Sabbatical in Taiwan with kids

Hi all,

we would like to move to Taiwan so our kids can learn Mandarin. We do not want to work and have a budget of NT$100,000/month. Is it enough?
We would like to send the kids to local preschools & primary and are looking to stay 1 year.
What sort of visa can we get? Should we get a student visa, would we then have access to medical , public schools?
Also we would like to live in a small town ideally on the coast (Yilan?)
Any information is greatly appreciated. We are on the mainland at the moment and all TW government websites are blocked…

One of you need to get a resident visa for the purpose of study, and others can get resident visas as the person’s dependants. After your family enter with the resident visas, you should get ARCs, and you can enroll your kids in public school. You should stay here for 6 months before eligible for national health insurance.

many thanks, that is very helpful.
Anybody know any mandarin schools for the visa?

Yilan is @IbisWtf 's territory, maybe he can chime in.

To my knowledge, not many international schools there.

I have 0 knowledge of schools/universities in Yilan, neither for work nor study 8(


Residents Visas for Studying Mandarin Chinese(Bureau of Consular Affairs)
Created:2017-08-01Data Source:Bureau Of Consular AffairsCounter:1493

Residents Visas for Studying Mandarin Chinese

Application form
Go to website:
Fill out the application form online and print it out. Make sure the application form shows a bar code on it.Sign the application form.

Two color passport-size photos Paste on the application form two color passport-size photos with a white background taken within 6 months.

Passport and one photocopy of the passport
The passport must be valid for at least 6 months and there are blank pages left in it. One photocopy of the passport bio-page including the holders picture is required.

Original and one photocopy of health certificate
The health certificate should be issued within 3 months by one of the local hospitals designated by the Centers for Disease Control of Ministry of Health and Welfare of the R.O.C. (Taiwan) or a foreign hospital. Health certificates issued by foreign hospitals must be authenticated by an R.O.C. (Taiwan) overseas mission.
Visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control at for health checkup items and the list of designated local hospitals.

Original and one photocopy of certificate of enrollment with record of registration
The certificate of enrollment and record of registration should be issued by one of the Mandarin Chinese Learning Centers affiliated to universities accredited by the Ministry of Education.
Check the website of the Ministry of Education for the list of the Mandarin Chinese Learning Centers.
The certificate of enrollment must indicate completion of 4 months of study and registration for continued study for at least another 3 months.
Weekly hours of attendance, Monday to Friday, must not be fewer than 15 hours.

Original and one photocopy of record of attendance Hours of absence including those taken on a leave must not exceed a quarter of total class hours.

Original and one photocopy of transcripts The school transcripts from the period of study.

Study plan Study motives should be included.
Original and one photocopy of proof of financial support Bank statements or records of remittance, etc.

Other supporting documents To be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants who apply for a Resident Visa after having arrived in the R.O.C. (Taiwan) are required to present also one photocopy of the Visitor Visa and the immigration entry stamp.

Application Procedure
Applicants who have entered the R.O.C. (Taiwan) on a Visitor Visa with an annotation indicating studying Chinese as the purpose of visit, have completed 4 months of study, have registered for continued study for at least another 3 months, and have not been absent from class for over a quarter of total class hours, may apply to the Bureau of Consular Affairs or any of its Central, Southwestern, Southern, or Eastern Taiwan Offices for a Resident Visa, without having to leave Taiwan, no later than one week before the duration of stay expires.

Visa issuance is an act of sovereignty. According to the “Statute Governing Issuance of R.O.C. Visas in Foreign Passport” and “Enforcement Rules for the Issuance of R.O.C. Visas to Foreign-Passport Holders,” the R.O.C. reserves the right not to issue a visa and is under no obligation to disclose the reason. Application fee for no-issuance cases is non-refundable.
Processing of Resident Visa application inside the R.O.C. (Taiwan) takes 7 work days. Resident Visa applicants are advised to apply to the Bureau of Consular Affairs 7 work days before the duration of stay expires. Application will be turned down and fee not refunded in the event that required documents are not submitted in full within 7 days after the applicant is informed by the Bureau of Consular Affairs. In the event that the applicant’s duration of stay expires while the Resident Visa is under processing and eventually rejected, the applicant is to assume the sole responsibility of overstay and the penalty therefore imposed.
Original documents are to be returned after review. Documents produced outside of the R.O.C. (Taiwan) must be authenticated by an R.O.C. (Taiwan) overseas mission. Documents that are in languages other than Chinese or English must be accompanied by a Chinese- or English-translation version. The original-language documents and the accompanying Chinese- or English-translation version must be authenticated by an R.O.C. (Taiwan) overseas mission.

For visa application fees, please refer to “Standard Fees for R.O.C. (Taiwan) Visas in Foreign Passports”(pdf file).

Those who enter the R.O.C. (Taiwan) without a visa or with a landing visa and those who enter the R.O.C. (Taiwan) on a Visitor Visa not for the purpose of studying Chinese may not apply for a Resident Visa or an extension of duration of stay on the ground of studying Chinese.

Those who enter the R.O.C. (Taiwan) on a Resident Visa or get a Resident Visa after having arrived in the R.O.C. (Taiwan) must apply for an Alien Resident Certificate and Re-entry Permit at local service centers of National Immigration Agency. The former must apply within 15 days from the next day of arrival, and the latter must apply within 15 days from the Resident Visa issuance date. Duration of stay is noted on the Alien Resident Certificate.

Obtaining a school admission permit does not guarantee the issuance of a Resident Visa. Obtaining a Resident Visa does not entitle the visa holder to enter the R.O.C.(Taiwan).

BOCA - Bureau of Consular Affairs
R.O.C. - Republic of China
R.O.C. overseas missions- R.O.C. embassies, consulates and representative offices, or other agencies authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the R.O.C.
MOFA -Ministry of Foreign Affairs

List of language centers at uni on east coast

慈濟大學 華語中心 花蓮市介仁街67號
電話:+886-3-8572677分機1682 傳真:+886-3-846606

佛光大學 國際暨兩岸事務處華語教學中心 宜蘭市中山路三段257號
電話:+886-3-9313343 分機103 傳真:+886-3-9315904

國立東華大學 華語文中心 974 花蓮縣壽豐鄉志學村大學路二段1號
電話:+886-3-863-5238 傳真:+886-3-863-5239

國立臺東大學 華語教學研究中心 95092臺東市大學路二段369號 人文學院3樓
電話:+886-89-517765;+886-89-517367 傳真:+886-89-517763

It seems you first have to get a visitor visa for studying Chinese, then after 4 months of study, you can change it to a resident visa and ARC. You should wait additional 6 months for NHI.

Visitor Visa for Studying Chinese Purpose

Created:2017-07-31Data Source:Bureau Of Consular AffairsCounter:1783
Visitor Visa for Studying Chinese Purpose
Requirements Description
Completed & signed application form Please access the website: to fill out application form online and print it out.
Two passport-size photos in color within 6 months Photos with a white color background
Passport (original & photocopy) Valid for 6 months with blank pages
A certificate of admission issued by the Chinese language center affiliated to one of the universities or institutions accredited by the Ministry of Education. (original & photocopy)
For information on the schools, please visit for the updated list.
Those who have obtained a certificate of admission from Chientan Overseas Youth Language Center must also submit a recommendation provided by Overseas Community Affairs Council.
Monday ~ Friday(class hours are over 15 hours per week)
Plan for studying Chinese (original & photocopy) Describe the motive and plan for studying Chinese
Proof of financial support (original & photocopy) e. g. proof of banking account balance or foreign remittance
Other additional documents may be required during processing Ticket、electronic ticket or proof of a travel agency

Application Procedure
Foreigners who come to Taiwan to study Chinese must submit the documents and pay the visa fee at the nearest ROC embassy, consulate or representative agency to apply for a visitor visa.

Visas are issued as stipulated by Article 12 of the Statute Governing Issuance of ROC Visas for Foreign Passports. As a sovereign nation, the ROC has the right to refuse applications for visas without providing any explanation for such decisions; visa application fee is not refundable.
Please refer to “Standard Fees for Republic of China (Taiwan) Visas in Foreign Passports(pdf file).”
Foreign passport holders who had ever engaged in the jobs specified in items 8 to 10, paragraph 1, article 46 of Employment Services Act or who come from the " designated countries "(please refer to Procedures for Nationals of the Designated Countries Applying for Visitor Visas to the Republic of China(R.O.C.))are not eligible for visitor visas for studying Chinese purpose.
Those who enter Taiwan under the visa-exemption program, with a landing visa or a visitor visa for other purposes than “studying Chinese” and those who have already resided in Taiwan for other purposes are not eligible for converting to a visa for the purpose of“studying Chinese” in Taiwan.
Those who have already studied Chinese for 4 months and carry on with their enrollment for at least 3 months, if with other conditions also qualified for a residence visa, may submit their application(at least 1 week earlier before the end of the legal stay of their visitor visa)to the Bureau of Consular Affairs or one of the branch offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taichung , Kaohsiung, Chiayi or Hualien for converting to a residence visa (Please refer to RESIDENT VISAS FOR STUDYING MANDARIN CHINESE). 7 working days are required for processing the application for a resident visa.
The original will be returned after processing. Those who cannot update documents within 2 weeks of being informed to do so will not have their visas issued and will not be returned their application fee.
A certificate of admission issued by accredited language center does not guarantee visa issuance.

Usually your kids need ARCs to be put in public school, but they may have a rule something like “先予協助就學以維護學生受教權益。”. So, if you can show to school that your kids will get ARCs after 4 months, they may accept your kids. You might need to go to Department of Education at your region to get a special arrangement.

Hi Taiwan 76,
My family and I are looking to move to Yilan for a 1 year sabbatical, starting in mid July. I was laughing because your post seems so similar to our plans! We will have a kindergardener and 1st grader, and also would like to put them in school either in Yilan or Taipei. I was wondering how your journey has been going. Any advice for us? Maybe we’ll cross paths!
Thanks! Kevin


I would love to reply but we ended up extending in China. We would however be interested in doing this maybe next year. Sorry not to be able to offer more help.

Very curious to hear how it goes for you.