Cohabitating Couples and Residency

My partner’s company really wants us to move to Taipei desperately, but there is a hitch. They can get my partner and our two children in with no problem, but they are saying they cannot get me in because we are not married. I know the simple answer would be to get married, but if we could have gotten married we would have done it by now (wrangling over his divorce has been going on for years now).

Is there anyone here with a thorough knowledge of Taiwanese immigration law that can figure out a way around this? I know in most Chinese countries there is usually a way to bend these rules without breaking them. In Singapore (where I have permanent residence) I was able to sponsor my children for long-term visas even though they do not recognise de-facto couples and single-parents who are not working are not supposed to be able to sponsor their children. By showing enough documentation that detailed our couple status (joint bank accounts, birth certificates with both our names on them, etc.) we were able to get the visas anyway. Is immigration ever flexible like this in Taiwan?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Disclaimer: I have never been ‘the other woman.’ My partner and his spouse were separated and living in different countries when our relationship started. I would hate for someone to judge me and not want to help.

Does you husband have R.O.C Taiwan citizenship, what kind of visa can they get your husband into Taiwan on?

No he does not hold a R.O.C. Passport. He is British, and I am American. I do not know which specific working visa his company would sponsor him for because he is a consultant (in name only it’s convenient for taxes).

I can try to find out more about that.

We had considered starting a Taiwanese company that could sponsor both of us. Would that work?

Sounds like you’ll have to get your own tourist visa and do visa runs. They’re not going to issue you with a “Joining Family Resident Visa” as you’re not part of his family. I don’t see a way around that.
The advantage of doing it on your own is that you can take on employment if you want to, which you cannot do if you’re on a JFRV and married to a non-citizen.

If you have ever wanted to learn Chinese, teach English or get a Masters degree, this is your big chance.

Worst case scenario, you can fly to Taiwan with your family and enter the country without a visa - with an American passport you will get a 30 days visa exempt stay stamped into your passport. Then you can stay in Taiwan for 30 days - then fly to Hong Kong - get off the plane - and fly back to Taiwan and get another 30 days stamped in your passport, and so on.
I did that for more than 2 years. The flights are short usually 1 hr 15 mins, depending on the airline - EVA are cheap and Cathay Pacific are ok too.

But if you can explain your situation RE your family staying in Taiwan and your need to join them on a VISITORS visa maybe you will be lucky and get a 60 Days EXTENDABLE VISTOR visa. (they can even issue a 90 days visa, twice extendable by 90 days but that is only in the regulations - in practice it almost unheard of these days) (I think).

That will allow you to enter Taiwan for an initial 60 days, but then apply (whilst still in Taiwan) for an extension of a further 60 days - which you can do twice, giving you a total stay of 180 days on the visa. Would you be applying to a Taiwan office in America for your visa? I don’t have any experience with the American taiwan offices (TECOs) but I would suggest, if you will apply in Asia, that you stear clear of the Hong Kong office for Visa appliactions and go to somewhere more understanding and friendly like Osaka or Macau.
However you can never be sure of a pleasant experience at any office if you catch them on an off day - just some have a lot more off days than others.

It will be a major plus to your case, if applying for an extendable type of visitor visa to be able to show documentation of sufficient funds to support your stay in Taiwan (3 months of Bank statements / savings, etc.) remember if you want them to give you a 60 days visitor visa - that effectively gives you 180 days in Taiwan, they will want to see enough funds to support that length of stay. Some posters on the forum have suggested that about 2000 USD per month was enough for their application.

If you can combine your:
reason no.1 joining children and partner staying in Taiwan.
reason no.2 sufficent funds to prove you won’t become a burden on their society, or need deporting, for the duration of stay you are asking for. and
No. 3. The choice of a more sympathetic and friendly TECO office to submit your application to.
Then maybe you have a good chance of getting somewhere.

You could try explaining your circumstances and asking about your options to someone on the “Information For Foreigners Hotline” (belonging to the Taiwan National Immigration Agency).
(But I wouldn’t ask them about which TECO office is friendly or unfriendly, this forum is probably a better place to ask people about their own experiences with regards that.)

Another alternative is enrolling on a government approved Chinese language course at an approved school and getting a student visa that way, you will need to show good attendance at the school in order to keep extending your visa.

I am in Singapore. Is their TECO office considered one of the friendly ones? A visa run every 180 days would be much better than every 30.

I would love to get in via the Chinese student route (I have been wanting to learn Mandarin for a while), but my children are only 15 and 2 months old right now. I do not think I have the leftover brainpower to make a serious effort at the language right now. Depending on how long we stay I would definitely consider doing that later.

Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it.

i have no experience in this area, but RE to the learning Chinese part, flicka also mentioned TEACHING CHINESE, it’s a pretty good paying job for life in Taiwan and they get you all set up in Taiwan too. Most contracts are a year-long, and they offer bonuses and raises if you continue another year, and so on… And since you have young kids, this would be training for when your kids get to kindergarten age :laughing: . Some English schools have night classes maybe 5 days a week or so, and maybe you and your S/O could switch time with the kids throughout the day. One problem…there’s probably a huge influx of fresh out of college kids applying for these jobs now…

There’s so much more information about this in “teaching English in Taiwan” thread…I’m barely scratching the ice here.

Hope you figure things out and end up being able to move to Taiwan with your S/O and kids!

You’re American, I am pretty sure you will be able to apply for a 5 year multiple entry visa.

But whether they’ll issue that in Singapore I don’t know.
They probably would in the US.