Leaving Taiwan for good after an extended overstay

My friend is leaving Taiwan for good after living here for about 3 years. He never got the proper documentation in the first place, so he has overstayed on his landing permit from his US passport that entire time.

His question is what forms need to be filled out, what offices need to be contacted, what fines need to be paid, etc., so he can take his flight next week back to the States without any worry about detainment or other delays in his long-awaited departure from the ROC.

:popcorn: This should be interesting. I would imagine he should get in touch with the Police and bite the bullet . He will be lucky to escape jail time and just get banned for a few years from returning.

The tax authorities will be heavily involved at some point. He’s not leaving this island before giving up his three pounds of flesh.

I don’t know exactly what will happen, but I agree that the tax office is going to want a piece of the action. Please keep us posted on how things unfold for your friend.

The only (second hand I’m afraid, but I think it’s true) experience I have that comes close to this is a friend of a friend who overstayed for almost a year. He went to the police station to explain his situation, was held overnight and supposedly given a pretty rough time. The big question, of course, was where, how and what he’d been earning. Funnily enough he hadn’t actually been earning for the year he’d been in Taiwan, he’d been sofa surfing and bumming around. He received a smallish fine (I think it was only NT10k) and was banned from reentering Taiwan for an equal number of days to his overstay. He also had a bit of a drink problem and went to the police stinking of whisky, which may have actually helped him.

Your friend is going to have to have a very clear story about what he’s been doing for the past 3 years. Other than claiming amnesia I honestly can’t think of a story that will hold up without evidence.

I wish him the best of luck and hope they aren’t too harsh on him.

Three year overstay!?!? :noway: I recommend consulting a lawyer. He will be very lucky to get off with only a fine! Please keep us informed!

3 years is quite something. My experience of over saying in Korea 6 months meant nothing to anyone, they gave me a stamp and let me on my way. Another person I know also overstayed in Korea (apparently due to her employer not being legit). She’s been banned for 2 years.

I’m not sure that legal advice prior to the inevitable encounter is going to do much. Unless the legal advisor is good at cooking up excuses (which is their job) or can think of a get out of jail free line. I think that by then immigration can not do much and will pretty much show people on their way. They can try to fine you. They could try to detain you. You will get a black mark of some sort. But basically I think they’ll just have you out of their hair asap.

In sum: confessing in advance of your departure will not help. Admitting guilt is like the [strike]first[/strike] second worst mistake that a criminal can make.

Well he wont be able to leave when he gets to the airport. I was ONE DAY late and they wouldnt let me leave. He may then be arrested on the spot. Course he could be arrested on the spot in Taipei as well when he shows up at the where-ever you go these days.

Has he been paying his taxes? IF he has, it will be better. Maybe can avoid jail and just leave with paying a fine (and probably banned for a few years from coming back, but this last point seems no prob for your friend). Imagine what they would do in Singapore?

It will be singsing in singapore for sure.

I wish him the easiest way out possible. Maybe a fishing boat to International waters and then a chinese fishing boat to china? But then he would be at the mercy of possible thugs who have no qualms about simply thowing him overboard because “whos to know?”.

edit: I guess the thing to do is get your affairs in order and report to the cops and expect to be arrested and deported with a possible few months in the detention as a possible. Maybe get his countrys rep office (AIT in his case) to help prior to going to the local cops?

At this point an arrest is possible, detention is possible, deportation is possible.

My philippino maid friend over-stayed by nearly two years, didnt declare her income and was arrested and detained for over six months and then deported.

Citizenship will help decide what they will do.

He needs a believable ‘story’, he needs to contact the police to inform them of his situation (they will be much more understanding this way than if he just sprang it on them at the airport), but before he does so, he needs to talk to someone at AIT to make sure his ‘story’ won’t incriminate him further.

He’s looking at fines and/or back taxes, but there is no way he is walking on a flight without getting this sorted beforehand.

how the hell can you stay on Taiwan for three years without a break?

[quote=“Deuce Dropper”]He needs a believable ‘story’, he needs to contact the police to inform them of his situation (they will be much more understanding this way than if he just sprang it on them at the airport), but before he does so, he needs to talk to someone at AIT to make sure his ‘story’ won’t incriminate him further.

He’s looking at fines and/or back taxes, but there is no way he is walking on a flight without getting this sorted beforehand.

how the hell can you stay on Taiwan for three years without a break?[/quote]

TAlk to AIT? What do you expect AIT to advise him to say. AIT is not in the business of helping overstayers make up fairy tales to avoid detention or deportation or to avoid any sort of charges.

AIT are not lawyers they are not there to advise people on how not to incriminate themselves further. :loco:

Anyways 3 years is easy to explain away.

3 years is easy to explain? What are some stories that would work you think? I think 3 days could be easy, 3 months real hard, but 3 years?

Off the cuff I’d guess he’d have to pay taxes for the entire time he was not paying taxes. The police will want to know how he supported himself. If he worked illegally, they may ask him where and pursue that business for illegally employing him. He will definitely be held and questioned and maybe even drug tested. The best possible outcome would likely be a 100k or more in back taxes and a 5 year to permanent ban on returning to Taiwan, after several weeks of hassles, including probably a at least a few days in a detention facility. I’d say your friend should put on his thinking cap and figure out what to do. He’s in for an interesting time.

will he really get detained? a “friend” of mine did a similar thing. never any question of being detained. a bit of toing and froing but the authorities aren’t that interested in making examples of dumb white boys.

Well the US passport will help a lot. IF he was phillipino or thai or vietnamese?? It would most likely be do not collect 200, do not pass, off to detention pronto.

Check out the penalty for overstay and related illegal working activities for Singapore! Wow!

[quote]Singapore Laws

Overstaying or entering illegally in Singapore is a serious offence and on conviction the penalties may include mandatory imprisonment and caning. Employers hiring illegal workers are also severely punished with huge fines plus possible caning for repeat offenders.

Examples of Some Offenses and their Penalties

Overstaying - Imprisonment of up to 6 months or fine up to S$4,000 or both. Caning of not less than 3 strokes and imprisonment of up to 6 months if overstayed beyond 90 days.

Illegal workers fine up to S$5000 or to imprisonment up to 1 year or both. Foreign workers who moonlight while holding work permits will face a fine of up to S$5000 and be barred from future employment.
Anyone caught employing foreigners without a valid work permit will be charged in court even if that foreigner has entered into Singapore legally as a Student or as a Social Visitor e.g. tourist. The first time offender faces a minimum fine of up to 24 months of foreign worker’s levy and a maximum fine of up to 48 months levy for each illegal worker employed or to imprisonment of up to 1 year or both. For the second or repeat conviction the penalty will be a mandatory jail sentence of 1 to 12 months in addition to the above fines.

Those found guilty of employing over stayers / illegal immigrants face a jail sentence of 6 months to 2 years and a fine of up to S$6000 plus compulsory caning if he employs more than 5 immigration offenders as workers.[/quote]

How to exit Taiwan when overstayed: (Example of Ilan county office, but same for all TW)

ilcpb-en.e-land.gov.tw/news_in.a … 005&nid=64

Statement at police office --> papers --> tax receipts if worked here --> papers / fine --> thrown out . Simple

:fume: 3 years overstaying? shame shame :no-no:

Obviously, there are shipping vessels from Kaoshung to Luzon also…

Find a fishing boat that is willing to smuggle you over to Fujian province. Just make sure to get a Chinese entry visa before you go, and then go through immigration properly when you get there. You might be able to do this cheaper, and quicker. Then again, if you don’t offer them enough the fishermen might just turn you thin. Ouch.

You really dont want to go the fishing boat route because you put yourself in the hands of people smugglers who will throw you overboard the moment a Coast Guard cutter comes into sight. You are better off trotting yourself over to the local Fuzz when you are ready for possible detainment and other nasties. It may not be all that bad. Fishing boats will be very expensive too. Those people wont do it for free.

Going on a fishing boat? Id only do it if I was armed and there was a good bud with me as well who also was armed. Tote an Uzi and maybe.

All in all, its better if you just fessed up at the fuzzshop.

So, he’s gone to the immigration authorities just now…and they will take only 10000 NT off of him for the overstay fine–no detainment, no tax trouble, no fishing boats.

Thanks to all who contributed informed, thoughtful advice.

An interesting part of the tale is something an immigration worker–who, by the way, were kids doing their national conscription service, not pig-headed superego types–said: “Yes, there is a detainment room, but not for Americans or Canadians.”

He’s talking out his arse. :unamused: I’ve had two US friends detained prior to deportation. That kid has no idea what he’s talking about.
Has your friend actually completed the process? No TAX? :astonished: He doesn’t have to pay any tax? He doesn’t have to show any tax receipts?
I call complete bullshit on that! Your friend simply talked to a kid who doesn’t have the FAINTEST idea what he’s talking about. I predict your friend will have a great deal of trouble when he talks to a REAL official about having no tax records.