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Visa Run Advice

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Joined: 05 Apr 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:05 pm    Post subject: Visa Run Advice Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

After a harrowing start in Taiwan (I was working at a cram school from which I was asked to resign after poor treatment on the ownerís part, such as refusing to send me to his franchiseís mandatory training), I am now working at a much better school, and am enjoying myself in Taiwan. My problem though is that my visitorís visa is about to expire in about a week, so I need to do a visa run. I am worried about this though, so I thought maybe someone would be able to offer me some advice.

My recruiter told me that I could just book a flight to Hong Kong, get my passport stamped, then get it stamped with a new Taiwan 30 day landing visa when I arrive back in Taiwan. Can this kind of visa be converted then / changed into a working visa, and eventually an ARC? I have heard and spoke with some people that this is no problem, then others tell me that this used to be okay, but does not work now. If anyone has experience with this, please post. Also, should I do this method, what papers do I need to bring / show? Will I need an invitation letter, or will I just have to show a flight ticket after my 30 days are up?

I have also heard that I can apply for a new visitorís visa in Hong Kong, though I am not very keen on this method as I have a terrible sense of direction and worry about screwing something up. Getting my original visitor visa in New York City was bad enough, so in Hong Kong I think it would be even worse.

Finally, I have heard that if I get my medical results back soon, and then apply for a working permit, that I will not have to get a visa extension at all, as long as my permit is in the works / being processed. Is this true, or should I disregard this information as being bogus?

I am from the USA, by the way. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I have been feeling quite sick over this matter and will have to take action very soon.
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Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 22
Location: Canada (Currently)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi tracker,

I'm Canadian so I am not sure if this info is 100% applicable to you but this was my experience.

I entered Taiwan on a 90-day visa exempt entry.

My 90-day visa exempt entry was about to expire so I went to Singapore for 5 days and came straight back to Taiwan. Going through customs they didn't even closely look at my passport. I don't think they even noticed that I had already been in Taiwan for almost 90-days. They just stamped my passport and there-you-have-it! I had a fresh 90-day visa exempt entry.

I then found a job and my school took care of converting my 90-visa exempt entry passport stamp into a work visa and all the other paperwork that goes into getting an ARC (Alien Resident Card).

I'm pretty sure that the process is the same for people from the US and that your US passport entry visa can be converted into a work permit and all the related paperwork.

Here is the only snag. All the paperwork takes a while, so if you re-enter Taiwan on a new 30-day visa and the paperwork doesn't get rolling pretty quickly, you might find that you need to go on yet another visa run!!

My advice is to get a visa for as long as you can (60 or 90 days if possible) or to make sure that the paperwork is started as soon as you return.

One last thing. I was told that I should buy a refundable air ticket out of Taiwan so that when I was re-entering the country from Singapore I could provide "proof" of onward travel. This might still be a good idea but as it happens nobody asked me to provide any proof of onward travel.
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Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 406
Location: Not posting on Forumosa.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 30-day entry option is not workable. You would be landing on a visa-free entry (not a landing visa). Such entries cannot be converted to work visas.

Unless your paperwork is submitted before your tourist visa expires, you will have to leave the country and come back on another tourist visa. Visa runs may seem daunting to those who have never done one (I felt that way when I went on my first visa run), but I can honestly say I never had any problems.

I've had two visa runs to Hong Kong (the most recent being in April 2008), and never had any problems. Just make sure you have all the supporting documentation they require: Onward ticket or itinerary and proof of funds. They may not ask for it, but it's good to have if they do.
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Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 1033
Location: Karaoke Hell

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an issue I'm curious about as well.

Dr. Z - not saying your info is wrong as I've not looked into the topic myself, but brettb's experience and reports from a couple of other people I've spoken to seem to suggest that a 90 day visa-exempt entry can be turned into a work permit.

The 90 day visa exempt entry is a pretty recent increase (for Canadians) traveling to Taiwan and if it can be converted it would really make getting here and finding work a heck of a lot easier.

Does anyone know what the deal is?
Anybody else come in on a 90 day visa exempt and had it turned into a work visa / permit?

Enquiring minds need to know....[/u]
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