- Exit & Entry Permit (Taiwan)
An Exit & Entry Permit (Traditional Chinese: 中華民國台灣地區入出境許可證, more commonly known as 台證 or 入台證) is a document issued by the Immigration Office of the National Police Agency of the
Republic of China, for Hong Kong and Macau residents holding PRC nationality to enter Taiwan.
Before the handovers of Hong Kong & Macau
In the past, such permit was a passport-like booklet, with the flag of the Republic of China imprinted on the cover. The old permit could be used for multiple entries. Holders of the passport of the People's Republic of China (issued on the mainland),
Republic of China passportand any other foreign passports could not apply for the permit.
When Hong Kong was under
British colonial ruleholders of British Dependent Territories citizen and British National (Overseas)passports needed to apply for the entry permit but British Citizens were (and are still) eligible for the visa-free access. Holders of Hong Kong Certificate of Identityalso needed the permit. In the past these permits must be applied at the Chung Hwa Travel Agency[http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%AD%E8%8F%AF%E6%97%85%E8%A1%8C%E7%A4%BE] in Hong Kong or the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centerin Macau.
Up to 2005, only applicants who had visited Taiwan could file an online application for the permit. They were required to produce a valid/expired permit (in form of a booklet, issued by ROC) to a Taiwanese immigration officer together with the online application to enter Taiwan. However, with the amendment of the law in 2005, PRC nationals born in Hong Kong or Macau can file an online application or apply for a landing visa since 2005. In these cases, applicants' passports are not stamped.
Such persons can apply for a permit at the website of the Immigration Office [https://nas.immigration.gov.tw] . For residents of Hong Kong, they can collect the permit (in form of a paper) at offices of the Chung Hwa Travel Agency at Lippo Centre, Admiralty or the
Hong Kong International Airport. They need to produce their application number, their British National (Overseas)passport or HKSAR passport(with at least 6-month validity) and their Hong Kong Identity Cardupon collect of their paper-form permit. For residents of Macau, they can collect the permit at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center. Their MSAR passportor Portuguese passport(issued before 1999), and their Macau Identity Card should be produced instead of the HK counterparts. The application fee is HKD55. This permit can be used for two times, while the maximum period of each stay is 14 days. The validity is three months. They can enter Taiwan only through Taiwan Taoyuan International Airportor Kaohsiung International Airport.
They can also opt to apply a landing visa upon arrival. Their passports (HKSAR, BN(O), MSAR or pre-handover Portuguese) and the HK/Macau ID cards should be produced when applying for permit at a counter specific for them (stating 'Chinese only'). The validity of the paper form permit is 14 days but only one entry is allowed. The applicantion fee is
tamping passports and its political implications
Some people in Hong Kong and mainland China think that stamping the passports is a pro-independence behaviour of the Republic of China. Some suggested that the ROC should only stamp BN(O) passports but not the
HKSAR passport. In the end, the ROC government decided not to stamp either BN(O) or HKSAR passports (though these passports are scanned, the stamp is placed on the permit), and in the laws of the Republic of China it is also clearly stated that British National (Overseas)status is not recognised. [http://www.mac.gov.tw/big5/twhkmc/faq/06.htm] However the whole process is quite similar to the normal visa-free entrance procedures of many countries, and as a result, this arrangement is controversial to some extent.
Recognition of applicant's nationality
It is more convenient and economical for visitors to enter Taiwan by the visa-free access programme than applying for this special entry permit, which is specific for PRC nationals with permanent residency in HK or Macau. The ROC officially does not recognise PRC nationals people in HK and Macau (without foreign passports) as 'aliens' or 'foreigners' but the immigration arrangement for them is inferior than that for foreigners. Conversely, for the People's Republic of China,
Home Return Permitholding PRC citizens in HK & Macau have a better deal than foreign nationals as they require expensive visas to enter the mainland.
Also note that only some BN(O) and HKSAR passport holders are eligible for this online/landing permit. For example, holders of these passports who are not born in Hong Kong or Macau are not eligible and they need to file an application for an entry permit at the Chung Hwa Travel Agency. For some entry permit holders, production of BN(O) and HKSAR passports is not required. These restrictions provide evidence that the nationality stated in the passport is not officially recognised by the ROC.
Consular Protection for BN(O) passport holders
The British Government has indicated that it provides the same consular assistance for BN(O) passport holders as other British nationals, except in the case of BN(O) holders who are ethnic Chinese of mainland China/Hong Kong/Macau origin travelling to People's Republic of China. The British Government does not indicate that BN(O)s travelling to Taiwan cannot enjoy British consular protection. This implies that BN(O)s do enjoy British consular protection as they travel to other countries, even the status is not officially recognised by the ROC. [http://www.gnn.gov.uk/content/detail.asp?NewsAreaID=2&ReleaseID=174346]
Passports other than HKSAR or MSAR
The PRC does not recognise the British citizenship obtained by ethnic Chinese Hong Kong residents in the
British Nationality Selection Scheme, and individuals with such citizenship still need a Home Return Permitto enter mainland China. However, the citizenship is fully recognised by the Republic of China and they can enter Taiwan through the full visa-free access programme. Their BC passports are also stamped.
Portuguese citizenship obtained before the handover of Macau to the PRC is not recognised by the ROC. However, it is still possible to obtain Portuguese citizenship in Macau after 1999 since Portuguese citizenship is transmissible. Post-handover Portuguese citizenships are recognised by the ROC.
Arrangements for foreign passport holders
Holders of other passports need not to apply for this permit, which is specific for Hong Kong and Macau residents. They can either enjoy 30-day visa fress access [http://www.boca.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=32&ctNode=49&mp=1] or need to apply for other ROC visas/entry permits. Note that British Citizen passports obtained in the
British Nationality Selection Schemeof the colonial Hong Kong Government and Portuguese citizens who obtained the citizenship after 1999 (since Portuguese citizenship is transmissible) can also enter Taiwan without visa, in the own right of their citizenships.
Also, BN(O) passport holders without PRC nationality are not eligible for this entry permit, and must apply for an ROC visa to enter Taiwan. Their BN(O) status is recognised by the ROC.
British nationality law and Hong Kong
Portuguese nationality law
Republic of China passport
Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China
Home Return Permit
Visa policy of the Republic of China
Taiwan Compatriot Pass
* [http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/archives/2001/07/10/0000093515 Taiwan's visa offer a step forward, "The Taipei Times"]
* [http://www.mac.gov.tw/big5/mlpolicy/hkpolicy/a60729-1.htm 香港澳門關係條例]
* [http://www.mac.gov.tw/english/english/law/hmact.htm Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau]
* [http://www.mac.gov.tw/english/english/law/hm2.htm Enforcement Rules of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau]
* [http://www.mac.gov.tw/big5/mlpolicy/hkpolicy/a60729-3.htm 香港澳門居民進入臺灣地區及居留定居許可辦法]
* [http://www.mac.gov.tw/big5/twhkmc/faq/index.htm 交流實務答客問]
* [http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1068718131771 BN(O) Immigration]
* [http://www.immigration.gov.tw/aspcode/QABoardList1.asp?objID=20060525000001 英國本土護照入境再問950521]
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