How strict are Taiwanese Embassies with issuing student visas? I mean is it really necessary to come to Taiwan as tourist, register, fly to Hong Kong and then have your student visa?
I’m not sure how or when to register to study in Kaohsiung - couple of my friends are teaching there.
Any suggestions will be great

Here’s part of an e-mail I wrote my brother recently:

Ah, visas. You have to try and get a 60 Day extendable visa, but you probablycan’t get that without school papers. Otherwise you have to get 60 Day non-extendable or 30 day. Here’s the options:

  1. 30-day landing visa: You arrive, pay a small amount at the airport and you can stay for 30 days. Then you have to fly to HK every month for about 8000NT.

  2. 60 Day visa (extendable): You almost certainly can’t get this without school papers (but you can try). If you want this you need to get someone to sign you up at a school (and pay you up) then send you the papers to prove that you are a student. You probably have to pay for 2 months. This will cost about 8000NT too, but the advantage is that this visa can be extended up to 6 months, and you can go to Chinese class if you want.

  3. 60 Day (non-extendable): This is possible, but not at all certain. If you decide that you don’t want to do the school option, you can apply at for a visa and ask for a 60 day visa. It is quite likely that they will just give you a 30 day visa, but tell them that you want to travel around Taiwan and you never know. A 60 day (non-extendable) will give you another month and may possibly be able to be converted to 60 day estendable.

  4. ARC/Work Permit. This will let you stay and work legally for a year, but it takes a while to get and you need a degree. But you have to first come in on another visa then find a jobthen takes a month to get the ARC, so if you come in on a 30-day, you still have to make one trip to HK.