Divorce + kids + ARC - The Perfect Storm!

Hi all, I’d truly appreciate any advice in this matter.

My wife (Taiwanese) and myself (foreigner) are likely to be signing divorce papers soon. We’ve kids and a house here in Taiwan.
So far pretty amicable. But . . . I’m on a marriage sponsored ARC (not yet close enough to get an APRC) and am wondering if I can still stay in the country long term.

I’ve heard this is possibly, at least until the kids are 18 - and if we have joint custody?

Any clarification on this would be hugely appreciated! Thanks in advance.



Article 31 of Immigration Act

…Where an alien meets one of the following circumstances, however, he/she shall be permitted to reside continually.

3. An alien acquires the guardianship of his/her own children with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area after his/her divorce.

5. Is deported from the State forcibly due to the revocation of his/her residence permit and is believed to have caused severe and irrecoverable damage to his/her own minor children with registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area.


Does joint custody count as “guardianship of his/her own children”?

Thanks, good question, not sure.

Thanks Tando, appreciated.

@tando is awesome like that, I’ve found.

Good luck.

That must have been a short marriage, but already have kids? :thinking:
I’m not judging. Things happen. We also had two kids in the first two years after marriage and I am to about to get APRC in February. Still happily married.

How long out to APRC? I would recommend to postpone the divorce until you have it. Your wife can not force you to sign the divorce papers.

The custody and visitation right can be very tricky for foreigners. If your wife will get full custody, you can not use JFRV based on your kids. Just protect yourself.

Other possibility for residency might be the Gold Card if you qualify.



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Cheers Salwa. Spent a lot of married time out of Taiwan (kids were born here) so quite a ways from APRC. But I think you’re right, hanging in for the APRC may be the better option. I have quite a bit of time in Taiwan all up, but as the APRC counter is ‘reset’ on each return, it’s a bit tricky. Only myself to blame on that one!

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You can visit your local National Immigration Agency (NIA) and let them look through your entry dates and give you exact date when you will qualify for APRC.
Last time I updated my ARC I did that to make a reminder in my calendar.

It depends on how long you were away. I don’t think it resets every time you leave the country.


If I were you, I’d make divorce contingent on you getting your APRC. Just because things are amicable now, doesn’t mean they’ll remain that way, and having your future ex-wife deny all access to your kids is a real possibility, especially if your residency here isn’t rock solid. You may want to look through related threads here before you decide your plan of action. The number of horror stories is shockingly high.


Thanks for the advice. Yes, I’ve been going through the litany of terrible divorce tales/situations.

You may not be eligible for APRC yet, but are you eligible for naturalisation? If you are from a country that allows you to regain your renounced citizenship, or doesn’t let you renounce at all, you could have both.

Thanks, just called NIA and I’m able to apply for an APRC in just a couple of months. I’ve been in and out of Taiwan (often extended time away) that I had no idea I could apply so soon.
So that said, after a divorce, I can stay in Taiwan no problem once I have my APRC?


No problem.


Yes. And you can have open work permit (same as when married)

You have to apply if you want to leave Taiwan for extended period of time not to loose APRC. Read up on that.

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Thanks Slawa, yep from what I’ve read, so long as you’re not out of the country more than 180 days per year, all is well to retain APRC.

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And don’t commit any serious crimes!

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Ahhh there’s always one that takes the fun right out of things ; )

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It certainly doesn’t reset each time you leave the country. Unless you overstayed.