Joining family residency for foreign spouse

Dear Everyone:

 This is a message I sent Richard to help him in assiting others with my now-solved JFRV problems, but I thought I'd also post it here for everyone to read too.  It's kind of long, but I hope it helps someone.  
  1. After we decided to begin the process and I both talked with you, Richard, for some advice as well as looked at the BOCA (Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, email at, told us that, as a Canadian, I didn’t have to go back to Canada to get a paper saying my marriage was registered because my government recognizes overseas marriages but Canadians can’t register, so BOCA decided to accept Taiwanese marriage licenses where Canadians were marrying Taiwanese citizens (it may well be that this same situation holds true for all foreign nationals coming from countries where government recognize their marriage in another country but can’t provide the necessary registration documents, I don’t know). So, we had the marriage registration problem solved! To get the right answers took time, but I assume someone in the same position as myself won’t have to spend all the time and grief looking for this answer, so this step will not be necessary … just remember to get the copies of your marriage license here in Taiwan, and make sure that you have an English translation of your marriage license from the district court (we had our marriage in the district court, so that step was relatively easy), just to make things easier.

  2. The next thing we did was take care of the Clean Criminal Records Check, or CCRD. First, I went to Taipei to get my fingerprints done (I went to Taipei to get a new passport, so the trip made sense, but you could also do it in your main local police station), filled out the form itself, and then sent it off to Canada by courier with the necessary fee (you had mentioned time was running on the CCRD once issued, so we decided to spend the money to give us more time with faster delivery). We received it maybe four and a half weeks later.

  3. We then had to send the CCRD back to the Taiwan office in Canada to get an authentication stamp on it. Once again, we did it via courier, and it only took five days. But, I should mention that the information on the Taiwan office’s website as to how to get the authentication stamp was MISLEADING!! The website said that we needed:

Completed application form.
original documents notarized by a NOTARY PUBLIC and then verify by the Provincial or Territorial Authorities for Document Certification.
If the document is regarding Power of Attorney, Agreement Certificate, or Certificate of Nationality, a copy of photo I.D. such as passport, naturalization certificate must be enclosed.
Legalization fee is C$24.00 per document. (No company checks or personal checks accepted! Please use a certified check or money order, payable to: TECO.)
All documents must have an extra photocopy accompanied. (If documents are the same, only one copy is needed.)
If application is mailed, a self-addressed and stamped envelope is highly required. Return postage by priority post is C$ 10.00 in province of Ontario and Quebec, and C$ 15.00 for other provinces of Canada
There is no courier service available from this office; certified, registered or express mails through the postal services are recommended.

What we did was phone the office before sending them the CCRD, and the official there told us to send a cheque, a copy of my passport and the CCRD, courier or no courier, and it would be taken care of. So, everything turned out okay once again.

  1. The rest of the papers for the application process we were able to do in Taiwan. So, we went to the Household Registration Offcie to get a copy, and then we went to a hospital to get my medical certificate (1 week). Finally we started to visit all of the different offices in Taiwan. We went to Kaohsiung to drop off my passport, 2200 NTD (used to be $1800, but fee went up) and a filled-out application form from that office for the residency visa based on marriage. We waited seven working days, and then we went back to Kaohsiung to pick up the passport with the visa in it (stating my wife’s name, her ID number and the reason for staying being a joining family one year visa). The same day we went to the main police office in Tainan County (I live in Tainan County, and there is only one police station I can go to, the Headquarters), where they checked all the papers and told us to pick up the new Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) on the fourth day after we applied … BUT, THERE WERE MANY PROBLEMS AT THE POLICE STATION GETTING TO THIS END RESULT!!! Let me explain …

    When we got there, we sat down and presented our documents to the officer. He didn’t understand what we wnated to do, despite my wife speaking Chinese with him to explain. The problem was that my old ARC, still connected to my old employment-based work permit/visa, had not expired, so they said I have to wait until my old ARC expires in four months to apply for the new residency visa, and all they could do was remark on the back of my ARC that my status here in taiwan had changed. Unfortunately, we had received a paper from the BOCA office in Kaohsiung stating that, as with most things in Taiwan, once you change information you had to go to the police station within 15 days to notify them, otherwise the paper/visa you have obtained will become invalid. So, my wife and I insisted to get the new ARC based on the new visa now, and the officer insisted the old ARC expires in May, so we have to apply 15 days before that date of expiry. But, if they could give us a new ARC based on the new visa, they were wondering if we wanted to pay the necessary yearly fee even though my old ARC had not yet expired. I felt that they could just put a special stamp or notation on my old ARC for four months until it expires, and then I can come back to get a new ARC, but they said it was impossible, so we agreed to get a totally new ARC connected to the joining family residency visa. We also got a new reentry sticker in the passport with new dates, and the officer told us that the visa would be okay for one year, and after that I could renew it for two years with a fee of $2000 and showing my passport, household registration papers and ARC … no medical checkup needed!!!

    ** As an aside, I was interested to learn what I needed to bring to the police station once I obtained the new open work permit, but the officer didn’t know what we were saying, so after phoning the Council on Labor Affairs in Taipei and me going behing the counter to help them look on the computer, the officer said I didn’t need to come back to the office until I was working under the new permit, and then I would have to come back to show the work permit and ARC so they can put some kind of stamp notation on the ARC. Not too sure about this, but if I find out more, I’ll be sure to update this message.

The guy you talked to at the Foreign Affairs Police was completely WRONG to tell you that you had to wait until your job-sponsored ARC almost expires before getting a JFRV! I also first had a job-sponsored ARC before I got my JFRV, and I had only worked four months out of the 12 months of my contract when I changed my job-sponspored ARC to a JFRV. So in other words, there were still eight months left until my job-sponsored ARC expired, and the guy at the Foreign Affairs Police here (in Chiayi County) told me that I could exchange a job-sponsored ARC for a JFRV at any time (as long as I had all the paperwork for the JFRV).

Also, I’m surprised that the guy at the Foreign Affairs Police told you that after the first year, you can only renew your ARC for two years each time. For me, it was also one year the first time, but after that, I renewed it for three years (for NT 3000 instead of NT 2000), and the guy at the Foreign Affairs Police told me that after the first year, my ARC can be renewed for either one year (for NT 1000), two years (for NT 2000), or three years (for NT 3000), depending on how long I plan on staying in Taiwan.

I only needed my passport, my ARC, and a copy of my household registration (hu4 kou3 teng2 ben3) to renew my JFRV.

When I said “as long as I had all the paperwork for the JFRV”, I meant as long as I already had the spouse-sponsored visa sticker in my passport. That’s what I should have said.

And the only way to get the spouse-sponsored visa sticker in your passport is to collect all the paperwork like you did, and then go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and give the clerk your passport and all your paperwork, and then you go back a week later to get your passport with the new sticker in it.


Please see my website in regards to this matter. I have been through it and I have written a detailed document on what we did. Please pass the website on to other people. Thanks.

Please see:
Then see the Marriage section


and to follow on from Mark - the moment you get your ARC with that JFRV - it becomes like used toilet paper - the re-entry permit is the only useful thing in your passport.

Hello everyone. I have a problem in that I am Canadian with ARC and trying to get my husband who is Palestinian to join me. Where to begin? I am confused as to whether we should apply for a residency visa for him when he applies to come here or should he get a vistor visa and then apply for the JFRV when he gets here? Can they stop him “legally” from joining me here? What is the best procedure. I see most JFRV are for people who are married to Taiwanese people? What about Foreigner getting spouse who is foreigner to join them?

I fyou have a valid ARC, your spouse can enter under a visitor’s visa and then apply ofr a JFRV.


Hi Brian, thank you very much. There is so much confusion about all of this… but yes I think a vistor visa and then apply for his “J” visa is a good idea. How long does it “usually” take for him to get his “J” visa? Is it doable within the 2 months they hopefully will give him?

2 months shoudl be doable if you have all the paperwork, but I’m not absolutely sure what that paperwork is for a foreign-foreign marriage.


Hi I am wondering if anyone knows anything about the legal rights of a foreigner with ARC applying for their spouse to join them? I tried talking to the MOFA people but they were unco-operative. Still wondering whether it is better for my spouse (middle eastern male) to apply for vistor or JF visa?


I’m a new user of this website and it seems that being a foreigner, there are so much of struggles in order to join our family either in Taiwan or in other countries. “Paperwork!!!”

Now, it would be my husband and I have the turn to take care of this matter. For your information, I am a Malaysian and we had registered our marriage in Malaysia. My husband is a Taiwanese. Question here, where should we begin? Could anybody willing to give us some advice? Appreciate very much!

Currently I am in Taipei until 11th July, and shall be back to Taiwan again in sweet September. Within these few days, what kind of paperwork could I do to quicken my status when I return…

Thank you for your kind assistance given.


I believe that this is indeed the correct procedure.

Of course, you will need full documentation to prove the validity of your marriage. Documentation from outside Taiwan should be “certified” by the nearest Taiwan Overseas Representative Office.

If you are here on an ARC and your spouse joins you on a JFRV, does your spouse have greater employment rights than you in terms of being tied to the employer that sponsors the original ARC?

Your spouse has no work rights.