The goal of this section is to help ICLP students understand the visa regulations pertinent to their stay in Taiwan as well as avoid any unnecessary inconvenience. Although the ICLP staff does its best to ensure that this information is complete and up-to-date, students should refer to the Taiwan Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) website for the latest and most reliable information. The BOCA website also has links to all of Taiwan's embassies and missions around the world, where students can find answers to their questions locally before coming to Taiwan. Students from countries other than the United States should take special care to find out the specific regulations for their country, as they may differ from the information presented in this section. Below is a link to the BOCA site:
Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) website
Students with additional questions are welcome to contact the ICLP Office directly.
General Visa Information:
All foreigners coming to Taiwan must have a valid passport and Entry Visa for Taiwan. Entry Visas for Taiwan are of several different types, and include: Landing Visas, Visitor Visas, and Resident Visas. Landing Visas are generally for tourists and are given to most visitors to Taiwan upon arrival if they do not hold another visa valid for Taiwan. Landing Visas are generally good for only 30 days, and are NOT renewable. ICLP students should not rely on a Landing Visa when coming to Taiwan, because it will result in the necessity of leaving Taiwan within 30 days after arrival to apply for a Visitor Visa.
For ICLP students, Visitor and Residence Visas are the most important types. ICLP Students should apply for a Student-Type Visitor Visa in their country before coming to Taiwan. Visitor Visas are generally valid for 60 days from entry and are issued in either Single-Visit (SV) or Multiple-Visit (MV) types (see explanation below). Nearly all 60-day Visitor Visas may be renewed up to two consecutive times, allowing students to stay in Taiwan for a total of 180 days.
After four months of study at ICLP, students are eligible to apply for a Resident Visa (and Alien Resident Certificate, see below) which will enable them to remain in Taiwan for the duration of their studies at ICLP without ever having to leave the country for Visa renewal purposes. Students who choose not to apply for a Resident Visa will need to leave Taiwan at least one time during their one year of study at ICLP in order to renew their Visitor Visa, therefore students who do not intend to leave Taiwan during the school year should apply for a Resident Visa. Please see information below.
The following is an explanation of the different visas and the order that they should be applied for by ICLP students in most cases.
Step 1: Applying for the Visitor-Visa
ICLP students are eligible for a Visitor Visa, and should apply for one at the nearest Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECRO) in their country before coming to Taiwan. For a listing of local TECRO offices, please visit the BOCA website. If applying by mail, it is best to allow 2-3 weeks for the application and mailing process. If applying in person, the Visitor Visa can usually be obtained within 3-4 business days. Rush Service is also available for an extra charge. Please contact your local TECRO office for more details.
Visitor Visas are generally valid for 60 days and are issued as either a Single-Visit Visitor Visa (SV) or a Multiple-Visit Visitor Visa (MV) at the discretion of the issuing TECRO office . When applying, full-year ICLP students should request the Multiple-Use type of Visitor Visa. For further information, please see the section below on Single-Visit vs. Multiple-Visit Visitor Visas
The following items will be necessary for the Visitor Visa application process:
- A passport valid for at least six months;
- A duly completed application form with two photos;
- An outbound airline ticket or verifiable proof of purchase of steamship ticket ;
- Documents verifying the purpose of visit (Letter of Acceptance from ICLP)
On the visa application form, note the following:
1) "Chinese name" is optional.
2) "Address in Taiwan" can be the ICLP address:
International Chinese Language Program
Language Center Building
XinHai Rd Section 2 #170 4F*
Da-an District, Taipei 106
Taiwan For more details, please inquire with the TECRO office handling your visa application. Please note that a separate visa is required for a spouse and/or other dependents accompanying you, and they may be asked to provide an Affidavit of Support .
Once a student has received a Visitor Visa, he/she will be able to stay in Taiwan for 60 days before either leaving the country or extending his/her visa. ICLP students will need to extend their Visitor Visas, and this process should begin 10 days before the expiration of the Visa's validity. This brings us to step two:
Step 2: Extension of Visa:
Visitor Visas, whether of Single-Visit (SV) or Multiple-Visit (MV) types, usually allow the bearer to remain in Taiwan for 60 consecutive days from the day he/she is admitted to Taiwan. This is called the Duration of Stay. Applicants are allowed up to two (2) extensions on an SV or an MV. Each extension allows the bearer to remain in Taiwan for an additional 60 days. Using two back-to-back extensions, students are able to stay in Taiwan for a maximum of 180 days on an SV or MV type Visitor Visa. There is no charge for the visa extension process.
Ten days before a student's Duration of Stay expires, he/she should request an Extension Letter from ICLP's Main Office. Next, he/she must take the letter and his/her passport to the National Immigration Agency (see addresses below) to apply for an extension of stay. Applicants will be asked to fill out a “Multiple-purpose Application Form for Foreign Residents” at the National Immigration Agency.
National Immigration Agency
After an ICLP student has remained in Taiwan for at least four months, and has proof of enrollement for at least another four months, he/she is eligible to apply for a Resident Visa and Alien Resident Certificate. This will enable the student to stay in Taiwan without leaving for the duration of his/her studies at ICLP.
Step 3: Applying for Resident Visa (RV) and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC)
For students who decide to apply for a Resident Visa and Alien Residency Certificate, the ICLP Office is here to help. We will do everything possible to ensure that the process goes smoothly and the student's application meets with success. However, the application process for the RV and ARC is fairly time consuming and can be slightly complex. Please read the following explanation carefully and feel free to contact the ICLP Main Office with any additional questions.
After a student has studied for 4 months, and has proof of enrollment of at least another 4 months at ICLP, he/she can apply for a Resident Visa (RV) and an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC). Obtaining the RV and ARC allows the student to remain in Taiwan for the duration of his/her studies without the need to apply for further extensions of stay or trips abroad to renew the validity of a Visitor Visa.
The RV and ARC require two separate application processes. Students should first apply for an RV. After receiving the RV, a student MUST apply for the ARC within 15 days, or risk violating Taiwan's immigrations laws. The following are the steps for applying:
Step 3a: Resident Visa
After the fourth month of study, students interested in applying for an RV should request a Proof of Enrollment Letter from the ICLP main office. In total, students will need to prepare the following items and bring them to the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA):
1. Resident Visa Application Form (Available at the Bureau of Consular Affairs)
2. Passport Valid for at least 6 months
3. Photocopy of your passport――one copy of the personal page and thhe other of the page with entrance stamp on it
4. ICLP Proof of Enrollment Letter (Includes Student Attendance Record)
5. Attendance Record
7. Financial statement ( of about NT$70,000 )――both the original and its photocopy are needed ; a finance statement from the bank or a certificate of overseas remittance is available
8. Study plan (presenting the motif of Chinese studying and the study plan)――both the original and a photocopy are needed
9. NT$3,000 (US$91.16) application fee ( as of 8/2007 )
10. Two photos
11. Other documents ( if specially required )
The RV application process generally takes 5 working days, and students must leave their passports at the Bureau of Consular Affairs during this time.
Step 3b: Alien Resident Certificate
Within 15 days of receiving the Resident Visa students MUST apply for an ARC at the National Immigration Agency. Students should prepare the following items when applying:
1. ARC Application Form (Available at National Immigration Agency)
2. Passport containing newly received Resident Visa
3. Certificate of Enrollment
4. Attandence Record
5. Passport Photographs (2)
6. Application Fee ( about NT$1000 )
Note on Single-Use Vs. Mulitiple-Use Visitor Visas:
Visitor Visas come in two types; the Single-Visit (SV) type, and the Multiple-Visit (MV) type. Both SV and MV types of Visitor Visa usually allow the bearer to stay in Taiwan for 60 days after entry into Taiwan, and may be extended twice for a total of 180 days of validity (see sec.2 above) . The difference between the two types of visas is that an SV can only be used to enter Taiwan one time, usually within 90 days from the date of issue, while an MV is valid for one to five years from the date of issue, and may be used to enter Taiwan an unlimited number of times during that period as long as each individual stay does not exceed 180 (60 X 3) days. When Applying for a Visitor Visa, ICLP students should request the Multiple-Use Visitor Visa (MV), However, the decision to issue an SV or MV is made at the discretion of the TECRO office.
For ICLP students holding a Single-Use Visa:
If a student holding an SV needs to leave Taiwan at any time during his/her stay at ICLP, he/she should notify ICLP's main office beforehand and secure an official Visa Application Letter on ICLP letterhead so that he/she will be able to successfully complete the process of applying for another Visitor Visa (see Sec.1 above) in the country that he/she is traveling to, and return to Taiwan to resume study without any unnecessary delays.
For ICLP students holding a Multiple-Use Visa:
Students holding an MV do not need to go through the above process. Instead, they will be able to re-enter Taiwan any time during the 5-year validity of the MV..
PLEASE NOTE: When determining whether or not one can use a MV to re-enter the country, ICLP students should pay particular attention to the "Enter Before" date on their visa. Note that extending one's visa while in Taiwan DOES NOT extend this date, rather it extends the amount of time one can legally stay in the country. If an ICLP student tries to use a visa whose Enter Before date has already passed to re-enter the country, Taiwanese immigration officials, because they consider the visa to be invalid, will instead give the student a 30-day landing permit, meaning that he or she would have to leave the country again and reapply for a visa.
If a student enters Taiwan on a Landing Visa, he/she will have a maximum of 30 days to stay in Taiwan. Landing Visas are not renewable.