Scribbles in the Sand

All About My Life in Taiwan

How to Extend your Visitor/Student Visa in Taiwan.


Study Chinese in Taiwan?
Need to extend your visa after 60-90 days?
Read on for a walk through and tips of attaining your extension…

If you are studying Chinese in Taiwan, you will at some point need to extend the visa that you used to get into the county.

I would recommend getting a visitor visa (same as student visa) over a landing visa if you intend to study here because it will be less hassle in the long run and more flexible if you have any problems.

Once you have applied for your Taiwan visitor visa in some overseas Taiwanese embassy you will have 60-90 days before it expires. I only got 60 days despite studying for 90 days which was rather annoying.

Steps to extending your visitor (student) visa.

1。Go to your university and print off proof of enrolment and attendance record. At ShiDa (NTNU) there is a handy machine on the 6th floor which does it all for a total of about $100NTD. I wouldn’t bother with any English versions of the certificates because they just discard them.

2。Take a note of your home address (bring along a bill with which you can copy the Chinese address)

3。Take your passport (essential).

4。Grab the mutli-purpose application form at the entrance and a ticket. You should have time to fill it in before your number is called. State that you’re studying Chinese and you should have no problems.

My passport was stamped within 5 minutes and I didn’t need a passport picture because they just stamp the page. If you have been here a long time or are applying for an ARC you will probably need a picture.

5。Have an emergency phone contact and name of someone in Taiwan.

6。This is all.

I was a bit anxious beforehand because I left it with only 5 days to go and everywhere I have read says you need 15 days minimum. There was and should be no problem with being a bit late.

Non-essential Tips:

  • Dress snappy. It can’t hurt
  • Be polite and smile. Smile and the world smiles with you.
  • Don’t throw every bit of paperwork you have with you at them. I did this. Just give what you think is essential. They will ask if they need other things.
  • Use some Taiwanese to get a friendly smile and some conversation going (things like saying sorry-“pai say”)
  • Talk in Chinese as best you can. Even if it’s just greetings
  • Write your application in Chinese or get someone to help you. This will speed up the process and make it easier for them to input.

Here are some websites that I found useful and some pictures and a map to help you along the way. Good luck(加油)…



UPDATE: 07 / 2013


You can extend a visitor visa 3 times (if granted 60 days rather than 90), up to a total of 180 days at which point you will have to either:

A:Leave the country and come in on a tourist / landing visa

If you want to continue to study for another term but don’t want to go though the hassle of applying for the resident card then you can fly to Hong Kong and come in on a normal tourist visa that grants you 30/60/90 days in the country. If you are from the US you can get up to 90 days I believe, and if you are from the U.K or Canada you can even extend this tourist visa up to 180 days although the application to extend it is about as much hassle as applying for residence (inc.proof of funds, health certificate, school application documents etc).

B:Stay in the country and apply for a resident visa and subsequently, an ARC card.

If you don’t have much time before the visa expires this isn’t an option because it could take up to 15 days and requires going to the hospital to get health checks, bank balance proof and enrolment forms although the up side is you don’t have to fly to another country.  the cost will be a $1000NTD + cheaper than a plane ticket. Note: If you are a student, you can only apply for residence visa if you have already studied Chinese for 4 months (1.25 semesters)




Blog entry  discussing how to get a visa with some good tips.

Official Website Info:

Chinese Language Centre helpful info:



Author: G.J

Neuroscience graduate from the University of Edinburgh. I have a passion for learning Chinese and finding resources to maximise efficiency.

5 thoughts on “How to Extend your Visitor/Student Visa in Taiwan.

  1. Mr. James, this is totally unrelated, but I’m doing some research into my family history and I’m wondering if you’re related to the Gwilym Augustus James who lived in Upper Cwmbran, Wales in the early 1900s. I have a picture of him as a young boy, but I’m not sure it’s him, so it would be great if someone could verify one way or the other.


  2. Robyn – I doubt we (that is, Gwilym, my son, and I) can help on your question because James is a very common family name especially in South Wales, and while it is perfectly possible that there is a family relationship it would be impossible to be sure without tracing the official registers of birth, death etc. Much of that information is however online now and could be followed up as long as you have some idea of where individuals might have been born, or died. Good luck!

    • Thank you so much for your reply, Mr. James. I hoped that Gwilym may have been a family name you gave to your son. Since the Gwilym Augustus James I’m looking for was born about 1891, I was thinking he wouldn’t be so distantly related to you – perhaps your grandfather or great uncle (his brothers’ names are Llewellyn, Thomas, and John). That doesn’t seem to be the case, though, or else you would likely know and be able to tell me.

      The dilemma I’m facing is that I was given this family picture taken in 1905, but only three of my nine family members were identified in the picture (the parents and a daughter). It seemed like an easy enough puzzle to find the names of the other members of the family using the 1901 and 1911 online Welsh censuses. I think I have identified the other family members, but it’s hard to be certain. I was hoping I could find a relation who would recognize someone in the picture to verify that I’ve got the right names.

      I wouldn’t have even assumed a relationship if it weren’t for the likeness of your son’s profile picture to the 1905 picture I have. But now that you’ve replied, I must confess that you bear a more striking resemblance than even your son, and now I’m more suspicious than ever!

      If I’m permitted, I would like to email the picture to you. Through your son’s blog, I found his sister Verity’s email address, and I have sent her the picture, but you’re the first to reply (I realize the impertinence of all of this and I’m grateful for your indulgence). My email address is: cello robyn @ gmail . com (take out all the spaces).

      Robyn (impertinent American of Welsh descent)

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