The process for Taiwanese citizenship application as a High-Level professional is at first glance, painfully simple:
It is, of course, much more difficult in practice.
The official instructions are available in English.
The key difference when compared with preparing a regular application is the Letter of Recommendation for Naturalisation of High-Level Professionals (歸化國籍之高級專業人才推薦書). The first step to take is to start gathering documents from across your whole career to support your application. You will need to construct your application based on the requirements of the ministry/agency to which you are applying for recommendation.
Read the Information Table of Recommendation for Naturalization for High-level Professional and determine which agency will assess your skills. Then call that Ministry and ask for advice about their process and additional information about the requirements.
Once you know which Ministry will assess your work, they will provide paperwork for you to fill out. At the very least you will craft an application letter on the official form introducing yourself, your skills, and your contributions to Taiwan.
The latter part is particularly important for the second step of the application process, since you will be assessed a second time by the citizenship committee in the Ministry of Interior.
An application will take several months. It follows this basic timeline:
A key factor in the timing is in the Citizenship Committee in the Ministry of Interior that conducts the final assessment of naturalisation for High-Level Professionals. The committee meets once every two months, typically around the 25th of the month (February, April, June, August, October, December), but can also meet ad-hoc. If your application misses a meeting, you can be waiting a significant amount of time for the next one.
In general, you must be resident in Taiwan for more than 183 days a year for at least five continuous years, or three if you are married to a Taiwanese citizen. You do not need to hold permanent residence (APRC), but this does waive certain requirements, as does spending more than 10 consecutive years resident in Taiwan.
It is crucial that:
You may apply at the National Immigration Agency for a “Certificate of Residence” that will provide the necessary details for your application.
You must prove a basic level of Chinese language ability in order to qualify for naturalization. You have two options: take a test, or study a certain number of hours in a recognised school.
The test can be of multiple choice written form in Mandarin or in oral form in Mandardin, Taiwanese, Hakka or an indigenous language. Either option is 20 questions, selected at random from a pre-defined pool of around 200. You must score:
Information about the test, including the bank of potential questions, is found on the Department of Household Registration website.
The alternative is to study a certain number of hours in a government recognised school and present a certificate to validate your attendance. You need:
If you already have Permanent Residence (APRC) in Taiwan, you are exempt from proving your personal finances. For everyone else, you must gather documents such as tax records, pay slips and bank statements that show you have one of:
If you are married to a Taiwanese national or have Taiwanese children, requirements are lower.
You must have a clean criminal record in both your existing country of citizenship and Taiwan.
You must apply for a criminal record check in your existing country of citizenship and:
Once your criminal record is issued by your existing country of citizenship, you cannot leave Taiwan, otherwise it will be deemed invalid.
In most cases, you must pass a health check in Taiwan. Allow for up to two weeks to receive the results.
You can ask your local Household Registration Office for their recommended hospital, or check the list of designated hospitals.
Large hospitals in city centers are likely to have a dedicated health check area that is accustomed to performing the requisite tests for residence. Many hospitals only offer the service at specific times or require appointments, so calling ahead to check is recommended.
A specific form is required to be filled out and covers up to five examinations depending on your passport country. The CDC website has details of the required tests.