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What visa do I apply for, if any, before I move there and teach?

Moderator: Tempo Gain

What visa do I apply for, if any, before I move there and teach?

Postby max901 » 08 May 2016, 01:50

Hi all, I am once again looking for some advice. I posted here almost a year ago -- original topic: ... 5&t=150694 -- to ask if I would be okay to teach with a misdemeanor & an associate degree + TESL/TEFL cert. The responses I received said I would be fine.

Here is where I am at:

--I'm about to graduate (with a 4.0 from community college, heh) on May 12th. I will have an associate degree in Business Management.
--The CELTA course I signed up for with Teaching House begins May 31st and I will complete it on June 24th.
--I am a white, American male, aged 26.
--I still have a misdemeanor for institutional vandalism from 4+ years ago. See the original thread.
--The girlfriend and I are still dating, and plan on living together in / near Miaoli or Taichung.

I plan on making tracks for Taiwan in late June / early July. I assume it will be beneficial to search for jobs beforehand, obviously. However, as I understand it, the application for a work permit CANNOT begin until I have BOTH the 2 yr degree AND the CELTA certification in order to comply with the Taiwanese government requirements. Is this assumption correct?

Thus, what I am planning on doing is reaching out to employers during the week at the end of June to make some contacts, then showing up in Taiwan with my degree + CELTA cert in hand and looking for a job. I clean up pretty nice, have taught / worked with kids before, and am comfortable interviewing.

My main concern is: What should I do in regards to a visa? As I see it, I have a few options:

1.) Travel there visa exempt for 90 days.
-I read that it is TECHNICALLY impossible to get your first Visa issued in Taiwan. However, also I read the story of a university professor who traveled to Taiwan from Thailand to teach and was able to secure what he thought was a resident visa, although in actuality it was only a visitor visa. Will I, traveling visa exempt, be apply to secure a work permit and THEN use it apply for a visa, either resident or otherwise?

2.) Apply for a visitor visa before leaving.
-I found the BOCA website online visa application here: ... laimer.jsp My concern is, as I have traveled to Taiwan 3 times before using the 90 day VISA exempt waiver program, would this raise red flags at customs? i.e. why would I need a VISA now after I have gone there three times prior?

3.) Sign up for Chinese language classes in Taichung, and apply for a student visa.
-This is another option as well. I plan to take classes soon after securing employment so that I can at least understand what is going on around me. My concern here is the money to pay for all this. The CELTA course ain't cheap and I still need to book + pay for my flight.

4.) Apply for a multiple entry resident visa on the BOCA website while I am still in the U.S.
-I don't know why I couldn't do this, as it is what I need. For some reason, I heard that resident visas are often denied. Am I wrong?

I am leaning towards either looking around online for about 5-7 days after the CELTA course to see what jobs are open, applying, and reaching out to employers telling them that I am ready to start immediately. Then, regardless of whether or not I get job interviews, hopping on a plane, entering Taiwan visa exempt, and looking for work. Is this really dumb, and should I apply for a resident visa beforehand? Of course, I would like to apply for a resident visa as soon as possible. It seems like the chicken and the egg problem -- I need to be in Taiwan to find work, but need a resident visa to live and work in Taiwan.

In short, what visa do I apply for, if any, and is there anything else I need to do before I leave? I am basically very green, a little worried, and I want to make sure that there is nothing I am overlooking. I'm sure than any problems I run into can be overcome by throwing enough time, effort, and money at them, although I would like to have some understanding before I dive in headfirst.

If you made it through this rambling wall of text, thank you. Any comments or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
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Ink Still Wet in Passport (shífēn xīnshǒu)
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Re: What visa do I apply for, if any, before I move there and teach?

Postby Charlie Jack » 28 May 2016, 14:08

Hi max901,

I'm sorry for replying so late, but it's been a long time since I was in the job market, so I'm afraid to say very much about it.

I don't have any firsthand knowledge of the visa-exempt-conversion issue, but here are several threads on it (I hope the situation hasn't changed since these threads were created):

This thread was started by a prospective teacher:


This thread has to do with someone seeking work:


This thread has to do with a prospective university student:

This one was started by a prospective Mandarin student:

Charlie Jack
Buxiban Laoban (bǔxíbān lǎobǎn)
Buxiban Laoban (bǔxíbān lǎobǎn)
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Joined: 17 Mar 2007, 22:06

Re: What visa do I apply for, if any, before I move there and teach?

Postby Abacus » 28 May 2016, 19:15

Use the 90 visa exempt entry. You won't be able to get your resident visa until you get a job. You will be able to convert to a resident visa and ARC w/o leaving the country.

Don't worry about your misdemeanor. Taiwan doesn't require a criminal background check. You could be a murderer and teach English here.
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