Visitor visa vs. resident visa

hi friends

another question re: visas

ive been studying chinese at shida on a visitor visa off and on for the past year. i’m back in the states this summer and am re-applying for a visa. the people at the teco in kansas city have told me that i may as well apply for a resident visa (and get an ARC within 15 days of arrival) if i am planning to study in taiwan for more than 6 months.

this sounds grand, as living in taiwan on a visitor visa is ok but i’d love to get an ARC. however, why is it that nobody else seems to do this–apply for a resident visa as a student right away?

all my fellow students seemed to have come on visitor visas as well and then after 4 months of study applied for an ARC. is this because shida quarters are only 3 months long and therefore teco generally only grants 60 day extendable visitor visas to shida students? that seems like a silly reason? that, or ive always been under the impression that resident visas are difficult to get, both in taiwan and outside of taiwan. maybe i’m wrong…

will kansas city teco really just give me a resident visa if i jump thru all the hoops of criminal record and health certification, notarization etc? i want to know that the extra work and $ will really get me the resident visa and ARC.

does anyone have any insight on this? please help! need to take care of my visa stuff asap.

thank you!

I attempted the resident visa thing at the seattle Teco for studying Mandarin. Result: Denied. :banned:

When I went to Bangkok to get my visitor visa for CCU to study Mandarin, I asked the girl behind the counter why I could not just apply for a Resident Visa…after all, CCU’s term is 3 months and a visitor visa is only good for 2 months. (With the option to renew it twice inside Taiwan).

Her response:

You can apply for a Resident Visa if you can prove that you will be in Taiwan for more than 6 months studying. So, if you pay your University in advance for 3 terms(not 2, as it needs to be more than 6 months) and you can show you have enough money to support yourself for that long (2500 US in an account) and you get all your medical stuff done, then you can most likely get a Resident Visa. However, the visa process is always the luck of the draw. Sucks to hear it, but it is the reality. Always have a back up plan and copies of everything. She said you should also have a “sponsor” for a resident visa. This is usually your school, but you can also use a Taiwanese friend. This helps very much.

She thought it was odd that someone would want to plop down so much money up front to secure a resident visa when you can just do it the easy way via the visitor visa route. I explained that renewing a visa every two months isnt always easy, at which she smiled and agreed.

So, there you have it. As far as I know, that is how you can get a Resident Visa for studying Mandarin prior to arriving in Taiwan.

Good Luck!

I would say that anything’s possible when dealing with Taiwan’s “government”, but almost everything is difficult.

Except paying taxes. That is so easy it’s unbelievable it’s the same country. When they want money out of you they are super-efficient, quick, and friendly, and everyone speaks English and there are people running around looking for foreigners to help. When you want to do something that might benefit you or your family, on the other hand… urgh.