Got Married in Taiwan, so I can't get Taiwan Visa!?

I am a US citizen, and I got married in Taiwan to a Taiwanese national. Now I can’t get my visa.

I got the health check, I have the certificate of marriage, I also got my criminal background check from the US. I booked my flight to Okinawa to get my visa, only to find out my Taiwan marriage certificate is useless in this regard.

To get a visa, you have to have a US marriage certificate. So, do me and my wife have to fly to the US and go to the courts there to get a marriage visa, then fly back to get our Visa… ??? I feel like other people MUST have been married in Taiwan and acquired a spousal visa before?

I’m feeling upset, rushed, and sincerely confused. Any help would be appreciated.

You must mean the “Certificate of no Impediment” if I’m remembering the name right, which you get by going to AIT and swearing that you are not married elsewhere.

There’s no reason you would have to fly to the US for anything like that. Your local marriage certificate is proof of marriage here.

I was directed to look at the requirements for getting a Taiwan visa.

One of the steps says the following: “Original and one photocopy of marriage registration issued by competent authorities of the applicant’s country.”

So, I think this is the problem.

Ah right, you needed to get that “certificate of no impediment” before you got married right?

It says though,

For countries which do not have marriage registration, original and one photocopy of the certificate of marriage are required.

The US does not have marriage registration. You have a certificate of marriage issued in Taiwan.

But, are you saying some official told you you needed more? Directed by who?

I think this would be totally new if it is the case.

Okay, I think you’re probably right and we are just panicking :slight_smile:

We do have the certificate of no impediment, so we just sent an email back to the Visa place in Okinawa with a picture of that and some extra questions.

And thank you, I did not know the US does not have a marriage registration… or at least I didn’t understand that part before.

This is true. AFAIK this does not apply for USA.

As German I had to go to go back and register our marriage in Germany before I could get a visa to get my ARC, which mas a major PITA.

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Sorry to hear you had to do that. Sounds awful, and that’s exactly what I am hoping to avoid! I’ll update this thread when I know more.

Wait man, you need to do it in Taiwan, change whatever visa you have to an ARC. In my case I had a visitor visa [FR] extend one and they gave me the ARC straight away without doing the “resident visa”. Apply to a visitor visa to visit family and swap that to resident visa and swap that to ARC. Don’t need to go to the US because you married in Taiwan, just get a visa you can swap in Taiwan. Didn’t they give you a book when you got married?? Is all inside there, no need to go the US. I did all this one month ago without leaving Taiwan.

Edit: they won’t give you a resident visa in Okinawa, but they will give you one to visit family, is important you come with one visa (not free visa on arrival) and then you swap that with all the pappers you already have.

I am on a 90 day passport. I don’t have a visa of any kind yet. What you’re saying is interesting… I’ll have to re-read it when I’m back home. Thanks

Have you had it stamped by the Taiwanese representative office?

Yes. We just double-checked with them, and they said it is okay – our marriage cert from Taiwan is accepted. But now we have a new problem (though much smaller). They say, even though I have my criminal record from the FBI, I need to mail it back to the US, to a Taiwan embassy (MOFA - Ministry of Foreign Affairs ROC (Taiwan)), then they will approve it, and mail it back to us. THEN, finally, it should be accepted.

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yes, this is a requirement for marriage based resident visa.

They like their stamps.

Very convoluted. Perhaps they are just trying to weed out the people who aren’t totally invested in getting a Taiwan visa.

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People don’t realise how mad immigration rules are until they get trapped in them.

If you’re British you have to get all your documents stamped. I don’t recall the exact wording, but it’s something like “The British government doesn’t recognise this, but it has been stamped.”

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Yes, you should have done it before heading out. Only the “embassy” of the country where the check is from can validate it. You wouldn’t expect Taiwanese “embassy” in Japan to know what an Egyptian background check looks like, would you?

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Yes every document for you country need the stamp, and after they will put another stamp in MOFA. I’m glad you sort it out, you could ask help in here before.

If you have all the required documents prepared correctly, you should be able to get a resident visa at TECO in Okinawa, and convert it to ARC in Taiwan, so can omit the step to get a visitor visa.

I headed to Taiwan about 11 months before getting married, so it wasn’t an option. But what you said makes sense.