Visitors Visa - So Confused (can you get a work permit on a visa-free entry?)

Okay, the school that I’m working for needs me to do a Visa run. But they told me to apply for a Visa when I make a Visa run. I’m so confused. I’m from the US. Couldn’t I just make a Visa run to the Philippines and arrive on a Visa free 90 landing and once in taiwan again then apply visitor’s visa? So that I can apply for my ARC

Then it wouldn’t so much be a “visa run” as a border run.

90 days landing visa (tourist visa) can not be converted to a visitor visa (then ARC)!

You do a visa run to get rid of landing visa, apply for visitor visa then ARC.

It can actually, or at least it has been done in the past many times. But if he does this route then he does not need a visa run. In other news I went to the shop to get an ice cream, but when I got to the shop I bought an ice cream. I am so confused.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  1. Take your contract with school with you on a cheap flight to HK.
  2. go to Taiwan office/bureau in Hong Kong and apply/get a visitor visit, by showing that contract from school.
  3. return to Taiwan with a visitor visa.

Has your school ever done this before for other teachers?

A visa-free (or visa-exempt) entry is not a landing visa.


Is there anyway I could go to say Hong Kong, return visa exempt, and apply for a visitors visa in Taipei or Taichung or wherever?

But that doesn’t make sense. People always come to Taiwan, and get a job after they arrive on a Visa exempt landing.

Yes, you can do that. But the question then is why are you flying to Hong Kong?

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I am in the same boat. I was too under the impression that I had to go to Hong Kong to fix my visa but after going to the consulate of foreign Affairs office this week I was told that I didn’t have to go out of the country to fix my visa even though I also just have a landing visa last 90 days. They gave me a list of everything that I needed and told me that I can fix it there.
The list includes: a filled out application form (get it at; 2 passport sized photos; passport (and a copy of it); approval letter issued by Ministry of Labour

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Hi Liam,

So it is possible. Do you know how I would go about it?

I need to leave Taiwan because I only have approximately 10 days left on my 90 day landing. And I have a job in central Taiwan, of which I’ve been training for.

So I am from the United States. How would I get a transfer my 90 day landing to a visitor Visa once I returned? Any help is useful. I’ve found nothing on the subject that is any help, and the school doesn’t know.


Hi Alix,
Thank you for your response. I am worried. Will you please help me? How did you transfer a 90 day landing to a visitor Visa?


I actually haven’t done it yet, I am still in the process. I just arrived here last week. I am working on getting things done for my school first so that they can apply for the approval letter from the ministry of labour first. After I get that letter, then I can apply for working visa

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You should ask in immigration. It is allowed, whether you can actually do it depends on whether someone in there also accepts that. They should do. If not I guess just do the visa run. Basically just go to immigration.

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Yes, you can convert a Visa exempt to a work visa without leaving the country if your work permit has already been processed within your allowed period of stay (90 days)…details are given on the BOCA website


OP, has your school received your work permit yet? If not, this might be the reason they’re telling you to do a “visa run.” Although the personnel at your school may not know it, you can convert a visa-exempt entry to ARC, as the above link shows.

Contact NIA for the process and paperwork required.

If you won’t have your work permit before your current visa-exempt entry expires, leave the country and come back again on another visa-exempt entry. Whatever you do don’t overstay.

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Hi Steve, I don’t have spouse. Does that mean that prevision wouldn’t be applicable to me?

It applies to single and married people. They just add that clarifying info that spouses and children can also convert their visa-exempt to residence visa if applicable.

I’m pretty sure someone here posted the entire process they went through, visa-exempt–>ARC, but I can’t find it right now. Be prepared because I think I remember reading that the total fees were around NT4~5,000.

Thank you very much for the information Steve. I don’t quite understand. But I am fool. Does the instance of going straight from a visa exempt landing to an ARC apply to me?

If it saved a plan trip it would be great, because that’s how much it costs anyway.