Teaching job seekers in Taiwan often if you can change your visa while in Taiwan.
Change Your Visa in Taiwan- The Good News
In Taiwan, you can change your visa from a landing visa to a visitor visa. This will allow you to apply at get an Alien Resident Card (ARC) which you obtain after getting a job in Taiwan. You can use your letter of approval from the Foreign Affairs Department that is sent to your school once you have been approved to work at that school.
Bring that letter to the foreign affairs office to change your landing visa to a visitor visa. This needs to be done in order to get your ARC. Visitor visas can transfer to ARC, but not landing visas. The process takes 3-5 workdays depending on your country. The cost can be between 2,400 and 5,000NT again depending on your country.
Studying in Taiwan? Once you have registered at an approved school in Taiwan, you can change your landing visa to a student visa.
Change Your Visa in Taiwan-The Not So Good News
However, some visas may be marked that they are not transferable and thus can’t be changed.
This depends on where and how your received your visa. There are countries where landing visas can not be transferred to a visitor visa. In this case, upon finding a teaching job an being approved, you will have to leave Taiwan, and get a visitor visa at a Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) . Hong Kong is always easiest and if you arrive early, and pay extra, can be done in one day. Using your newly obtained approval to work papers, getting the visitor visa for Taiwan should be no problem
Should You Get Your Visitor Visa Before Arriving?
If you have already secured a job before arriving to Taiwan, and you have the time, getting your visitor visa before arriving to Taiwan will save you time in getting your ARC. You then won’t have to change your visa in Taiwan.
If you haven’t secured a job, you can go either way. Get the visitor visa or use the landing visa time frame to give you time to find a position.
Some countries, like South Africa, only offer a short landing visa time frame. It is probably less stressful if South Africans get a visitor visa before arriving. However, the requirements for South Africans obtaining this visa can be a bit daunting. Do some research before you apply.