I just went to extend my ARC/visa for Chinese school at their new location. For those of you who don’t know, the foreign police is no longer handling ARC extensions. The government has created a “new” division and their address is:
National Immigration Agency
Ministry of the Interior of Taiwan, ROC
No. 15 Guangjhon St., Jhongjheng District
Taipei City 100, Taiwan
You have to go to Xiaonanmen station, which is kind of a hassle, but its a quick walk. In addition, the staff seemed to be completely new and the were MUCH nicer…it was like night and day. They still asked me a lot of questions, but it was so conversational and friendly and the lady spoke Chinese with me the entire time. I don’t know if the new place/staff has anything to do with it, but this is the first time I have had a good experience renewing my visa, even though I have always had good grades and rarely miss class. I felt as though Taiwan is FINALLY making progress in this area! :bravo:
I asked them a lot of questions and I think I can clarify some of the questions that people have been asking on here. First, you can study Chinese for three years on a student ARC. They count three years from the time that you got the ARC, not from the time that you started school, which means that you can actually study for more than three years. If you miss class more than 5 times (10 hours) IN ANY SEMESTER, they will likely not extend you. The official rules still state that you should not miss more than 10 hours in a month, but beware, this is not what they say at the immigration office. I have seen some of my classmates refused and this was confirmed on my visit. I don’t know if the official rule has changed, but in practice, don’t miss more than 5 classes in a semester.
They did ask me how I was paying for my classes. I could tell this was a lame attempt to see if I was working or not, but I obviously didn’t fall for it. If you are working illegally, have a story prepared. I told her I planned to come to Taiwan for years and had saved money. She then told me a story of a guy who came and said that he had bought and sold a house (I don’t know why she told me, but she did). The point is, they are asking about this and its best to be prepared with a good answer.
As with any info like this, please note that it came from one person…there can be differing opinions within the same agency. If you get your extension rejected, it is really hard (if not impossible) to get another ARC. I hope others have a good experience there!