I just finished talking with two extremely nice, obviously not even remotely Taiwanese ladies at the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Kansas City. I called a second time as a reality check.
I told them I wanted to fly into taipei in mid May and leave in mid August. The total duration of my stay: 87 days. I would spend the first two months studying Chinese, and the last one bicycling around the island.
No problem, both replied. Just send us that in writing, a visa application, passport, photos, an intinerary, $100 and a SASE, and we’ll issue you a 90 day tourist visa. They didn’t even ask for a bank statement.
Having done visas in Taiwan before, I would categorize this response as “Wildly Optomistic.” My IBNA (Impending Beuracratic Nightmare) Alarm (patent pending) immediately went off. Last time I jumped through numerous flaming hoops for a 60 day multiple entry, only to be told by the kind folks at immigration that it was good for only a 30 day stay. Much hilarity ensued, and I took unexpected Chinese classes. (Not a bad thing, in the end)
So… Has Taiwan somehow, in the last six months, seen the light and ended it’s legacy of rumor and fear driven visa policies, or are these nice and genuine ladies in Kansas out of the loop?
[b]Should I plan to have a school that will allow me to extend my visa?
Will this even happen? Am I throwing $100 away?
Anyone delt with the Kansas office before? [/b]
to anyone helping me either avoid said IBNA, or take the plunge.