[Overstay] Mandatory Deportation


Several friends of mine that went to re-new ARCs were told that based on a recently passed law and relegations promulgated thereunder, overstaying an ARC by even one day now results in mandatory deportation. No excuses/exceptions. Previously its been possible to offer an excuse and/or pay a fine, often subject to the whims of the official sitting on the other side of the desk. Does anyone know about this?

Richard, do you know which law the police were referring to?


Do a search on the forums. There’s a lot of info here on the subject, some of it from Richard H.
You won’t actually be deported, as that implies that you won’t be allowed to re-enter the country. However, you DO have to leave for (say) HK and re-apply from there. Expensive and time-consuming.


My school issued a memo last year stating that the Foreign Affairs Police in Kaohsiung now (then:-) has ‘zero-tolerance’ for renewal of an expired ARC.

Just remember to go for your medical (if you are teaching) at least 2 months before your ARC expires.


The ROC Immigration Law was promulgated on May 21, 1999, and we began hearing of the enforcement of this relevant article a few times in late December of 1999, and then pretty consistently from early 2000 on.

If there are extenuating circumstances, then I would say it would be worth fighting. It is a “zero tolerance” policy yes, but it can be challenged. A particular case I had heard of was that of a one year old child whose parents were careless and the baby overstayed a month. The parents were in full time work and couldn’t take the baby to H.K. for a visa run. I suggested that we fight it right here in the ROC, however they were missionaries and didn’t want to make waves. I believe the final solution was that the parents quit their jobs, then the three of them packed their bags and went back to Canada.

I felt that the story need not have ended on such a sad note. During the time we would have been going through the administrative appeal, court hearing, etc. it is true that the baby would have been here illegally, however in the case of an infant, I don’t think that is a serious problem. It might be more of a problem for an adult.

It seems to me that some interesting “extenuating circumstances” would be present in the case of a foreign lady (occupation: housewife) married to a local ROC gentleman, who had overstayed her ARC and didn’t want to leave Taiwan, since that would run the risk of being blacklisted and not being able to come back immediately. Based on the Civil Law articles which discuss the concept of “home” and the obligations of husband and wife, I think that the “zero tolerance” on ARC extension could be successfully challenged. At any rate, it would make an interesting court case.

Although in theory men and women are equal, I am assuming that the foreign wife married to the ROC man would be the most desirable test case in this regard, since if she were a housewife she would not have to worry about her employment status during the period of her overstay time when we were trying to get her ARC extension taken care of. For a foreign man married to a local woman, it might be more complicated, since during his period of “overstay” it would be impossible to have any legal work rights.


I am outlining two possible scenarios for legal challenges to this mandatory deportation problem. If you are interested in being a test case, please contact me for more information. I stress that it is important that all foreigners in Taiwan coordinate their efforts in order to push forward with a human rights agenda.

Although we like to consider men and women equal in this enlightened age, it is true that the wife often still has major responsibility for household chores and taking care of the children. If the husband is an ROC national, and the wife is a foreign national who has overstayed her visa, this puts her family situation in jeopardy. We believe that in such circumstances these foreign wives should be allowed to renew their residency permission in Taiwan, without having to leave the country first. We feel confident that a court action along these lines would be successful.
Suitable candidate: Foreign wife married to ROC national who has overstayed her ARC.

A foreign passport holding child has an ARC in order to legally reside in the ROC. In some cases, the parents forget about the validity period, and the next time they check the ARC, the child has already overstayed. At that point, upon inquiry with the Foreign Affairs Dept. of the local Police Station, the Police state that the child must leave the ROC area and then apply for a new visa to come back in. This puts the parents in a quandary, because they have full time jobs and it is not convenient for them to take several days off to deal with the child’s visa problems. We believe that the solution to this is to fight the decision of the Police Department right here in Taiwan. We feel confident that based on the commonly accepted definitions of the rights and responsibilities of minors, such a court action would be successful.
Suitable candidate: Parents in Taiwan with young child who has overstayed his/her ARC.