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Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Visa

Work Permits, Employment Qualifications, Employer Problems
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Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Visa

Postby Rowen » 18 Feb 2011, 06:23

Seeking some advice:

I have done much reading through the visa/work permit threads on here, and while this issue has been alluded to, I am hoping that someone that has personal experience going the visa-exempt to resident visa+ARC route INSIDE Taiwan can offer some insight into the process. Although I am currently in North America, I have been offered a teaching position at a large chain school in Taiwan due to start soon, and am a bit concerned about the directions I am being given regarding the work permit process.

First off, I understand from speaking to the TECO offices in N.America that, officially, an individual must be offered a job from abroad, work permit applied for by the company, which is then sent to the foreigner which he/she uses to apply for a resident visa at a TECO office prior to arriving in Taiwan, then apply for the ARC once in the country. I have yet to speak to a school in Taiwan that observes these rules and they all basically say that this process is impossible to complete before arriving. Such excuses are, "securing a work permit + resident visa in advance is too labor or cost intensive for the school, and outright just too difficult." I know this is not true, but my bargaining power is obviously limited.

So on to the job at hand. I have been told that the work permit application process has recently changed and that it is now possible to come to the country on a 30 day visa-exempt entry (USA passport holder), and then have that converted to a resident visa, effectively bypassing the whole visitor to resident visa process. While even the visitor to resident visa process is technically not allowed according to the TECO offices, I know that many on Forumosa have secured work in this fashion. I have read some posts that suggest it may be possible to switch from visa free entry to resident visa from inside the country. Does anyone have experience with this, or know for sure if indeed this is now possible? One of my largest concerns is how long the process will take to complete, since 30 days is obviously not that long if I were to run into some unforeseeable circumstance.

I really appreciate any advice or input that is offered.
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Re: Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Vis

Postby tommy525 » 18 Feb 2011, 15:01

short answer: YES, simply enter on the 30 day visa exempt and the school will process your paperwork. Shouldnt have to make a visa run.

long answer : read all those threads again :) and good luck to you. Your Taiwan experience may be life changing, be forewarned. :cool:
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Re: Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Visa

Postby Rowen » 21 Feb 2011, 03:55

Thanks, I'll be sure to keep reading through the threads. I do look forward to the life changing experience awaiting me, and hopefully there won't be too many hiccups along the way!
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Re: Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Visa

Postby Uglicupcakez » 21 Feb 2011, 09:26

Not sure if this helps from my experience but my husband (Singaporean) and I recently tied the knot here in Tw and we headed to the immigration offices to try to apply for residency for him with our marriage certificate but to our dismay, they said my husband's visa (30 day free entry visa) could not be converted into any other visa nor apply for ARC. The lady at the counter said he had to go back to his country and then apply there for a proper visa (resident visa?). So I guess the official word is that we cannot convert a 30 day visa-exempt entry to resident visa? (even through marriage :( ) But I would love to hear otherwise too. Anyways, I googled around n found this from the Bureau of Consular Affairs/ Ministry of Foreign Affairs site: http://www.boca.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=144 ... e=116&mp=2

Hope things work for u though n best of luck to u. :)
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Re: Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Visa

Postby tommy525 » 21 Feb 2011, 11:23

Weird. I recall reading it was ok on another ROC site. Things couldve changed ?
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Re: Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Visa

Postby Toasty » 21 Feb 2011, 13:01

Things may have changed but, as far as I recall, you cannot arrive on a 30-day landing visa and obtain a resident visa without the need for an additional visa run. The visa that can be "converted" in-country is the 60-day visa that you must apply for at the Taiwan defacto embassy in your area.

There is something of a song and dance routine to go through when first arriving here. The TECO will tell you that you must get all resident visas etc through them but, on the other hand, no employer will hire you and process you from overseas. You have to masquerade as a tourist, get a 60-day visa and do your resident visa process from here.
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Re: Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Visa

Postby zyzzx » 21 Feb 2011, 13:17

I believe that things have changed. Things change fast here. On the site linked above, it says that:
2.However, aliens entering the R.O.C. through visa-exemption may apply for a visitor visa within the visa-exemption period on the following conditions at the Bureau of Consular Affairs and branch offices of MOFA. 。 in case of severe acute diseases, natural disasters or other force majeure reasons, which hold them back from leaving the R.O.C. 。 white- collar professionals obtaining the work permit within. the visa-exemption period

So you can change your visa exempt status if you get a job, but apparently not if you're getting married, or are a student, or for whatever other reason.
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Re: Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Visa

Postby Abacus » 06 Mar 2011, 23:37

Toasty wrote:Things may have changed but, as far as I recall, you cannot arrive on a 30-day landing visa and obtain a resident visa without the need for an additional visa run. The visa that can be "converted" in-country is the 60-day visa that you must apply for at the Taiwan defacto embassy in your area.

There is something of a song and dance routine to go through when first arriving here. The TECO will tell you that you must get all resident visas etc through them but, on the other hand, no employer will hire you and process you from overseas. You have to masquerade as a tourist, get a 60-day visa and do your resident visa process from here.


It's a common mistake on the forums but creates a lot of confusion. You mean to say 30 visa exempt (or visa free) entry instead of 30 day landing visa since that is completely different circumstances.

And my roommate successfully transferred a 30 day visa exempt entry to a resident visa (for work) w/o leaving the country. So that agrees with what the previous poster found regarding this topic.
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Re: Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Visa

Postby Maceck » 07 Mar 2011, 00:52

zyzzx and Abacus are correct.

Converting Visa Exempt straight to ARC without leaving the country is very common now for teaching English in Taiwan.

Most employers are well versed in how to do this, so they will not lead you astray.

I went as far as to write out each step you will go through in this Visa Exempt Entry to Work Permit thread.

This is fairly new, zyzzx quote can be found at this website.
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Re: Converting from 30 Day Visa-Exempt Entry to Resident Visa

Postby stig » 08 Mar 2011, 19:02

GOOD NEWS! It appears , as of April 2011, you don't need to leave the country to convert your visa to a visitors visa. I went to the Waijiao Bu today, and with proof of a work permit issued form the labor affairs office, I was able to convert my USA exempt entry into a visitor's visa for 5140 NT. I dropped it off today , Monday and it will be ready on Friday. (one week conversion).

the next step is the Immigration office and I'll spend 3200 to convert it into an ARC.


I just went to The Philippines about a month ago with my USA passport to do this conversion.

The office there denied me and said that I needed a letter of approval from the Labor Council, which I hadn't yet received. So, be sure to make sure the specific consulate won't pull this BS with you! Otherwise, if you want to get a multiple entry or regular visitors visa, the old fashion way, you'll need to go back to your home country or find a consulate that isn't as tight. Hong Kong still has one day service.
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