Possible to obtain JFRV with a Criminal Background?


I’ll list a couple questions and provide background information after the questions. Thank you for any info!

1) Will Taiwan grant me a Joining Family Resident Visa with a criminal background?

2a) If I pay to have an Apostille get my FBI check certified by the US State Dept and authenticated by TECRO in DC and send it to me in Taiwan, do I need to have everything translated into Chinese or is English fine?

2b) If I need Chinese translations, can I get certified documents translated here in Taiwan?

Criminal Background:
I have 3 DUIs from over 12 years ago. Yes, I was a f*cking fool.

Background Info in relation to Taiwan (all of which occurred years after the criminal offenses):
Taiwan Scholarship recipient that granted me a student ARC and resident visa. Got married in Taiwan to a Taiwan resident with household registration (which I am on) and they just transferred my student ARC into a Marriage ARC without any hassle/FBI background check. Studied for a year or 2 and then taught English for 3-4 years. Moved back to the US in 2016 and let my ARC expire (so foolish in hindsight -_-). No criminal record or any record of anything bad happening involving me here in Taiwan (except marriage, lol). Had 3 children in Taiwan, all of which are dual US/TW citizens.

Current situation:
Thinking about moving back to Taiwan. I’m in Taiwan on a changeable visitor visa (visiting or joining family as the purpose of visit). Wondering if it is even possible to get a Joining Family Resident Visa to get a new ARC. I don’t want to pay the $500+ to that Apostille to get my docs certified if I’m going to be denied. I listed my criminal history on every Visa application and have never been denied; however, the laws have changed and I’m unsure if Taiwan will grant my application.

Has anyone gotten a JFRV/ARC without a clean FBI background check?

Thanks for reading through my insecurities and any advice/info is appreciated!

I can’t answer the “likely-hood” question, but I’d think that you could do this much cheaper yourself without too much added hassle (as long as you have a Chinese speaker who can help you out):

  • Go to an NIA office and get your fingerprints done. Make sure you bring the forms printed out on nice paper (I did 3 fingerprints at once, they were like $100NTD at NIA a piece if I’m remember correctly). Mail them with all of the other required forms to the FBI from Taiwan (should cost you around $1000NTD from a 711 to get a tracked package sent). I’d think you’d need to figure this out whether you used an apostille or not.

  • The FBI will then send you both a printed version and an email version. The printed version arrived at my parents house in the US in ~6 weeks, but I got the email version in ~2-3 weeks (I don’t have a record so I’m not sure if yours will take longer).

  • You can then send the email version to TECRO yourself (you will need to mail some other documents to them along with a check, but you can use email version of the FBI Background check). How this works is that when you are first applying for an FBI Background check they will send you an email with a code to access your FBI application. After your background check is completed, you send DC TECRO that code so they can log in themselves and see it for themselves. Or just have someone in the US forward the FBI Background check papers to DC TECRO. (This is the part that the apostille will help you with but isn’t really worth $500 IMO)

  • You’ll then either need to include money for DC TECRO to send the authenticated background check to Taiwan, or have your contact in the US forward it back to you here.

  • If switching from a joining family visa to an ARC you will need to get it translated and authenticated. My wife found instructions on how to do the translation online and did it herself (make sure the number of sentences line up and the name is your English name), and then just bring it down to a local notary office to get a stamp on it. Took all of 15 minutes and $700NTD to get a stamp on it (They can also do the translation but it will probably take longer and cost more)

  • You should then be good to head down to NIA with your application – they wanted my wife to be present along with her apartment lease and ID card (and copies). I’m assuming that you have already been added to your wife’s family registration paper and your Chinese name is on her ID card (otherwise you’ll also need to do that first which I’m not entirely sure what the process is since I got married in Taiwan)

Good luck! I know it seems like a lot (and it is), but I don’t think that paying an apostille $500 really saves you that much hassle

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