You can change a visitor visa to a resident visa in Taiwan

I just finished taking my new teacher to the visa office in Kaohsiung to apply for a resident visa. No problems, and in 9 days his resident visa will be ready. No visa run required. He is a Canadian who came in on a 60-day visitor visa. It was exactly the same procedure that has been used for the last number of years. No matter what other people may be posting about changing your visa, there has been no change in the procedure, at least in Kaohsiung anyway. It may be different in other parts of Taiwan.

Correct. i came with a visitor Visa, my company applied for a resident Visa and got it in 10 days.
As long you get the right papers stamped, Visa runs are a no-need.

Yes, a new foreigner in the office just told me the same thing. She came in on a tourist visa and will be able to change it as soon as she gets her medical report and a letter from the company saying that they have indeed hired her. Note that you can change your visa even before you get your work permit approved.

So what’s changed? I never ever had to do a visa run when I was on a work visa – they always just changed it without me needing to leave.

Is the confusion coming from the landing visa thing? I know you can’t change a landing visa for a work visa.

I think the confusion arises because Juba mentioned in another thread that the regulations (or at least their implementation) had changed as of spring 2006.

Is this the same as an ARC? I just finished talking to my friend who’s in Taiwan and she was jsut rejected for her renewal/new job of her ARC… They said her University wasn’t on the list of “approved” schools… I’m so confused. I was in Taiwan in 2002-2003 and it seems like things are really changing and I’m really warry of coming back (i’m planning to return in february)…

Please help to clarify things for me!!!


I applied for a 60 day visa - still has not been approved yet and i only have 6 business days before I leave… Hope their claim of ‘3 day processing’ holds up, because it has already been a week or so… :frowning:

Is ‘tourism’ a valid reason to apply for a 60 day visa? Hope so :slight_smile:

Well we now have various possibilities, including:

  1. The Chunghwa Travel Service (Taiwan pseudo-consulate) in Hong Kong gave us the wrong information.
  2. They have changed the implementation of the rules back to how it used to be (as surely they must when they receive enough complaints).
  3. Whether or not you can change a visitor visa to a resident visa in Taiwan depends on where you got your visitor visa e.g. in Asia or further away.
  4. The BOCA in Gaoxiong is doing things differently from the one in Taibei.


Anyway, if you are in Taiwan with a visitor visa and you want to change to a resident visa, it can do no harm to try to do it here before you buy your visa-trip ticket. Just make sure you have the required documents ready (a work permit or at least proof that a work permit application is underway, a letter from your employer stating their intention to employ you, and proof of a residential address in Taiwan or abroad), and give yourself enough time for any eventualities. Make sure to keep the rest of us posted about how it goes.

As stated already, those in Taiwan with visa-exempt entry rather than a visitor visa have never been able to get a resident visa in Taiwan.

Note: Such issues are rarely questions of changes to the rules, still less the law, but of how the bureaucracy chooses to implement them.

You need a resident visa first (issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs), and then you have to show your resident visa to get an alien resident certificate (ARC) (issued by the police).

You will not be given an ARC for study at a private language school. For that, you can only get a visitor visa renewable up to a maximum of six months. In that time, you could get a job with a work permit and apply for a resident visa and ARC for employment purposes. If studying at a university or other government-approved institution, you have a renewable visitor visa for the first 6 months, after which you can apply for an ARC if you are going to continue studying there.

Finally, you will not be given limitless visitor visas for Chinese language study, be it at a private school or a university language centre (e.g. the one at NTNU/Shi-Da). After two years of language study, the bureaucrats deem that you “know” Chinese already (ha ha) and you have to join a university course or study something else.

According to BOCA’s website ( … e=113&mp=2):

"If foreign nationals who have entered the ROC with Visitor Visas are subsequently legally employed in the ROC, they may make the necessary change from their Visitor Visa into a Resident Visa in this country directly. "

I’ve been searching these threads for information from experience, for the simple reason that I have been recently employed and my visitor’s visa expires in the beginning of December. I will receive my work permit next week, assuming 7-10 days is all it takes, and hope to not have to leave the country once more to obtain my resident visa (and then ARC).

Juba’s posts have given me quite a fright, but if that information came from Chungwa Travel Service, I’m tempted to disregard it as they seem to be notorious for making things up. Of course, since I do not know anyone who entered on a visitor’s visa and then changed it while here, I cannot vouch that the information on even BOCA’s site is accurate.

So, on BOCA’s site it lists requirements including a passport valid for 6 months, an application form, two photos, a health certificate, “supporting documents”, and “relevant documents.” What exactly are these documents? I will have a work permit–is that sufficient? I’ve also seen mentions on Forumosa of requiring a criminal record. Is that the case for work permits?

Hopefully someone who has recently been through this process can offer some more concrete feedback. Thank you!

Getting the work permit is the difficult part, but your school takes care of that and will tell you what papers you need. The resident visa is the easy part. Take your passport, work permit, two photos, and NT$3000 to your local BOCA office, fill out the form, and ~ 10 days later it will be ready.

Please note that the service fee for a resident visa depends on your nationality and will vary from time to time. The fee structure is based on reciprocity and will be around what your country charges Taiwanese nationals to get a visa. The fee will be adjusted as your country adjusts its fees and exchange rates change.

Now that I didn’t know…good information!

[quote=“dangerousapple”]Getting the work permit is the difficult part, but your school takes care of that and will tell you what papers you need. The resident visa is the easy part. Take your passport, work permit, two photos, and NT$3000 to your local BOCA office, fill out the form, and ~ 10 days later it will be ready.[/quote]You also need proof of employment from your employer (zaizhi zhengming). Where did you get “10 days” from? I got my resident visa the day after applying in Hong Kong.

Visa charges are more expensive for US passport holders than other people due to the reciprocity factor.

Does the school generally pay for the ARC fees? or does the applicant.

i’m asking this because most job adverts state that the school will organize the ARC.

Thanx :slight_smile:

I had to pay for everything. Schools that arrange it for you are a luxury–I had to do everything on my own.