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Your country's representative in Taiwan

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My country's rep office is:

No votes
Good enough
Capable of being cajoled into action
Unhelpful and / or rude
A pointless waste of taxpayers' money
No votes
Total votes : 28

Postby TNT » 18 Nov 2002, 15:00

The Irish office

might as well have a bag of spuds sitting in there for all they do
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Postby Omniloquacious » 18 Nov 2002, 15:04

As far as the British office in Taipei goes, I'm sure part of the problem is that the key members of staff are sent out fom the UK, know bugger all about where they're going, hate it when they get here, adopt an attitude of sneering contempt for what in their eyes is a godforsaken backwater, look down with even greater disdain on any fellow countryman who is wretched enough to be here of his own volition, and live only for the day when they can pack their bags and move on to greener pastures. So, they exert themselves only to perform their sales-office and welcome-the-VIP-visitor functions, from which they can hope to curry favour with their superiors here and masters back home and thereby expedite the longed-for day of being posted to something better. But they will not deign to put themselves out or stoop to providing services for the minnows whose existence cannot serve their own interests and whose piffling needs they scorn.

I'd love to be presented with some concrete evidence that they are not as bad as the impression they have so far made on me, both directly and indirectly, suggests. But I won't hold my breath waiting.
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Postby Tigerman » 18 Nov 2002, 15:20

Lama Ding Dong wrote:I have been made aware of AIT's unofficial policy of discriminating against Taiwanese women who seek U.S. visas. It seems the women are more likely than the men to find an American fiance(e) after their arrival, and then apply to change their visa status. AIT is apparently supposed to screen out people who may do this, it makes them look bad. I wish there was some U.S. lobby group that could raise hell about this.

While I have a few gripes about AIT, this is not one of them. I read somewhere that AIT in Taipei issues more visas than any other US embassy or consulate anywhere in the world. There is not really an "unofficial" policy of discriminating against Taiwanese women at AIT. In fact, the policy is official, but it isn't aimed at women, necessarily.

Most complaints re AIT's refusal to issue visas to Taiwanese women probably are related to applications for B-1/B-2 visas, which are business/tourist visas. If the applicant is applying for a B visa for the purpose of touring the US, he or she must state an intention to NOT remain in the US past the expiration date of the visa.

Practical experience has taught the officials that not everyone is completely honest :shock: when applying for a visa to visit the US. Thus, the officials look at a set of factors in determining whether or not an applicant has the requisite "intent" to return to Taiwan after visiting the US. These factors include, generally, ties that the applicant has to Taiwan, such as a job or business, marital status, family, home, applicant's age etc...

If the applicant cannot demonstrate to the official's satisfaction that he or she has sufficient ties to Taiwan that would reasonably lead to the conclusion that the applicant will return to Taiwan, the visa application will often be denied, regardless of the applicant's gender.

It should also be noted that while immigration matters and policy are administered by the INS in the US, it is State Department officials (or State Department officials on sabbatical, in the case of AIT) who screen and process visa applications in embassies and consulates (and the AIT) outside of the US. In some instances, State Department officials manning the embassies and consulates have a "different" understanding of the US Immigration and Nationality Act than do the INS officials in the US.

Anyway, my main gripe re AIT is that they don't keep their US Citizen Services desk open during lunch hours :x

Anyone from AIT wanna comment or correct?
As it is, we seem to regard it as a positive objection to a reasoner that he has taken one side or the other. We regard it (in other words) as a positive objection to a reasoner that he has contrived to reach the object of his reasoning. We call a man a bigot or a slave of dogma because he is a thinker who has thought thoroughly and to a definite end.

From: All Things Considered - The Error of Impartiality
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Postby Rascal » 18 Nov 2002, 15:49

So far only applied for a new passport at the German Institute and the whole process was hassle free. Didn't get served any tea so it's "Good enough".
Oh, they did sent me some invitation to the reunification celebration but didn't like the idea of a dress code ...
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Postby Spack » 18 Nov 2002, 15:59

Friend of mine called up the British trade and culture office for advice about how to set up a company in Taiwan. They said they didn't know. Any idea then on where to get that information? Again, 'don't know'.

So he called up AIT and they were very helpful. They didn't mind that he was not an American.
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Postby Juba » 18 Nov 2002, 16:07

Rascal wrote:...they did sent me some invitation to the reunification celebration but didn't like the idea of a dress code ...

Was that the German reunification, or are they already planning a knees-up for the Chinese one? :wink:
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ITI Ireland and BTCO

Postby aierlanren » 18 Nov 2002, 16:25

I have had occasion to visit both the Irish and British "representative offices" this is what happened

Postby iris » 18 Nov 2002, 16:51

Haven't had too much to do with the German office. I once went there to get a certified copy of my passport, they did it but they weren't too nice. However, when I tried to apply for a new passport through them, I was told that it would take ages and be quite expensive because I'm still registered in Germany (I applied for it and got it hassle-free when I went to see my parents). The guy on the telephone wasn't exactly helpful, neither was he when I enquired about driver's licences. Their website is quite okay, though.

I also got that invitation for Reunification Day or whatever you call it in English, 3 October, (artificial) holiday of the German reunion. I went there (I don't think anybody paid too much attention to dress code though it was mentioned on the invitation), but there were so many people, I was close to running away, never had such a feeling of claustrophobia before. It got much better after people started leaving, so I grabbed whatever was left of the really gorgeous food.

I have heaps of gratitude for the German Business association here. The whole team is very nice and very helpful with whatever you want to know.

So it's 9/10 for the German Business association but 3/10 for the other guys (heard they just got a new boss, so maybe it'll change for the better).

Germany is unfortunately very focused on doing business with the PRC, so I doubt that Taiwan will rise in significance for the German government in the near future.

My 3 NT
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New PP

Postby redwagon » 18 Nov 2002, 17:11

Soddom wrote:When renewing my passport, I was first ushered

Sorry for the somewhat OT post. From this experience, would you just mail straight to HK for a new passport? Mine's almost full, so have jump through this hoop soon.
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Postby Lord Lucan » 18 Nov 2002, 17:29

The UK does not approve of posting passports across international borders, though whether Taiwan-HK counts is another matter. A British citizen does have to counter-sign an overseas application, though, wherever it's done.
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