I’ll be coming to TW next month (to teach) & decided to send in my visa application by mail, so as to save myself the trouble of having to drive to my nearest major metropolis. This plan backfired, however, as I received a phone call from TECO which requested my physical presence for an interview there. Have any of you Forumosans ever been through one of these interviews? Is this common? Any advice? How long does one of these interviews typically last? Do they mainly want to just see me in person to make sure I don’t look like a serial killer or a child molester or something? Or do they give you the third degree and really make you feel like you’re being interrogated (which I guess you are, technically)? I suppose I should show up wearing a button-down shirt, tie, khakis, like as though I were going to a job interview. And I’ll be going to TW to do some sightseeing and spend some tourist money, and then I’ll fly back home 2 months later… as far as the folks at TECO’ll know. (It seems kind of silly to me, having to go through this whole rigamarole, but I guess this is how it’s done.) So any relevant anecdotes and/or advice would be appreciated, and I might post again after I get back from the interview (next week) to let you (by which I mean anyone who reads it, including those who might benefit from the information) know how it went. I assume that at the conclusion of the interview, provided that everything’s “hunkey-dorey”, they’ll hand me my passport with the TW visa in it… right?
What kind of visa did you apply for? 60 day visitor? If you did and you haven’t got a job lined up tell them you want to come to Taiwan for a holiday. That is what that visa is intended for and that’s what they want to hear.
As for the 'interview" it is probably some formality to check that the face on the passport matches yours. Don’t worry about dressing up, but a shirt with a collar is a good idea - make it casual but smart.
I wouldn’t sweat it too much, have a story ready if needs be. I’ve always applied in person, so I can’t help you much further.
Good luck, let us know how it went.
“I’ve heard great things about Taiwan. I’d really like to see Taroko Gorge, is it as beautiful as everyone says? I’ve heard that Tainan is a city filled with history and I’m planning on spending some time there.”
Blah blah blah. I can’t imagine that they’re even going to ask you much. Do you have enough money in the bank?
Sorry to hear about your situation. I’ve never heard of anyone being required to go in for an interview. The first time I went to get a visa from the TECO office in Chicago (I’m from Minnesota) and they asked me why I didn’t mail my application in. They gave me a one year multi entry no questions asked.
I’m curious, which TECO office did you apply to? Perhaps some US offices are better than others.
The one in Boshidun (Boston).
Would they give one of those to a British passport holder applying in the US? I ask because I am going to New York soon. I can come back on a visa-free entry, but if I could get a nice visa like that, it would be worth applying. What they gave me in London earlier this year was 60 days, single entry, non-extendable
I went for my interview at the “consulate”, and it was no-sweat. After inspecting my bank statement, the interviewer asked me when I was planning to come to TW, how long I was planning to stay, and why I was coming to TW (travel). I was also politely asked a few other questions, such as where I went to college, what I studied, when I graduated, etc. The interview only took a few minutes. They couldn’t hand me my visa immediately, as there was (apparently) still some red tape to go through, but said that they’d mail it to me, and I received it a few days later. In conclusion, my interview experience seemed to confirm my hypothesis that they mainly just wanted to see me to make sure I didn’t look like a serial killer or a child molester or something (which I don’t, evidently). If you have to go for one of these interviews, just be calm and polite, and as long as they’ve got what they need (copy of bank statement, itinerary [or faux-tinerary, if applicable], application form w/ photos, application fee, & passport), you should be all set.
Nice one, enjoy Taiwan when you get here!