In Taiwan on visa-exempt US passport, what are my options

I have about 2 months and a week left on my visa-exempt passport. I have been in Taiwan 3ish years doing visa runs because I can support myself and I have been living with my fiancee. Before yall flame me for doing visa-runs afaik they are not illegal and were the easiest option at the time. So any idea what my options are? Get a student visa and enroll full time in chinese classes? (Doesnt this take like 3 semesters or smth) Couldn’t I just get a job and ask them to sponsor a work visa for me? Pretty sure my sister converted her visa-exempt to work visa without leaving when she got her teaching English job. While we do want to get married getting all the paperwork will take more than 2 months I think (FBI check will take time), and I would have to fly out to get a visa, which is a no go now, obviously. I have a 4-year degree and previous editing experience and don’t even care if they pay me or could work for minimum wage. Also I might be able to get a searching for work visa but I suppose I would have to buy healthy insurance somewhere first? Anyone have experience with that visa? Maybe I’ll go complain to AIT about this and go with everyone else and crowd BOCA or the immigration office.

I saw some companies on FB that people posted that help with issues like this? Maybe I could ask them?

I’m not sure. But I currently have this issue in Italy but Italy has an emergency extension that I can apply for and this definitely fits the case. Maybe Taiwan has something like it?

As of now no, because I am not on a visa, and Taiwan wants all visa-exempt out of the country.

You’ve mentioned probably your two easiest options: 1) Enroll in Chinese classes, or 2) Get an English teaching job.

I don’t know if there are ways to convert visa-free to a studying Chinese visa without leaving the country, but I do know that it’s possible with option #2 (convert visa-free to resident visa/ARC for white-collar workers). You would need to get the job (perhaps more possible now with fewer foreigners coming in?) and have the employer get your work permit before your visa-free period ends.

There are other threads about it but I don’t have time at the moment to provide links. Search, and perhaps others can provide those in the meantime.

What is a “Visa-Exempt Passport”?

I guess it is that you hold a USA Passport and are in Taiwan for up to 90 days as you are Exempt from needing a Visa? And you have a bit over 2 months until that 90 days is up?

I doubt that you have any option other than to leave Taiwan inside those 90 days. Other threads have already discussed ‘extensions’, ‘overstaying’ and so on, but its clear, you need to depart Taiwan, then look at your options before returning.

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Yah I’m thinking this is my best bet too… Not that I need to or want to work though :frowning: . Guess I’ll check here or Facebook for jobs if anyone knows any feel free to msg me.

Also note that if you do end up getting a local job you’ll have to start answering questions on where your money from the past three years has been coming from when taxes become due.

If you were working online remotely while in Taiwan (AFAIK) they’ll want their cut from the last three years.

Yes, I am on visa-exempt status with my US passport. And no I don’t HAVE to leave I could get a job, or other visas possibly. Of course I know I cant extend my visa-exempt for 90 more days like canada or uk (such crap :frowning: ) so yah ill have to do something.

yah that’s fine I have stocks and interest from savings that I can live off of and can show proof of capital gains from US taxes.

wouldn’t the easiest option be to wait out the 2 and half months? things will probably change in that time. not worth freaking out when you have 2 and half months. if it hasn’t changed within that time get a ticket home and wait some more. i’m in the same boat anyway.

I think more to the point, they’ll ask you to file Taiwan returns for past years you’ve been here over 90 days and if owed taxes in Taiwan, ask you to pay. Be really careful and aware of this possibility if you convert to any type of ARC.

I see I look into it.

Im in your boat also.

This boat is rocking

Waiting for things to change sounds good but some change to status require over two weeks on active visa.

Im ready to protest this , i love tw this is my home.

Post any helpful links , we visa exempt peoples need to join together somehow ( if its on fb i dont do fb)

I think your best option would be going a school and getting an ARC that way. As far as I know, to get a work permit when you haven’t had one before requires an FBI background check. I’m not 100% sure on that as I came here before they implemented that rule and haven’t had to get one. You can though pay to get the background check processed faster though. I think it costs 50 USD and you get it in a week.


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I dont know the way someone on visa exempt can get a visitor visa to study without leaving taiwan.

If someone on visa exempt finds a white collar non-teaching job, an FBI background check is no need.

Check back in 30 days. There’s no doubt a big rush on MOFA/BOCA offices but that should subside.

I’m going to assume that limited flights around Asia will resume by early May, as Asia is no longer the epicenter of the problem.

If things don’t look good in two weeks consider incorporating a shell company in Delaware and setting up a rep office

That will allow you to get an ARC and pay yourself here. It’s a totally legit way of doing it too; I know a bunch of people that have this kind of set up. If you can speak Chinese you can get an accountant to do most of the leg work for you for 5k NTD

The only thing I have ever been asked for (public school) is a police reference check (良民証) from the county I was working in. Needed this every year, this year included. Some other FETs said they needed a county check from their home country, but not an FBI reference check. In other words, I could have murdered someone and gone to prison a county over and could have still gotten my job/work permit/ ARC. Big hole in the logic, and it seems they only need an FBI background check when they feel like it.

This sounds awesome let me look into it