Visa run! urgent info required!

This seems to be the worst time ofthe year for a visa run!!
And my visa expires on the end of April.

To make it short:

Hong Kong - cannot do, because of SARS (not that I am afraid of catching it in the streets, but as you know the air in the airplane cabin is recycled)

Singapore - same as above

Kuala Lumpur - no deal, unless you are a businessman or student (and even then only with a medical certificate, since I am Canadian)

Tokyo - there is the Golden Week from May 1 to May 6 (everywhere fully booked)

Seoul - May 1 Labor Day (big demonstrations all over, it’s better for white people to keep a low profile), then May 5 and May 8 other public holidays

Bangkok - no 60 days extendable visa (even with the proper paperwork)

Jakarta - is it easy to get a visa (with the proper paperwork)???

Manila - is it easy to get a visa (with the proper paperwork)???

I have the proper papers with a reputable language school and a return ticket, but I have never tried with Indonesia or Philippines.

Has anyone been there RECENTLY to get a visa?

Please answer me - before the end of this week I must decide where to go!

Manila is only an hour and 45 minutes from Taipei.
Everyone there it seem speaks English.
Sounds easy enough.

[quote=“jkirk”]Hong Kong - cannot do, because of SARS (not that I am afraid of catching it in the streets, but as you know the air in the airplane cabin is recycled)

Singapore - same as above


Shocking as it may seem, cabin air in planes to all the destinations you mentioned is recycled. I suggest you stay in Taiwan and take the overstay fine “on the chin.”
Hell, I know of one person who overstayed in an Asian country for years because he was “afraid of flying” (only out of the country mind you, not on the way there).
He’s now a celebrity in Taiwan, and apparently enjoying it.

I hear Honolulu is nice.

Is that Star Cruisers boat still floating around? Sounds ideal. I don’t think you’ll be catching much SARS from the gentle smell of the ocean.

Whatever you do, don’t do this. You could get deported. Just be careful on the plane, wash your hands a lot and don’t rub your eyes. According to the latest WHO information, it is very umlikely thta you would catch SARS off someone, even if you were sitting next to an infected person for the whole flight. I’m not 100%, but I think Manila is good. 3 days though. Star Cruise won’t get you a visa, it is (was?) only good for multiple entry.


Hey…here’s an idea…R. Hartzell…could this be a job for you? How about we get visa extensions due to SARS? Who ya gotta call?

My suggestion is do what I am doing…going back to Vancouver…this way I am assured of a 60 day…it’s a long-mutha flight…but I’ll deal with it…

But I may look into that Hawaii thing…begs the question…can a Canuck get a 60 day in Amerika?

[quote]Hey…here’s an idea…R. Hartzell…could this be a job for you? How about we get visa extensions due to SARS? Who ya gotta call?

This is interesting. Vietnamese and mainland CHinese women who are supposed to leave for visa reasons have been waived. Apparently, if the media is to be trusted, mainland women have to apply at the FAP, while Viets don’t even have to do this – their extensions are granted automatically. Is Canada a SARS-listed area?

Canada is neck and neck with Singapore for second place I believe…

Oddly tho’…it’s mostly around Toronto…not Hong Couver…bizarre little bugger this SARS fella, nu?

My friend did a visa run to Okinawa and back in one day. I think he sailed, from Keelung but I’m not definite on that.

I’ve personally had bad experiences with the Manila TECO office. Granted, this was years ago – even before that Direct Flight brouhaha. I will be surprised if anything has changed.

Here’s what I do remember, and why I always opted for HK afterwards: 5 working day processing time – so unless it’s a Monday (and everyone from the security guards to his Excellency are all in good moods that day), you’re probably gonna have to sweat out a whole calendar week

Btw, I’m being told it is REALLY HOT WEATHER right now down there (but then, I like hot weather :slight_smile:)

Now, hey, don’t get me wrong: the Philippines can be a blast if you want to blow away a week or two. When I go, I stay at my folks’ place in the city – but cheap/clean hotels shouldn’t be too difficult to find (US$ 1 = PHP 52)

There’s diving as close as 90 minutes from Manila, hiking up in Baguio or Tagaytay, the jazz bars are the best in Asia, food is excellent (don’t miss cafe havana at GBIII) and cheap if you know where to go ( will help). And historical, too, in a bizarre sort of way – check out the miniature golf over at Fort Santiago near the Manila Hotel.

It can be a little tricky getting around: public transportation can be… well, an “adjustment” for visitors used to single fares and well-laid out maps. Let’s just say its painfully obvious that “we’re not in Kansas, Toto.” That said, taxi fares are laughably cheap for those earning in foreign currency

If you are there for a quick trip and then back up here to get on with your life, “doing Manila” could get frustrating.

If you are determined to go, though, read up on what you can expect at these website: (my favorites)

Btw, this is Holy Week – so the TECO will be closed on Black Thursday and Good Friday.

Went to Singapore ten days ago, and the plane was so empty that everybody had at least three seats to themselves. So, not much of a risk catching it from other passengers.

Besides, I just read again in a German newspaper article that up to now, no case of SARS caught just from sitting in a plane has been confirmed. And that experts say the risk of catching it in on plane is very unlikely. Just stick to what Bri says! Overstaying is probably more of a risk in terms of difficulties.

I’d think Singapore is pretty safe. Most SARS cases are directly related to hospitals or close friends/relatives.



Yo Yo Yo

I just heard…from a reliable source…that a person has gotten a 1 month extension due to SARS…

On my way to FAP…more later…

Okay…I am back…no concrete info on SARS extensions yet…

However…I did learn of something I hadn’t heard of b4…A new employee extension…if you get a letter from your school…wham bam thx for 60 more days…

Please…we need more info on Okinawa…as you simply need to show up with a 30 day visitor visa and this aforementioned letter at FAP then you can have an extension…if Okinawa is do-able in a day…let’s fill in the blanks…where do you catch the boat? hard is it to find TECO in OK? How much is the fare?..etc…


Kirk is actually scared of SARS? The chances of you catching this are probably about the same as being on a plane that crashes.
Don’t buy into the media hype.

But your chances may be vastly increased if there is an epidemic in Hong Kong and if you are on a plane with recycled air coming back from there.

Bali? or do they not have a TECO there?

This topic keeps coming up - Click here.

Have you actually heard of anything nasty happening to white people in Korea on Labour Day? It sounds like an irrational fear to me.

I do think we could have a campaign for visa trip waivers because of SARS. It doesn’t make sense for Taiwan to force people to keep leaving and coming back as potential virus vectors. Some letters to the newspapers might get the ball rolling.

Just want to mention that IF you do go to Hong Kong, be aware that
people from different countries have to pay different prices for their
visas. Canadians and French nationals pay for less than Americans.

The last time I went there (last July) it was HK$530 for Americans, but
free or about HK$260 for others. When I filed a formal letter of protest,
they told me that it was linked to how much AIT was charging people
from Taiwan for a visa when they went to the States. (I wrote a letter
of protest as the clerk was so rude when I asked about the rates - after
I had the visa in hand. She yelled at me, “Because you are an American!” Now, AIT I heard has raised visa rates to close to US$100
so be prepared to fork out an equal amount in HK.

Personally, I would go to Okinawa. Also, if the boat company (delivery
boat) I used before is still running, you could even come back on a
cargo boat. It no longer goes to three or four islands before coming
back to Taiwan, but it is still a nice trip. If you want the name of the
company to check if it is still running, contact me at the site.

This from … public/en_

Air circulation
The total volume of air is exchanged every 2 to 3 minutes and the system provides approximately 20 cubic feet per minute per passenger. Of this, the volume of conditioned fresh air per passenger is about 10 cubic feet per minute, and approximately 10 cubic feet per minute is re-circulated and passed through high efficiency particulate filters to remove bacteria and viral particles. These HEPA filters are 99.99% efficient and are the same as those used in hospital operating theatres.
Independent published research shows that the concentration of biological micro-organisms in an aircraft cabin is much lower than in an ordinary city location or on other modes of public transport such as buses and trains. A report published by the World health Organisation states ‘…investigations of possible transmission of [infectious disease] on aircraft found no evidence that air re-circulation facilitated transmission of [infectious disease] aboard aircraft…’