Visitor Visa to ARC Troubles

Hello! I have done a search on this site and have not been able to pin down an exact answer to some troubles I have been having while trying to get my ARC the past couple of months.

Some background info: My wife is a NWOHR with her TARC (through her mother) and is currently doing her 1 year living in Taiwan for permanent residency. We are both US citizens and were married in the US a couple years ago. We have been in contact with multiple TECO offices in the US and most recently TECO Hong Kong, as well as NIA and MOFA here in Taiwan. We have all of the required paperwork authenticated and translated that we have been instructed to gather.

When we went to NIA, they said that we need to go to MOFA and ask them about what I would need in order to get my ARC. MOFA then told us that since I came in on a visa-exempt status with my passport, I would need to go out of the country and obtain a vistor visa with the purpose of joining a relative in order to start the ARC process. Neither of the offices in the US ever told us this step or else I would have gotten this there before we came over to Taiwan. I went to the Hong Kong TECO office after email communication with them in order to obtain my visitor visa, but the only visa they adamantly said they could offer was a 90 day visitor visa with the remark ‘shall not change residence in Taiwan’. We told them multiple times that MOFA said that they should be able to provide the correct vistor visa for the ARC, but they just stated that is all they can do. Since that was the only visa I could get through HK TECO, I got that and came back to Taiwan and went to MOFA to ask if that visa was ok. Not surprisingly, they said that they could not change that visa and that I could not use that to obtain my ARC, so I would need a visa that does not have that remark on it. Every office we have talked to says something different, which has created a lot of frustration and annoyance through the process of hoop jumping.

Does anyone have any insights on where I can get a visa without that remark? Or is there another way that we can use my current visitor visa to get through the process?

Thank you very much for your time and input.

TECO in Manila or Japan would issue the visa like this. In fact I got my visa in Singapore Teco and they actually wrote purpose of the visa was for marriage ARC. Was a very long time ago but you can email TECO Manila and ask.

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I have checked the MOFA website and if states in their notes:

Visa-exempt entry cannot be converted to visa-based stay, unless any of the following applies:

  1. In the event of situations that prevent them from leaving the ROC, such as severe acute illness, natural disaster, or other force majeure reason.
  2. White-collar professionals who have obtained (i) a work permit granted for a period under 6 months within their permitted duration of stay, or (ii) a work permit for fulfilling contract purpose issued before or within 30 days of their entry (Brunei, North Macedonia, Philippines and Thailand are not included) may apply for a work visa.
    2.All applications shall be submitted within 8 working days before their permitted duration of stay expire.
    3.For others who obtains work permits (exclude fulfilling contract purpose) granted for a period over 6 months, shall apply for their residency directly to the National Immigration Agency according to the “Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals.”
  3. Canadian and UK passport holders are eligible for the visa exemption program with a duration of stay of 90 days which is extendable up to 180 days, please refer to the Notice for British & Canadian Passport Holders Who Enter Taiwan Visa-Free and Apply for an Extension of Stay
    Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China(Taiwan)-Visa-Exempt Entry

Is it not a resident visa you would want to apply outside Taiwan for rather than a visitor visa?

Resident Visas for Foreign Spouses of R.O.C.(Taiwan) Citizens Without Household Registration, Foreigners, Hong Kong Residents, Macau Residents, or Mainland Chinese Citizens:


Thank you for your response! I will write to those offices and ask.

I tried, but when I was talking with TECO, they said that I would not be able to get a resident visa as my wife is not a permanent resident yet, so I would only be eligible for the joining family visitor visa.

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Yes your wife is a Taiwan national but needs to stay 1 year without leaving so she can get her ID card and Household Registration. A weird system in itself I have been through it.

Haven’t heard of it, they did they direct you to any details on that visa type?

The list of Visitor Visas they have on their website is here:

I would suggest to ask them to specify the visa type they are giving you, then look it up and see details of that particular visa type. “Visitor Visa” is too vague when it comes down to the finer details.

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which teco was it? as irish91 posted the link, you should be able to get a resident visa as a spouse of a NWOHR on TARC. it might be harder if you are not a resident of the area the teco covers, though. it is not rare a teco officer says something wrong.

might be a visitor visa annotated with the code
indicating the spousal relationship and the spouse’s name and ID number, but a visitor visa that is annotated only with a “P” (indicating any of tourist, visitor, or visiting family member) with more than 60 days can be converted.

Instructions on Document Submission in Applications for an Alien Resident Certificate by Aliens Who Enter the State with a Visitor Visa or Visa Exemption

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Thank you for the response. This was the Hong Kong teco office that told me I could not apply for a resident visa unless my wife had already stayed her one year and received her permanent resident card. Would I be able to direct message you for some more details? Thanks again!

Strange… I was changed to a visitor visa while I was in Taiwan?

if it doesnt say the visa cannot be extended, you might be able to extend it at boca/mofa, and they might remove the remark of shall not change residence in Taiwan.

She is not changing to permanent resident card she is obtaining her ID card and Household registration. This is for citizens not foreigners who apply for permanent residence.

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Yeah this makes more sense as nationals cannot get the permanent residence card.

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