APRC Application Procedures (Official Checklist)


My official address is in Taipei so I only have to go to the Xiao Nanmen office. But hey, I am busy. Can’t they mail this thing to me? :laughing:[/quote]

After you pay, yes, of course! You can buy the stamped envelope over there, write your address and voila, they deliver.[/quote]

Should have read this a few days ago. Anyway, thanks.


I hope Icon and Northcoast Surfer will not mind me providing a summary to help the expatriate community. :slight_smile:


I just edited the above post to add the “me” that I meant but forgot to write! :-/
The meaning is completely different and I didn’t want to appear to be rude! :wink:


On the contrary, dear, an update would be much appreciated. Info tends to change … suddenly.


Wow! If this is in fact implemented, this is extraordinary news. Northcoast Surfer: do you have any link for this?


In fact this does NOT have legal effect yet! I wouldn’t rely on this news story in your back pocket to help you out if you try to return 3-4 years from now.

The draft legislation may have been tabled at the Legislative Yuan but it has yet to be ratified or recognized by Ministry of Interior who oversee the National Immigration Agency. If you don’t believe me, call NIA today and ask them. I just spent the past 30 minutes arguing with them on the phone. They will tell you:

“The current law is you must stay in Taiwan 183 days. If you want to stay outside longer, you must ask for special permission up to 2 years. We do not know of any other change to the APRC law. If there are any changes, we will inform the public.”

Now if you do call them and they say “you’re right, you do have up to 5 years”, then maybe my arguing had some effect…; )


Hi me again - I just got a call from the legal department of the NIA (APRC division). They confirmed, as of August 8, 2013:

“The draft APRC change that was tabled at the Legislative Yuan in 2012 failed. Therefore, the APRC law remains the same: you must stay in Taiwan 183 days - up to 2 years with special permission.” When asked when the law might be changed she said: “We don’t know. Since the draft failed, it would have to be tabled again. For now the existing APRC law is in effect.”

There’s the skinny - hope that helps!


Me again - hopefully the last time today!

I decided to go further and talked with a senior staff member at the NIA HQ. They confirmed that in fact the draft APRC change was tabled at the Legislative Yuan in 2012 (as per news story). It neither passed nor failed, it was only tabled. No law was changed. Another source has told me that the draft is likely to be discussed again at the Legislative Yuan later in 2013. When and if the draft passes is anyone’s guess - the earliest would be end of 2013 best case scenario.

To become law, the draft must not only pass the LY but be formally adopted by the Ministry of the Interior and communicated to the NIA. Then the NIA has to put it into effect (it would appear on their website and NIA staff would confirm it).

The upshot: the existing APRC law remains in effect until further notice. You must stay in country at least 183 days to maintain APRC status. You can remain out of country for up to 2 years with special permission. Pay close attention to changes on the NIA website and always call them to confirm. The NIA is very helpful, up to date with their info! Do not solely rely on news stories or posts - including mine!; )


Hope I might get a response here as this still seems to be a live thread – otherwise I’ll start a new one-- regarding decisions I have to make before applying to switch from JFRV-ARC to APRC:

With the APRC how easy is it to apply for the 2-year special permission to live abroad?

Alternately, if I hold on to my ARC instead of converting, and then work in China for 1 or 2 years straight, would that (1) cause me to lose my existing ARC, and (2) totally reset the clock on future APRC eligibility? (in other words, the 5+ years I’ve lived here up to now won’t count any more?) – Thanks!


[quote=“Lil’ Slugger”]
With the APRC how easy is it to apply for the 2-year special permission to live abroad?[/quote]
I don’t know. The answer might be in this 103-page long thread or maybe not… We need to summarize the information that it contains!

[quote=“Lil’ Slugger”]
Alternately, if I hold on to my ARC instead of converting, and then work in China for 1 or 2 years straight, would that (1) cause me to lose my existing ARC, and (2) totally reset the clock on future APRC eligibility? (in other words, the 5+ years I’ve lived here up to now won’t count any more?) – Thanks![/quote]

The 5 years need to be continuous, so the clock would be reset after a long absence.


Hey guys, I have been reading this thread and it is very useful. However, the one thing I have been looking for, I can’t find. A friend told me yesterday ,and I have seen a scattering of information about this, that you may now have a gap up to 90 days between ARC’s and you can still qualify for the APRC. Does anyone know if this is true? I assume the best way to find out about this is to go to the NIA, but I am looking for some encouragement.

I have been here for 7 years, but had a two month gap, three years back. I would loooooove to get my APRC…



I went to the NIA today, the good news is that you can have a 90 day gap between your ARC’s and still qualify for the APRC. The bad news is that I am 3 days over that threshold. Anyone have any contacts that can bridge the gap :slight_smile:.


So sorry to hear that. So close and yet so far.

But yes, they give you a two year buffer when you can apply for APRC even if your visa situation changes. Pity it was still a bit over…


Thanks for the empathy Icon, the picture describes me to a T. What do you mean by the two year buffer? After your five years end?


Ja,ja, so you are Jensen Ackles’ twin? Nice.

Check the regulations.

First of all, did you have your records checked at NIA or did you just asked in general terms? If the first, then they should have pointed out that you had gone over the two years after the time required by done… by just 3 days. They are so nice they give all two years after any change, so you can make up the time required.

If it was the second, then Icon will look you up, bash you in the head with her Japanese wok, and then drag you to the nearest NIA to haver YOUR records checked by a relevant officer as per their data, as we have been telling people to do since snakes had feet.

I do not think that would be necessary. However, if I were you, I’d show up again at NIA and do my best puppy eyes to have them check for any loophole. I mean, 3 days, man! That’ unlucky. Maybe count typhoon days or something.


Yes, I did go to the NIA in Tainan. The officer looked up my relevant data. It was a bit casual. It took her about 5 minutes, writing some things down. She then tapped at her calculations and shook her head no. I asked if there was anyway that we could make it work, just 3 days, any way :frowning:. She shook her head no again and then said “we welcome you to Taiwan”, smiled, and then wrote down October 2015 and tapped it again. Broke my little heart. Maybe I should find another one that can fake the empathy that nourishes me.


Quick q for a friend. He has JFRV and wants APRC, can he buy into a 7-11 (own a store, or similar type store) and use that as his work here in Taiwan for all legal documentation purposes? Assuming he makes over the minimum quota?


How can they tell how many days you had no visa or a Visitor Visa? Do they look in your passport and look for the “90 days visa exempt” stamp or the Visitor Visa sticker? If so, then you could apply for a new passport. A new passport would have no visas inside, so then there would be no way to tell how many days you had no visa (visa exempt) or a Visitor Visa. And you don’t need to wait until your current passport expires to get a new passport. Actually, you can get a new passport anytime. But the only problem is that your new passport wouldn’t have any “Arrived in ROC (Taiwan)” stamp, so then they might ask to see your last passport, which would make getting the new passport useless.


You get a new passport, you get sent to square one.

They have their own electronic data entry and exit records. Or else how they get to your taxes?

And anyways, if you are here visa free, you do not qualify for APRC.


Thanks, Icon.

My situation is that I currently have 90 days “visa exempt”, but I am working full time (teaching English at a university). I have been in Taiwan for more than 10 years, and for most of those years, I had an ARC for either the whole year, or at least 9 months out of the year. However, this year is an exception because this year, I have had no ARC for more than three months. What happened is I went back to the U.S. in July this year (during my summer vacation), and then my school contract expired on July 31st, when I was in the States, and by the time I came back to Taiwan in August, the school still hadn’t yet issued a new contract for me. So when I came back to Taiwan in August, I had to get a 90 day “visa exempt” stamp. So now the amount of time that I have had no ARC has been more than three months (August 1st to now). So could I still apply for an APRC using the rule that I was qualified during the last two years, even though I currently do not have an ARC?

I’m getting nervous because I arrived here on August 23rd, so the 90th day will be November 20th, which is next Wednesday! So I have to either apply for an APRC right away, or otherwise apply for a 60-day Landing Visa. (Or I could also make a visa run and come back to Taiwan with a new 90-day “visa exempt” stamp, but I’m trying to avoid that.)

Unfortunately, I found out that I can’t apply for a new ARC because my new contract is for only six months. (In the past, my contract was always for one year, but I will quit my job at the end of this semester, so that’s why my contract is for only six months.) According to a woman at the Foreign Affairs Office (wai4 jiao1 bu4), I can use my six-month contract to apply for a 60-day Visitor Visa, but I can’t use it to apply for an ARC.

(I’m sorry if this sounds very complicated.)

  1. Yes, and quickly.

  2. No, you are not working here. Repeat after me: you are sightseeing, visiting friends, arranging furniture, looking for a home to buy… you are not teaching.

  3. Why are you going to MOFA or BOCA if your ARC is supposed to be handled by NIA?