US Citizen, Visitor Visa denied from NYC TECO - What are my options?

So backstory, I want to learn Mandarin, so I signed up for NTNU - Mandarin Training Center, received my admission letter etc, class start date set on Dec 2nd.

I went to the NYC TECO and submitted all paperwork for a visitor visa, but the receptionist told me the supervisor rejected the application and didn’t give me any reason. (This was after I submitted everything including the $160 USD). She specifically told me “no reason was given by my supervisor.” All my paperwork was in order, no criminal record, good finances, etc. so now I have this big question mark over my head.

Sidenote: I suspect it may have something to do with my mainland Chinese visa and stamps into that country, also I found some horror stories on Google/Yelp about this consulate, such as arbitrarily rejected visas and destroyed documents etc. similar to my story.

Anyway, what’s next from here? I still want to get a visitor visa, with the hope of one day upgrading it to a resident visa, but it bothers me I wasn’t given a reason.

I read somewhere that the consulates in Washington DC or Hong Kong are much more relaxed.

It’s possible to attend MTC without a visa, just by leaving/coming back to Taiwan every 90 days, but for obvious reasons I’d rather avoid this. My long term goal is to eventually work to a resident visa, and for that I need a 4 months uninterrupted stay (a lack of visitor visa caps me at 3 months). I am in my late 30’s and have a $3k USD/mo retirement income.

I am looking for feedback on two possible options:

Washington DC TECO: is it possible for me to try again here, even if I don’t fall into this jurisdiction?

Hong Kong TECO: Same as above. I land in Taiwan two weeks before my classes start, so I can potentially make a quick run to Hong Kong and try my luck there, for the sole purpose of expediting a visitor visa to Taiwan.

Are either of these feasible, and if so, which one has higher chance of success? Other options include trying in mainland China, or the Philippines, but I don’t know which one is best.

Try Chicago. My SO and I have gotten visas from the Chicago TECO even though we lived and worked in the mainland for 5 hellish years.

Side note: he got his visa in Chicago, I got mine in HCMC (although there was a lot more paperwork involved on my end, due to Vietnam’s love for bureaucratic nonsense)

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Are you sure you’re not a spy? OF COURSE you’ll say you aren’t, but isn’t that what any spy would say? :slight_smile:

why on :earth_africa: would you think to even consider trying to get Taiwan visa in mainland China?

I’m not even Chinese =P It’s not relevant to my problem, but I was formerly US military. If I was a spy it’s definitely not against Taiwan

I see! A double agent! I’ve seen your type in many, many 007 movies! I bet you even have a cool villain name on your passport!


Thank you :slight_smile: Honestly I have no idea. I read somewhere that there are ferries in Fuzhou and Xiamen, China, that go to Taipei. In retrospect they’re probably not good places to apply for a visitor visa, but seem like decent options to refresh the 90 day timer.

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worst case.
go to Taiwan on 90-day.
enter MTC.
fly to HK with letter from MTC.
HK Teco gives student visa.


every TECOs are mostly the same(denied all kind of visa, even tourist), normally in your country should be the easiest one to get. But again TECOs are nightmares for everyone


Learned the hard way sadly. I suppose I have no choice but to try for better RNG in the Hong Kong TECO.

I find it interesting how seamless it was to get 10 year multiple entry visa from mainland China. It boggles my mind. But I suppose it’s unfair to judge a country by it’s consular services.

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Really strange. You have guaranteed income. Already accepted to the university, and they deny a visa.

You don’t need to apply in advance for a “visitor visa”. Maybe you applied for wrong kind of visa?

Yes you can do visa runs every 90 days.

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Only for Americans. Chinese visas are expensive , short duration and getting more troublesome for many of us.

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Canadians can get multi-year Chinese visas as well, or could a few years ago anyway.

Better than worst case: go anywhere in the neighborhood except HK!

Btw, as far as international law goes, it has been accepted that a visa can be refused for reasons that don’t need to be disclosed. When this happens, you can try contacting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to complain, but it’s probably best to go elsewhere like people have suggested.


I have worked a lot with the N.Y. TECO. Keep going back and just be persistent. Ask for the supervisor if you get denied. It’s a frustrating bureaucracy but just keep pushing. Different days also have different supervisors. Time consuming but easier than going to Chicago.


@paperclip Do you know which days have a good (or at least neutral) supervisor? I know for a fact that Wednesdays are not good… The supervisor I talked to seemed like she was looking for any reason to reject me, and my denial stamp was also on the following Wednesday.

I know statistically Thursdays are the best days to ask for things, but if that same advisor works Thursdays I’m also out of luck.

I’m not sure how I feel about going twice to the same TECO, the possibility of getting denied twice, losing out on $400 instead of what I already lost ($200, $160 visa+$40 in public transport), as well as having some strange stains on my passport I can’t explain if I try again in Hong Kong.

Coming from another angle and people here have more experience. There are threads about it.

People sometimes arrive Taiwan and then arrange residence requirements after which may or may not include a trip out of Taiwan.


I wouldn’t pay again. Just ask for another supervisor or insist on an answer and don’t leave until they do, possibly threaten to contact MOFA.
Either that or as someone else said just go on a visa free entry and then do a visa run to extend


I came on Free entry 90 days, tried to extend another 90 days but refused.
So I have to go back to UK apply for visa if I get one? I can come straight back and then apply for extension OR get a job before free 90 dayVisa runs out.

My own fault not looking in to it fully, see 90 days free Hey I’ll do that NO EXPENSE, not realising can’t extend so in a quandry.

does this work?

you don’t necessarily go back to UK. You can apply for visa in HK, Manila, Singapore, … Anywhere out of Taiwan. I think. Or if you get a white collar job, in Taiwan too.

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