Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Asia
Reload this Page >

Obtaining a ROC passport

Obtaining a ROC passport

Old Mar 7, 21, 11:31 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Programs: HHonors Gold, Marriott Lifetime Gold, OZ*G, AA Plat
Posts: 1,675
Obtaining a ROC passport

As an aside to some of the debate that rose up earlier in the thread about getting a ROC passport, I’m curious as to if anyone here knows if it’s possible to get a ROC passport based on mainland heritage. I’m only just securing an opportunity to go work in Taiwan, but from what I’ve been digging up for long-term planning (and what’s been mentioned here), if I go the naturalization route to secure ROC nationality, that means having to give up my US passport, whereas if I was somehow a ROC national from birth, then I get a passport from the word “go” (but no ID and thus no residency rights on its own), and then it’s just a matter of residing in Taiwan continuously for a year (getting permission to work) to be able to get a proper Taiwan ID and thus become a full citizen. I’ve found scattered reports on the internet of some people with recent-ish heritage and good enough records (as in grandparents were born in the mainland during ROC rule and original ROC-era documents available) being able to, but not many, so I’m asking around to see if anyone here might know or even have some experience. In my case I’m the first generation of my family born outside any part of China, so by the loosest reading of the nationality law I’d technically be a ROC national, but if it involves digging up my grandparents’ original records then due to some difficulties on that front I want to see if it’s even a viable path before I go have some difficult conversations.
jamar is offline  
Old Mar 7, 21, 11:42 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Vegas
Programs: BA Meltdown soft-landed Silver, OZ♦+ (BR/UA), B6 Mosaic, WoH♦, Mlife Noir, TR 7*
Posts: 5,791
Originally Posted by jamar View Post
As an aside to some of the debate that rose up earlier in the thread about getting a ROC passport, I’m curious as to if anyone here knows if it’s possible to get a ROC passport based on mainland heritage.
Do you know for sure whether you ever did or did not have household registration? If you've ever had household registration, it is a relatively straightforward matter to secure a passport (although possibly currently complicated logistically due to the pandemic).

Last edited by gengar; Mar 9, 21 at 1:52 am Reason: remove quote/response from different thread after moderator move
gengar is offline  
Old Mar 8, 21, 12:09 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Programs: HHonors Gold, Marriott Lifetime Gold, OZ*G, AA Plat
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by gengar View Post
Do you know for sure whether you ever did or did not have household registration? If you've ever had household registration, it is a relatively straightforward matter to secure a passport (although possibly currently complicated logistically due to the pandemic).
Unfortunately not. I was born in the US, and as far as I know, have never been registered. My parents had mainland household registration up until a few years after my birth, but the PRC authorities revoked it when they naturalized in the US. If ROC-era original documentation is needed, then it'd probably have to come from my grandparents since they were the ones born on the mainland during the period of ROC rule, in which case logistics are indeed going to be complicated.
jamar is offline  
Old Mar 24, 21, 5:35 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: AA Plat, DL, AS, UA, IHG Plat
Posts: 2,215
I just did a lot of research on this optic just recently because I was thinking about renewing my ROC passport that expired 33 years ago

Since your family emigrated from China after 1949 when it was no longer under ROC control, it is almost certain that you will not be able to obtain a regular ROC passport. While ROC law grants nationality to all overseas Chinese, it doesn't grant citizenship. Only those born to parents that were were already ROC citizens can obtain a passport and have the right to residency.

However, you may qualify for a ROC national without household registration passport. It functions basically the same as the British overseas national passport that many people in HK hold. It allows you to travel under ROC nationality but doesn't confer any rights of being a citizen. The issue with this passport is that it is pretty useless because it doesn't give you the right of residency in Taiwan. If you have a job offer in Taiwan, you will qualify for residency as a foreigner which actually gives you more rights and benefits than a ROC national without household registration.
Cryofern and ProleOnParole like this.

Last edited by bzcat; Mar 24, 21 at 5:57 pm
bzcat is offline  
Old Mar 24, 21, 11:17 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ZOA, SFO, HKG
Programs: UA 1K 0.9MM, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Hertz PC, SBux Gold, TSA Pre✓
Posts: 13,025
Originally Posted by jamar View Post
...Iím curious as to if anyone here knows if itís possible to get a ROC passport based on mainland heritage.
A big no will be your answer.

Without getting into the Mainland-Taiwan conflict, Taiwanese law recognizes every Chinese, including those from Mainland, Hong Kong and Macau as a ROC citizen, which is a vice versa situation from the Mainland side as well. However, under its passport law, Taiwan will only issue passports to those who actually have a household registration or linkage with Taiwan (but without household registration).

Originally Posted by jamar View Post
....if I go the naturalization route to secure ROC nationality, that means having to give up my US passport...
Not true.

1. Both the U.S. and Taiwan recognize dual-nationality.

2. If you use the Mainland status (I doubt you still have it), once you complete the settlement process, you will "activate" the Taiwanese citizenship.

Originally Posted by jamar View Post
...so by the loosest reading of the nationality law Iíd technically be a ROC national, but if it involves digging up my grandparentsí original records then due to some difficulties on that front I want to see if itís even a viable path before I go have some difficult conversations.
To make things simple for you - unless any of your family members can show evidence of a passport issued after 1949, you have no linkage with Taiwan.
garykung is online now  
Old Mar 25, 21, 2:49 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Home
Programs: AA, Delta, UA & thanks to FTers for my PC Gold!
Posts: 7,659
Taiwan Linkage & Naturization...

Originally Posted by garykung View Post
To make things simple for you - unless any of your family members can show evidence of a passport issued after 1949, you have no linkage with Taiwan.
I agree.
Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Originally Posted by jamar View Post
... if I go the naturalization route to secure ROC nationality, that means having to give up my US passport,...
Not true.

1. Both the U.S. and Taiwan recognize dual-nationality.
Not accurate. OP was correct.

If you like, you may dig into this celebrity's highly published journey of becoming a Taiwanese in local media:
Larisa Angela Bakurova (李瑞莎)

Even though ROC does recognize dual nationality, foreigners taking the naturalization route (to Taiwan) will have to provide documentation of renouncing or relinquishing his/her nationality. Yes, this person can become stateless before ROC government approves his/her application, such as Larisa Angela Bakurova.

Source: https://www.ris.gov.tw/app/en/3051
...3.Nationality
  • (1). How do aliens apply for naturalization to acquire R.O.C. nationality and ID cards?
    • A. Basic requirements for alien nationalization (pursuant to the Nationality Act ß3~9)
      • - Valid alien resident certificate or alien permanent resident certificate.(The applicant must apply for resident certificate to embassy of R.O.C. according to Statute Governing Issuance of ROC Visas in Foreign Passports. Within 15 days of entry into the territory of R.O.C., the applicant must apply for alien resident certificate to local office of National Immigration Agency. The alien permanent resident certificate must be applied in accordance with relevant laws).
      • - Alien resident certificate (he/she annually has resided in the territory of the R.O.C. for more than 183 days in total for more than 5 continuous years. Permitted foreign labors according to Employment Services Act ß46.1.8~ß46.1.10, students during the period of studies, or the fore-mentioned individuals depending on relatives who are nationals of R.O.C. shall be exceptions.)
      • - He/She is 20 years old or older and has the capacity to act in accordance with both the laws of R.O.C. and the laws of his/her own country.
      • - He/She behaves decently and has no records of crime.
      • - He/She has enough property or professional skills for his/her self-support or ensuring his/her living.
      • - He/She possesses basic language ability in the language of our country and understands the basic common knowledge of national’s rights and obligations.
      • - Loss of original nationality.
(bolding mine)
MSPeconomist likes this.

Last edited by lin821; Mar 28, 21 at 2:55 am Reason: typo
lin821 is offline  
Old Mar 25, 21, 3:10 am
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ZOA, SFO, HKG
Programs: UA 1K 0.9MM, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Hertz PC, SBux Gold, TSA Pre✓
Posts: 13,025
Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
Not accurate. OP was correct.
Actually, I am only half incorrect. In the unlikely event that OP can claim though Mainland heritage, then OP would not be subject to the foreigner track.

Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
Even though ROC does recognize dual nationality, foreigners taking the naturalization route (to Taiwan) will have to provide documentation of renouncing or relinquishing his/her nationality. Yes, this person can become stateless before ROC government approves his/her application, such as Larisa Angela Bakurova,
This is the part I don't know. I thought Taiwan would allow. Thanks for pointing out.
garykung is online now  
Old Mar 25, 21, 12:42 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: AA Plat, DL, AS, UA, IHG Plat
Posts: 2,215
ROC recognized dual nationality (國籍) of ethnic Chinese person but not dual citizenship (公民). You can be Korean-Chinese, Filipino-Chinese, Burmese-Chinese etc. but you are not ROC citizens.

Under ROC constitution, all overseas Chinese are ROC nationals because of an artifact of the ROC constitution which made an explicit racial justification for the establishment of the republic - Chinese people (really means Han people) should have the right to have an ethnic state because it had suffered under a foreign (Manchurian) occupation for 400 years. It was modeled under the similar early 20th century European ethnic state constitutions that generally made the same expansive ethnic nationality claims to justify territorial claims (e.g. Italy's claim on what is now Slovenia and Croatia because all the "Italians" that lived there).

But overseas Chinese are not automatically ROC citizens. You have to jump through lots of hoops to become one. At present, laws in Taiwan are clear, ROC citizenship can only be conferred in area under ROC administration by birth. Or you can claim ROC citizenship if you were born outside ROC administrative area to at least one parent that is a ROC citizen. That eliminates people whose family emigrated from China after 1949 because they lost their ROC citizenship when the area came under PRC administration. For example, Taiwan's former president Ma Ying Jeou was borned in Hong Kong but his family left the mainland before 1949 so his parent's ROC citizenship was intact and they were able to relocate to Taiwan. Ma got his ROC citizenship not by birth (he was born in the UK technically) but by parental lineage.
Cryofern and ProleOnParole like this.

Last edited by bzcat; Mar 25, 21 at 12:52 pm
bzcat is offline  
Old Mar 26, 21, 1:14 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Programs: HHonors Gold, Marriott Lifetime Gold, OZ*G, AA Plat
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
ROC recognized dual nationality (國籍) of ethnic Chinese person but not dual citizenship (公民). You can be Korean-Chinese, Filipino-Chinese, Burmese-Chinese etc. but you are not ROC citizens.

Under ROC constitution, all overseas Chinese are ROC nationals because of an artifact of the ROC constitution which made an explicit racial justification for the establishment of the republic - Chinese people (really means Han people) should have the right to have an ethnic state because it had suffered under a foreign (Manchurian) occupation for 400 years. It was modeled under the similar early 20th century European ethnic state constitutions that generally made the same expansive ethnic nationality claims to justify territorial claims (e.g. Italy's claim on what is now Slovenia and Croatia because all the "Italians" that lived there).

But overseas Chinese are not automatically ROC citizens. You have to jump through lots of hoops to become one. At present, laws in Taiwan are clear, ROC citizenship can only be conferred in area under ROC administration by birth. Or you can claim ROC citizenship if you were born outside ROC administrative area to at least one parent that is a ROC citizen. That eliminates people whose family emigrated from China after 1949 because they lost their ROC citizenship when the area came under PRC administration. For example, Taiwan's former president Ma Ying Jeou was borned in Hong Kong but his family left the mainland before 1949 so his parent's ROC citizenship was intact and they were able to relocate to Taiwan. Ma got his ROC citizenship not by birth (he was born in the UK technically) but by parental lineage.
I didn't know that the artifact of the constitution that made that a thing was related to Manchu rule. Interesting. That aside, I thought the difference between "national" and "citizen" lay in the ID card, not the passport. That is, as a national I'd have a path to getting a passport, but the "unregistered national" variety which doesn't, on its own, confer the right to reside in Taiwan without applying for a separate work visa. And, of course, an ARC-like ID card instead of a proper Taiwanese ID card. There'd be hoops involved, but I'd have the ability to "settle" and become a full citizen without naturalization and the requirement to give up my US passport.

In any case, the priority for me is to enter Taiwan and the authorities have resumed issuing visas so I'll get a work visa in my US passport for now. If the possibility is there it can be returned to later.
jamar is offline  
Old Mar 26, 21, 3:13 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ZOA, SFO, HKG
Programs: UA 1K 0.9MM, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Hertz PC, SBux Gold, TSA Pre✓
Posts: 13,025
Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
Ma got his ROC citizenship not by birth (he was born in the UK technically) but by parental lineage.
Actually, Ma is never considered born in the U.K. Should Ma ever claim linkage with Hong Kong, Ma would be BDTC (now BOTC) until 1997, BN(O) should he choose to register, and/or Chinese (Hong Kong) citizen.

There was a reason why Tsai Ing-Wen, the current Taiwan President, banned Ma from leaving for Hong Kong just right after Ma's presidency.
garykung is online now  
Old Mar 30, 21, 4:58 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Taiwan
Programs: AC*Gold50K; Marriott Bonvoy Gold; StarLux Explorer
Posts: 97
I get the mental exercise, but its so easy for firms to sponsor an ARC so why bother? Or, if you can prove you earned at least USD 67,000 a year within the last three years you qualify for a gold card.
smes is offline  
Old Apr 2, 21, 1:57 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Programs: HHonors Gold, Marriott Lifetime Gold, OZ*G, AA Plat
Posts: 1,675
Originally Posted by smes View Post
I get the mental exercise, but its so easy for firms to sponsor an ARC so why bother? Or, if you can prove you earned at least USD 67,000 a year within the last three years you qualify for a gold card.
In my case, the original intention in the long term was to secure dual citizenship. ARC to permanent residency leaves me with the ability to reside in Taiwan long-term but the final step can't be taken without giving up my US citizenship in the process. As for why I want a full passport, there are certain countries where it's more expedient to enter on a non-US passport (for example, being able to obtain a TaiBaoZheng to come and go from the mainland, or expanded working holiday opportunities in other European and Asian countries, although the clock is rapidly ticking down for me on that so not that specifically).
jamar is offline  
Old Apr 19, 21, 10:48 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Programs: statusless these days
Posts: 20,361
Decades ago, my uncle by marriage got in some legal trouble with the government of the country of his birth (as well as that of his family including my aunt and cousins, and most of my family). They managed to obtain RoC citizenship (or at least passports). Never knew the details of the avenue(s) they used..
YVR Cockroach is offline  
Old Jun 13, 21, 6:06 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Tainan, Taiwan
Posts: 13,522
Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
Even though ROC does recognize dual nationality, foreigners taking the naturalization route (to Taiwan) will have to provide documentation of renouncing or relinquishing his/her nationality. Yes, this person can become stateless before ROC government approves his/her application, such as Larisa Angela Bakurova.
The bolded part above is no longer true. Due to the risk of a person going through the naturalization process becoming stateless, the law was changed a few years ago so that now, an applicant can wait until AFTER their citizenship application has been approved before renouncing their original nationality. I think they have up to a year after being approved to show proof of renouncement.

Yeah, so for us permanent resident foreign nationals, this "no dual citizenship for naturalized citizens" rule really sucks. My wife, born in Taiwan, has dual ROC/US citizenship, no problem. But I'm not allowed the same privilege. There is hope that they'll eventually change this rule (and in fact, a few years ago, they loosened the rule a bit so that certain "special" individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to Taiwan (such as elderly missionaries who have spent their whole lives working in the mountains among the poor), or are deemed to possess special skills that are of "vital national interest", such as being really, really good at basketball [not joking], are now allowed to obtain ROC citizenship without renouncing. But in the years since that law has passed, only a small number of individuals have qualified for the waiver.

Last edited by Skyman65; Jun 13, 21 at 6:24 am
Skyman65 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: