Guidance

Living in Taiwan

How to access the essential information you need when living in Taiwan as a British national.

Introduction

This guide sets out useful information for British nationals residing in Taiwan. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. This information supplements the travel advice for Taiwan, which should also be read. See also UK help and services in Taiwan.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the British Office Taipei by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British Office Taipei will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Getting Married in Taiwan

If you are considering marrying in Taiwan, please read this guide in its entirety.

Marriage in Taiwan Key Points:

  • British nationals are able to marry in Taiwan.

  • Both same-sex and opposite-sex marriage is recognised in Taiwan.

  • It is not possible to have a civil partnership ceremony in Taiwan.

  • In order to marry in Taiwan, a British national will need to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) from the UK. This document must be obtained from the UK.

  • The British Office Taipei is unable to issue a Certificate of No Impediment, or produce any other document or statement in relation to marriage in Taiwan.

  • The British Office Taipei is unable to conduct marriage or civil partnership ceremonies.

  • A Certificate of No Impediment for use in Taiwan cannot be obtained from another British diplomatic mission in the region. If you wish to marry in Taiwan, you should obtain the Certificate of No Impediment from the UK and follow the procedures outlined below.

Same Sex Marriage:

In May 2019, Taiwan’s parliament passed a law to recognise same-sex marriage. The rights of married same-sex couples are the same as those of heterosexual couples, except that same-sex couples cannot adopt, other than to adopt the children of one of the parties to the marriage. You may only marry a same-sex partner from a country or legal jurisdiction that also recognises same-sex marriage.

This guidance applies to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples seeking to marry in Taiwan.

How to Obtain a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI):

To obtain a Certificate of No Impediment, you should contact your local registry office in the UK and request a Certificate of No Impediment be issued to you. The staff will be able to provide you with a complete list of requirements you will need to meet, including a public notice period, before the document can be issued.

Once you have the document it will need to be legalised by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London.

In order to have the document authenticated, you will then need to make an appointment with the Taipei Representative Office (TRO) in London, 50 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0EB, telephone: 020 7881 2650 or in Edinburgh, 1 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7PE, telephone: 01312 206886.

You will need to obtain a translation of the legalised and authenticated Certificate of No Impediment. After this, the document can be presented to the Household Registration Bureau in Taiwan. Unless the document has been both legalised by the FCDO and then authenticated by the TRO, it will not be valid for use in Taiwan.

Alternatives to Marrying in Taiwan:

Some British nationals choose to marry in Hong Kong, which does not require a Certificate of No Impediment in order to marry.

If you are considering this option you should conduct your own research into the relevant requirements for Hong Kong and Taiwan.

It is not currently possible for same sex couples to marry in Hong Kong.

Using Alternatives to a Certificate of No Impediment:

British nationals should not attempt to submit a search of the historical marriage indexes from the General Register Office in the UK in lieu of a Certificate of No Impediment. This is not a valid document for the purpose of marriage in Taiwan.

Marriage records only become available to the General Register Office 18 months after the marriage is registered, and this fact is stated on the letter issued in relation to such an application. Because the 18 month period preceding the application is not covered by the search, a letter or certificate from the General Register Office stating that there is no record of marriage does not meet the requirements for a British national who wishes to marry in Taiwan.

If you submit this document in Taiwan, even if it initially appears to be accepted, you could face complications or legal issues at a later stage. If you wish to marry in Taiwan, you should obtain a Certificate of No Impediment.

Further Information:

If you have any further questions regarding marriage in Taiwan you should contact the Household Registration Department. The Department can also be contacted via the Ministry of Interior Helpline. Dial 1996 then select option 9 to be connected to the call centre operator. The Household Registration Department has offices throughout Taiwan, including Taipei.

Importing Personal Medication from the UK

Most medications and treatments are available in Taiwan, however, some British nationals who live in Taiwan may require medications from the UK. In Taiwan, the import of medication for personal use is regulated and controlled by the Food and Drug Administration (TFDA)

The basic process to import medication for personal use is:

  • Register your details at the relevant TFDA website. Please note that the website is only available in Chinese.

  • Complete the online application form for importing medication for personal use (個人自用藥品專案進口申請) and provide any supporting documents requested. You would usually be asked for; the prescription for the medication, a photocopy/picture of the box cover of the medication, and a medical certificate or diagnosis from a doctor.

  • The authorities will notify you by email once the importation certificate has been issued (usually within 14-30 days of application).

  • You will need to pick the medication up from customs in person and present your importation certificate. Your ID documents much match those on your medication.

The British Office Taipei is unable to offer any assistance or personalised advice about importing medication from the UK. If you have any further questions about how to import personal medication from the UK, you should contact the TFDA and ensure you understand the rules and regulations before proceeding.

Published 30 October 2013
Last updated 11 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added section 'Importing Personal Medication from the UK’

  2. Added link to Post Office for applying for International Driving Permit (IDP).

  3. minor change

  4. to correct the typo

  5. correct typo

  6. to update the failure link

  7. Change the format based on the guidance

  8. First published.