VISA help

I have been going through what people have been saying in this forum about coming to Taiwan on a VISITOR VISA (MULTIPLE ENTRY) and extending it.

Could you please verify if I understood everything correctly?

My boyfriend (from Canada) is going to come to Taiwan for 5 months (April-August). If he enters Taiwan with an EXTENDABLE SINGLE or MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA, the only way (The most popular thing) he can extend his visa is if he is STUDYING at a language school…and then he could stay here for the full 5 months without having to leave the country? Or does he still have to leave the country after 60 days?

Thanks so much for your help!


I guess this is correct. You must have a good reason for the extension, else they just kick you out after the Visa expires. Not sure about the requirements / rules for Canadian nationals though …

If you don’t get an extension you could always hop over to HK for a few days and then return with a new Visa. Don’t apply for a Visa upon entry (applicable to some nationalities only) at CKS Airport, it’s 30 days only and NOT extendable, but rather do it at any foreign office representing Taiwan.

Basically right. Key is EXTENDABLE.

quote[quote] the only way (The most popular thing) he can extend his visa is if he is STUDYING at a language school [/quote]

Actually there is another way. Enrol and pay fees at a dodgy ‘school’ who will SAY that you are studying.

In fact there arequite a few other ways,like visiting relatives, but they’re not usually available for your average foreigner.


Rascal and Bu Lai En,

Thanks for your replies! Another question…

About the HK VISA RUN option - assuming he gest a MUTIPLE ENTRY VISA from Canada - does this mean that he could opt to NOT “study”…leave the country (go to HK for a weekend or something) and when he re-enters Taiwan, he will automatically get an “extention” on his visa? (How long is the extention…and how often does one have to do a visa run?) (How risky is this?)

Thanks again!


Originally posted by sypanda: Rascal and Bu Lai En, does this mean that he could opt to NOT "study"...leave the country (go to HK for a weekend or something) and when he re-enters Taiwan, he will automatically get an "extention" on his visa? (How long is the extention...and how often does one have to do a visa run?) (How risky is this?)


That’s correct. And it’s not very risky. As far as I’m aware, you can do it as long as the visa is valid. Each time you get another 60 days. I used to do what Bri suggested–that is, pay some money to a school to SAY I was studying, but then not go to class. This way, you still have to extend your visa every 2 months. I still left the country every 4 months, though. Otherwise, you have to file taxes to get that second extension.
But, if he’s going to be here that long anyway, he could also get get a job and apply for a work visa…

Thank you for your reply!

but…my bf cannot apply for a work visa cuase he doesn’t have an undergrad degree yet - he’s still studying!

Well…from what you guys are saying…perhaps the best thing is for him to enter on a visitor’s visa…enroll at a Chinese schoool in order to get one extention…and then for the final month, just go to HK or something to get another 60 day extension. (When you re-enter from HK, do you have to give them a reason why you are re-entering Taiwan? or do you just ENTER?)



I don’t know about other people here’s experiences, but I had a few dicey hours last spring with the folks in the HK office, even though ALL my paperwork was in order, getting a new visitors visa to change to a work visa upon arrival. I recommend going in an hour before lunch time in HK, That way, any arguement he has is supported by the natural human urge to take a break. Second, he must have his ducks in a row! Third, no matter what he must be polite and, if necessary, politely firm. Never give a reason to deny that visa! I politely “discussed” my case until lunch time and beyond until the representative wearily asked me if I wanted to speak to her manager. I politely and good-naturedly said, “Yes, Please!”. I never saw the manager but my visa was approved two minutes later
Manners are a must, as is patience.

I had a similar situation happen to me recently.
I went to HongKong but they failed to cancel my old visa properly so when I went to change my visa back in the Taiwan Immigration office they wouldn’t do it.
Needless to say I was well put out when they indicated I get back on the plane to HK again.
My solution.

Just stand there and tell them I did everything I could.

you gotta go buddy

Just stand there.

You have to go to the police station and tell them

Just stand there, dumdedumdedum

There’s nothing we can do for you if you don’t have that shiny stamp

Still standing there, dumdedumdeum queue building

Give it to me, we still might not be able to do anything.

----once they took it off me I knew I was 90% there. In fact according to the laws of the ROC there was no way they could issue me an ARC.
But since they messed up my visa app and I had ‘fallen into the netherworld of a non-standard application process’ I wasn’t going anywhere until somebody bumped me back into their system (For about a month in Taiwan I was a quasi person in between legal and non legal. My passport was so full of stamps and contradictory visas it sent a shudder through any immigration people who opened it!)

All this time I wanted to blow my top but that would have got me zero points. When I insisted very politely and firmly that I needed something done there they finally reached the threshold realization that we can take it off him now or he’ll be a pain in the ass for the next week and that ulcer that they have working for the immigration office will start to play up again.

The moral of the story is check what the hell they are stamping on your passport every time and make sure an old ARC/ MEV is cancelled before applying for a new one. As Bu Lai En said the key is EXTENDABLE. You can ask for a two month visa
but they are very tight arsed about them
(it resulted in a grimace when I asked) and it will surely give you a 1 month EXTENDABLE in HK.
Also having done the dodgy language school thing before it is a useful route, be aware it’s easier to do if you have a MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA first.
Then you only need to extend your visa in the local police station every two months and don’t have to fly out to Hong Kong even once after arrival.

However it is not easy to get them except in your home country, usually you shoud say you have business or list a relative (brother/sister-doesn’t matter if they exist or not) in Taiwan and that’ll swing it. Perhaps Canadians have an easier time with the Multiple Entry Visa application.

Sypanda, the multiple entries of a multiple entry visa are only granted during the duration of that visa. Say you get a 60 day mulitple entry visa, then you can exit and enter within these 60 days as many times as you like. Once the visa expires however you have to get out or it must be extended.
The multiple entries are of no benefit unless you expect to travel within the Visa period.

So after e.g. 60 days you must apply for an extension (with good reason) or get out. You may come back with another 60 day visa but if you do this too often immigration may question you or refuse entry.
It depends very much on the country, a friend of mine is doing so in Malaysia since 3 years, always coming in as a tourist for 3 years, staying at the same hotel (of course he doesn’t, but I think you get my point) but in fact running his own business.
My friends in Thailand however got questioned the 3rd time they came back (both employed there by an intl company) upon which they had to legalize their stay.

BTW: When you enter you (or your friend in this case) must produce a return air-ticked issued on a date before the visa expires, else they won’t grant entry (so happended to me). Therefore ensure he brings an open ticket so he can change the date later.

I think it would be okay for your friend to come in as a tourist and renew his Visa after 60 days twice outside of Taiwan, perhaps you can take the opportunity and travel around the region for a few days …

Everyone! Thanks for posting to this question…

Rascal…I feel confused…but you have cleared up some important things for me! THANKS SO MUCH! I woudldn’t have known about the airplane ticket thing…so I will let him know…

Just wondering though…if/when he goes to HK…and re-enters Taiwan - does he need a reason to be re-entering? (Here, does he need his student papers in order for them to re-issue a 60 day visa?)

Do you think it’s EASIER/less risky to get visa extentions through a Chinese school or doing a visa run?

Sorry for asking so many questions - I just don’t know ANYTHING about the legalities of visas/extentions, etc. Since I am here on an ARC, I did not have to deal with all this!

I appreciate all your help! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!


You should know what everyone who has done this already knows:

The rules are the rules and they cna’t be bent so if you have a special case or something and they decide (by the rules) against you then tough luck.


Every office and officer seems to interpret the rules differently (on different days depending on what colour shirt you’re wearing) so what is impossible one day at one office is a cinch another time in a nother place and there’s no such thing as a sure thing.