My first visa run - Questions!


#1

Hi! My first 60 days are almost up, and I need to go on a visa run. From what I’ve read, the “cruise to nowhere” is no longer operating, so I guess I’m going to do Hong Kong.

The details:
I am a US Citizen with a 60 day Multiple Entry Visitors visa that is good for 5 years.

The questions:
1.) Do I actually need to go to the pseudo consulate in Taiwan to get my visa extended, or do I just need to leave the country (i.e., get my visa stamped in Hong Kong) and then come back to Taiwan (i.e., walk out of the airport, turn around and come back in for my return flight)?

2.) Can this be done on a Saturday, and more specifically, June 15th, which I know is a holiday?

3.) If I do have to go to the pseudo-consulate, how long does it take and how much does it cost?

and finally…

4.) Does anyone know a good English-speaking travel agent in Taichung? Has anyone used STA Travel here? I have an ISIC card, so I can get student tickets from them if they’re cheaper.

Thanks a ton!!!

Karen


#2

Originally posted by GoinAbroad:

quote:
I am a US Citizen with a 60 day Multiple Entry Visitors visa that is good for 5 years.

The questions:
1.) Do I actually need to go to the pseudo consulate in Taiwan to get my visa extended, or do I just need to leave the country (i.e., get my visa stamped in Hong Kong) and then come back to Taiwan (i.e., walk out of the airport, turn around and come back in for my return flight)?


No, with a valid multiple-entry visa you don’t need to go to the Chunghwa Travel Service (or whatever they call it). For that matter, you don’t even need to leave the airport in Hong Kong. As far as I know, you don’t even have to go through immigration in HK. It’s the exit stamp from Taiwan that matters, not the entry and exit stamps from somewhere else. But you might as well go out and enjoy the city, especially on your first visa run.


#3

I might be wrong but 5 years means you can enter within 5 years and stay max. 60 days during which you leave/enter as many times as you like. Once the 60 days are used up that’s it, even there are still 4 years left in the Visa. Else they would call it a 5 year multiple entry visa and not a 60 day one!?


#4

Rascal is right, I believe.
And if you haven’t heard, avoid HK like the plague. Go ANYWHERE else, but there. They are notorious shits about visas. I was given 14 days once for no reason (a landing visa is 14 days too).
Hey, surely you have seen all the tourist sights in Taiwan in 60 days, right? It’s a tourst visa, right? That’s what the HK dudettes will say.
Do you have your paperwork in order from your employer here to get an ARC? If not…well, I’m sure there is medication for high blood pressure.


#5

Karen (“GoinAbroad”),

I disagree with Rascal. Well, Rascal would be correct if your visa is single entry, but you said that your visa is multiple entry.

The “expiration date” of a visa means the last date when you can use the visa to enter Taiwan. Since your visa is “multiple entry”, you can use the same visa over and over again, up to five years from the date when it was issued. And you can stay in Taiwan up to 60 days each time (unless it’s extended).

So when you go to Hong Kong (or anywhere else), you do not need to go to the Taiwan de-facto embassy (which is officially called “Chunghwa Travel Service”). I agree with Cranky that all that matters is that you get an exit stamp in your passport saying “Departed ROC”. Then you can just take the next plane to come back to Taiwan. You don’t even have to leave the airport.

So it doesn’t matter that the clerks at the “Chunghwa Travel Service” are notorious for being extremely rude, because in fact you never need to deal with them.

By the way, you’re really lucky to get a multiple-entry visitor visa which is good for five years! Which de-facto embassy did you get it from? Before I got my ARC, almost every page of my passport had a 60-day Taiwan visitor visa on it, but every one was just a single-entry visa.


#6

I agree with Mark. If it’s a 5-year MULTIPLE ENTRY visa, you don’t need to vist a consulate between trips to Taiwan. I did this for about a year before finding a job that would help me get a real work permit. Of course, that was about 10 years ago.


#7

Is there a website that lists contact information and addresses for the Taiwan rep offices in other countries? Thanks.

Jennifer
http://mytaipeibaby.tripod.com


#8

Visit MOFA-BOCA at
http://www.boca.gov.tw


#9

Jennifer wrote:

quote[quote]Is there a website that lists contact information and addresses for the Taiwan rep offices in other countries?[/quote] [url=http://www.gio.gov.tw/taiwan-website/foreign/index.htm]www.gio.gov.tw/taiwan-website/foreign/index.htm[/url]

I believe the information in my initial response is correct. GoinAbroad could call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make sure, I suppose.


#10

Thanks for the replies everyone! I had a friend who has had just about every kind of visa look at mine, and it is definitely a MULTIPLE ENTRY visa. So, I’m going to risk it and skip the “helpful” people at Chungwa completely!

I only picked Hong Kong becuase it is cheap. This is absolutely the worst time for me to have to do a visa run financially, so I’m not going to be able to make much of a leisure trip out of it, which is a major bummer. I keep getting mixed reviews of Hong Kong though. It seems like people either love it or hate it! There’s no middle ground!

Thanks again everyone!

Karen


#11

To my understanding you have been given a visa which is valid for 5 years, i.e. you must enter within that period to use it. Afterwards it will become void.
Multiple entry means you can enter multiple times during the actual visa period which seems to be 60 days. It is correct that you do not need to go to any embassy or represantative office then.

When I went to Australia a few years back I had a 2 year period to enter Australia, but only for 60 or 90 days (can’t remember) once.
Once you are in and use up the time (60/90 days) - that’s it.
Multiple entry does IMHO not mean you can enter many times as you wish for 60 days within the 5 year period.

Since there are different regulations for different countries and depending on your nationality I might be wrong and you may be lucky.
But I have travelled to several Asian countries and never heard of such an arrangement and until then I stand corrected.

PS: Worst comes to worst you can enter using a landing visa (applicable to some nationalities only!), but it’s 30 days only, single entry and non-extendable.


#12

Pay no attention to Rascal’s posts. He is INCORRECT in his “interpretation.”

Your visa requires no “interpretation.” It is what it says it is – a five-year multiple entry visa. You can use it for five years as often as you like, staying for up to 60 days on each use.

Simple as that.


#13

Unless things have changed, you can also extend it for 2 more months without leaving Taiwan if you’re studying Chinese at a registered school such as MTC (is Flag still around?). You can actually extend it twice this way, but the second time you will have to file taxes.


#14
quote[quote]Unless things have changed, you can also extend it for 2 more months without leaving Taiwan if you're studying Chinese at a registered school such as MTC (is Flag still around?). You can actually extend it twice this way, but the second time you will have to file taxes. [/quote]

Actually Jeff it should be extending the initial two months four times at one month an extension, eg 2months (initial 2 months) +1month +1month +1month +1month.


#15

I originally agreed with Rascal because I was under the impression that it was IMPOSSIBLE to get a 5-year, multiple entry visa anymore. I saw such visas when I first came here in 1985, but have never since heard of anyone being issued one.
If you in fact have a visa that allows you to enter the country as you please for a maximum of 60 days (plus extentions if possible) for five years, please let us know where you got it and if you had to promise away your first born.


#16

Pay no attention to Rascal’s posts. He is INCORRECT in his “interpretation.”

If so would you care to state if your explanation is a FACT or also based on INTERPRETATION or personal experience - or alternatively post a link which does verify your claim!?

As I said, if other conditions apply (and that might indeed be possible) I am happy if somebody can correct me, but please don’t interprete yourself and claim this to be correct.

And to make this clear: my experience with the Australian visa is a FACT, not an intepretation or assumption.


#17

My parents, who just left Taiwan, came here on five-year multiple-entry visas, which they recently got from the Houston de facto consulate. I very much hope their acquisition of these did not involve promises of giving away their first born, cuz that’s me.


#18

My explanation is not an interpretation. It is a fact. I’m looking at one as I type that was valid from 1995-2000.


#19

Sandman has been snooping in my desk again. Rascal, I LOVED my five year multiple entry visa, because it gave me complete freedom. I was not held by the short and curlies by any employer, and I never paid tax. The years went by, and I decided to commit to being here, so I finally made the move to an ARC in 1998, 10 years after I first got here. This is how it could hypothetically be done: (Click here already.)


#20

Ok, point taken and I withdraw my earlier “interpretation”.

Thanks for clarifying that.