[Overstay] What would you do if you overystayed your visa


#1

This is a tricky one but basically I finally managed to extract myself from a nightmare job in February after frequent non and late payment of salary, and conditions that weren’t stipulated when I was hired in the UK. Anyway, my last company cancelled my ARC, which I kind of didn’t know, thinking that I just needed to find a new joba and transfer my work permit. As it happens, I’m now working for a school who have told me that because I have overstayed (albeit unknowingly) then I may be in a bit of a pickle and will have to pay a whopping fine and even if I do that, might not get a new visitors visa. Any ideas? Am I likely to be deported, or what?


#2

You aren’t likely to get much sympathy from the Foreign Affairs Police. I think over the years they have become much stricter regarding non-medical overstays. If you go to the police they will probably extend your overstayed visa, send ya to the tax bureau, order you to leave in a week and then blacklist you.

On the other hand, they might grant you an ARC on the spot, take you to lunch and give you the key to the city. But I wouldn’t count on it.


#3

Sad to say it, but you’re probably out for a year. Do a little search on this forum. There’s a coupel fo old threads about this.

Bri


#4

Whatever you do, do not admit to working during these last few months. If you are caught WORKING while on the overstayed visa, you will be in a HUGE amount of trouble. New laws seem to have started to take effect this January, so be very careful. I think that the penalty will be an NT$10,000 fine, plus banishment from one to five years if you are caught working. If you “just” overstay your visa, you’ll probably be fined, but I am not sure if you will be banished. You or a friend of yours needs to contact the police division that governs foreigners to make sure.


#5
quote[quote] I have overstayed (albeit unknowingly) [/quote]

As a resident of a foreign country, it is your responsibility to know and follow the laws and regulations of that country.
“Jeez, I didn’t know that I had overstayed,” means that you are stupid or lying. Either way, a year out of the country should give you enough time to familiarize yourself with the rules here well enough not to find yourself whistling in the dark again.


“People should have to pass an IQ test before being issued a visa.” – The laughing Buddha


#6
quote:
As a resident of a foreign country, it is your responsibility to know and follow the laws and regulations of that country. "Jeez, I didn't know that I had overstayed," means that you are stupid or lying. Either way, a year out of the country should give you enough time to familiarize yourself with the rules here well enough not to find yourself whistling in the dark again.

Oh fack off you pious prick.

Lots of people overstay becuase the Taiwanese authorities use bad wording on visa stamps or just plain tell people wrong information. Crackdragon is in a real bad situation, she/he hardly needs your abuse.

Bri


#7

While Crackdragon is in trouble indeed (and I hope I never get into the same trouble), Crackpot was perfectly right with his comment. The authorities might not really care if a foreigner just ignored a red light, but overstaying (and even three months) is something hard to explain.
Crackdragon, did you start working at the new school right after you left the previous one or were you “on holidays” for a while. Because: If the new school tells you about your status, they will probably have started an application for your work permit and found out during this process. It would seem strange if they told you after such a long time, such application should never exceed a month. But even if they informed you very late, there is not much hope I can give you. The usual procedure will require the local employer to be fined (and that fine will often not really hurt them), while the foreign employee will be sent home.
Sorry, but this is how they handle it. The only help (and it is not really much help) I can still think of: Find someone with VERY good connections…


#8
quote[quote]Lots of people overstay becuase the Taiwanese authorities use bad wording on visa stamps or just plain tell people wrong information. [/quote]

You make it sound like understanding how long a person is allowed to stay in Taiwan is not a matter that can be determined by examining (closely I guess in your case) the visa which you have in your passport or your ARC.
It’s not YOUR fault you overstayed, blame it on that “bad wording” or “wrong information.”
My intention is not to be pious nor a prick, but in whatever country you are a guest in – regardless of how long that may be – it is your responsibility to understand YOUR situation.
I know several people who have overstayed. Most were just space-cadets who just really didn’t give a shit and said, “Well, I’ll just pay a fine and that will be that.”
One person had to overstay because his company screwed up; but the point there was that the individual was well-aware of the situation and his D-Day.
Saying, “I don’t know if I am overstaying or not…I don’t know when my visa expires…I don’t understand the stamps or wording in my passport or on my ARC,” shows a lack of maturity.
Similarly, you can’t say, “Jeez, I didn’t pay my taxes because of the ‘bad wording’ on the form.”
I think actually few people overstay their visas and that says something about the rest who do not, probably Bri himself among them, that being aware of your permission to stay in this country is an obligation.
Not to be contrite, but ignorance of the law is no excuse.


#9

Before lambasting Crackdragon any more, remember that he was granted a working visa through his old employer and had it canceled without his knowledge. If that is the case, then his re-entry permit says it must be used in conjunction with his ARC. The expiration date on his permit says something like 1 or 3 years from when he go it. Nowhere on the ARC does it say “if you quit your job, this is invalid”. It’s something usually your employer tells you, or you hear from a friend or the foreign affairs police.
I understand his confusion.
Crackdragon, If you do get blacklisted, you may be able to get a new passport and re-enter the country to circumvent the time limit. I know somebody who got blacklisted and got back in this way. The blacklisting consists of a stamp in the passport. New passport = new number = new identity. I have a feeling the database holding this info checks your passport number as a primary key.
Anybody with knowledge of how the foreign affairs DBMS works, please start a thread! I’d love to know the answer to that question!
Also, check where you can get a passport processed quickly. In the states, there are processing centers where you can get it done in 3 days for a surcharge. It may be the same in the UK.
In any case, this is going to be an expensive mistake!


#10

I would also go to the Council of Labor Affairs to report that this company is not playing fair.


#11

Crackpot, you accused crackdragon of lying or being stupid. It’s not that simple.I have heard of people having their ARCs cancelled on them without knowing. I have heard of people being told that it’s OK to work for a school before their visa has been processed and that they can stay in Taiwan illegally in the meantime. I also know a guy who had been in Taiwan, married to a Taiwanese for years. He was expressly told by one of the visa officers that his visa was all OK, there was nothing else to do. They didn’t tell him he had to get it stamped by the police and it was over a year before he found out. He got deported and separated from his wife for over a year. I think your argument that foreigners in Taiwan should kwow all the legal ins and outs behind the visa system is complete bollix when employers and visa officials themselves can’t even get their stories straight. I don’t know how much of crackdragon’s situation is his/her own doing, but please treat him/her with a little sympathy. I personally know two people who have had their lives turned upside down after being deported (becuase they were lied to) and have heard of many more.


#12

Oh, just to respond to m_lewis. it seems that current practice (which of course could vary depending on such factors as what officer you talk to, the day of the week, or what colour shirt you are wearing) is that if you have overstayed more than a few days (maybe couple of weeks) you are out for a year or however long you overstayed (the longer of the two) after which you should be able to come back, but maybe not on a landing.

And you were dead right. It is not as simple as carefully reading the date on your passport. Your ARC can expire (thus invalidating your entry visa) before it’s ‘expiry date’ if it is cancelled and you might not even know about it.

Bri


#13

Hi, only me …

Sorry I haven’t been able to … erm … interject recently as I’ve been hell busy trying to sort out … ah … erm … a mammoth visa problem, actually.

I certainly don’t expect any sympathy - but thanks to those of you good enough to plead for others to not give me any harder a time than I’m already having.

To clarify, here’s the lowdown once more: I ‘mutually agreed’ to dissolve my contract with my employer in February (just after New Year), and my employer was a dodgy (English) scoundrel if ever there was one. ‘Mutual agreement’ is the legal term that I was given in writing (at my insistence) although actually that meant I wouldn’t work for them if they couldn’t/wouldn’t pay me on time. The last straw came when him and his inept wife went away for Chinese New Year without paying me (as my contract stated) on or before the 10th of the month. This had happened more often than not, but this was the final straw. My real point of issue was that I wasn’t, in fact, on a good will tour of Taipei.

This sticking to my guns was causing ructions with the other indentured slaves in the school, so they were nearly as happy to see the back of me as I was of theirs.

Anyway. I was assured by this same employer (witless I trusted them, a second time) that they would cancel my work permit, but that I wouldn’t have to do anything about it until either I found a new job or the MoE wrote to confirm receipt of my termination, whichever came sooner; in short, that I would have to go to HK at this point and get a new ARC, but only then. So I kind of dossed about being a bit of a space cadet, doing a little cash in hand work on the side and surviving on my final (full) paycheck until about April 8th, when my new emplyere employed me. Another three weeks or so went by before I gave them the details of my old employer (partially my fault, but then I was assured that there was still no problem.)

When my new employer began to investigate my work permit/ARC status with my old employer, Old Boss suddenyl couldn’t remember who/when/if it had been sent. This dicking around and amnesia cotinued for a further couple of weeks, until the last week in May, at which point it transpired that, yes, it had been cancelled (my old boss apparently contacted the MoE). And thus, I had, suddenly been illegal for three months, without my knowledge.

My only plan now is to go back to the UK at the end of this month, and go and see the Foreign Affairs Police a week or so before then. The British - erm - ‘Embassy’ here said that if I pay a fine, say I’m sorry and swear to god not to do it again, I’ll probably be OK, pleading ignorance may not be a defense, but being misled may be. And, let it be known, all employees, directors, students and acquaintances of R*** ******h, that their time is coming round.

Fingers crossed, eh?! Thanks again for all your messages of support and otherwise, and lets hope for the right cloud formations, the proper outcome of a high stakes Mah-Zhong game in downtown Taipei and generally good vibrations for the day I pick to sob uncontrollably and do my stupid foreigner bit (which shouldn’t be too hard, because that’s what I am.)


#14
quote:
Originally posted by Crackdragon: let it be known, all employees, directors, students and acquaintances of R*** ******h, that their time is coming round.

If you are trying to warn the rest of us about this lousy employer, why disguise the name with a row of asterisks? This school is breaking the labor laws by not paying you on time. It should be reported to whatever authorities give it permission to employ foreigners - Then it will have to either get its act together or close down, and other people will not have to suffer what you have gone through.


#15

yeah… what is the school!!!


#16

Bu Lai En,
Perhaps you are associated with people who either overstay their visas because they don’t understand the system or because they accept bad advice, but myself and two of my best friends here account for just over 50 years of residence in Taiwan. Personally, I have been to Hong Kong more than 25 times, most of these for visa purposes.
I have had work permits, ARCs, multiple entry resident visas, visitor visas and a landing visa. I have had to provide housing reports and tax certificates to leave the country (or more specifically, to have a hope of coming back) – administrative bullshit that people now do not have to deal with.
None of the other two people or myself have EVER overstayed a visa, ARC or work permit. Together we have taught English, worked at magazines, consulted with Chinese companies, worked from home on the sly, worked for domestic newspapers and foreign news agencies, and a few Chinese export companies.
I’ve been hired, fired, re-hired, ARC cancelled, ARC not cancelled – you name it.
Never an overstay. I’ve heard about people who have had some problems, but very, very few.
I’m no Taiwan visa lawyer nor are any of my friends, and the process has been very understandable to me.
If you looked at the number of visa extensions and ARC extensions versus the number of people who have overstayed, you’d find that most, or nearly all, do not have a problem either figuring out what is required of them regarding their own visa or finding knowledgeable people who do.
Let me put it another way, the law falls squarely on what is printed in your passport or ARC. If you are told that “the paperwork is in the pipeline so don’t worry,” and your time – as stated in black and white – is almost up, go to the foreign affairs police and find out what, if anything, can be done. If you don’t have the stamp in your passport or ARC, then you don’t have shit. If you want to believe in smoke and mirrors from some bushiban operator, do so knowing that it is your butt in a sling, not theirs.
Personally, I don’t think people who overstay three months really get it. There are unusual situations where a person’s company drags its feet so long that the employee is stuck having to overstay waiting for their paperwork – but these people are well aware of the date after which they are in trouble and the consequences. But three months? It isn’t the GIO or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that will toss you out of the island, it’s the police and as you know, they are no longer forgiving on overstaying.
For you new people here: simple advice – check the expiry date in your documents. That date is the date you must leave by, no exceptions without getting some other extension stamp by the police. It’s up to you to know that date.
Crackdragon should have known that once he left his job, it was possible that the employer would cancel his work permit. The terms of the work permit are related to that specific job. I haven’t seen a work permit in a while, but they used to say on them that it was only valid with that job.
I bet that if Crackdragon stays in Taiwan for any number of years he will look back on this and think: “What the hell was I doing? A crooked boss and I didn’t investigate my legal status that was in his hands? What was I thinking?”


#17
quote:
For you new people here: simple advice -- check the expiry date in your documents. That date is the date you must leave by, no exceptions without getting some other extension stamp by the police. It's up to you to know that date.

Here’s some better advice. For all his 50 years here, CRACKPOT is plain wrong.

  1. If you have a visitor’s visa the ‘expiry date’ is not the date that you have to leave by. It is the date you must use the visa by. The date that you are permitted to stay will probably be printed (often unclearly) in a completely differnet part of your passport.

  2. If you have a visa based on your work permit and ARC you may not be able to stay until the expiry date, because your ARC may have been cancelled without your knowledge. Looking at your passport very carefully is not going to help you here.

  3. If you have a marriage visa, the spamp in your passport is not enough. You also have to apply for an ARC based on that visa, even if MOFA tells you straight that this is not necessary.

Bri


#18

Whatever, do what you want.

However, when I used the term “expiry date,” I didn’t think anyone would be so bone-literal that they did not understand what I meant.
When you enter the country on a visitor visa, for example, you know the day you entered (look at the stamp) and you know how many days you have been given to stay. Count the days on a calendar. Presto!

quote:
The date that you are permitted to stay will probably be printed (often unclearly) in a completely differnet part of your passport.
Goodness, that's like doing calculus! A whole different part of one's passport! Crikie! I suppose you have to read the instructions on the back of a soup can, or on a bottle of shampoo to figure out how to use the product.... [img]images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
quote[quote] 2) If you have a visa based on your work permit and ARC you may not be able to stay until the expiry date, because your ARC may have been cancelled without your knowledge. Looking at your passport very carefully is not going to help you here. [/quote]

Correct, a little common sense is all you need. You can use the dates UNLESS you change the playing field, like changing jobs or getting fired, for example. Your work permit or ARC is predicated on your job; you lose your job, what do you think? Work permit/ARC + job = legal status. Lose the job and you’d better start asking yourself some questions.

But thanks for the oblique compliment Bri, my friends and I (some are married to locals) must have huge, intellectually advanced minds to have navigated the highly complex and rumor-filled system that is legal status to visit or live and work in Taiwan.
I must go and solve some equations now.