It seems the past few years, many countries have started to crack down on indefinite visa runs. Thailand started doing so several years back. Mexico I recall is a big one from last year, with many expats complaining that they are not getting the full 180 days upon return. Is it because Taiwan is still relatively unpopular for long-term backpackers, that they allow visa runs to continue?
Maybe I’m ignorant, buy my thought is, why should the government crack down on it? It doesn’t seem to me that visa runners affect Taiwan in any negative way. It’s like they’re extended tourists, and tourists usually benefit the economy in some way.
Frankly, continual visa running seems exhausting and expensive for the runner, but if that person wants to do it, why not?
You can ask the same question for Thailand as well. Though I guess Thailand probably attracts a different breed of foreigners than Taiwan does, and I don’t mean this in a good way.
You mean folks listening to All Saints on their iPhone 14 Pro thinking they’re Leonardo DiCaprio except too lazy to swim to Maya Bay?
Not to generalise or anyfink…
because it’'s down low.immigration, not extended tourism.
I don’t know. It’s really impossible for Taiwanese to do visa runs in any western country. Either the rules prohibit it outright or the border agents will see that and deny entry (and for the US once that happens, no more visa wavier).
Perhaps countries like Mexico, Thailand, etc. just sees the unequal treatment and decides that if Western countries are going to make visa runs impossible, why not do it in their country.
Why would it change?
I guess its because they dont see it as a major problem for now. if they want to crack down on it, it wont be a problem to do so.
I disagree. I do not see any negative effect from people that do indefinite visa runs. The people that have money to pay for an occasional plane ticket back and forth to somewhere are probably a boon to the economy. By the way, you may still be right about it being more like immigration than tourism, but I just mean it is not detrimental.
The same reason why they extended the visa waivers for those in Taiwan… The cram school bosses who want cheap white monkeys…
One possible negative effect is gentrification. For example, rents in Mexico City are already rising dramatically due to digital nomads pricing out locals. Hopefully, Taiwan never becomes as popular as Mexico for digital nomads.
I didn’t say there’s negative effects, so you’re not.disagreeing. But that’s why govts crack down on it - they want to manage tourism and immigration separately, and people use visa runs to get around the immigration rules.
They usually work illegally, dont pay taxes, and sometimes they create a bad reputation for the “legal” foreginers in Taiwan.
There is always a risk that a border guard may reject a continuous visa run. Just because one has got away with it for years doesn’t mean it can’t get denied one day and your stuff and life gets stuck in an apartment that you can’t return to.
Plus even with an ARC you are a non person, without one your life in Taiwan is going to suck
so people going through all the hoops of legally applying for working visas, ARCs, NHI cards, pay taxes, open bank accounts here to get the salary, pay NHI premiums etc are morons at loss then.
Keep encouraging the smart ones, we fools just enjoying the fuss.
Probably not so much if you’re chilling without a need to work.
True. But just hope you’re not unlucky enough to be one of the first victims. Most likely, there will be others before you who got denied, told their story online, giving you enough warning in advance for the worst case scenario.
Follow up question here: Does Taiwanese immigration ever ask questions to repeat visa runners? Like how are you supporting yourself, are you working illegally, do you have proof of savings etc…? Or do they mostly just look at your passport and stamp you in no questions asked?
I did visa runs from 2016 - 2019 (before getting a marriage ARC)
Was never asked a single question when entering (US passport mid-20’s adoga for reference)
Trust me they got all your entries and exits and can ban you anytime
No need to worry
Taiwan allows it because it’s not a problem
If it becomes one it will change