Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Visa

I'm the type of guy who has difficulty with the execution of even relatively simple bureaucratic tasks like renewing a drivers' license. So I was naturally a bit nervous about my capacity for convincing a foreign bureacracy half-way around the world that I should be allowed into their country for six months. Approximately. Because of course I couldn't say the exact date in which I planned to leave said country. Add to that the fact the I conducted this little operation over the mail with only about three weeks until my departure, and you have a recipe for stress.

In order to make things a little less stressful for others, I'm documenting the process I took to get my visa.


Step 1: Find the the TECO in your region by going here.

Step 2: I suggest calling them to verify the requirements and processing time.

Step 3: Gather the necessary documents. Here's what I needed:

  • Passport valid for at least another 6 months.

  • Application Form

  • Two 2"x2" passport photos.

  • Copy of your airline ticket. I used an e-ticket with an open return date. Be careful with open return dates though -- you should give them a good explanation for why you need such flexibility.

  • Money order for $100 for each visa you are requesting.

  • A return envelope for them to send your passport back to you. I strongly suggest you use express mail for both the return envelope and to mail them your application materials.

  • If you are applying for a visitor visa(which doesn't allow employment in Taiwan), you will need to send a copy of a bank statement showing sufficient funds to live in Taiwan for the duration you plan on staying. They contacted me by phone after they received my application and asked for me to fax them this information.

  • If you will be studying in Taiwan, you should send them an original copy of your letter of acceptance from the school or university as well as a letter indicating your plan of study(you've probably already sent a study plan to the school you applied to).


  • Step 4: Mail it and pray for success!

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