You can first read this other post to get some background on this.
- Late last year I was asking people how to get married in Taiwan to a Filipina (as a foreigner working here on an ARC).
- Long story short, after months of struggling with Taiwanese bureaucrats I was finally successful in marrying my Filipina girlfriend in Taiwan (as a foreigner) and I got a nice Taiwanese Marriage Certficate.
My wife who was a blue collar worker ended her work contract so she could return to Manila and apply for a residence visa.
- To our surprise she was denied a residence visa BECAUSE we had a “Taiwanese Marriage Certificate”. TECO Manila said they do not accept “Taiwanese Marriage Certificate” as proof of marriage for foreigners. I was livid!!!
- I sent many complaints to BOCA in Taiwan asking them to explain why a TECO wouldn’t accept a document issued by their own government (i.e. Household Registration Office). [Note : Our Taiwan Marriage Certiticate was even notarized in Taiwan and authenticated by MOFA in Taiwan]
- After being ignored by BOCA, I started sending faxes in the name of the Minister of MOFA complaining about this organization and questioning their bureaucracy and their stupid logic.
- Interestingly, only after a few faxes and letters directly delivered to the Minister I got a call from someone in BOCA. The lady was so angry at me!! She told me that TECO Manila was right not to accept a “Taiwanese Marriage certificate” for two foreigners. She told me to go and get a Marriage Certificate from our own countries. I angrily told her that if my Taiwanese Marriage Certificate had no validity in TAIWAN (and TECO’s) shouldn’t I just tear it a part or throw it away , since it was so useless. She said “YES”!!! . I argued and complained to deaf ears…
The whole process took 2 months. Next Step: Our attempt at a Student Visa.
I helped my wife to apply for a 1 year Chinese Language diploma at NCKU Tainan. We got the admission letter.
- My wife applied for a Student visa (for studying Chinese) - [There is a special 1 year visa category for that. ]
- They remembered that she had previously applied for a residence visa and accused her of lying about her purpose of going to Taiwan (which is true, though I really did plan on letting her take full-time Chinese lessons).
- After some back and forth and arguments, they took her passport and told her to return in 1 week. After 1 week, they told her to return after 1 week again. (She had to take the bus from another city 12 hours in each direction - twice ).
- On her final visit they said they would only issue her a student visa if she could bring her Marriage Certificate from Philippines (i.e. NSA). Frustrated my wife tried to cancel her visa application and retrieve her passport. THEY REFUSED! They said they would mark her passport with “RED” ‘rejected visa’ mark if she tried to take back her passport.
- We had no choice now but to go through with Marriage registration in Philippines. After weeks of struggle we finally got a Marriage Certificate from Philippines (on the basis of Taiwnease one).
- After returning with the right document she was told her student visa was still rejected because she lied about the purpose of her visit. They returned the passport to her with a stamp of rejection and a serial number on one of the pages.
Third Attempt : Residence visa (spouse)
- My wife tried again to apply for residence visa (spouse). Last time we were denied because they didn’t accept Taiwanese Marriage Certificate but now we had a marriage certificate from Philippines.
- To our surprise they rejected us again. They said because the Philippines marriage certificate was based on the Taiwanese one. They wanted the Pakistani Marriage registration counterpart as well. [Why ?.,… Because they wanted to make sure our Taiwanese marraige was registered in both countries]
- Now this is where we gave up because Pakistan doesn’t accept any foreign marriages at all! This is something millions of Pakistanis struggle with. My wife tried to explain this to them. They said “Sorry, Not our problem!”.
& and here we are now…
We got married in first week of January 2018 and haven’t been able to live together properly ever since.
- I have tried every way in Pakistan to get the Taiwanese Marraige registered but it’s not possible, not even with a bribe!
- I even considered making a fake one myself but it wouldn’t work because the document would need to be authenticated by a) MOFA Pakistan, b) Pakistani Embassy in Saudia and then c) TECRO Saudia.
- I recently applied for a Employment Gold Card. I did it in the hopes that it would help my wife get a visa. I know they look down at us being from Pakistan and Philippines. I thought the Gold Card would make me look better. So far no luck. Either way I will try again to convince TECO Philippines and explain to them my situation but I am really running out of options.
I am a hard working tax-paying foreigner who is contributing to this country in a lot of ways. I shouldn’t be made to suffer like this. All I want is to be with my wife. Why are they making it so difficult ?
I am near the point to where I would have exhausted all options. I could just leave this island and join my wife in Philippines but I am only 12 month away from applying for Citizenship and I really need this citizenship.
Any comments , ideas are welcome ?
PS. I am considering to contact the media but I am not sure it will not work. I doubt they would even be interested in my story.