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Forever Foreigner

Taiwan and China rights for Overseas Chinese

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Forever Foreigner

Am an overseas Chinese born in a SouthEast Asian country.  Have lived in Shenzhen for some years, and discovered and appreciated my Chinese ethnicity better and has taken more interest in China's history and culture relative to mine.

 

I actually hold a Taiwan passport (only). Most people including me thought I would have fared better in Taiwan but due to certain immigration rules, I can only stay in Taiwan for 6 months the most and exit and reenter.  On top of that, it was not easy for me to get a bank account nor a mobile phone line.  Although I do enjoy the perks of free visa processing and have the right to full Taiwan citizenship with a cumulative stay of 7 years.

 

On the other hand, I can get a China travel permit and can stay in China for 2 years with multiple entries. And surprisingly, I feel more free to move around there. Bank and mobile phones processing are a breeze. Mainland Chinese also regards you as one of their own even knowing that you are an Overseas Chinese.  Their usual response of " you came back home" was comforting and brings a sense of belongingness. 

 

I have friends telling me i have to decide on my nationality as I don't seem to belong to any.  But I sincerely would like to hold on my whatever legal heritage I have with China and Taiwan.and not all are privileged to have that.

 

And on another positive note, I do feel privileged knowing all of them. I know 3-4 languages - among them Englsih, Mandarin and Fukkienese and has both western and oriental values and concepts,  Its like getting the best of both worlds.  I understand the immigration policies are there for a reason.  But like any overseas Chinese, in as much we would like to hold on to our ancestry citizenship, there are still a lot of rights that are greyed out for Overseas Chinese both in their ancient home country and their new home country.  I could never feel I fully belong to any of the 3 places,  hence, my user name of  " Forever Foreigner".

 

Have any of you Overseas Chinese feel the same way? How did you deal with it?

 

How does the local Chinese see overseas Chinese? Are we really welcomed as their fellow men or as those who defected? 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lu

 

I actually hold a Taiwan passport (only). Most people including me thought I would have fared better in Taiwan but due to certain immigration rules, I can only stay in Taiwan for 6 months the most and exit and reenter.  On top of that, it was not easy for me to get a bank account nor a mobile phone line.  Although I do enjoy the perks of free visa processing and have the right to full Taiwan citizenship with a cumulative stay of 7 years.

While you probably know more about this than I do, this sounds strange to me. For one thing, if you can get a job or go to study in Taiwan, you can get a visa for a longer period (and get a bank account more easily). I think you need the Taiwan equivalent of a hukou to 'activate' your Taiwanese passport, don't know how hard that is, but if you make plans to stay, perhaps you can look into that? There are tons of foreigners who stay in Taiwan, get permanent residency (in 5 years even) or even a Taiwanese passport, it sounds so strange to me that it would be more complicated for someone who already has the passport.

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skylee

Getting a mobile phone line in Taiwan is difficult? This sounds unlikely. Even tourists like me get mobile phone sim cards easily. When did you last check about this?

PS - If you have an ROC passport then you have the ROC nationality. Why is it that you think you don't seem to have any nationality? Are you from Myanmar? Is this thread relevant? http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/39409-will-i-get-china-nationality-when-i-come-back-to-china/

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Takeshi

What is the "China Travel Permit" that lets you stay in China for 2 years? What are the restrictions on each length of stay? (eg. do you have to stay for a few months then exit and come back?) Are you allowed to work?

 

You say your friends say you should "decide on your nationality", is there any scheme by either Mainland or Taiwan that allow you to obtain more rights? What do they mean by this?

 

@skylee:

I guess he is a National Without Household Registration in Taiwan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_without_household_registration

 

Yes, you have "nationality", but very different rights from the average Taiwanese. According to the wikipedia page, skylee you are a "National Without Household Registration" in Taiwan too. :P

 

I heard that getting a mobile phone in Taiwan used to be quite difficult. Maybe this has changed now; the phones you are getting are probably short term prepaid phones or something designed for tourists. Getting on a phone plan used to be quite difficult as a foreigner I think, but I heard it is recently possible if you have an ARC. No idea how it's like for NWOHRs tho.


 

 

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roddy

Getting a PAYG SIM back in... 2010?.. was a pain - ended up having to go to the head office as the computers in the local shops wouldn't take a foreign passport number. Apparently at the airport it wouldn't have been a problem, but I didn't know that...

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Lu

 

I heard that getting a mobile phone in Taiwan used to be quite difficult. Maybe this has changed now; the phones you are getting are probably short term prepaid phones or something designed for tourists. Getting on a phone plan used to be quite difficult as a foreigner I think, but I heard it is recently possible if you have an ARC.

When I was studying there for a year, I couldn't get on a plan for one year. When I was living there later to work, I got a prepaid card, but I remember having them copy passport and ARC and all at some occasion. Went on holiday there last year and got a prepaid card (with unlimited internet!) on the airport, which as roddy mentioned was very easy. I suspect they might still be hesitant to give you a contract, they can sometimes be afraid that foreigners will just leave the country without paying their bills.

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skylee

Re #6, that is why I asked the OP when he last checked about this.  I have kept my Taiwan PAYG sim card alive for a couple of years by regularly reloading it. 

 

But this is really trivial compared to the OP's passport/ nationality/ residency issue.

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Forever Foreigner

Thanks for all those who replied. Sorry, as I am working in the office during the weekdays.

 

Yes - I am what you consider as  Nationals Without Household Registration" in Taiwan.

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ROBERT LEE

I would love to see more information on these. I am an overseas Chinese living in the Philippines, and yes, we are Chinese nationals, without the right to abode and work. I am still trying to find more information on how to live and work in both countries, hence I came across this forum.

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