Pros and Cons of visa-free long-term stay in Taiwan (aka what are my options?)

Question: Can foreign children attend public school in Taiwan without an ARC? If the parents are in Taiwan under the visa free program and are “visa runners”, the kids can still attend public school? I was under the impression that only ARC holders’ children could attend public school, but private schools only require money.

Education, please.

Regulations Regarding International Students Undertaking Studies in Taiwan is applied to private school students too. Articles 18~22 are relevant.

C.f. 臺中市私立國民中小學新生及轉學生入學實施要點.doc

Kids can be permitted to enter by Article 18 without ARC, then can get ARC by the permission. Maybe this is easier for private schools than public ones?

Whether the regulation is applied to private schools might depend on local governments.

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I remember at least one poster who had most business income coming via a pass-through and explained the situation and qualified, but it is buried deep in that giant gold card thread. You can also ask someone in the Ministry of Economic Affairs on the list if you strongly want to check right now. Entrepreneur visa “Innovation capability” seems to be extremely vaguely defined, so I would call the phone number to ask about your specific company. AFAIK, businesses can sponsor foreign employees, amount of work needed unknown.

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Without an ARC? Which banks allow this?

I looked at Citibank and HSBC websites and they both “officially” state that a passport and ARC is required for foreigners to open an account.

All local banks allow you to open an account without an ARC. You need to go to the Foreign Affairs Police office and say you want to open a bank account, they’ll register you and give you a ID number (it’s same as your ARC number in the future). With that piece of paper and a passport you can open an account anywhere.

It’s how students open bank accounts when they first arrive before they get their ARC.


Just fill out the application (at the bottom of the page), make a copy of your passport, and bring everything (including your passport) to NIA. The process takes less than 10 minutes (the wait could be long though).



:grinning: :white_check_mark:


Just thought about this and wanted to ask:

As a Taiwanese citizen, my aunt wouldn’t be able to help us in any way simply through descent and sponsorship, right? She is my aunt by marriage. Her husband, who passed a few years ago, was my mother’s brother.

I assume there’s no pathway there, but just want to be thorough as I’ve considered so many options and yet never inquired about this. Thanks!

You mentioned that your wife is a resident of Macau? She may be able to get a TARC or similar residency in Taiwan, after which you and your children could get ARCs. I’m not sure how this works exactly for someone in her situation, but perhaps you can look into it.

It sounds like your aunt may be most helpful for establishing residency, like a permanent address for your kids public school district, etc.

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This would be fantastic, but I haven’t been able to find any info on this. Not even on forumosa. I have emailed to my local TECO in the past, as well as a Taiwanese immigration company, and neither ever mentioned this possibility (although to be fair my intros were always long, similar to my OP here, so it may have been overlooked by everyone if I did in fact bury the lede on accident)

I’ll keep digging thanks! (I do see some info on an investment citizenship path available to her and HK residents…)

Notices for the submission of application of Hong Kong and Macau citizens for residency in Taiwan area (TARC) in Chinese


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For people who are looking for residency as HKers or Macau people

@projectmaximus not sure if you’re still digging into this or researching, but as mentioned above, the Gold Card might be a really good option to consider.

I’m in the same boat as you — I have my own single-person LLC that’s disregarded (e.g. “pass thru income”). After numerous round trips with their Workforce Development Agency for income verification, I was finally able to just submit one of my 1099s to pass the income requirement.

But here’s the issue — the 1099s need to be in your name, not your LLCs. Fortunately, I had one client accidentally mislabel my 1099, so it was under my name (even they used my LLC’s federal tax id #). Since the amount was high enough for the threshold, they accepted it.

So if you have 1099s that meet the threshold but are under your name, that’s one option. The alternative is to just go ahead and set up payroll for yourself so that you can give yourself W2s. Since it sounds like you have a bit of lead time on this, it could give you enough time to set it up, and have enough paystubs so that you can submit that to show minimum income. (or if you act really fast and have enough cash on hand, you can set it up right now, and have just a single very, very large paycheck in Dec, and that way you’d get a 2020 W2 for the full amount)

Of course, there are tax implications on this (e.g., you may encounter some hiccups with deducting on QBI), so you may want to talk to a tax professional to understand the pros/cons.

Best of luck with everything!

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Thank you Mike! I really do appreciate you sharing those details. It is great info for folks looking into this.

Unfortunately for me I don’t think I have any single 1099s that exceed the required minimum to even check if they were accidentally mislabeled lol

But no worries, I think things will turn out fine. I should hopefully have a decent shot at the gold card through the arts category, and if I can get it that way I’d much prefer it (I dunno, feels like it would give me some cache in applying for other artist immigration programs in the future). So the plan is to try that, and if it fails then we’ll probably fall back on entrepreneur visas cause anecdotally it sounds like the business type requirements aren’t as strict as the official language suggests.

From talking to people who went the entrepreneur visa route, I think this is probably the least attractive option. There’s a lot of hoops to jump through, and it only buys you a year. The bar for renewals is high unless you have a business that can get off the ground and gain some traction very quickly.

Or if he has a foreign company already, he could see if the representative office route is an option. There are no initial income or capital investment requirements.

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Yes you’re right, thank you for mentioning. I’ve seen this as well. It’s not ideal and a rep office might be better. I’ll deal with those plan b scenarios if we get to that bridge…point is there are a few possibilities. :smiley:

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If you’re planning on hiring any locals, the entrepreneur visa can be easy to renew (2 years each time). You have to hire 3 locals. If you pay them average Taiwan salary then that might be easier than meeting the 100k USD/Year business income requirement. There was also a third qualification category of spending something like 30k usd in the first year for business expenses.

Getting an entrepreneur visa is easier if you don’t qualify for gold card. You can just sign up for coworking space and they’ll sponsor you (such as future ward). However the last I heard, they were still suspending entrepreneur visas due to covid since those are issued by one ministry and they decide everything.

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I’ll be taking this route since I own an existing company turning a profit already. Seems like the logical route to take then trying to teach or simply using visa-free stays.

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Couple questions about this:

  1. Can you confirm that this would allow for sponsorship of the entire family (dependents)?
  2. Can an investment firm have a rep office, and if so what activities exactly would be permissible and not permissible?


yes for your spouse and minor or disabled children. You may ask to NIA to confirm, though.

what they can do is legal matters with respect to its business operations (signing of contracts, submission of bids in tenders, giving price quotations, making purchases and negotiating prices). Other things, they cannot.

You may ask to DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MOEA to confirm, though.

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