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State Dept Guidelines emphasizes "Taiwan" as birthplace

Tuesday September 9, 2008

State Department emphasizes “Taiwan” as correct name in US Passports and Certificates of Birth ——- “ROC”, “PRC” or “Taiwan, China” not allowed

In December 2006, a FAPA member in Portland, Oregon who was born in Taiwan applied for US citizenship. During the interview with immigration officials that took place prior to him receiving his Naturalization Certificate, a Portland immigration officer told our member that he needed to change his “Country of Former Nationality” which he had filled out as “Taiwan” to “People’s Republic of China.”

Today, our member is a Taiwanese American citizen. His Certificate of Naturalization though lists as his country of Former Nationality “People’s Republic of China.” (Mind you: NOT “China” but “People’s Republic of China!”)

Upon further investigation, FAPA HQ found out that there have been several instances in which Taiwanese Americans whose place of birth in their naturalization certificates or passports was arbitrarily altered by the Department of Homeland Security to “People’s Republic of China” or “Taiwan, China.”

FAPA HQ therefore contacted the State Department and urged them to look into this matter. The State Department confirmed to us that US policy derives from regulations in Volume 7 of the Foreign Affairs Manual, Appendix D, on Place of Birth in Passports (which is available on the Internet, at: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/94675.pdf).

The US State Department confirmed to FAPA that it is US policy that the US uses “Taiwan” as place of birth for people from Taiwan in official documents such as US passports and naturalization certificates, reports of birth, reports of marriage and reports of death.

The policy specifically states (Appendix D(6)(f)) that such documents may not be issued showing the place of birth as “Taiwan, China”, “Taiwan, Republic of China” or “Taiwan ROC”.

Official documents may — at an applicant’s discretion — also be issued showing only a city (e.g. Taitung) or “China” as the place of birth, marriage, death, etc., provided it is in agreement with the applicant’s proof of birth documentation.

FAPA urges all Taiwanese American whose place of birth in their official documents such as their “Certificate of Naturalization” is incorrectly listed as “People’s Republic of China” or “Republic of China” or “China” to immediately contact their local Passport Office and ask the office to make the change quickly and proudly to “Taiwan.”

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台灣是我們的出生地,不是中國!
美國務院強調台美人文件證明得以填寫「台灣」為出生地,而不得填寫「中華人民共和國」、「中華民國」或是「台灣,中國」

有些FAPA會員可能記得,早期台灣來的移民在申請美國護照等文件時,出生地一欄都被迫填寫「中國」,不能填寫「台灣」。這個不合理的政策引起各地台灣同鄉們的不滿。FAPA當時四處奔波,尋求美國國會支持,並協助修改相關法律。幾經交涉之後,自1994年起,所有來自台灣的移民都得已在美國護照、出生證明等相關文件的出生地一欄上填寫「台灣」。

一位位於奥勒岡州的FAPA會員在2006年12月赴移民局接受申請美國公民的面試時,面試官員告訴這位FAPA會員,他的公民證明書(naturalization certificate)必須將出生地由「台灣」改為「中華人民共和國(People’s Republic of China)」。

這位FAPA會員,雖然已正式入美國籍,但是他的公民證明書上卻刺眼地列著「中華人民共和國」為他的出生地。經過進一步研究後,FAPA也陸續聽聞到數起類似案件,例如有些證件受到美國國土安全部官員擅自將「台灣」更改為「中國」。

FAPA隨即與美國國務院反映這個問題。國務院告知FAPA,護照出生地規定是出自於國務院外交事務手冊第七集,附註D,此手冊並登錄在國務院網站上:http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/94675.pdf

國務院並清楚向FAPA證實,根據這項規定,所有美國官方文件證明,包括護照、公民證明書、出生證明、死亡證明等等,申請人都可填寫「台灣」在出生地一欄。

這項規定(附註D(6)(f))還表示,這些文件的出生地不得填寫為「Taiwan, China」、「Taiwan, Republic of China」,也不得填寫成「Taiwan ROC。」但如果申請人主動要求,文件上也可以填寫城市(例如台東)的方式,或是填寫「China」,只要申請人提供相關的出生文件證明。

FAPA在這裡呼籲所有台灣同鄉們,如果您的美國文件出生地上被誤列為「People’s Republic of China」或是「Republic of China」或是「China」,請您立刻與當地護照辦公室或是相關政府部門反映,要求他們遵守美國法律,隨即更正您的文件出生地。我們也希望大家能夠廣為宣傳這個法規,確保咱們台美人的權益。