My daughters (9, 9) want to study here through the Overseas Chinese program but...

I need some legal advice, hope someone can help. We are trying to get our daughters (both 9) to start school here after the Chinese New Year but it’s proven a difficult task. We first tried the juliuzheng route (through their grandmother who is Taiwanese) but that proved fruitless (after many legalizations and authentications…). Then we found out about the Overseas Chinese route. We did more authenticating, legalizing, but we just found out today that for one document, namely the proof of entry and exit dates for our girls’ visa’s, we need to have an authenticated marriage license (why?). This will add many weeks to the process since it needs to be legalized in the U.S. Does anyone have any experience with this process and can someone give some advice? We’ve repeatedly been told wrong information and it feels like they’re really working against us. If you don’t have any advice, do you know of a good lawyer (in Taipei) who could assist in the process? Thanks!

Can you tell us more about your situation? Are either of you on a jiuliuzheng? Can the marriage license authentification be expedited? Figure out where it is and express mail it? Do you have to send to NYC/Atlanta, etc.? Sometimes they are pretty quick on this, once you get it in. Here are some other things to try: (1) There was another post on here from someone trying to figure out how to enroll their kid pre-ARC, so you could check that out. (2) They also use a lottery system, but another (more expensive) option is to try the bilingual schools. (3) Finally, there may be “exchange” options where a principal might let them essentially attend classes. Where in Taiwan are you? What is the school you’re trying to do? Schools have a lot of control over how to do this, I think. (4) It’s also a risky but possibly worth-it move to go directly to the educational department for your area. (I once went directly to the Department of Education in Taipei City, and they did not love it, but I figured out what the real-real rules were.) (5) If one of you can get an ARC that may be a way to go also–perhaps enroll in Chinese school or get one through an employer. Good luck!

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Another thought: intermediaries are often necessary, so however you are here work your connections network. This could be: any neighbor who speaks English where you live, parents of kids who go to the school, family network in Taiwan if you have it, people from work/church/rotary/whatever. If always helps if there’s an intermediary who can introduce you.

If you are in Taipei, there are several schools that have programs for foreigners: Shidong, Neihu, and one downtown, I think. Someone here could get you the list and on next Wednesday you could talk to their coordinators. Because New Years really starts today/tomorrow, you won’t be able to do a lot from this end until next Wednesday, when school restarts.

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Will you stay in Taiwan with your daughters or they stay here by themselves with their grandmother? If parents reside here, kids can go to school, so maybe the latter?

Thanks for your response. At this point we have already decided on the school (Mingde Guoxiao). We are trying to get the proper paperwork in order. We need an entry/exit certificate. We are in the process of filing for the Overseas Chinese application and it required us to have this certificate. In order to get this certificate we need to prove that my wife and I are married. For this purpose we have legalized a document from the Netherlands which proves this but which is not an actual marriage license (it’s an extract from the persons register in the Netherlands). It has an official stamp with the Dutch TECO office so we’re hoping that this will be sufficient. We are wondering if we should try to legalize our actual marriage license in the US at the same time just to be sure. It will take many weeks and more $$. I guess at this point we just try this and see if it works. Otherwise we will just continue to homeschool our daughters. We thought the exposure in a public school would really help their Chinese, but there are other ways…

Thank you again for taking the time to respond.

Best regards,

Joris Weimar

So, you are trying to get TARC, right? If the document from the Netherlands proves your marriage, I think its enough.

Have you talked to the school directly? If they have spots for students, they might let your kids start attending in some capacity now. A lot depends on specifics (finances, etc.), but I would still start the license legalization process in the US. It will be cheaper if you get the documents sent in pronto rather than rush mailing them later. If you don’t do school, you might also try them in one of the after school programs 4-6, or you could do a mix of arts/ping-pong/music, other classes.

Thanks for your response. Yes, we did go to the school several times. The principal cannot allow the girls in school unless they have permission from the Ministry of Education unfortunately. We are already here in Taiwan…

Yeah, we have thought about signing them up for classes. Not sure about the after school programs. They seem to be more about drilling what kids have already learned in school, unless I’m mistaken. Ping-pong is a good idea!

I reread your post and found you tried this route but switched to overseas students route. Do parents need a visa run, or can get ARCs through them?

I guess you have a Dutch passport, so the document from the Netherlands should be ok. If you or your wife have a US passport, English teaching job might be an easy way to get ARCs for your daughters.

Correct. I don’t believe we need an ARC. I believe that once the Overseas Chinese department approves our application, the school can accept them as students. I’m not sure if they’ll actually get an ARC. They are currently on a visitor visa (visiting grandmother) so they can stay here during this semester (which is the only semester they will be here).

If you or your wife have an ARC you can get ARCs for your daughters easily. And they can use the ARC and passport to enrol in School.

I guessed you and your daughters might plan to stay here longer. It’s for a semester, and they have a visitor visa, then, they don’t need an ARC, as you said. I said on ARC because getting an ARC as an English teacher might be easier than getting the approval for overseas students in some case.

Thanks for all your advice. We are legalizing the US marriage license simultaneously to the Dutch proof of marriage, just in case. Hopefully everything will work out. Once the immigration office receives our marriage license we can get your entry/exit certificate which will allow us to get some sort of “number” from the Overseas Chinese department which in turn will allow our daughters to start school.