Classes, Visas, and BOCA weird-osity

Ok so, somebody please explain this to me.

I went to immigration this morning with my new work permit and work contract. They said I couldn’t get an ARC on the visitor’s visa I have (which I had to have changed a month ago because TECO in Houston don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground, apparently). I said ok. She said go to BOCA and get a resident’s visa. I thought to myself “Prolly should’ve done that first!”. So away I go to BOCA. The sweet young thing behind the desk looks at all my stuff, says “great that’ll be 5300 dollars. And we need your attendance records from WenHua.” I said, “oh no problem, I’ve got them already”. She says sweet just fax them over and everything will be okay. I say awesome, hand her my passport, my papers, and my five grand. She smiles. I walk off, thinking “Well hell that wasn’t so bad.” She didn’t say anything about my running out at the end of today, May 8th, nor did she seem to care that they would have my papers until May 19th. So, I walk away figuring it was some crazy immigration thing. I go over to WenHua, get my records, MRT my happy little ass back to BOCA, walk in (I have a terrible fear of fax machines due to an incident in my golden youth). Sweet Young thing isn’t there anymore. Her pissed off softball playing older sister is in her place. I recognize her. She’s the one who asked my why I had been absent three times from my chinese class the first time I got my visa renewed. uh oh. Here goes. I hand her my WenHua records. She smiles and attacks in chinese. I feebly attempt a mandarin response, realize that Bureaucrat Mandarin is WAY out of my “Can I please have niuroumian and dumplings” survival Chinese league, and just resort to the english. She asks for my passport. I give it to her. She can’t find my stuff in the student visa pile. I curse Taiwanese paper record inefficiency and tell her I am applying for a resident visa. She goes over, looks at that pile, grabs my stuff and then begins to look over everything. Which is where the fun starts. She points out the rather glaring problem of the May 8th expiration date. I ask why they accepted my money. She says she doesn’t know. I say I was told that as long as I had my work permit in order and my papers were being processed I didn’t have to worry about the visitor visa. The riposte was parried, ably. She flatly states I need to renew my visitor’s visa. I concede. Then she looks at my WenHua absences. I have missed 17 hours of class. Out of 165 hours. I attended 90% of my classes. She says that they may not approve my residence visa because of these absences. I tell her that WenHua’s attendance policy explicitly states that if you miss more than 30 hours of classes you can no longer enroll at the University. Nowhere has a regulation been brought to my attention that the government might intervene at a lesser amount of hours. She restates her original sentence that I missed 17 hours of class. I flip it over and point out to her that I attended 90% of the classes. She then says that I am risking not being approved for my resident’s visa. She then tells me that my more pressing problem is that I will have to leave the country tomorrow if I don’t get my extension in the next hour and fifty seven minutes. I ask her why they took my money in the first place? She says she will give me a refund. I agree. I get my money back and then race over on the Worthless line to Xiaonanmen and Immigration. I fill out my third fucking application of the day, or perhaps my fourth, sit for seven minutes, am called up by the Angelic and Kindly GentleLadies of The Immigration Ministry of the Republic of China, who look at the diplomatic mess that my little blue passport has become, look at my 17 missed hours of class at WenHua, smile, stamp my extension and tell me to come back in two months for another extension. With sixty eight minutes to spare…

SO my question for all is a three parter.

  1. Are the BOCA people on fucking Crack? Should I be worried?
  2. Where would there be information on the regulation of foreigners attendance records at Taiwanese Universities?
  3. Why ARE BOCA and Immigration two separate things anyway? Can we blame the PROC for that?


Your attendance is really important; it was ten hours per semester when I was at Shida, a few years ago. Even if your school don’t give a shit, immigration will deny you a visa if they want to, based on this. This was all explained to me by Shida who were great when my father died. The police (then) wanted a death certificate because I had missed 12 hours. I caused a slight (ahem) scene and they apologised.

can anybody say nanny-state? Damn. Any suggestions? Also, are there actual regulations or just cuz they feel like it sillyness?