I have been informed by the Taipei Representative Office in the UK that Resident Visas cannot be issued abroad. Is this in fact the case?
The background to this case is as follows:
I have been to Taiwan to study twice before in the summers of 1999 and 2000. On both occasions I travelled with a Visitor Visa.
In September I will be coming to study at Tai-Da with a fellowship from the ROC Ministry of Education to cover fees and a living allowance. The fellowship lasts for one calendar year.
The Visa Application Form says that if you are going to Taiwan for work, study, missionary activities, joining family, etc and intend to stay more than one year you should apply for a Resident Visa. However, I was informed by the TRO that Resident Visas CANNOT be issued outside Taiwan. My understanding was that Resident Visa applications needed to be referred to the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Taipei but I certainly didn't know that they couldn't be issued outside Taiwan. I doubt that this is the legal situation.
I think what they want me to do is go on a Visitors Visa, renew it a couple of times, then after six months get a Resident Visa and an ARC. What I want to do is go on a Resident Visa, and apply for my ARC 15 days after I arrive in Taiwan. It not a MAJOR inconvenience but it is, of course, easier if I have an ARC as soon as possible. It makes it possible to buy a scooter, get a mobile phone contract, etc and also makes it easier to get in and out of Taiwan, if I needed to. And they're going to make me get a Resident Visa and an ARC eventually anyway!
I haven't made any application A