[Overstay] Visa Overstay


Be very carefull not to stay for ONE MORE DAY.
First time I came to Taiwan, it happened to me, on a 30 days Visa.Counting from say the 20th to the 20th but the month had 31 days!!
Should’v gone on the 19th…!!!

I have now a big stamp on my passport( one year restriction), and every time I pass the Immigration, they don’t miss to point the finger at me. Shame ! Shame!


On October 12, 2000 Anonymous wrote:
This is the second time this week that someone has called or written to me to complain, and the fifth or sixth time this month.

It seems they have changed the law here effective December 1999. If you are here even one day past the expiry date on your ARC, for any reason, you have to pay a fine and leave Taiwan to arrange a new visa. I was waiting for my work permit to come in and received it last week, that is why I went to the Foreign Affairs Department of the local Police Station today. The lady there looked at my ARC, told me that it had expired some 10 days previously, handed me a sheet with the new laws in black and white, and said


But do you think that is normal that on the very day you live, at the Airport Immigration they catch you because of just one day overstay ??? I was Actualy living the country !!! Not trying to stay illegaly!!I find this so …Stupid!!
And almost missed my plane.


In terms of overstaying your visa or ARC, it is generally heard that you have to leave the country and are then blacklisted for some period of time. However, I believe that if there are extenuating circumstances, or for someone married to a local citizen, there is a possibility of negotiating with the authorities involved to receive better treatment.


I recently visited HK and returned through Kaoshiung and applied for a landing visa. Kaoshiung is different from Taipei, in that you must visit the foreign affairs office in Kaoshiung to be issued with a 30 day landing visa. This is quite inconvenient, especially if you are intending to travel away from Kaoshiung, as in my case.

When you receive your passport back with the 30 day visa, you also receive a slip of paper, stating that your stay in Taiwan commences from the day after your arrival (possibly as a small allowance made in lieu of the inconvenience). This can only mean that, if you have a 30 day visa, then you have thirty days from the day after you arrive. This must be one day different from your stay commencing on the day of your arrival, which would mean that you have thirty days commencing from the day of your arrival (as in Taipei rules). Perhaps Kaoshuing actually mean that the day after your arrival will be called day 1.
-If that is what they mean, then your stay commences from the day of your arrival, not the day after.

There is an additional confusing issue, which can be best appreciated when you actually see a landing visa from Kaoshuing. Suffice to say that it further gives you a false sense of security, when calculating the day one needs to leave.

Using this information to calculate my eligible stay, I exited the country (from Taipei), and I was given a fine and had my passport stamped, that I cannot return without a visa.

To make matters even more confusing, the visa issued in Koashuing, is stamped issued on the day you apply,

Believe me, if I had the slightest idea that my actions could be seen as overstaying, I would have left earlier.

I was going to Okinawa on a Saturday, intending to return within a few hours. I had no Japanese money. There are no banks that will exchange Taiwanese money in Okinawa.

If it was not for some people who helped me, until Monday, I would have had to beg on the streets.

I had to apply for a visa on Monday, which they only gave me back on Tuesday (of course keeping my passport).

On Monday night I didn’t know whether to apply for help from the police for either food or shelter. I am a reasonably resilient human, but for some this could have been quite emotionally devastating.

Then the Okinawa-Taiwan office gave me only a two week student visa, because I had overstayed, despite my detailed explanation.

When I returned to Taipei, I politely asked the foreign affairs office to reconsider the situation, but they would not even acknowledge that my story was even possibly credible. They just tried (abruptly) to teach me how to count to thirty , -something I accomplished before I went to University.

Because I complied with Kaoshiung rules, but not Taipei’s I will now travel to HK and apply for a student visa. This has cost me ten’s of thousands of NT, and its not my fault.

I would be very interested to see if this incident may be suitable for an administrative review. I have since become aware of another person who fell into the same trap.

In any case, beware, the consequences of an overstay are considerable.

Okinawa told me, if you overstay three times, you will not be allowed back in the country.

Is this place still under martial law?

Does this policy fit with the open, fair and democratic ideals that Taiwan has fought so hard for?


Name will be supplied to specific enquirers.


While I believe that Entrapment in sincere in offering the above comments and analysis, however in general I believe that it is a bad idea to wait until the last possible day on your visa to exit the country.

Ideally, you should exit a day or two early. I realize that (to the western mind) it seems a curious notion that a 60 day visa is only valid for 58 days, however in the long run we may avoid many hassles by interpreting it this way.

The alternative is to use a specific case to fight the ROC government’s interpretation in court. That will take time and money.


Hi, folks.

This is for people who want to quit their job and enroll as full time students… and why Taiwan sucks and makes me feel unwelcome.

After living in Taiwan for more than three years, I have for the first time overstayed my visa.

At first, I worked for HESS and everything was smooth. Then, I quit HESS to enroll as a full time student. I thought it should be easy. I thought I could just go to the police station and tell them:

“I’m going to quit my job. I enrolled at the university. Here is the certificate of enrollment. Please change my visa. Thanks.”

But it doesn’t work like that. Despite the fact that I already had my certificate of enrollment - I had to leave the country and come back in. Why can’t I just make a smooth transition from institution to institution?

So I went to Bangkok and they gave me a visa that was good until June 6. But it was only valid for 60 days, which means that it’s actually only good until May 10. I misunderstood and overstayed my visa by 15 days. The police woman very carefully put the big, bad stamp on my passport. THEY NEVER PUT THE GOOD STAMPS ON WITH SUCH CARE - and my passport has plenty of good stamps, good and sloppily placed stamps. She asked to see my student I.D. and noticed that I had payed my tuition until August - and I gave her the “evil eye” - a subtle evil eye because she’s just doing her job. But I want her to know that this kind of law makes me feel very UNWELCOME in Taiwan. Perhaps I should go study Chinese in the Mainland.

As a result, I have to go to Hong Kong or Bangkok again and spend a lot of money that I intended to use for my studies. I might look into some mainland universities. Stupid stupid waste of time…what good does it do to Taiwan? What good does it do to me?

Why can’t they have a special office in Taipei that is equivalent to offices abroad for foreigners who just want to switch from working to being a student?

And the fact that the police LOVE to very carefully put the bad stamps on, but then very carelessly put the good ones on, makes me think that they really enjoy making you the “bad guy”. She deserved the evil eye.


By the way, folks: I also had to pay a 3,000 NT fine.
If you overstay the visa for
10 or less days then you pay 1,000 NT
11-30 days you pay 3,000 NT
30+ you pay 5,000 NT
and if it’s over 91 days then you’re in BIG [du du].
Not only do you have to pay the fees, but you also have to leave the country, so that you may come immediately back in… Maybe they do that to give their embassies something to do.

What good does it do to have a foreigner leave the country and come immediately back in???

I used to think people were ridiculous when they said that the United States should do the same to Taiwanese who go there. But now that it’s happened to me, I AGREE…Actually, on second thought, I don’t agree. The United States should continue granting 5-year residency permits to Taiwanese so that the Taiwanese law makers can eventually see how beneficial such a policy is.

This whole ordeal is really degrading and I have lost a great deal of respect for Taiwan, because I feel that Taiwan has lost respect for me.

Yes, I take it personally. Am I now “black-listed” because of this? And dear Hartzell, please tell us, WHY do they grant me a visa that expires in 3 months but is only good for 2 months?


I think what you mean about a visa exiring in 3 months but only being good for 60 days is this. the expiry of the visa in 3 months means that you have to use it in three months - ie you are allowed to enter the country any time in the next three months. this is totally separate from the ‘length’ of the visa which is how long you can stay.
I agree that the laws are very harsh. i think it can be easy to make mistakes. it must be even easier if you didn’t understand chinese or english. i once thought I’d overstayed by two days and not noticed, but i was looking at the wrong stamp (I think it was the date that i had to leave hong kong or something). luckily i still had 1 day left.


It could be worse, folks. The laws, draconian as they may seem, used to be far stricter. For those who remember the days of exit permits and 3-day arrival visas, you know what I’m talking about.

Besides, with the proper documentation from your school, it’s easy to extend your 2 month visa up to 6 months, assuming you make it to the police station before your visa expires.


Well, I didn’t make it to the police station on time. So the unsympathetic boors made me pay money and leave the country.

But going to Hong Kong for a quick visa run is like kissing Taiwan’s A-S-S, so that’s why I took two weeks off of school and came to Bangkok which is a refreshing break.

By the way, the Taipei Office is really easy to find in Bangkok. It’s on the Chorng Nansi Sky Train stop in this big silver-mirrored building on the 20th floor. It’s nice. You have to give them your stuff in the morning, and then you get your visa on the afternoon of the following day. I don’t care if Hong Kong is quicker, because I consider this a mandatory vacation and I’m off to the beach, people.