What should the process be?

Hi, my wife and I will be coming to Taiwan in a couple of weeks to look for work teaching english and I am trying to get an idea of what hoops we will have to jump through when we get there. Our circumstances are as follows. I’m canadian with a BA and thus able to work legally and my wife is Dutch, Blonde, has an MA and a canadian accent, so can’t work legally but shouldn’t have trouble finding work. We are flying from europe on a 3 week return ticket and not using the return portion of the ticket as we don’t want to return to europe after taiwan and will probably stay longer than a year. What I understand to be the procedure is:

  1. We will be issued a 30 day tourist visa upon landing (we looked at getting a 60 day visa before coming, but to do so needs a return ticket longer than 30 days, which will cost us more than what we have plus doing a visa run to HK) If we say we are planning on studying chinese when we land will we be able to get a visa extension without leaving the country?
  2. After the 30 days we will have to go on visa/ARC run to HK. However I have no clue about the details of this. Also my wife will probably be going the student route in order to stay, what will she have to do after landing?
    Also, we won’t have a ticket out of taiwan after our ticket runs out, will this cause problems when we go on a visa run? Will we have to book something before we go on a visa run? (is it possible to buy fully refundable tickets for this purpose)

Can someone please clarify what we should be expecting or point us somewhere that will. I’ve also read that there are new ARC procedures as of oct 1. I have been reading other posts about visa’s on here as well as eslcafe.com but still don’t have a clear picture of what to expect. I have the feeling that it is different for everyone and we have to figure it out after we arrive. A bit of a clear idea would be nice though, any help would be greatly appreciated.


P.S. Does anyone know if it is possible to simply overstay your visa and what the consequences of this would be? (not that we’re seriously considering it as an option)

Not a 30-day tourist visa, you will get a 30-day visa excemption which can’t be transferred. Nor can it be extended.

[quote]2. After the 30 days we will have to go on visa/ARC run to HK.[/quote] Before your 30 days are up you will need to leave the country although it doesn’t need to be Hong Kong.

She’ll have to sign up at a school, pay the tuition (or at least a deposit). With documents from the school she can apply for a two-month visa at a Taiwan office overseas.

[quote]Also, we won’t have a ticket out of Taiwan after our ticket runs out, will this cause problems when we go on a visa run? [/quote] Yes. You will probably not be allowed back in.

Yes, and almost (travel agents can issue a ticket where you get all but a service charge of about NT$700 when you get back from Hong Kong)


There are several solutions to your problem.

  1. Apply for a one-month visitor visa before coming to Taiwan. These are transferable and (hopefully) extendable.

  2. Buy a ticket out of Taiwan before you leave Europe, then use it to apply for a two-month visa. This will save you a lot of money, time, and hassle.


Once you get your ARC, your wife can apply for a spousal ARC. Itg won’t get her work rights, but it will let her reside in the country legally.

Thanks for the info. We just contacted the Taiwan consulate in Belgium and they told us that they don’t issue a 30 day visitor visa, only a 60 day visa, which at this point is unfortunately not an option for us. So my understanding now is that it will work as follows.

  1. We land and get a 30 day exemption
  2. Find work and register my wife at a school
  3. Purchase a refundable flight out of taiwan say to bangkok
  4. Go to HK and apply for a 60 day visa for the both of us?
  5. Come back to taiwan and apply for my ARC (or does this have to be done in HK now, and can it be done with the 30 day exemption we will have come to HK with)
  6. My wife will then be able to have her visa extended without leaving the country
  7. Refund our flight to bangkok
  8. After I get an ARC apply for a spousal ARC for my wife
  9. Live happily ever after

How difficult and expensive is it to get a Spousal ARC? Can anyone direct me somewhere to find out about the process for a spousal ARC, ie what we would need for her to get it, ie) proof of funds, other documents

Thanks again for the help,

yes, they stamp it in your passport as you go through passport control. There’s no need to apply for anything.

Yes. Try and set up some interviews before you arrive in order to save time.


Yes. If she is signed up for classes, she should be able to get 60 days. You can’t be sure that you will get 60 days.

Yes. We have heard the rumours about the policy change but nobody has confirmed this.

[quote]6. My wife will then be able to have her visa extended without leaving the country[/quote] Correct, hopefully for a total stay of six months. By then she will be under your ARC.

[quote]7. Refund our flight to Bangkok[/quote] Yes.


[quote]9. Live happily ever after[/quote] And have many children.