Visa runs and FBI checks during coronavirus period

You should go see immigration they will tell you. They told me that if I left the country before my application was finalised it would be cancelled. Seriously the people processing the applications are beyond crap, it took me 5 months, when I went to the bureau and pressed them after the first two months as to why it was talking so long, they said sorry it seems we put your application in a spam folder by accident and it hasn’t been looked at yet. You have to really push them along and visit where they process the applications numerous times.


Thanks for that. Are you actually talking about the gold card application then? What you describe sounds similar to what happened to me - after 6 weeks it took me pushing several people in various departments to finally hear that they considered some documentation missing (partly this was the lack of notarization of the Chinese documents, but also something else they’d apparently overlooked).

This is what the NIA guy told me a couple of days ago: “Last but not least, please be noted that applicant who entered Taiwan by visa free program shall leave the country within the duration stay of visa free program given the ARC or Gold Card not being acquired before overstay.”

If you are referring to the gold card application, where did you hear that about leaving the country? NIA, MOL, MOST, or someone else? I’m also planning to go to BOCA tomorrow to find out exactly when I need to leave, so could go and check with another department around the same time.

In general visa free can be extended to a visitor visa, if you are in the process of establishing residency based on a white collar job. Lots of people have done it. Dunno about the gold card though, I guess that is new. (I think this discussion is out of place in the virus thread now.)

If I was you I would stop off at the national immigration agency and ask. Which it sounds like you did do, but anyway.

Yeah, you’re right. I was told previously by BOCA that the visitor visa from the extended visa exemption couldn’t then be changed to an ARC, and assume it’s the same with the gold card.

Yes, we should shut up about this now. :sweat_smile: Unless someone else has some bright idea for visa run destinations haha. Thanks everyone for the help.

1 Like

I changed a visa free into a visitor visa and then into an ARC twice. But it was NIA both times. Never had to call to BOCA.

Probably just continue it in the Gold card thread?

1 Like

My understanding was that if you enter with a visitor visa (or exemption) you can convert it to an ARC. However, if you get the visitor visa inside Taiwan (which is what you get when extending the exemption), you can’t then directly change it to an ARC. :slightly_smiling_face:

Mods, can the talk about ARCs and such be separated from this thread? It’s annoying to scroll through a conversation that could just be done on a private message or relevant thread.


I find that quite fussy to be honest, given how many off-topic posts (pictures of bats, discussions of toilet paper, jokes, etc.) there are to scroll through in that thread. I get your point about the small number of comments about ARC stuff, which we’d already stopped talking about and moved elsewhere, but my actual question was related to travelling to nearby countries in this time and the impact of coronavirus on that, which is at least as relevant to the thread as many of the posts in there. :roll_eyes:

No worries though.

I recon Id consider KL as the visa run destination

(sorry for contributing to the diversion)

1 Like

It makes a lot of sense to have a separate thread for it, and so I moved it. It shouldn’t be any kind of cause for concern. Please continue such conversation here; there may well be a lot more of it and updates in the coming weeks :place_of_worship: and/or months :chart_with_downwards_trend:


I am still leaning towards KL to be honest, although I’m also now considering Okinawa again on the basis of one of the replies.

This probably shouldn’t be the number-one priority but, all else being equal, I’m really missing kebabs and decent Indian food. :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Yea, Japan is a good one, but its number 2 right now for number of corona virus cases by country. Probably still safe as houses, but anyway, panic is the order of the day.

1 Like

I do like that you’ve just given me a sound logical reason to choose KL/kebabs over Okinawa. :grinning:

1 Like

Japan has been on my to do list for too long. Never been. Was in KL and its a nice city, pretty much everyone there can speak Anglais :smiley:

Do EastStarJet TSA -> GMP.

All in all the time in the air isn’t that much longer than TPE - > HKG. Plus, Songshan is right downtown. There’s a hotel/mall right next to GMP.


My visa is ending on the 3rd of March and I would be needing to do a visa run - Foreign Affairs Office says no extension allowed. Any idea where i should go? HK is normally recommended but thats definitely out of the question now; I’ve Japan and Korea in mind but they seem to still have open borders so i’m kinda worried.

First world countries preferred just in case I get the virus (touch wood).

It’s not a first world country by any means, but Vietnam seems to have the situation under control and you’d still manage to have a lot of fun there if you got stuck. Some of my Taiwanese friends are vacationing there right now, others have just come back, and in general it’s seemed fine.

1 Like

Guam or Hawaii

I asked the same question last week (maybe the mods want to merge the threads?).

My thread is here: Visa runs during coronavirus period

I ended up going to KL for a couple of days, just got back yesterday.