Work visa to student visa


I am currently working in Taiwan, and I have an ARC and all the legal bits and pieces. However, my company is about to die, and I am resigning.

My wife wants to stay until after Chinese New Year, so I thought this would be a good chance for me to put some hard work into learning Chinese. My question is: am I going to have trouble changing my visa to a student visa? Will I have to leave the country?



My wife contacted the visa department for me, but the information she received was less than helpful. They said it would depend on which school I was enrolled in. (I haven’t enrolled in a school yet)

I understand that not all schools could be used for a student visa, but how does the school affect the application process?


As far as I know there’s not really any such thing as a ‘student visa’. People talking about this seem to mean one of two things.

  1. You are on a visitor’s visa. You provide proof of your enrolment at a school (there are many universities and private schools eligible) and a few other things to the visa office on HK or elsewhere and they give you a 60-day extendable visitor’s visa with the purpose of visit ‘study’. You then go to the police station every month to get it renewed for ‘study’ purposes, up to a total of 6 months. Sometimes it seems to be possible to change a standard (non-60 day or non-extendable) visitor’s visa to this ‘student visa’ without leaving the country, but from a ‘working’ ARC it seems unlikely.

  2. After completeing 6 months of study at a proper university, if you continue studying you can get an ARC for ‘study’ rather than ‘work’ (or marriage or missionary activity or whatever). Remember, ARC is different from visa is different from work permit. This ARC allows you to reside (and get a drivers licence and health insurance etc) but not to work. It expires as soon as your univeristy term ends (I think).

I think you’ll probably have to leave the country.