Yeah, that makes sense on the health check. It’s still pretty confusing honestly. According to Article 11 of the Enforcement Rules, it would seem like the Resident Visa is what the spouse should apply for:
The term “long-term stay” as stated in Article 11 of the Statute refers to a planned period of stay exceeding 6 months.
A resident visa issued by overseas mission shall be good for single entry only and its validity shall not exceed 6 months. The visa holder shall apply for an Alien Resident Certificate(ARC) after being admitted into the ROC.
Resident visas issued by MOFA within ROC territory shall be used for applying for ARCs only and shall not be used for entry into the ROC.
But at the same time, the spousal Resident Visa seems to require as part of the application the main applicant’s original TARC. How does that work in practice? Because my impression is that TECO after consulting with NIA will be issuing an entry permit that contains a copy of the TARC and then TARC applicant has to enter Taiwan to retrieve the original TARC at the NIA. Does that mean that they want the couple to separate where the main applicant goes to Taiwan first, retrieves the original TARC, and then mails it back to the spouse in the US to apply for a Resident Visa at TECO in order to enter Taiwan? And then the person already in Taiwan has no TARC in hand for days even though I think the law requires carrying it all the time? Maybe I’m overthinking this but it just doesn’t make sense, and I’m hoping that the visa department (right hand) would just accept whatever document their own TECO’s immigration department (left hand) ends up issuing as the TARC.
On top of this, I’m still confused by how it works in practice if the spouse gets just a Visitor Visa to enter and then applies for the ARC in Taiwan, like scrubolio’s wife did. In the link I shared in my last post on this conversion process, it says:
(7) Certificate fee: NT$1,000 for alien residence certificate per case valid
for one year, however, additional NT$2,200 is required for applicant
entering the State with visitor visa.
Meaning, I think, that if the spouse enters with a Visitor Visa, then the fee would be NT3,200 to get the ARC. Does the NT$2,200 extra fee represent what tando was saying as essentially getting a Resident Visa on top of the fee for the ARC if she were to have entered on a Resident Visa? In practice, scrubolio, do you recall if your wife had to pay this extra fee and did she get issued a Resident Visa in addition to the ARC? (Like, is there anything in her passport or given at the ARC-issuing desk that might support this or is it really just doling out more money for having gone with the Visitor Visa to begin with?)
Lastly, I’m still scratching my head over the concept that the Resident Visa doesn’t actually act like a visa but it’s a one-time entry visa and the spouse is required to in addition apply for another entry/exit permit on top of it in order to enter ROC in the future after getting the ARC. Does anyone have information on this – like, is it the same entry/exit permit as the one the the NWOHR applied for (same form and fees, etc.) initially when they got the initial passport with that sticker inside one of the pages? Scrubolio, sorry for so many questions and it sounds like you guys haven’t actually left/re-entered Taiwan since, but now that your wife has an ARC, is she still planning to enter Taiwan in the future with just the Visitor Visa that the US TECO initially gave her or does she have some other permit to enter Taiwan with?
I realize many of my questions are ticky-tacky on fees but I’m just trying to understand conceptually why this process is designed the way it is and I think the fees shed some light on it. It’s possible that with Covid, we could even be looking at 3 layers of visas/permits just for the spouse-side of things: Resident Visa + Entry/Exit Permit + Covid Special Entry Permit – I fully realize that at the end of the day, we’ll end up just shelling out whatever the authorities ask for in order to get to Taiwan together but it’d just be slightly more comforting to know that at least the fees and rules aren’t being arbitrarily applied. Appreciate any insight and I’ll share mine if this all comes together. Thanks, everyone!