Experience with YMS Visas (UK)

Hello all,
Just a quick introduction, my name’s Liam, I’m from Bedfordshire, England; it’s a small, rural hole near London. I graduated around a year ago from a Design MA, but specialising in fine art hasn’t been the money making racket you’d assume it would be, and I’m hoping to teach in Taiwan for a year or two whilst working on a portfolio and other pretentious arty things.
I’ve been reading the forum for a few months, and it’s been nothing short of fantastic for information, I’m hugely grateful there’s such a useful resource available.

Anyway, I’ve been looking for information on a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa (YMS), and anyone who has experience with one; I’ve ran some searches but I’ve only found a couple of threads (as well as some advice for romantic getaways in YMS, you smooth devils!). Some questions, if you will indulge me;

  • Does currently hold one of these? If so, is there anything worth noting? Problems, benefits etc? Did it take long to come through?
  • Is it valid for one or two years? I’ve read conflicting information; Taiwanese Rep. Office website says two years but the posts on here seem to stipulate one.
  • Are there any restrictions on where you can work, or is it essentially the same as an ARC? I’ve read that the time restriction of three months per job doesn’t apply to Brits.
  • Can you apply for residency whilst still in Taiwan when this is due to run out? Or do you need to do a visa run and apply for a Working Visa as a new visitor?

Any other information or thoughts would be really lovely. Thanks in advance, and I’m looking forward to plaguing you all with obvious new-to-Taiwan questions!

Also, here’s the Taiwan Rep. Office website link if anyone else was looking; it’s hidden away on their site. taiwanembassy.org/ct.asp?xIt … 32&xp1=132

Hello, I’m new here too.
My name is Tom and I’m pretty much in the same boat as Liam. I graduated from a BA Hons Design degree last year and have been looking into going to Taiwan with a view to working and picking up a bit of Mandarin at the same time.

I’m also trying to find out a bit more about the UK Working Holiday Visa, so any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.
My questions are really just about the same as above so theres not a great deal I can add.

  • As far as I can see the Visa only lasts a year. I haven’t seen any reference to it being 2 years?
    From the Taiwan Embassy website - ‘Duration of stay: 1 year, starting from the day after the date of entry’

  • Going by the last part of the application guidelines, I would assume you’d have to do a Visa run once the WHV has expired, though thats just my interpretation.
    ‘Regulations after entry: Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders shall not apply for other types of visas based once they enter the ROC.’

The application form itself appears straightforward, with the medical examination being the exception. I doubt the NHS offer the required checks for free? Seems like it could turn out to be quite expensive.

Hey there,
My name is Zac, a pure Taiwanese, and I just browsing your questions but not sure if they were solved since it has been a bit long while, email me at zacchen0415@gmail.com, I am happy to help as much as I can !

Sorry you haven’t found much in the way of help here - I know in my case it’s because I don’t have a clue about your questions.

One hint at your problem: “Few Europeans taking working holidays”.

[quote]Since the Taiwan-United Kingdom Youth Mobility Scheme took effect in 2012, only 30 young Britons have visited under the project.

In contrast, some 1,000 Taiwanese have visited the UK under the scheme each year, Cheng said.[/quote]
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’m afraid you’re going to be trailblazers to a certain extent - there aren’t many people who have firsthand experience with the issues you face.

Good luck!

I thought I’d reply to my own post, encase someone else looks for this information in the future.
I didn’t find any luck else where on the net, so I just bloody went for it and got a YMS Visa. Here is what I know:

The YMS Visa acts as a one year residency visa, and is valid from the day after you land. Within 15 days you must visit the labour office for an ARC and I’m assuming something that allows re-entry, as the visa only has single entry on it.

The YMS website asks you to bring the below to the Taiwanese Embassy, or Taipei Representative Office as its known to appease some noisy neighbours. I’ll go through each one underneath.
Here’s a link to the website: taiwanembassy.org/ct.asp?xIt … 32&xp1=132

1. a completed application form for YMS resident visa (signed personally);
This is an online form you must submit and print before you go. It requires passport details. It isn’t linked directly on the website, click here for the form.
2. a YMS permit form;
This is the form on the website, it downloads as a word document.
3. a resume;
This document is sometimes known as a Curriculum Vitae :wink:
4. a passport valid for a minimum of 1 year at the time of submission;
Just to note they keep your passport while they process everything, and the visa is a sticker on one of the pages. It takes around two days, and you can either pick it up, or they will post it recorded for £7.
5. two standard colour passport photographs taken within six months prior to application;
These can be standard UK sized ones, not 2" x 2". If you forget, Victoria station is across the road from the embassy and has machines.
6. proof of travel medical insurance for their stay in the Republic of China (Taiwan), which should be valid for at least the first 4 months of their planned stay;
While this can get expensive, you can get backpackers insurance with medical cover, or single trip cover with add ons. Mine was £190 from AA Insurance, you can search around for cheaper deals, but the advertising worked and I decided I’m going to get a tropical infection after surgery on a broken fibula, so wanted some extras. I believe your employer must cover you once you start work, its mentioned elsewhere on here? I don’t know, I am but a man. And I’m still Britain. Not much use.
7. a medical examination report;
I don’t think the Taiwanese opinion of the Brits is too high; we must present the completed medical form which is on the website, with the four tests for us being HIV, TB, Syphilis, and proof of the MMR vaccine. But we DON’T need testing for Hanson’s disease (leprosy) (Part F) or the stool examination (part C). It’s on the second page, but point it out to the doctor doing the medical just in case; mine didn’t read the form and was keen to probe my pasty flesh for red open sores.
My local surgery said this is not covered by the NHS, and I had to go private. I couldn’t find any clinics that did Taiwanese medicals, so i emailed a few private clinics offering Australian Visa medicals, and stated which tests I needed. A few didn’t reply, so persevere. In the end I went to Knightsbridge Doctors in London, a 15 minute walk from Victoria Station. The cost was £260 for all four tests; three blood tests and one X Ray. The Australian Visa medicals seem to come in at the £300 mark, so expect a price around that if you go to another doctor. I was told the bring the form, my passport, and a passport photo. Results took 3 days; you can pick them up in person, or they will post them to you.
8. a round-trip flight ticket or proof of sufficient funds for the purchase of a return trip;
You actually need to present your one way ticket if you have it.
9. proof of sufficient financial means, such as traveler’s cheques or bank statements to the value of £1600;
I brought a printed online bank statement; it was fine.
10. £44 for the application fee.
You need cash.

That’s all there is to it; fill it all in and bring it to the embassy Monday-Friday 9.30-12.30. It’s located across the road from Victoria Station, a couple along from the big STA travel shop, and next to the Belgravia Centre. They are all ridiculously lovely and very helpful, I phoned them a few times to ask questions and they chatted away like I was a patron of their coffee shop.
There’s a bit on the site about only working casually; ignore it, it’s not for UK citizens, we can work full time for the length of our Visa.

While the visa seems to be the same as everyone elses, there is the bonus of being able to change jobs after the three month tourist period without worrying about your ARC or residency being cancelled.
Also before you come, fill out a P85 so the government get off your case, and let student loans know, or they’ll try to bill you a hefty chunk each month.
I am no expert, but if you have any questions Google can’t help you with, my email is liamscarlino@hotmail.com, and damn it, i’ll try my best.
I’ll post if I find there are any complications in Taiwan.
See you all in October!

Apologies for the thread bump, but I thought I’d update with some more information.
I’m now four months into my YMS Visa, here are some YMS specific topics which may answer some questions.

Arrival at the airport
Initial arrival was fine; you fill in the usual forms, I believe they ask for an initial residency address, so have a hostel/friends address to hand.
You will have a residency visa stuck in your passport. Customs stamp it with your entry date.

Obtaining your ARC
You must go to the National Immigration Agency, located near to Xiaonanmen MRT to apply for your ARC Card within 15 days.
You need two standard passport photos, $1000TWD, your passport and the address you are staying at.
There are photo machines there, and you will be asked to make copies of your documents, so bring some coins for the photocopying machine.
You take a number, and wait to be called to one of the desks, to fill out a form with your details. Bring a book; it can be a while.
Once you’re all done, they will give you a receipt, and a pick up date for your card. Job done.
I was staying at a hostel initially, so I registered to that address. When you move, you must register your change of address within 14 days, to avoid a fine of 1000TWD a day.
When you re-register, bring your contract, ARC card and passport. There was no extra cost, and I picked up my new card three weeks later.

Working, Banking, etc
If you are a UK resident, there are no restrictions on your working hours.
You can start working legally immediately.
I’ve read some questions asking about kindergarten, and I don’t know if usual rules forbidding working there still apply. Sorry.
I work at a school, and they confirmed I am legal to work, and they didn’t need to add any information or register any extra details to my ARC.
You are essentially a free agent, and while you are on your YMS visa, you are not tied to the school.

Opening a bank account proved a slight issue due to the one year expiry date, however I am told this was unusual, and if you ask your employer to print a certificate of employment, or your school to print a similar document, you should be fine.

I am as of yet to register for healthcare under the Taiwanese system; the insurance I took out to obtain the YMS Visa is still valid.
However, you are entitled to healthcare through an employer, the same as with a regular residency visa/ARC card.

Future issues
After one year, you must leave Taiwan and return on a Tourist Visa. There is no time limit to the amount of time you are must go away for.
On re-entry, you must apply for a regular ARC through an employer, school etc. From this point, follow the usual threads on here for how to register.
If you are employed, your employer can start the application process early, so you don’t have to wait very long for your card on re-entry. You shouldn’t loose your job.
However, you cannot change your visa before expiry, so the VISA run will be necessary.
I haven’t got to this point yet, but will update when I do.

Hope this helps. Cheers!

Hi Liam,

Thanks for reporting back. That could be very useful for someone else in the future.