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Frequently Asked Questions
 

ACS Appointment system

How far in advance should I make an online appointment for services at AIT Taipei's American Citizen Services Unit?

We recommend that you make your appointment at least two weeks in advance. AIT is closed to the public on the first Friday of each month and all U.S. and Taiwan holidays.  Please click here if you need an appointment.

Why does AIT require American citizens to make appointments for services?

The previous unscheduled application process for passport, notarial and social security services often required several visits to AIT, and waiting times in excess of one hour.  Due to limited space in our waiting room, on busy days it was usually standing room only.

By contrast, the new scheduling system requires only one trip to AIT for prepared applicants, less time in the waiting room, no more long lines, and you will receive your new passport faster.

I have an appointment but I don’t have my confirmation page.  Can I still come for the appointment?

Not having your confirmation page will not affect your appointment. We will be able to verify your identity with your ID.

How do I cancel or reschedule my appointment?

If you wish to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you can do so here. You will need to enter your Unique Identification (UID) number and your password found on the "Appointment Details" page.

I have an appointment for notarial services.  What do I need to bring to my appointment?

You must bring the complete set of documents you would like to get notarized in addition to a valid passport (if you are the person signing the documents).  If you need witnesses, you must bring your own and they cannot be your blood relatives. Your witnesses must also bring valid passports for identification.

For general information about our appointment system, please visit our “Scheduling Appointments” page.

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Adoption in Taiwan

Can U.S. citizens adopt children in Taiwan?

Yes. Contact AIT's Immigrant Visa Unit for more information about adopting in Taiwan.

Please visit the website of inter-country adoption

AIT location and contact information

Does AIT have any branch offices, besides the main office in Taipei?

Yes, AIT has a branch office in Kaohsiung. For contact information for AIT in Kaohsiung, please visit our “General Information” page.

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Consular Service fees
 
How can I pay my Consular service fees?

U.S. consular fees are set in U.S. Dollars on a worldwide basis.

For information of the Nonimmigrant Visa Fees, please visit their website

For all other fees, AIT Taipei has a cashier on the third floor open on regular working days. The AIT Taipei and Kaohsiung cashiers accept U.S. or Taiwan currency as well as most major credit cards. The exchange rate for fee collection in NT Dollars is set by AIT and changes periodically. Please visit the cashier for the current fee amounts in NT Dollars.

For mail-in passport renewal applications, applicants must send in a bank draft (cashier's check 美金匯票) payable to the American Institute in Taiwan in U.S. dollars.

Where can I find a list of fees for consular services?

Please visit the the U.S. Department of State's Schedule of Fees for Consular Services website.

Why are notarial services so expensive?

OMB guidelines require that our consular fees recover the complete cost of the service provided.  The U.S. government conducts regular Cost of Service Studies (COSS) to set the fees for each service.

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Death of an American citizen in Taiwan
 
What do I need to do to report the death of a U.S. citizen and receive a Consular Report of Death abroad?

The next-of-kin should submit the application for the Consular Report of Death Abroad.  Bring the local death certificate with an English translation, the deceased's U.S. passport, as well as proof of your relationship with the deceased to AIT. You will receive fifteen copies of the Consular Report of Death Abroad at no charge. The proessing time is 10 working days.  Please visit our office on Thursday afternoon between 14:00 and 15:00, no appointment is necessary.  If you cannot come on Thursday, then you need to schedule an appointment on-line.
To report the death of a U.S. citizen in southern Taiwan, you must make an appointment in advance with AIT Kaohsiung by calling (07) 335-5006 or faxing (07) 338-0552.

Can I bring the deceased's ashes back to the United States?

Yes.  The container must be accompanied by the death certificate and the certificate of cremation. Please contact your airline for details.

For more information about this process, please visit our “Death of a U.S. Citizen in Taiwan” page.

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Driver's license
 
Can I renew my driver's license at AIT?

No. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in the U.S. state where your license was issued.

Can I notarize my U.S. driver's license at AIT?

You can sign a statement swearing your license is legitimate.  We will take your oath and notarize your signature on the document.  You must make an appointment for a notarial service and bring your valid driver's license and a photocopy of it to AIT. The fee for this service is $50.

For more information about this process, please visit our “Driving in Taiwan” website.

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Dual nationality (holding U.S. and Taiwan Passports)
 
What are official U.S. and Taiwan views on dual nationality?  Can U.S.-Taiwan dual nationals use their Taiwan passport to enter Taiwan?

Neither Taiwan nor U.S. law prohibits the acquisition or retention of two nationalities.

U.S. law requires U.S. citizens to use their U.S. passports when entering and exiting the U.S. Taiwan law requires Taiwan citizens to use their Taiwan passports when entering and exiting Taiwan.

Men between 18 and 36 who are considered citizens of Taiwan are subject to compulsory military service in Taiwan. For more informatin about military service in Taiwan, please visit our “Military Service in Taiwan” page.

All American males, both U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, must register with the U.S. Selective Service upon reaching the age of eighteen. In order to register, visit the Selective Service website.

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Education for American citizen children

Can AIT provide my U.S. citizen child with any education benefits?

No.  U.S. citizen children are entitled to public education if they reside in the United States.  We cannot provide school fees for U.S. citizen children residing abroad.

Can AIT help my U.S. citizen child register at American schools in Taiwan?

No. You must contact the school and apply directly.

My American citizen child was born in Taiwan but is going to the United States to study.  How can they obtain a vaccination certificate?

Contact the Taiwan Health Department or your local public hospital. 

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Jury Duty in the U.S.

What should American Citizens do when they receive notice of jury duty in the United States?

Contact your state district court. If you live abroad and your court requires a notarized Affidavit explaining why you cannot fulfill the duty, you may come to AIT by appointment for this service. The standard notary fee will be charged.

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Legal advice

Can AIT provide legal advice?

No. Contact the local police where you last resided in the United States.  For more information about obtaining cirminal clearance certificates from the U. S., please visit our "Criminal Record Checks/Fingerprints" page.
 

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Marriage and Divorce

Can I register my marriage or divorce at AIT?

No.  The U.S. does not have a central marriage registration system.  The requirements for legal marriage and divorce differ from state to state.  You should contact your state government for more information about how a foreign marriage or divorce will be treated in your state.

For more information about marriage and divorce in Taiwan, please visit our “Marriage Information” page.

How do I have my U.S. marriage recognized to receive an alien registration card from the Taiwan government?

You can write an affidavit stating the certificate in question is legitimate, and we will take your oath and notarize your signature on the affidavit.  You can use this affidavit in support of your application for an alien registration card in Taiwan.

If I marry an American citizen will I receive a U.S. passport?

Marriage to a U.S. citizen does not automatically entitle you to a U.S. passport. You should contact AIT's Immigrant Visa Unit for further information.

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Missing American citizens or help with contacting an American in Taiwan

Can AIT help me locate family members or friends in Taiwan?

Yes. Under certain circumstances we can assist with contacting American citizen family or friends in Taiwan. However, after we locate the citizen , they must give AIT written permission to release information about their whereabouts to you. If they do not give us permission, we cannot provide the information. If you have reason to believe that an American citizen is missing or in danger in Taiwan, please write to amcit-ait-t@state.gov

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Notarial Services (signatures, true copies, authentications, documents from the U.S.)

Does AIT notarize documents? How about Chinese-language or English-translated documents?

AIT provides a variety of notarial services such as notarizing a signature, administering oaths for affidavits, certifying true copies of documents, and authenticating the signatures of certain Taiwan notaries.  However, U.S.-issued certificates (such as birth certificates, diplomas, marriage certificates) must be authenticated in the United States.

AIT cannot notarize foreign language documents.  If the document has been translated into English, the translator must sign an affidavit swearing the translation is true and accurate.

Can I notarize my U.S. driver's license at AIT?

You can sign a statement swearing your license is legitimate.  We will take your oath and notarize your signature on the document.  You must make an appointment for a notarial service and bring your valid driver's license and one copy. The fee for this service is $50.

Can U.S. citizens get their signatures guaranteed at AIT?

No.  We can acknowledge your signature on a document, but not guarantee it.

Why are notarial services so expensive?

OMB guidelines require that our consular fees recover the complete cost of the service provided. The government conducts regular Cost of Service Studies (COSS) to set the fees for each service.

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Sign Up with AIT

Am I required to sign up online with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) while I am staying in Taiwan?

You are strongly encouraged to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (SMART) whenever you are traveling outside the U.S.  In the event of an emergency, if you have signed up with AIT we will be able to communicate with you or with a designated contact.

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Social Security and Federal Benefits

Can I obtain a Social Security Number at AIT?

For a new social security number or replacement social security card, complete form SS-5-FS and bring it to AIT (online appointment).  Children under 12 years old do not need to come in person.  AIT will forward your application and a certified copy of your passport and U.S. birth certificate to the Social Security Administration in Manila.  AIT does not produce Social Security Cards and is unable to check the status of previous applications. More information can be found on the Social Security Administration website.

Can I replace a lost Social Security Card or make changes to my current card at AIT?

You can submit a completed form requesting a replacement card or requesting changes to your current card.  We will forward the form SS-5-FS to the Social Security Administration.  AIT does not produce or amend Social Security Cards and is unable to check the status of previous applications.  For more information, visit the website of the Social Security Administration.

Can I apply for federal benefits at AIT?

AIT is not a receiving post for federal benefits applications.  We accept applications here and forward them to the regional officer in Manila, Philippines for processing.

Can AIT provide my U.S. citizen child with any education benefits?

No.  U.S. citizen children are entitled to public education if they reside in the United States.  We cannot provide school fees for U.S. citizen children residing abroad.

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Taiwan regulations and requirements for Americans

Do U.S. citizens need a visa to enter Taiwan?

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Taiwan if they plan to stay for 90 days or less.  If they plan to stay in Taiwan for a longer period, they must apply for a visa through a Taipei Economic and Culture Center in the United States.

Can AIT help me extend my visa or duration of stay in Taiwan?

No.  AIT has no authority over Taiwan immigration policies.  You should contact Taiwan's National Immigration Agency with any visa or residency questions.

How do I have my U.S. marriage recognized to receive an alien registration card from the Taiwan government?

You can write an affidavit stating the certificate in question is legitimate, and we will take your oath and notarize your signature on the affidavit.  You can use this affidavit in support of your application for an alien registration card in Taiwan.

For more information about Taiwan visas and entry requirements, please visit our “Taiwan Visas” page.

For more information about Marriage and Divorce in Taiwan, please visit our “Marriage Information” page.

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U.S. Immigrant Visas for family members of Americans

Where can I obtain information on U.S. immigrant visas?

Information on immigrant visas can be found on our Immigrant Visa page.

Where can I file petition for I-130?

To learn how to file an I-130, click here

If I marry an American citizen will I receive a U.S. passport?

Marriage to a U.S. citizen does not automatically entitle you to a U.S. passport.  You should contact AIT's Immigrant Visa Unit for further information. 

Can U.S. citizens file petitions for an immigrant visa for a spouse or child at AIT?

Yes, under certain circumstances.  Contact AIT's Immigrant Visa Unit for more information, or visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Can U.S. permanent residents (green card holders) apply for U.S. citizenship at AIT?

No. They need to apply through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States.

Can U.S. citizens adopt children in Taiwan?

Yes. Contact AIT's Immigrant Visa Unit for more information about adopting in Taiwan.

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U.S. Passports

How far in advance can I apply for a new passport? 

We recommend applying for a new passport within one year of your current passport's expiration date. We also recommend that you not let your passport get below 6 months remaining validity.

Does my child have to appear in person at AIT to apply for a passport?

Yes.  All applicants under 16 years old and those currently holding five-year passports must appear in person.  Those under 16 years old must appear with their parents, who will sign their DS-11 application forms in the presence of a Consular Officer. Consular Officers may also require growing photographs if the photo in the previous passport and the photo on the application do not look alike.

How long will it take to receive my new passport?

After your application is complete, it usually takes about three to four weeks to receive the new passport.  During spring and summer busy times, and after holiday closures, it can take longer.  We encourage you to plan accordingly.

How do I receive my new passport when it’s ready? 

For mail-in applications, you should send us a self-addressed envelope with NT$50 postage affixed.  We will use this envelope to return the passports to you using registered mail.  For in-person applications, we use a courier service which will return the passport to the address you indicate to them (1F near exit).  The courier service will call you just before delivering, will require your signature, and will collect a delivery fee of NT$170 in cash. 

Will I get my old passport back?

Yes, we deliver the new passport along with the old, cancelled passport.  We are careful not to cancel pages containing valid visas.  If you have valid visas in your cancelled passport, you will need to travel with the two passports for a while.  Please attach a note about this to your application when using the mail-in procedure, or point it out to our staff when applying in-person.

What if I need my current passport during the three weeks that I'm waiting for the new passport?

If you applied by mail and find that you need your current passport, please come to AIT to pick up your passport.  We do not cancel current passports until the new passport has arrived and been Quality Assured.  In this case, when your new passport arrives, you will need to come to AIT with the old passport so that we may cancel it and hand both back to you.  You cannot carry two valid passports at one time.  We are careful not to cancel pages containing valid visas.  If you have valid visas in your cancelled passport, you will need to travel with the two passports for a while.

How do I get a bank draft in U.S. dollars?

We have found that most  banks here in Taiwan at their Foreign Exchange Department can issue cashier's checks (美金匯票) payable to the American Institute in Taiwan in U.S. dollars. 

What are the fees in NT Dollars? 

The exchange rate used for collecting fees in NT$ is set by AIT and changes periodically.  The cashier at AIT can inform applicants of the NT$ fee (for in-person applications by appointment).  Mail-in applications should include a bank draft (cashier's check 美金匯票) payable to AIT in U.S. Dollars.

Can I apply for my first U.S. passport at AIT?

Yes. Complete application form DS-11 and make an appointment.  You must bring your original Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. birth certificate to AIT.

Can I change my name in my U.S. passport?

If you would like to change your name in your passport, you will need to apply for a new passport with proof of your legal name change. 

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U.S. police records

Can AIT help me get a police report from the United States?

No.  Contact the local police where you last resided in the United States. For more information about obtaining criminal clearance certificates from the U.S., please visit our “Criminal Record Checks/Fingerprints” page.

Where can I have my fingerprints taken?

To learn how to have your fingerprints taken, click here.  

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U.S. taxes

Does AIT have information about U.S. taxes?

Information for U.S. tax payers overseas is available at the Internal Revenue Service website or by calling the IRS hotline (1-800-829-1040 for individuals) or (1-800-829-4933 for businesses).  These numbers are not toll-free when calling from outside the U.S.  Forms are available at the Internal Revenue Service website. 

Can AIT assist with preparation of U.S. tax returns?

No.  There is no IRS office at AIT, and the IRS no longer sends visiting officers to assist during tax season.  We are unable to provide tax-related assistance or advice.

For more information on filing U.S. taxes from Taiwan, please visit our “IRS Information/Income Tax” page.

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Visas to China and other countries for American citizens

Can AIT help me obtain visas to other countries?  How about visas to the People's Republic of China(PRC)?

No.  AIT is unable to assist with applications for visas to other countries. For countries that are members of the visa waiver program, American citizens may not require visas for short stays.   For countries that are not members of the visa waiver program, contact that country's local representative office.

American citizens are unable to obtain visas to the PRC from within Taiwan.  Many people choose to apply for a PRC visa during travel to other countries in the region.  For more information, contact the PRC representative office in the country you plan to visit, or the PRC Embassy or Consulates in the U.S.

Where can I learn more about the country entry requirements for U.S. passports?

Learn about each country’s entry requirements, please check with travel.state.gov 

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Contact Us

  • In case of an American Citizen Emergency, please call (02) 2162-2000 and press * (star) at any time to reach an operator or duty officer.  If calling from the United States, please call 1-888-407-4747.

  • For Kaohsiung area contact information, visit American Citizen Services at AIT Kaohsiung's website.

  • Any other American Citizen Services questions, please send an e-mail to amcit-ait-t@state.gov

    For Social Security related information, please click Federal Benefits.  E-mail: ssa-ait-t@state.gov