/country of birth.

Many countries allow you to resume your nationality as a mere formality if you renounce(my country of birth being one of them), this would be a big factor for me when deciding.

Then there is the negatives on your old passport. Not sure about Canada, I’m sure it’s a par with taiwan. But if I had a third world country passport(difficult to travel) or USA(fica and global taxation) a tw passport might be preferable.

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But then I could be a refugee to Canada on humanitarian grounds quite easily I think.

I often seen this complaint, but, isn’t this more related to the laws of the country to which the apply for citizenship?

Having to renounce your previous citizenship when applying is not that unusual, not something to get worked up about.

Just reapply your old citizenship after acquiring your Taiwanese one (see my comment above)

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This is pissing match material which in my mind isn’t really relevant - I am trying to figure out what we actually lose, not why we think it should or shouldn’t be a certain way.

The Taiwanese passport is pretty good, with visa free visiting rights to most countries; I don’t see how you would be actually limited to visit in any way.

I don’t get this part. There are very few countries in the world that you absolutely cannot go to on a Taiwan passport. If you have family there, it is often easy to get some form of residency in your country of origin. Is it possible that they disallow all Taiwanese from visiting the country? Sure. But the “what if” game will quickly give you a headache in any area of life. And what “rights” are you losing when your whole life is in Taiwan?

This is emotional material, I get it. But like I said before, I am just trying to get a true list of pros and cons here.

Recommend you folks read twnationality.com first. Most of these questions/topics are already well understood.


If you renounce, fail to get Taiwan citizenship and your previous country does not allow reapplying for your previous citizenship you will be shit out of luck.


Couldn’t’ve said better myself

If that was the case with my country I would definitely do so. But it is not. And many countries don’t allow you to reapply for citizenship except in some circumstances which don’t apply to the reason you gave up to apply for Taiwanese one.

Can’t do that in my country. The only reasons I could reapply for citizenship in my country is if the foreign country I am staying forced me to do so otherwise I can’t stay, which is not the case since we have ARC and APRC options in Taiwan. Or if I was applying for a heritage citizenship (from bloodline) and the country I am applying to requires me to first renounce in order to get theirs. Which is also not the case as I am no child of Taiwanese.

I can’t even keep any bank account in my home country as I have now. I would have to apply for a foreign investor bank account, and in that I would have to pay exorbitant fees (think about 20k NTD/month) just to keep the account open. And the account would allow me to do NOTHING. No investment, no savings etc as It is as local citizen. Just basically put money there. I would lose my health insurance which I have paid my whole life (they don’t insure foreigners in the terms I pay), lose my retirement money, and lose all my investments (meaning I would have to sell all within before giving up the citizenship) and transfer the money abroad, or keep in the ‘foreigner account’ I mentioned above.

Taiwanese need visa to visit my country. I could be denied visa at any time if I apply as a Taiwanese. Embassies need not to prove why they deny a visa, it is totally up to them. I have family back home and I would not want to be dependent on approval to visit them in case of an emergency.


Not so easy. You need to qualify by a points process first. And might get rejected like anyone else applying. Having family back home doesn’t matter. They absolutely can stop you from visiting in the future if they desire


maybe many people’s whole life is not in Taiwan, even if majority of life is in Taiwan.


Some people are from countries that can’t renounce and get proof they tried, can’t renounce easily, can’t renounce without paying a ton of money, etc. Some people can’t (ever) get citizenship back after renouncing.

Not many. Very few. Lucky you if so.

It is unusual. Statistics.

Most can’t.

In my experience of talking about this with Taiwanese, they have an extremely strong sense of fairness and see this as one of the most important points on this issue.

This loophole was fixed in 2016. You now get Taiwanese nationality first (NWOHR), and must renounce within 1 year.


Will do. Thanks for the link.

Funny enough, I completely agree that Dual Citizenship should be allowed, especially if Taiwanese applying to a country can keep their Taiwanese citizenship allong with their newly acquired citizenship. It is something that is worth fighting for, especially as foreigners who have made Taiwan their home start to age and have roots and grown family in Taiwan.

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And nothing you said led us to believe otherwise. To answer your original question:

  • Fairness vs. Taiwanese
  • Future problems entering or living in country of origin
  • Difficulties in working through the bureaucracy required to renounce
  • Monetary cost of renunciation
  • Allegiance / political beliefs

I would say these are the main reasons people do not renounce and go for citizenship. In no particular order.

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For me the question is what do you get with citizenship vs. APRC? The right to vote is one. What else?

Are there benefits on the Canadian side for giving up your citizenship there?

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Good summary, I think. Much of the main issue revolves around the ability to return/visit one’s country of origin, which makes sense.

Money based issues seem to be the biggest benefit. Banking, mortgages, business loans, credit cards, etc., are all made much, much easier.

Much remains the same for me on the Canadian side - sadly I still would have to pay taxes to Canada on my pension regardless. But, your point is well taken - it doesn’t really change much for me, it is more for my wife and son, and a future life in Taiwan for them.


Apart from voting, there are various levels of civic participation that are not allowed as a non-national.

  • Running for any office, all the way down to village chief.
  • Participation in election campaigns as anything more than a rally attendee.

There are various industries that are completely off limits to non-nationals. The military and security related areas, obviously, but also stupid stuff like driving a taxi. There are plenty.

Lots of financial services are unavailable or difficult to obtain for foreigners. A mortgage or generally any type of bank loan - and even if you can get something, it won’t be at 1.25% for 80% of the sale price.

You will always have to put up with the occasional nonsense that nationals don’t: YouBike access, cell phone deposits, or whatever the next scandal will be.

The TW passport might include more or different visa-free countries than your current passport.

An APRC is only “permanently renewable” so long as you don’t lose it. Nationality is permanent. If you are ever convicted of a crime (whether guilty or not), you can’t be forced to leave the country afterwards.

You also can’t pass an APRC on to your children, which has created many problems for adult children of long-term residents.

And if all of that’s not enough: you also get to take pride in being Taiwanese.

So, lots of reasons to get nationality IMO.


I think we have examples of each of the items you list having been successfully procured on ARC or APRC. The degree of difficulty, you are right, that is probably up for debate, but none of those are impossible on ARC/APRC.