Exit & Entry Permit (Republic of China)

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Entry Permit for HK, Macau and China mainland Residents
Inside the Entry Permit
The cover of a multiple entry permit.
Data page of a multiple entry permit issued to China mainland residents.
Data page of a multiple entry permit issued to Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu residents. Residents in these islands can use the permit to enter/exit the Taiwan Area from/to mainland China via ports in the islands without using their Republic of China passports.

An Exit & Entry Permit for the Taiwan Area of the Republic of China (Traditional Chinese: 中華民國臺灣地區入出境許可證), more commonly known as Exit & Entry Permit (台證 or 入台證 Rù tái zhèng) is a document issued by the National Immigration Agency of the Republic of China, for Hong Kong, Macau and China mainland residents holding PRC nationality for entry to Taiwan.

Procedures[edit]

Before the handovers of Hong Kong & Macau[edit]

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.[citation needed] Holders of the passport of the People's Republic of China (issued in mainland China), Republic of China passport and any other foreign passports could not apply for the permit.

When Hong Kong was under British colonial rule holders 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 Identity also needed the permit. In the past these permits had to be applied for at the Chung Hwa Travel Agency in Hong Kong or the Taipei Commerce and Tourism Office (1989-1999) in Macau.

Online application[edit]

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 ROC 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 National Immigration Agency [1]. 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 Card upon collect of their paper-form permit. For residents of Macau, they can collect the permit at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center. Their MSAR passport or 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 Airport or Kaohsiung International Airport.

Landing visas[edit]

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 30 days but only one entry is allowed. The application fee is NT$300.

Landing Visas are available at the Lo Wu Transit point between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. These are strictly limited 5 days and require departure from via the same location. Payment must be made in RMB, which can be obtained from ATMs and Money exchange outlets in the Lo Wu Train Station. Prices vary depending on nationality.

Special issues[edit]

Stamping passports and its political implications[edit]

As the ROC claims sovereignty over mainland China, the ROC government does not stamp either BN(O) or HKSAR passports (though these passports are scanned, the stamp is placed on the permit). The law of the Republic of China states that British National (Overseas) status is not recognised.[1] However, the whole process is quite similar to the normal visa-free entrance procedures in many countries.

Recognition of applicant's nationality[edit]

It is more convenient and economical for visitors to enter the ROC 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 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 with passports that are granted visa-free access to ROC. Similarly, ROC residents entering Hong Kong also receive inferior treatment compared with foreign passport holders with visa-free access to Hong Kong. For the People's Republic of China, Home Return Permit holding PRC citizens in HK & Macau have a better deal than foreign nationals as they require expensive visas to enter the mainland.[citation needed]

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[edit]

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 ROC 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.[2]

Passports other than HKSAR, MSAR or BN(O)[edit]

British citizens[edit]

The Republic of China (unlike the PRC) fully recognizes the British citizenship obtained by ethnic Chinese Hong Kong residents in the British Nationality Selection Scheme and they can enter Taiwan through the full visa-free access program. Their BC passports are also stamped.

Portuguese citizens[edit]

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.

PRC citizens with mainland residency only[edit]

Although the ROC does not issue visas to PRC passport holders (except for mainland residents who have resided in foreign countries for at least four years and have legally acquired the nationality of a foreign country[3]), mainland residents may first apply for a Mainland residents Taiwan Pass (Simplified Chinese: 大陆居民往来台湾通行证) from PRC authorities[4][5][6] and then apply for an Exit and Entry Permit Taiwan Republic of China (Traditional Chinese: 中華民國臺灣地區入出境許可證) from ROC authorities. Taiwan generally requires that these applicants travel with a tour group, travel individually if reside in cities under Individual Visit Scheme, be invited, and/or provide a 200 000 TWD (50 000 RMB) deposit.[7]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]