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Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Who can and cannot be a dual national, as well as the joys and frustrations accompanying that status. Includes ROC Passport and Military Conscription issues
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Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Postby IceEagle » 31 Jul 2014, 07:43

I was trying to find out how to apply for a Overseas Chinese Identity Certificate on the basis of Chinese ancestry, as described at http://www.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 ?
IceEagle
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Re: Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Postby Zla'od » 31 Jul 2014, 15:01

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?
“What part of a woman is the yet, anyway? I heard there was a fight here in Tulsa, and a woman was shot in the fracas. The doc said the bullet is in her yet. And how did the bullet get in her yet, when she was shot in the fracas?"
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Re: Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Postby IceEagle » 31 Jul 2014, 15:45

In my case, it's the latter....

Were you ever able to figure out how to obtain one?
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Re: Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Postby Zla'od » 01 Aug 2014, 08:44

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!
“What part of a woman is the yet, anyway? I heard there was a fight here in Tulsa, and a woman was shot in the fracas. The doc said the bullet is in her yet. And how did the bullet get in her yet, when she was shot in the fracas?"
Zla'od
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Re: Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Postby IceEagle » 01 Aug 2014, 12:06

Zla'od wrote: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.


Drat. Oh well.

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

Zla'od wrote: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.


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

Zla'od wrote: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!


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

Q. What are documents of proof of Chinese ethnic origin? What is the significance of an Overseas Chinese Identity Certificate obtained on the basis of proof of Chinese ethnic documents?

A. A document of proof of Chinese ethnic origin means a document of proof of foreign identity that states nationality or ethnicity of the holder as Chinese, or a certificate of Chinese ethnicity issued by a ROC Foreign Representative Office.

Where a person applies for an Overseas Chinese Identity Certificate by submitting proof of Chinese ethnicity, the OCAC will annotate on the Overseas Chinese Identity Certificate issued the fact that the applicant had lodged the application on the basis of such proof of Chinese ethnicity; the substantive validity of such an Overseas Chinese Identity Certificate will be determined by the relevant authority responsible for each specific purpose.


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: http://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!
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Re: Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Postby Zla'od » 02 Aug 2014, 20:51

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?
“What part of a woman is the yet, anyway? I heard there was a fight here in Tulsa, and a woman was shot in the fracas. The doc said the bullet is in her yet. And how did the bullet get in her yet, when she was shot in the fracas?"
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Re: Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Postby IceEagle » 03 Aug 2014, 04:59

Zla'od wrote:Not OCAC. She was on the diplomatic staff of..whatever they call the pseudo-embassies these days. One of those.


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)?

Zla'od wrote:Malaysia didn't exist as such before 1963.


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.

Zla'od wrote:As for the other stuff--if this is what they require, then it represents a fundamental confusion between ethnicity, ancestral nationality, and emigration records.


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.

Zla'od wrote: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.


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.

Zla'od wrote: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?


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

Zla'od wrote: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?


Perhaps, if they knew which of their ancestors migrated, a DNA test proving relations to someone with ethnic Chinese documentation would be accepted.
IceEagle
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Re: Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Postby IceEagle » 03 Aug 2014, 06:18

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.....
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Re: Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Postby IceEagle » 13 Aug 2014, 05:23

So ... A response from OCAC HQ came in the mail today.
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Re: Where is OCAC - Eligibility for Proof of Chinese Ethnicity

Postby Zla'od » 13 Aug 2014, 07:42

What'd they say?
“What part of a woman is the yet, anyway? I heard there was a fight here in Tulsa, and a woman was shot in the fracas. The doc said the bullet is in her yet. And how did the bullet get in her yet, when she was shot in the fracas?"
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