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Taiwan Citizenship by Descent

Taiwan Citizenship by Descent

A foreigner is entitled to acquire citizenship in Taiwan based on few legal grounds. The basic ways are by birth, by marriage, by naturalization; one can also obtain Taiwan citizenship by descent and for the latter, few options apply, based on the law enforced in this country.

If you plan to open a company in Taiwan but you are also entitled citizenship by descent in this country, we invite you to read this article, in order to find out the main legal grounds through which you can start the citizenship process, which grants you with the right of having a Taiwanese passport. Please mind that in Taiwan dual citizenship is not recognized, so, if you want to obtain Taiwan citizenship by descent on mother side or in any other legal way, you should be prepared to renounce your current citizenship.

What is the law on Taiwan citizenship by descent? 

Citizenship by descent can be granted to persons who are related to Taiwanese nationals. The law stipulates that it can be granted if a child has a father who, at the time of the birth of the child, had or obtained the Taiwanese citizenship. Please mind that if a child was conceived from a Taiwanese father and the father passed away before the child’s birth, the child will still be entitled to Taiwan citizenship by descent.

When we refer to Taiwan citizenship by descent on mother side, which refers to obtaining the citizenship of a person based on the fact that the mother of the person is a Taiwanese national, the law stipulates that a child can receive the nationality even in the case in which the father is a stateless person or even if the father is unknown.   

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, the law on citizenship in Taiwan has had few updates in the last decades, which have changed the ways in which one can acquire citizenship by descent. Foreigners are invited to read the following section, regarding the ways in which they are entitled to citizenship based on Taiwanese descent:   

  • the main rule of law which regulates citizenship matters in Taiwan is the Nationality Law of the Republic of China of 5 February 1929;
  • the law was modified in 2000, and when we refer to Taiwan citizenship by descent, it now states that a person can acquire the citizenship through either parent (who is a Taiwanese national), if certain conditions apply;
  • the above mentioned rule can be enforced as long as a person applies for citizenship before the 20th anniversary;
  • in the case of male applicants, once they apply for citizenship and obtain it, they must complete the military service for at least 1 year so that they have the right to retain the citizenship;
  • those who apply for it and have an age between 16-19 years old and who do not complete the military service can be required to relinquish their residency certificate.   

What are the steps to complete when applying for a Taiwanese passport?

Those who qualify for the Taiwan citizenship by descent, either it is through the Taiwan citizenship by descent on mother side or the father’s, must start the procedure for obtaining the Taiwanese identity documents. The application is quite complex, and the applicant must prepare a large set of documents, just like in the case when one applies for a visa to set up a company in Taiwan.   

Our team of consultants in Taiwan company formation can help you understand this process and to prepare the required documents. If you need advice on how to prepare these documents, you can always rely on our team, who is ready not only to help you in business matters, but also in immigration matters that can be of interest of foreigners, businessmen or other categories.   

First, the applicant has to prepare the application form, and where the applicant is a minor, the parental agreement is necessary as well. The birth certificate of the applicant is required, the passport issued in the country of origin of the applicant, and the documents attesting the nationality of the parents (or parent) of the applicant.   

The file for Taiwan citizenship by descent must include documents presenting the person’s current residential address – a residential certificate issued by the authorities in Taiwan is necessary. This document usually attests the fact that one of the parents of the applicant has a permanent residential address in Taiwan, where the applicants are minors. Of course, the applicant must pay an application fee; our consultants in company formation in Taiwan can present the current fees one must pay. It is also mandatory to add two recent photos.   

For further information, please contact our consultants, who can provide more details on other steps involved in this process. You can always rely on our team for advice on citizenship by naturalization, which is the most common way to acquire citizenship for those who will set up a company in Taiwan and want to settle here.