Foreign students who wish to pursue their studies in a Taiwanese educational institution will need a Taiwan student visa.
Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), is a great place to study in, for various reasons. For one, it has a great quality of education, high standards of living and it is a safe place to live in. Second, Taiwanese universities offer a lot of courses in English, and, of course, the people there are said to be very friendly to foreigners. Additionally, you’d be able to explore its diverse and interesting culture and the breathtaking natural beauty of this Asian island.
So, if you have already made up your mind about studying in Taiwan, this article will detail the Taiwan student visa: the types, requirements, application process, and more.
What are the Types of Taiwan Student Visas?
The Taiwan student visa is a type of Resident Visas (the type of visa issued for long-term stays). The types of Taiwan student visa offered are:
- Taiwan student visa for full-time foreign students (PhD, MA, BA, high school or below)
- Taiwan student visa for international exchange students
- Taiwan student visa for overseas Chinese students wishing to study in Taiwan (at a Taiwanese university, college, vocational school, high school, or lower)
- Taiwan student visa for foreigners wishing to learn Mandarin Chinese
What are the Requirements for a Taiwan Student Visa?
When applying for a Taiwan student visa, you must have several documents to support your application, such as:
- Taiwan Student Visa Application Form completed online, printed, and signed
- Your passport, which is valid for at least 6 more months and has at least three blank pages
- Two passport-sized pictures of yourself, taken within the past six months and affixed to your application form
- Proof of enrollment in the Taiwan educational institution where you will be studying.
- If you are already studying in Taiwan on a Visitor Visa and want to change it to a Resident Visa, you must also include proof of registration and enrollment and school transcripts
- Health Certificate issued in the past three months (original and photocopy). Before you apply for a Taiwan student visa, you must get a Health Certificate by a hospital appointed by the Centers for Disease Control of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan or a hospital in your home country. If you receive a health certificate from a non-Taiwanese hospital, you must have it legalized by a Taiwanese diplomatic mission.
- For full-time foreign students:
- If you will study in a Taiwan high school or a lower level, you must be from a Taiwan visa-exempt country.
- Proof of financial support, if applicable (original and photocopy)
- For international exchange students:
- Proof of enrollment of the school or university in which you are already enrolled in (original and photocopy)
- For a senior high school student: Letter of approval by the Taiwan Ministry of Education
- For Mandarin Chinese language students:
- A Certificate of enrollment and registration issued by one of the Mandarin Chinese Learning Centers
- Proof you have finished four months of studies and registered for at least another three months
- Proof you have attended at least 15 hours of classes weekly (Monday to Friday)
- Record of attendance, proving you have not missed more than a quarter of the overall class hours (original and photocopy)
- School transcripts (original and photocopy)
- A study plan
- Proof of financial support, if applicable (original and photocopy)
- For Overseas Chinese Students:
- If you are an overseas Chinese student wishing to study in Taiwan, you must be determined by the Overseas Community Affairs Council as a qualified overseas Chinese student.
- You need an approval letter issued by the Overseas Community Affairs Council and a notice of assignment issued by the Ministry of Education.
Keep in mind:
This is not an exhaustive list of documents required for a Taiwan student visa. The Taiwan authorities may request additional documents that they see fit on a case-to-case basis.
All the documents you submit have to be in either English or Chinese. If they are not, they must be translated by an official translator and authenticated by a Taiwan overseas diplomatic mission.
How to Get a Taiwan Student Visa?
There are two ways through which you can get a Taiwan student visa:
- Before you arrive in Taiwan, at a Taiwanese diplomatic mission (embassy, consulate, etc).
- After you arrive in Taiwan, at the Bureau of Consular Affairs or any of its offices.
However, in both cases, you must already be accepted in a Taiwanese educational institution before you apply.
*Slightly different requirements apply for foreign students wishing to study Mandarin Chinese (see below).
Applying abroad: at a Taiwanese diplomatic mission
The application procedure for getting a Taiwan student visa while you are still in your home country is as follows:
- Complete the Taiwan Student Visa Application Form online (here). Print it and sign it.
- Collect the required documents.
- Submit the application form and the documents at a Taiwanese diplomatic mission in person within 30 days.
- When you complete the application form, you will have to select which diplomatic mission you will apply in from a dropdown menu.
- You may apply to any mission, but you are advised to apply to the one in your country. If there’s no Taiwanese diplomatic mission in your country, apply to the nearest one.
- Wait for the Taiwan student visa to be processed
- Collect your passport. If your application was approved, your visa will be affixed to your passport
- After entering Taiwan, apply for a Taiwan residence permit at a local service center of the National Immigration Agency within 15 days.
Applying in Taiwan: at the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA)
You may apply for a Taiwan student visa after you arrive in Taiwan only if you have received a Taiwan Visitor Visa for studying purposes. If you are in Taiwan simply for tourism or visiting purposes, you won’t be able to get a student visa once you arrive in the country.
If you do meet the criteria to apply for a Taiwan student visa at the BOCA, you must do so at least 8 workdays before your current visa expires.
If your visa application is approved, you must apply for a Taiwan residence permit at a local service center of the National Immigration Agency within 15 days.
*Applying as a student of Mandarin Chinese
If you want to study Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan, you must first enter the country with a Visitor Visa with the purpose of studying Chinese. After you finish four months of studies, you may apply to turn your Visitor Visa into a Resident (student) visa at the Bureau of Consular Affairs. You have to apply at least 8 days before your current Visitor Visa expires.
After getting the Taiwan student visa, you must apply for a Taiwan residence permit as well.
Residence Permit for Taiwan Student Visa
Once you receive a Taiwan student visa, the next step is to get a Taiwan residence permit. It is the residence permit, known as an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), that allows you to remain in the country long-term, not the student visa itself. To get a Taiwan ARC, you must apply at a local service center of the National Immigration Agency within 15 days of arriving in Taiwan :
- Complete an online application, which is available on the website of the Taiwan National Immigration Agency
- Print the application form and take it to an office of the National Immigration Agency along with the following documents:
- Your passport, with the Taiwan student visa (Resident Visa), affixed
- Your Student ID Card or a Certificate of Enrollment at your educational institution
- A recent colored picture of yourself (2-inch x 2-inch)
- Payment for the ARC fee
What are the Taiwan student visa fees?
Taiwan visa fees are as follows:
If applying at a Taiwan diplomatic mission:
- Single-Entry Resident Visa: US$66
- Multiple-Entry Resident Visa: US$132
If applying in Taiwan:
- Single-Entry Resident Visa: NT$2,200
- Multiple-Entry Resident Visa: NT$4,400
In addition to the Taiwan student visa, you must also pay a fee for the Alien Resident Certificate (ARC). The Taiwan Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) fees are as follows:
- For one-year duration: NT$1,000
- For two-year duration: NT$2,000
- For three-year duration: NT$3,000
- For overseas Chinese students: NT$500
What is the Duration of a Taiwan Student Visa?
Since the actual Taiwan student visa is more of an entry visa, it is usually valid for up to three months. However, to be allowed to stay in Taiwan long-term, you must get an Alien Residence Certificate, which can be issued for one, two, or three years, at the Immigration officer’s decision.
Can I Extend a Taiwan Student Visa?
Yes, you can. However, when it comes to the Taiwan student visa itself, you may only extend it for an additional three months, making your residence in Taiwan a maximum of six months.
If your course of study will take longer than that, you need the Alien Residence Certificate, issued for one, two, or three years.
And if you need to stay longer than the duration your ARC was issued for, you must apply for an extension at the National Immigration Agency at least 30 days before your current ARC expires.
Can I Work With a Taiwan Student Visa?
Yes, you can but not by default. Neither the Taiwan student visa by itself nor the ARC for studying purposes automatically allows the holder to work. To be allowed to work in Taiwan as an international student, you must obtain a Taiwan work permit from the Workforce Development Agency (WDA).
However, before that, you also need to get a Consent Form for Work Permit Application from your school, which states that you either need the job because you have difficulty sustaining yourself financially or you will do research work related to your studies.