The Perfect Storm


I am in a dire situation that could prove catastrophic.

I live in Hsinchu. I finish my contract with a chain school on the 14th. I decided not to renew my contract with them in order to shop around now that I have experience and move to Taipei. I started looking for jobs about a month ago and I have yet to receive a definite offer. (We might hire you for a position at the end of August.) My housing contract also expires on the 14.

I asked my school if they could extend my contract for a couple days but they said no.

In a week, I am going to have no job, no apartment and a canceled ARC. And to make it worse my mom is coming to visit on the 18th (this trip was booked long before.)

These are my questions.

  1. My ARC card says it expires on August 31st, but my school will call and cancel it on August 14th (when my contract ends.) Will that make extending the ARC more complicated? Can I extend it all if I don’t have a new signed contract in hand? If so, how? Tealit all seems to be about quitting a job and getting a new one not how to proceed when a contract just ends.

  2. I can make a visa run to Hong Kong but will I be able to get a 60 day visitor visa if I don’t have employment lined up by Friday? The subtext on this site seems to be that the TECO office doesn’t grant visitor visas unless you have proof of employment, but it seems like some people have gotten new visitor visas without one.

  3. If I do have to get a completely new ARC, does that mean that all the things I have from my old one have to be redone? (Insurance card, bank account, etc.)

  4. How should I proceed. I have an interview on Monday but the transit time between Hsinchu and Taipei and the fact that I still have a normal after school buxiban job makes it so I can only do interviews in a thin slice of time when schools are open before I have to hop on a bus to get back to work.

I realize these are all problems of my own poor planning. I didn’t realize that my housing contract would expire on the 14th and not the end of the month. I should have taken some vacation time at the end of July so I could go look for jobs properly. I shouldn’t have let my mom book her ticket without knowing exactly where I was going to be.

What should I do?

According to my experience, this is where you are fundamentally wrong. Not having employment lined up is fundamental to getting a visitor visa. You must pretend that you don’t have employment lined up and have no desire to get a job to get a visitor visa. Tell them you finished your contract but have not yet visited Toroko Gorge, the east coast and Alishan, so you want to go back and spend a month or two before moving on. Show them an onward ticket out of Taiwan. Once you are back, get a new contract and get your new ARC.

A visitor visa is for tourists/visitors only.

I would go to the NIA office and clarify how much time you can spend in Taiwan after the cancellation date of your school contract. If not enough time, …

…Explain to them that you have family coming to visit. Plead your case and asked them to extend your ARC for one month.

It will probably cost you NT$1000 to extend your ARC. Take your passport and a the correct size photograph.

Good luck