Military Conscription Rules for Dual Nationality Chinese

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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Military Conscription Rules for Dual Nationality Chinese

Postby Amasashi » 03 Dec 2010, 23:42

Let me clarify on the 4-month/6-month military conscription rule that's been causing a lot of confusion lately. I have dual citizenship (American and Taiwanese) and my brother went 90% of the way in applying for Taiwanese citizenship before backing out; I fall on the 4-month side of the rule while my brother falls on the 6-month side, so I'm pretty clear about the entire situation.

Pre-1985. If you're born BEFORE 1985, then you fall into the 4-month rule. Basically you cannot stay in Taiwan for more than 120 CONSECUTIVE days each time. Break this rule 3 times or stay in Taiwan for more than 365 consecutive days and you'll have to serve in the military. The obvious loophole to this rule is that you can board a flight to Hong Kong in the morning only to return in the afternoon, resetting your consecutive day count but still effectively staying in Taiwan every day of the year.

1985 and beyond. If you're born IN or AFTER 1985, then you fall into the 6-month rule. This is the new and current rule that replaced the 4-month rule because the government was wising up to everyone taking full advantage of the aforementioned loophole. Basically you cannot stay in Taiwan for more than a CUMULATIVE total of 183 days out of the year (January 1st to December 31st). Break this rule 2 times or stay in Taiwan for more than 365 consecutive days and you'll have to serve in the military.

The reason why my brother ended up not applying for Taiwanese citizenship was because he fell into the 6-month rule and there would be no point in having citizenship but not being able to live in Taiwan, so he decided to stick with the ARC. Fortunately, I am on the 4-month side of the rule and abuse this loophole to no end!

Of course, this only deals with military conscription AFTER you apply for citizenship. There are also rules regarding military conscription for the period of time from when you're 18 to when you apply for citizenship, something the government is going to look at if you want Taiwanese citizenship.

In a nutshell, all male Taiwanese citizens are required to serve a mandatory military conscription when they turn 18. The ONLY way to delay this conscription while living in Taiwan is education. As long as you are enrolled in high school, college, or graduate school, you can keep delaying the conscription. However, the minute you are no longer a student, conscription comes back to bite you in the ass. What does this mean for a prospective applicant? Let me explain.

Suppose you first came to Taiwan when you were 24 and have been working with an ARC ever since. Now, 6 years later, you're 30, and have decided to apply for Taiwanese citizenship. The government will look at the period of time from when you're 18 to 30 to decide whether you need to serve in the military. 18-23, you weren't in Taiwan, so no problem there. However, starting from when you were 24, you've been living in Taiwan. Now this goes back to which side of the 4-month/6-month rule you fall into. Suppose it's the 6-month rule. Well, since you've been living in Taiwan from the ages of 24-30, which is 6 years, you've clearly violated the 6-month rule, and will have to serve in the military IMMEDIATELY.

So before you decide to apply for Taiwanese citizenship, do the math and think about your time in Taiwan so far. A lot of people violate the 4-month/6-month rule without even knowing it, which isn't a problem if you're using an ARC, but will definitely be a pain if you ever decide to apply for citizenship. The way around this is to wait until you're 37 to apply for Taiwanese citizenship. The military only accepts men from the ages of 18-36. Once you're 37, you'll be free of mandatory conscription and the whole 4-month/6-month rule headache.

Oh, and of course, you MUST have an Overseas Chinese Stamp on your Taiwanese passport before you apply for Taiwanese citizenship, otherwise you'll have to immediately serve in the military regardless. The stamp can only be given by a Taiwanese embassy in your country of residence and NOT in Taiwan. So be sure to get this done before flying over.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Military Conscription Rules for Dual Nationality Chinese

Postby Jellidonuts » 04 Dec 2010, 08:53

Thanks for the info Amashi, very helpful! I fall on the 4 month side as well, so I'm curious to know how long ago did you get your citizenship and are you living/working in Taiwan now?
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Re: Military Conscription Rules for Dual Nationality Chinese

Postby Amasashi » 04 Dec 2010, 09:25

I've been living in Taiwan for the past 10 years. First studying, then working. I applied for citizenship about 2 years ago and everything's been fine ever since.

I actually have one 4-month rule violation because of the situation I explained before. When I was on a student ARC, I was immune to conscription. However, after I graduated, I changed to a work permit ARC, which made me susceptible to conscription should I decide to obtain citizenship. I applied for citizenship about 350 days after I graduated, which meant I violated the 4-month rule once, but thankfully did not violate the 365-day rule, which would mean serving immediately if you break it even ONCE.

It's a little confusing, but basically if you ever apply for citizenship, the 4-month/6-month rule starts counting from when you are 18, regardless of what you used to stay in Taiwan before.
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Re: Military Conscription Rules for Dual Nationality Chinese

Postby Lil' Slugger » 02 Aug 2011, 23:11

Could somebody post a link to the gov't's rules on 4 months vs. 6 months? In Chinese is fine, I'd like to forward it to our HR dept.
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Re: Military Conscription Rules for Dual Nationality Chinese

Postby fh2000 » 14 Aug 2011, 11:58

Amasashi wrote:
Oh, and of course, you MUST have an Overseas Chinese Stamp on your Taiwanese passport before you apply for Taiwanese citizenship, otherwise you'll have to immediately serve in the military regardless. The stamp can only be given by a Taiwanese embassy in your country of residence and NOT in Taiwan. So be sure to get this done before flying over.

Hope this helps!


Amashashi,

If you are still posting/reading this forum, can you explain your last paragraph? My son is not yet 18. I am a dual citizen (Taiwan and US). He does not have Taiwan passport yet. If I want to apply Taiwan citizenship for my son, he will need to get the Overseas Chinese Stamp first on his passport, then apply for citizenship. Add him to my 'Hukou' in Taipei. Is the purpose of the stamp to allow application to go easier? Also, he will be subject to conscription rule if he decides to stay in Taiwan in the future for more than 183 days a year before he turns 37?

We may rethink why apply Taiwan citizenship for him then.
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Re: Military Conscription Rules for Dual Nationality Chinese

Postby Amasashi » 02 Sep 2011, 14:05

fh2000,

You pretty much have the order right. The whole purpose of the Overseas Chinese Stamp is so you can avoid military conscription. And as your son was born after 1985, he can only stay in Taiwan for a maximum of 183 cumulative days per year. If he breaks this rule 2 times, or stays in Taiwan for more than 365 consecutive days 1 time, then he will have to immediately serve in the military.

They changed the rules for overseas Chinese so people can't abuse the loophole (like you and I do, lol). So if your son plans on staying in Taiwan for a long time, he'll either have to use his foreign passport and get an ARC or serve in the military for a year.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Military Conscription Rules for Dual Nationality Chinese

Postby andysasa » 02 Jul 2012, 10:12

Hi Amasashi,

I'm not sure if you're still reading this post since it was posted a while back, but I have a quick question regarding the military conscription if you don't mind answering. I'm planning on going to Taiwan for about 2-3 week in 2 weeks for my college grad trip. I'm a dual citizen in the U.S. and Taiwan. I stayed in Taiwan from when I was a year old until I was 11. Since then, I've only visited once four years ago for about a month (I returned to the States before I turned 18) and I am turning 22 now. I am wondering that if I were to go back this summer, would I face any problems with the military conscription? I am starting veterinary school very soon and I don't want any chance of the military conscription to halt my stay in Taiwan and delay my return to the States. Thank you so much!
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Re: Military Conscription Rules for Dual Nationality Chinese

Postby Amasashi » 05 Jul 2012, 20:04

andysasa,

If you have dual citizenship and Overseas Chinese Status on your Taiwanese passport, you'll be fine :-)
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Re: Military Conscription Rules for Dual Nationality Chinese

Postby pook110 » 11 Sep 2012, 02:50

Hi,

I was born pre 1984, and a US citizen but born in Taiwan. Should I enter with my Taiwan passport? and then apply the 4 month rule? thanks. Please help
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