BOCA troubles

Hi forum,

I posted the following article on my blog a few weeks ago :

I wrote about how BOCA treated my south-east Asian friends from language school when they applied for a resident visa. And damn, is it a sad read. Did anybody of you experience something like that yourself? What are your experiences with BOCA? Well, I suppose since most of the readers here are Westerners, there would be more of a postive discrimination than a negative one.

Would like to hear your comments, experiences…

Bye, Sebastian


Not surprising and a well-known “fact” on these boards about the treatment of SE Asian nationalities by government officials (not just BOCA). I’m sorry your friend had to face this. There are however, groups devoted to helping fellow SE Asians (mostly women) living in Taiwan. Maybe they can help.

Oh really, it is even a well-known fact? That is terrible, I didn’t know that. Yeah, my friend really had a hard time with BOCA. Would the media talk about things like that or is it not a topic that would be discussed ?

I had a similar experience to that of your Indonesian friend, although slightly less dramatic. I am an American citizen, which despite all the buzz gets you almost no where at BOCA. I called a few days before applying for my ARC and asked them what to bring. I also asked the office at ShiDa. Once I had everything together, I went to the office and the lady said, “Where is your study plan?” Apparently, this was something new (or only rarely enforeced) at the time, although I hear it is common now.

I obviously didn’t have one. She gave me a piece of paper and told me to write it on the spot…she said just take 2 or 3 minutes. After 6 months of language school, I couldn’t write Chinese that anyone would understand in 2 or 3 minutes, so I asked her if I could write it in English. She said it was fine and she even read it before I left. The next day at about 3:30 pm, I get a phone call from one of their people asking me to write a study plan IN CHINESE and bring it to them before they closed at 5:30pm. :noway: I negotiated to come at 11:00 am the next day…she think I could just drop everything, write a letter, and get there in that short of time?

When I arrived, she read my study plan and asked me if I wrote it myself at least 3 times…I finally asked her if she knew any Taiwanese people who wrote as poorly as me and she relented. I did not have one of the formal interviews, but she spent about ten minutes asking me questions about my money and kept trying to trick me into saying that I taught English part time…I told her I don’t really like kids and would never teach English (which is actually true). She continued asking questions that assumed I was doing something wrong so that my answer had to first deny the accusation in her question. They didn’t mock me or ridicule me, but they were extremely rude. She snickered at my study plan and I did feel like she wanted me to write it just so she could feel superior. Weird.

The people at the office never out right insulted me, but the overall experience was rather insulting. Not insulting me could be due to the fact that I’m a westerner, but it’s just as likely due to the fact that I’m male. I decided then that Taiwan would not be a long term place for me, as I don’t want the hassle. I feel bad that others have to go through even worse…there are some great people here, but I’m no friend of the government offices :loco:

Yes, that is exactly how I also got to know them. So unprofessional and make you do some stupid things just to let them feel superior. It is really sad.

In my case, they made me run back and forth from NTU to their office for 7 (!) times before they would approve my application for a resident visa. They requested some official letter from NTU that would state that I am really an exchange student. I had this letter in the first place, but they would always find something, that is not good enough or official enough for this purpose. Even after I handed in the most official letter that the NTU can issue, the one with the president’s stamp on it, they found some small litte details and they would let me change it again. Of course that always set me back whole working days since I had to get the whole bureaucracy thing going at NTU as well to get the president’s stamp super holy official letter. As you can imagine, I was really mad after the 4th time I went there. But after that, I just saw it as kind of a running gag (haha, actually it was, cuz i really had to run back and forth). They obviously just wanted to show them how superior they were. Just sad. And very bad for Taiwan. How can such unprofessional people stand for Taiwan? You know, because of that sh… your perception of Taiwan totally changed right? Ahhh, terrible, really.

Bye, Sebastian

I think you hit it on the head there Sebastian. They are just little mean-spirited people in some dead-end office job and the only way they can scrape back some sort of feeling of worth, is to make foreigners run around like blue-arsed flies doing stupid shit. They made me do it as an exchange student, as a scholarship student, and doing my various work permits.

You should see the difference when your company’s secretary goes in to do the paperwork! No hassles, no bullshit. They don’t treat Taiwanese people with the contempt they do foreigners, because it will come back to bite them on the arse if they do.

I wonder if this is just the Taipei office. The Taichung BOCA people have always been pretty friendly and helpful to me (including when I went for a student ARC), and I didn’t hear of any of the SE Asians on my course (which is about 90% of the foreign student population at Feng Chia) having trouble either.