Switching from visitor/student visa to work visa-info?

I just started a full-time job at a university, and I’m quite concerned about swithcing to a work visa. My visitor/student visa expires in October. Right now, I haven’t informed the university that I won’t be attending this semester full-time, since they told me “unofficially” that they will inform the government right away, and that I will only have two weeks to switch. I’m afraid this won’t be enough time. The personnel department at the university is telling me that I must “finish” my course at the university before I can work. I don’t understand what they mean.

I don’t know where to begin so I can get it done and hopefully not have to leave the country. Any information? How long does it take? Where should I begin?


Do you need the degree from the university to be eligible to work?

You need a new visa by the date your current visa expires. It’s probably a good idea to check with the foreign affairs office to see if you can get your visa extended - remember to ask at least 3 people there, since it’s not uncommon to get different answers from different people.

Meanwhile, try to get the school to start your paperwork ASAP. I’m unclear on your situation, though. Did I get this right? Your school will cancel your student visa, giving you two weeks grace period, as soon as you officially withdraw? Are you working at the same school you’ve been studying at? I don’t see the relationship between whether or not you finish your coursework and your eligibility to apply for a work permit. Could you clarify?

No, I don’t need the degree to work. I’m just studying Chinese for personal edification.

Now, as to the relationship between when I stop studying Chinese (at one university) and start working at another university. My current visitor-for-the-purpose-of-studying-visa expires October 15. If I understand what the university I’m studying at is saying, once I officially inform them that I don’t want to be a full-time student any longer, they will call the government office, and my visa will be canceled in two weeks. This doesn’t give me and my teaching university enough time to do the paperwork, since according to my teaching university, they can’t start the paperwork until I’m officially withdrawn from my studying university.

I hope this clarifies the problem. If I don’t tell my studying university that I am withdrawing from full-time study, I’m illegal because I’m working on a student visa. My teaching university says they can’t start the paperwork until I do. If I go ahead and tell the university that I’m studying at, I only have two weeks, which unless I and my teaching university set a record, probably won’t be enough time. Is there anyway to not have to leave and come back?

Oh. Groan. I wish so much that Taiwan would clarify its visa system and make it so that 90% of the foreigners 90% of the time don’t have to be working technically illegally. I’m so confused.

Well, I’ll just go have a talk with the good 'ol boys at the FAP tomorrow and see if they can enlighten me. I’ll let ya’ll know what goes on in case someone else is confused on the same issue.

You can still start the paperwork now and if you’re very careful get it all done in time. Get your medical check-up first and get your new employer to get the other things ready.

Then you need to get a letter from your school to say that you are not a student anymore. The best thing would be for them to say “Alwayslol will complete her course on Oct 15 and will no longer be a student”. If that works then you’ve got time, because you cna apply for your work permit early. The problem is that one of the things you need to give the MOE is a letter saying that you’re no longer a student. Now if they won’t allow a sort of ‘post-dated’ letter like I suggested above, then you’ve got to wait until two weeks before your visa expires. Then go into the MOE with the letter THAT DAY. You’ll be pushed for time, but with luck you’ll make it. The MOE should take a week from receiving your application until they can give you your work permit. Also, I have heard that they can give you some paper saying that your application has been filed. You can take this paper to the MOFA who will then give you a temporary 1-month extension, while your application is getting finished.

Best still book a tocket to HK just in case though.


A quick hop over to HK may be avoidable, but if not, it’s nothing more than just inconvenient, especially if you can get your school to foot the bill for you.

I agree it’s frustrating that it’s practically impossible to NOT work illegally at some point - such as when waiting for your work visa to clear. Just get it all done, and know that soon (though never soon enough!), you’ll have everything squared away.