Do you have to hand in your passport to your employer, in order for them to process your visa? or is it dangerous to give your passport to anybody?

Yeah, you usually do have to give it to them, but they should hand it back to you after processing.

No you don’t. If you want photocopy it and give them all the copiers. They take this to the Ministry of Education who after about 3 weeks give you a piece of paper saying that your employers can hire you. Usually your employer would take this and your passport and photos and maybe something else I’ve forgotten to the Foreign Affairs Dept, but if you wanted you could do this yourself. I did. Of course you have to give your passport to Foreign Affairs, but this is the same as applying for a visa anywhere. Then your employers take it to the foreign affairs police and again you could do this yourself if you want. Police check and stamp your passport but don’t take it.

I guess a lot of schools take your passport right at the start of the process to save themselves hassle.


Most employers will take it during the processing of the visa application. There is a small risk that an unscrupulous employer might hold your passport as part of a “security deposit” or so you can’t leave their employ.

If this happens seek the assistance of the police or your embassy (representative office) in having the passport returned. It is illegal to hold someone’s passport against their wishes (I think).

A reputable school will photocopy your passport and hand it back to you. If they hold onto it as some sort of security measure they are preventing you from fulfilling your obligation to present your passport to competent authorities such as the police, immigration etc who may lawfully demand to see it. Before you get your ARC of course it is the only form of ID you have. Prior to getting your ARC you are a tourist and the law used to be that you are obliged to carry your passport at all times. Your passport remains the property of the government that issued it and I would enlist the help of the police and foreign mission in getting it back. The only time I ever had my passport retained was by Bangkok immigration when a flight I was on was seriously delayed and we were all bussed to a hotel for the night. That was perfectly legit of course.


I have wondered whethe there is a law that reqires you to carry ID at all times. For Taiwanese? If so does it apply to foreginers, and if you have no ARC are you required to carru your passport? I hate carrying around my passport - too inconvenient if it gets lost. Anyone know? Maybe next time the police check everyone in the internet cafe, I should just say “didn’t bring it”.