In October 1926, in response to the government's concern for overseas Chinese affairs, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Council (OCAC) was established directly subordinate to the Nationalist Government. In December 1931, the OCAC Organic Act was enacted. This measure, which placed the OCAC under the Executive Yuan, specified that the OCAC would have secretariat, overseas Chinese management, and overseas Chinese education departments, as well as sections for document management, general affairs, overseas Chinese guidance, immigration, educational guidance, and cultural affairs. The OCAC was formally established in April 1932.
To promote Chinese language education worldwide, the Chung Hwa Correspondence School was established in 1940, providing overseas Chinese with opportunities for advanced studying via correspondence. In addition, to simultaneously disseminate news and information among the overseas Chinese, the government established the Overseas Chinese News Agency in April, 1941 as a means of issuing news bulletins, compiling reports on overseas Chinese affairs, and communicating news from the motherland. The Constitution of the ROC enacted by the National Assembly in December, 1946 listed overseas Chinese affairs among the ROC's "fundamental national policies," stipulating that the nation should protect and assist in the national economic development of overseas Chinese.
In December 1981, the number of Deputy Ministers was changed from the original two to two or three based on a revision to the OCAC Organic Act. The OCAC Organic Act was revised again in December 2006 to increase OCAC members. In response to the restructuring of the Executive Yuan, the act was further revised in September 2012.The current organization includes a minister, a deputy minister, a vice minister and five departments, which are Policy Research and Development, Overseas Chinese Network Services, Overseas Chinese Education, Overseas Chinese Business, and Overseas Chinese Student Counseling, as well as five offices, which are the Secretariat, Personnel, Civil Service Ethics, Accounting and Statistics, and Information Management. Additional divisions include Overseas Chinese News Agency and Legal Affairs Committee.
In March 1985, the OCAC's first Culture Center of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office was established in San Francisco, U.S.A. to serve overseas Chinese. The number of the OCAC's culture centers has been increased, and a total of 17 have been established, including centers in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the Philippines, and Australia.