Doorstepped by the Immigration Agency

There’s a clod from the Immigration Agency sat in my lounge atm.

The background to this was a dropped prosecution (I had to drop it because, even though I was attacked, my attacker simply went to the police later and falsely claimed I attacked them.) The immigration agency got hold of the report of the dropped case and phoned, saying they wanted to visit and discuss it. However, they then turned up unannounced and the true purpose of their visit became clear: making sure I was actually married to a Taiwanese, making sure I really lived at my stated address, etc. After a few minutes of this, I said, “In the UK, officials like you even go in the bedroom and make sure we sleep in the same bad.” His response, “May I?” And off he went, taking pictures of the bathroom, our bedroom, etc.

Next round of questions focused on whether my wife’s family have contact with us. “Are you going to interview them too? Have you already bothered them?” No answer.

This clod seems surprised that I’m rather unhappy about his visit. “You may be the nicest man in the world, but you’re here doing dirty work. Please get on with it and leave.”

I wasn’t even charged with an offense and this is the result! I asked if they’d follow up just a 119 call to the authorities about a foreigner, but he doesn’t want to answer. He did say before he left that I now have a black mark on my record with immigration, despite my having not been found guilty of breaking any law.

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You handled that really well. My patience with stupidity has been seriously eroded over the last couple of years and I probably would have told him to fuck off after a few minutes of this nonsense. Are you sure this person was actually from the gubmint and not a conman who coincidentally turned up after the phonecall?

You could probably file an administrative appeal about their behaviour, although I’m not sure it would have any effect regarding said black mark. I get the distinct impression that Taiwan is backsliding into the sort of place where you pay the bribe to the first person who asks, otherwise the price escalates.

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I wouldn’t have let him in although he didn’t know why he was there when he did.

A black mark??? I would be finding out more about that.

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As an official he will likely have a legal right of entry. Not allowing him in would in itself invite further problems.

No way would he have right of entry. Police don’t even have that.

Would it have created more trouble? Maybe.

I had a woman turn up at my mother-in-law’s once.

Asking about my marriage. I wasn’t there because I don’t live there. My address is listed there though. I assumed it was random but it was right after I left a job mid contract so maybe it wasn’t.

She never contacted me again.

When my MOL was telling me, she was laughing because they told her my English name and asked if i lived there. My MOL doesn’t know my name. She gets confused about where I am from sometimes. Ha ha. I bet the woman thought she caught one.

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I know they don’t have this right because they use it as an excuse for not Checking on the conditions of caretakers. “Oh we can’t check on how they are treated because the government doesn’t have the right to enter a private residence without a warrant”.

You should not have let him in or spoken to him at all. That’s my personal take.

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As BigDave said, even the police don’t have right of entry. You’d be justified in saying “I have no idea who you are, you don’t have an appointment, so I really can’t let you in”. It’s possible he’s a mentally-disturbed busybody who gets his kicks snooping around people’s apartments. I’ve never had this kind of experience with either police or immigration - they’ve invariably been polite and normal even when checking on my immigration status - and it might at least be worth making a phone call to whoever you spoke to before, to ask what on earth this was all about. It sounds suspect as hell to me.

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If he had legal right, he would have shown it. Are you sure that wasn’t someone connected to the assault, the other party?

You really need to visit immigration to make sure it was them.

Did he look official or something? what language was this conducted in.

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Only if he had the required authorization otherwise you invited him in. Ie volunteered

Yes they could be ensuring you have money to pay them.

This. Double check and ask to see your “black mark on your file”.

Sounds very suspicious to me.

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I know people are pretty open to deception this way here. I found out in the corporate world, taiwanese companies use corporate spies and it’s considered common place. I don’t know how people can do this kind of task and not feel dirty

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This sounds like mob intimidation tactics. Nice setup you have here. Be a shame if something happened to it. I wonder if the person who injured you has connections in the immigration department. The whole thing seems highly irregular and unprofessional. Could also just be a petty bureaucrat on a power trip. In any case, I’d want to follow this up with immigration. Maybe file a formal complaint.

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Thanks for the comments. Two quick points by way of clarification:

  1. He was from the Immigration Agency. He had correspondence from multiple sources that could not be gathered unofficially.

The point being not that some rogue individual is scamming/engaging in blackmail but that this is how the Taiwan government operates. They’ll come to your house unannounced and take photos of your bedroom.

  1. Re right of entry

I should have been more precise. Taiwan officials are empowered by legislation to perform their duties and, with the Labor Standards Act, for example, Article 80, there is a 30,000TWD fine for “obstructing” them from performing these duties. If this official, who likely has similar powers, had been refused entry or I had declined to speak to him, this could be considered obstruction. More practically, as he was there to gather information to write a report about me, it was better from that point of view to admit him and let him do his work.

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That was my first thought, but it’s not hard to fake being an official. When I was FOB, we had a guy - apparently from the gas company - knocking on the door with a probe testing for gas leaks. He miraculously found a gas leak, and told us it’d cost NT$2000 (or something) for a new bit of tube. I was pretty sure this was a scam, but my gf at the time said he seemed legit and just get it done. When we told the landlord about it, she rolled her eyes and told us we should have spotted that one for what it was. Never had another experience like that, though.

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You need to call a lawyer before talking to the police.

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I didn’t talk to the police. I said “I have no comment” to each of their questions. And then I got a lawyer.

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It still doesn’t hurt to head down to immigration and chat with them. Find out why they needed to check. And take pictures?

Someone can explain why they needed to visit when the issue isn’t immigration related.

Q. How long ago did all of the assault stuff happen?

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The charges were cancelled a month ago, and Immigration called up a few weeks after that.

There’s the issue, if there’s no crime, why is immigration visiting you and taking pictures. Did some accuse you of immigration fraud?

I strongly believe you should visit immigration. A little fact searching.

I don’t understand why the police need warrants, but other gov. officials don’t.

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