Once 'deported' and wanting visa

This is a complicated question, and I’m not sure who to ask, but I’m sure someone out there knows the answer.

I lived in Taiwan and had an ARC for purposes of teaching English from 97-99. In spring of 99 I was unofficially kicked out by police who raided my school because of a technicality concerning the name of the school on my ARC. Until that point I had no idea there was anything wrong with my visa/work permit.

I have spent the last two years back in the US getting a Masters in Education, and would like to return to Taiwan to teach and study Mandarin for maybe 6 months to a year. I am trying to figure out the surest way to get a visa, preferably a 60 day renewable one. I would like to avoid either being denied or given a non-extendable visa which would require me to fly back and forth to Hong Kong for new ones.

Here are my questions:

  • I am concerned that since I have an old multiple reentry stamp in my passport, which is proof of having taught in Taiwan, I might get rejected entirely by my local Taiwanese visa office. Would it help to get a new passport?

  • If I apply to study at a school such as NTNU beforehand, can I submit the acceptance letter with my visa application and would this help me to get a 60 day renewable visa?

  • What types/lengths of visas are Americans typically getting these days?

  • Any other suggestions for how to get a decent visa that will guarantee I am able to remain in Taiwan for 6 months to a year to study/work?

duo xie,


I’m afraid my limited knowledge will be not of much help. But here goes…

As always, what most Americans are getting still depends greatly on which office you go to, your age, race, possibly gender and the mood of the person you’re dealing with. I here Seattle’s still pretty lax…

I know if you break an employment contract with a company, you won’t be able to get another work permit for around a year (this doesn’t relate to your situation at all, but I was surprised that one could get another permit so quickly for such a breach of contract).

Getting a new passport with a slightly altered name (such as the addition of a middle intial) apparently confuses their computer system and makes you a first-timer to Taiwan (from what I hear, but such is always hearsay after all). Whether a new passport with the same name would do this, I’m not sure.

I would also imagine a school acceptance/letter from a company would help a fair amount. It’s been 2 years, that’s a fair amount of time.

Does anyone else know more about this than me?

Sorry to convey such little information in such a long letter!

Are there any stamps on your passport to indicate you were deported ? Is there a restriction of any kind on returning ? I overstayed a tourist visa whilst waiting for a work permit once (as instructed by the MOFA) only to find the FAP were very upset about it a put in my passport a prohibition against getting a visa-free entry for 1 year. Do you have anything like that ?

They track passports by name and date of birth. All you can do is try, then if it doesn’t work, change your name. That is obviously a hassle as you need to change the naem on your degree cert too.



I was forced to leave Taiwan in January of 2000 after overstaying my ARC by a year and a half. The fault lay entirely with the MOFA but that didn’t matter. I had gone through all the paperwork to get a resident visa based on my marriage, but failed to complete the last step which is to get an ARC. No one at the MOFA bothered to tell me that the visa in my passport was only valid for a short time, and that I needed to use it to get an ARC. My wife and I had even asked the woman at the counter if we needed to do anything else. Incredibly she said no, and that I could now live and even work wherever I wanted to.

When I discovered a year and half later that I was living without proper papers I went to the Foreign Affairs Police station with a friend who knew someone there. No one asked about work, and I kept my mouth closed, but I was none-the-less issued a stamp in my passport that said I was to depart the ROC by January 22. I was out for 14 months, and that with a Taiwanese wife waiting for me here!

When I went to apply for a visa to return to Taiwan I was turned down initially. On the second application I was told that I had to prove I had a good reason to come back. As far as they were concerned, deportation is forever, even if technically you are only forbidden to return within a year.

Anyway, I was able to prove that I had a valid reason to return - namely to be with my wife. It seems like you don’t have anything like this in your favor.

I know getting deported for working illegally is taken much more seriously than simply overstaying your visa. I have been told it is an automatic 5 years. So if I were you I would prepare for the worst. That said, you may find someone daydreaming the day you send your application in. The day before I went to the foreign affairs police, my wife went by herself. The first person she talked to was going to just issue me another ARC. The person beside him insisted that it can’t be done and that I would have to leave. If only she had been sick that day.

Once caught in the system here it’s pretty hard to get out. But, as I said, you might get lucky.

If the deportation was unofficial, as you say, then there should be no record of it and you should be fine. The re-entry stamps don’t prove you’ve been teaching illegally, just that you were here. Unless I’m missing something. You should be fine.

Good luck!

Thanks very much for all your responses, which along with other information on this website have really helped to clarify what I should do to ensure getting a visa. I feel much more confident that I can make this happen now, as long as I figure out which hoops to jump through…

Here’s what I’m thinking…
I was never technically deported (just arrested and held by police over night, threatened a lot and told to leave the country on my own in 3 days, which I did) But there are no deportation stamps in my passport, only two expired one year multiple re-entry permits and my original 30 day non-extendable visitor visa.

Based on what you have written then, I don’t think any record of my arrest will come up in their computers, but I’m thinking that all the old visa/work permit stamps might make them more likely to give me a short, non-extendabe visa. Has anyone heard of this happening to people who teach, leave, and then try to return again?

I need to renew my passport anyway, so in order to increase my chances, should I get another passport with the same name, figuring as long as they see blank pages I’ll be OK, or should I try to change the name on my passport? I suppose I could get rid of my middle initial, but does anyone know if the US passport officials will allow me to do this? Do I just fill in my name differently on the passport renewal form or do I have to give some sort of valid justification for the change?

Thanks again for all your help!