What do you recommend?

Ugh, I had sworn I wouldn’t do this (make this sort of thread)… but it’s time to get on the plane and I still can’t decide what to do. It’s incredible how difficult these decisions are to make sometimes…

I arrive in 3 weeks.
Tuition to NTNU needs to be paid a few days after I arrive. I have enough to be accepted into the country but not enough to stay once I pay two semesters of tuition +living and visa expenses. I really, really want to come for my career in international affairs- not to teach English and make money (except to survive in-country).

Options: (That I’m aware of)
a) come on a student visa, pay the $140usd, and have the 3 months of stay while looking for a part-time job and hope I can switch student visa to working visa.

Or b) fly in on a [strike]landing[/strike] visitor visa with an outbound ticket on like Cebu to Clark, and pray to find an English job with an ARC, and start at NTNU in December after saving some money?

Do you think I’d find a job within 0-60 days of staying (allotting one visa run)? I don’t really mind not going into Mandarin classes right away if it means I can save up money in order to properly study.
I’m white (quite), not deformed, speak with a NYC accent and neutral, B.A. from a NY school, American, female, and I speak well and can be very polished/professional especially in front of new people and unfamiliar settings.
I have no teaching experience (but have tutored foreign exchange students in English). I can explain grammar rules to some degree.
I’m really good with kids and pretty strict/commanding with them, yet they still like me ( :loco: ). Parents love me cause I’m not a push-over. Kids do what I tell them and I don’t know, maybe Taiwanese schools will like that quality…?

What would you do in this position?

Coming in on a student visa, the legal route is that you can get permission to work for a limited number of hours per week if your school allows it. You are supposed to demonstrate financial need and unfortunately you need to have been here for a year (two semesters): immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xI … 30&mp=T002

A low-risk illegal route would be to accept tutoring jobs (unstable) while studying on a student visa.

I don’t personally feel good about either of your two posited plans. Perhaps others can comment on them.

[quote=“spaint”]Coming in on a student visa, the legal route is that you can get permission to work for a limited number of hours per week if your school allows it. You are supposed to demonstrate financial need and unfortunately you need to have been here for a year (two semesters): immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xI … 30&mp=T002
[/quote]
Thank you, but waiting six months to be able to work is not an option. :s

The thing is, option b carries with it the significant risk that you might NOT find a job in the time available. Even if you do find a job, with the hassle of messing around changing your visa, running around, perhaps not getting the hours you need, perhaps only securing your job near the end of the first 60 days, come December you may not have enough money to comfortably switch over to being a student. Can you even delay entry into your program like that?

Option a is of dubious legal merit. What kind of job would you want? Teaching English? Once you’ve changed to a work permit, will you legally be allowed to continue studying? I don’t think you actually can.

I would look for low-risk tutoring jobs while studying, and be as frugal as possible while I got a feel for the way things work here. Taiwan can be very cheap if you don’t go out drinking and stick to local food.

It sounds like you aren’t at all financially able to study full time so you only have option B. You can study part time while teaching and make good progress if you apply yourself. Do you need to attend a formal program for some reason?

No not at all. I’m enrolling at the Mandarin Training Center on my own accord.
I’m definitely capable of picking up the textbooks at MTC and training myself for a few months. I’ll be awful with speech and listening, but at least its something. And I’m sure living around Taipei will be a decent immersion in itself with signs, friends, and tired old restaurant elders.

It’s more the issue of getting the job in 0-60 days (one visa run). I’ve noticed some on the board make it seem very difficult in the already-strained market.
Not to mention… this is my first time leaving the US for longer than 2 weeks so its pretty nerve-wracking at times to think about this all.

No not at all. I’m enrolling at the Mandarin Training Center on my own accord.
I’m definitely capable of picking up the textbooks at MTC and training myself for a few months. I’ll be awful with speech and listening, but at least its something. And I’m sure living around Taipei will be a decent immersion in itself with signs, friends, and tired old restaurant elders.

It’s more the issue of getting the job in 0-60 days (one visa run). I’ve noticed some on the board make it seem very difficult in the already-strained market.
Not to mention… this is my first time leaving the US for longer than 2 weeks so its pretty nerve-wracking at times to think about this all.[/quote]

Isn’t the issue that you simply don’t have any money to support yourself until you are allowed to legally work as a student? I understand the worry about coming here but you don’t seem to have much choice with your plans. You need to find work. So start looking now to see if you can get hired before you arrive. Otherwise take the chance of coming over without a job. Option a doesn’t seem to be an option.

Okay. Seems like Plan B it is for the time being then.
Btw, I’ve been admiring your sig for a while, the Prof. Liu part especially.

Does one need an outbound ticket after every visa run to not get rejected on return trip into TPE?

[quote=“Lili”]Okay. Seems like Plan B it is for the time being then.
Btw, I’ve been admiring your sig for a while, the Prof. Liu part especially.
[/quote]

:bow:

I believe technically yes, but there are threads that address this. They rarely check anything when you come through the airport. You can also sometimes extend the 60 day visa. I know people who have done so just by saying the wanted to travel more. Helps if you have friends or family here.

[quote=“Mucha Man”]

I believe technically yes, but there are threads that address this. They rarely check anything when you come through the airport. You can also sometimes extend the 60 day visa. I know people who have done so just by saying the wanted to travel more. Helps if you have friends or family here.[/quote]
You just reminded me! I AM eligible for the 90 day visitor visa cause I will have an acceptance letter to NTNU! They can’t even penalize me if I don’t pay tuition cause technically, I still won’t be considered a “student”. It’s only after 4 months of study.

This makes things a little easier then. I probably won’t even need the initial outbound ticket or a visa run. :bravo:

Great. And if you can’t find work in 90 days there is no hope for you. :wink:

Thank you for help :slight_smile:

Its looking like I’ll be owing a few Forumosans a beer by the time I get to the island lol

So, without really knowing the rules, you’re making plans based on “probably”?

Things never really work out as expected, especially here. And the rules have a funny way of either disappearing or coming back to bite you unexpectedly. It’s best to be prepared for both, and doing your best to minimise any adverse effects by being prepared and well-informed.

First, what is this “landing visa” you have referred to? I have never met an American who had one. You get visa-exempt entry, which is a different thing. I’m not a yank, so I don’t know for sure, but I believe that’s an automatic 30-day stay for you. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but you can’t rock up at the airport and get a three-month visa even if you have all the right paperwork.

Alternatively, you could get a visa before you come. If you have the acceptance letter, and the funds, then they should give you a few months. That’s better than 30 days, although I don’t know what the exact details will be. Probably 60-90 days. You can also come into the country visa-exempt and probably apply for a visa without leaving the country again. So, in theory, you could get 30+60 or 90 days. Alternatively, they may insist you go on a visa run and apply for the paperwork from somewhere else.

Whatever the basis for your initial stay in Taiwan (visa-exempt, visa for study, etc.), you can apply for a work permit and then get a new visa at any time. You can study at any time while you are working, if you have time. But you can’t easily work legally as a student.

NB: I’ve been through all this shit in the USA, and several other countries. Believe me, you can’t just waltz into any country and work. This is a BIG difficult thing to overcome, although the bright side is that someone with enthusiasm and more than half a brain can usually make it all work out OK.

You’ll be fine, but try to avoid making assumptions.

So, without really knowing the rules, you’re making plans based on “probably”?[/quote]
No no by probably I meant “in all likelihood, but just in case I will have one”.

[quote]
Things never really work out as expected, especially here. And the rules have a funny way of either disappearing or coming back to bite you unexpectedly. It’s best to be prepared for both, and doing your best to minimise any adverse effects by being prepared and well-informed.[/quote]
Amen to that.

I meant “visa-exempt”. Landing visas are like if you’re emergency or something or other.
I’ve already been my TECO and they’re delightful people. They’ll give me a 90-day no problem. I had just forgotten that all I really need IS the acceptance letter. I forgot that they won’t realize I’m leaving NY and not planning on paying the tuition. Even so, I suppose I could just be like “I have this acceptance letter, but I was thinking of spending some time looking around at schools first.” But I will not say that cause that’s dumb.

According to BOCA I can’t convert a visa-exempt to anything, which was one of the reasons I was so like :cry:
Then I realized I’m still eligible for the 90-day visitor visa regardless and my mood went to :slight_smile:

[quote]
NB: I’ve been through all this shit in the USA, and several other countries. Believe me, you can’t just waltz into any country and work. This is a BIG difficult thing to overcome, although the bright side is that someone with enthusiasm and more than half a brain can usually make it all work out OK.

You’ll be fine, but try to avoid making assumptions.[/quote]
Yes, this is my first time doing this.
My first real time out of the country was a trip to Peru where I had just been like “Visa? What the hell for? I’m American.” which turned out to basically be the case even though everyone swore up and down I needed one. But that was sheer luck on my part. And then getting off the plane, I left the customs ticket in the seat cause it said “Immigration” and I was like “Yup, I’m not immigrating”. My friends with me on the customs line were all like " :astonished: You seriously left it behind? :doh: "
Good thing I speak Spanish :slight_smile:

So no more assuming for me :smiley:

[quote=“Lili”]According to BOCA I can’t convert a visa-exempt to anything, which was one of the reasons I was so like :cry:
Then I realized I’m still eligible for the 90-day visitor visa regardless and my mood went to :slight_smile: [/quote]

I came here on visa-exempt entry, and once I found a job they got me a visitor visa, which was then converted into a resident visa once my working permit was completed. So yes you can gradually get all the visas you want here even with an initial visa-exempt entry, as long as you get a job of course.
For information, I found a (non-teaching) job about one month before I arrived here, and then my working permit went into a wild process that lasted two months until it was officially approved and completed. Then I had to wait to more weeks to start working, until the beginning of a new month as my employer’s regulation.

[quote=“Kawa”][quote=“Lili”]According to BOCA I can’t convert a visa-exempt to anything, which was one of the reasons I was so like :cry:
Then I realized I’m still eligible for the 90-day visitor visa regardless and my mood went to :slight_smile: [/quote]

I came here on visa-exempt entry, and once I found a job they got me a visitor visa, which was then converted into a resident visa once my working permit was completed. So yes you can gradually get all the visas you want here even with an initial visa-exempt entry, as long as you get a job of course.
[/quote]
But it says it right here:
“The duration of stay starts from the next day of arrival and is not extendable. Visa-exempt entry can not be converted to a visitor or resident visa.”
boca.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=144 … e=536&mp=2

Well regardless of what the “law” says, I wasn’t aware that jobs could get you a visitor visa. Hmmm, I wonder if all employers can get their new hires visitor visas interim work permits…

[quote=“Lili”][quote=“Kawa”][quote=“Lili”]According to BOCA I can’t convert a visa-exempt to anything, which was one of the reasons I was so like :cry:
Then I realized I’m still eligible for the 90-day visitor visa regardless and my mood went to :slight_smile: [/quote]

I came here on visa-exempt entry, and once I found a job they got me a visitor visa, which was then converted into a resident visa once my working permit was completed. So yes you can gradually get all the visas you want here even with an initial visa-exempt entry, as long as you get a job of course.
[/quote]
But it says it right here:
“The duration of stay starts from the next day of arrival and is not extendable. Visa-exempt entry can not be converted to a visitor or resident visa.”
boca.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=144 … e=536&mp=2

Well regardless of what the “law” says, I wasn’t aware that jobs could get you a visitor visa. Hmmm, I wonder if all employers can get their new hires visitor visas interim work permits…[/quote]

Immigration law is pretty strictly applied. And I think kawa is confused. He says that he found a job after he arrived but then says he found it one month before.

Under no circumstance say you are coming here to teach when you apply for your visitor visa. There is no such thing as a interim work permit for teachers.

[quote=“Mucha Man”]

Immigration law is pretty strictly applied. And I think kawa is confused. He says that he found a job after he arrived but then says he found it one month before.

Under no circumstance say you are coming here to teach when you apply for your visitor visa. There is no such thing as a interim work permit for teachers.[/quote]
Ok.

The words “teach” “english” and “job” will not be spoken until my bags are dropped off at my Da’an apartment.
I’m a student learning Chinese and studying the magnificent culture of the Chinese in Taiwan. :smiley:

Then your only viable option is incompatible with your goal. The only realistic job you’re going to get in two months is a job teaching English at a buxiban, or perhaps editing Chinglish or something like that. “International affairs” is pretty broad. It may help to narrow down your goal. Do you want to be a diplomat? Lawyer? Economist? Translator? Financial analyst? Political adviser? Nanny?

Native English speakers with degrees in International Relations/Politics/History are a dime a dozen. I should know; I’m one of them. Unless you join the foreign service, you’re going to need some kind of specialty to get a decent job at a multinational company/NGO/government agency, outside of jobs like editor or technical writer.

Then your only viable option is incompatible with your goal. The only realistic job you’re going to get in two months is a job teaching English at a buxiban, or perhaps editing Chinglish or something like that.[/quote]

GB, you misunderstand. You are absolutely right about cautioning someone not to expect too much job-wise if they are just off the plane, but if you read all of the OP, Lili is not averse to teaching:

[quote=“Lili”]I have no teaching experience (but have tutored foreign exchange students in English). I can explain grammar rules to some degree.
I’m really good with kids and pretty strict/commanding with them, yet they still like me ( ). Parents love me cause I’m not a push-over. Kids do what I tell them and I don’t know, maybe Taiwanese schools will like that quality…? . [/quote]

She simply - I assume - feels experiences here might help her in the long term.