These directions promulgated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs govern the scope and means of assistance that embassies, consulates, representative offices, offices or designated institutions (hereinafter referred to as “diplomatic missions”) may provide to R.O.C. nationals who encounter an urgent predicament (hereinafter referred to as “an emergency”) while traveling abroad, thereby improving services for the public.
In these directions, the term “R.O.C. national traveling abroad” is defined as a person who maintains household registration in Taiwan and travels abroad to areas excluding mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, using an R.O.C. passport.
Emergencies under these directions include the following:
(1) loss of passport
(2) arrest, detention, or denial of entry or exit by a foreign government
(3) injury due to accident, inability to seek medical care due to sudden or urgent circumstance,
or disappearance or death
(4) serious instance of theft, fraud, or other crime in which assistance is required
(5) robbery, kidnapping, or other severe crimes
(6) force majeure circumstances, such as natural disasters, civil unrest, war, or civil war
(7) other incidents determined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or diplomatic missions to warrant
Diplomatic missions should establish an emergency hotline for R.O.C. nationals traveling abroad.
The head of a diplomatic mission should take into consideration the mission’s operations when
assigning staff members from different agencies to take turns serving as the hotline duty officer.
The duty officer should immediately report to the person in charge after receiving a request for
When a diplomatic mission learns that an R.O.C. national traveling abroad is having an emergency, the mission should immediately seek to obtain relevant information by contacting the national concerned, local authorities or other sources. The diplomatic mission may assign a staff member or request an overseas compatriot, charity or other organization, or individuals, to visit the national.
Depending on the circumstances, diplomatic missions may provide the following services to an R.O.C. national seeking emergency assistance, provided that they protect the concerned national’s privacy and do not break local laws:
(1) issuing a passport or entry permit
(2) contacting family members, friends or employer, so that they can contact the concerned
national’s insurance company to arrange medical treatment, settlement, travel home, and insurance
(3) helping submit reports to local law enforcement agencies and contact judicial or social welfare
agencies to obtain assistance or protection in the event of felonies
(4) providing information about local doctors, hospitals funeral parlors, lawyers, notaries public, and
(5) making consular visits in the event of arrest or detention by a foreign government, after having
received a related request from the national concerned and permission from the foreign government
(6) providing information and assistance in the event of force majeure circumstances, such as natural
disasters, civil unrest, war or civil war
(7) other forms of necessary assistance to protect the life and personal safety of the national
Unless otherwise specified herein, diplomatic missions may not take the following actions when assisting in an emergency:
(1) provide monetary or financial relief
(2) interfere in the judicial or administrative decisions of a foreign government
(3) provide a legal opinion regarding a judicial case, act as legal agent, or appear at court on
(4) file a suit or an appeal on someone’s behalf or act as translator or guarantor in a civil or
(5) act as a guarantor for R.O.C. nationals traveling abroad needing hospitalization, unless the
national has a life-threatening condition that requires immediate hospitalization and a family member,
friend or insurance company representative of the national cannot be reached in time
(6) cover expenses for items such as medical treatment, hospitalization, travel, fines, bail, attorneys
(7) translate, deliver letters, keep items safe, or search for, receive or forward personal items in
instances not considered an emergency or a threat to the R.O.C. national’s personal safety
(8) interfere or mediate in civil or criminal cases, or commercial or labor disputes
Diplomatic missions may provide the contact information of local organizations or professionals for
the reference of R.O.C. nationals with regard to services described in subparagraphs 7 and 8 of this
When an R.O.C. national has an emergency while traveling abroad, a diplomatic mission may assist him/her in obtaining financial relief by the following means:
(1) contacting a family member, friend, employer or insurance agent of the national concerned to
request that funds be transferred to a bank account designated by the diplomatic mission, which will
then release the funds to the national
(2) contacting a family member, friend, employer or insurance agent of the national to request that
payment be made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will then instruct the diplomatic mission
to release the equivalent amount of funds to the national.
For R.O.C. nationals who have an emergency while traveling abroad urgently need to return home and cannot immediately receive financial relief in accordance with paragraph 8, diplomatic missions may purchase an economy class flight ticket home (the lowest-price ticket available will be selected) for them and loan them up to US$500 (or equivalent in the local currency) to cover their expenses prior to their return home. The R.O.C. nationals must sign an emergency loan contract, stating that they will return the borrowed amount (including the flight ticket cost) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within 60 days starting from the day following the signing of the contract.
Unless there is an immediate danger to the life or health of the R.O.C. national, diplomatic missions should deny a request for a loan if the national:
(1) has yet to fully return an outstanding loan by a diplomatic mission;
(2) refuses to seek assistance from a family member, friend or employer or to file a claim with an
(3) refuses to sign an emergency loan contract;
(4) does not wish to return to the R.O.C. (Taiwan); or
(5) refuses to provide information regarding his/her identity or conceals important facts.
Should a loan by a diplomatic mission under paragraph 9 become overdue, or if a diplomatic mission has acted as a guarantor as per paragraph 7, subparagraph 5, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be obligated to take debt collection action as stipulated by law. The delinquent debt should be officially recorded and repayment should be pursued as stipulated by law.
When providing emergency assistance to R.O.C. nationals, diplomatic missions may decide, after taking into consideration the force majeure circumstances stipulated in paragraph 3, subparagraph 6, and the merits of each case and obtaining approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to cover the cost of emergency placement and return flight tickets for the nationals without need for repayment.
When responding to a major natural disaster or providing emergency assistance, diplomatic missions may waive consular fees in accordance with regulations, if necessary.
Diplomatic missions are to uphold professional standards when providing assistance to R.O.C. nationals who have an emergency while traveling abroad. However, should an R.O.C. national seek to abuse this system, a diplomatic mission may deny him/her service.