Overstaying Your Arc. What Next
Have you ever thought of what would happen if you overstayed your ARC here in Taiwan? This can be pretty daunting for a student here especially so if you possess a scholarship.
There is tons of information out there but does it really make sense? Does it really apply specifically to you and your situation. Never fear this guide is here to put you at ease. First we shall provide some information on what is the ARC and how to obtain one.
What is an ARC?
ARC stands for Alien Resident Certificate. It is an official identification card issued to residents of Taiwan (persons holding a valid resident visa who do not have household registration in the Taiwan.
HOW TO OBTAIN AN ARC
An ARC is obtained via application to the National Immigration Agency in Taiwan. As mentioned you will need to have a resident visa. You will need to provide other documents. This information and more can be found at.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU OVERSTAY YOUR ARC.
Usually when you overstay your ARC for a a period not surpassing 91 days you will be required to pay a fine. How much you ask? It depends;
- Foreigners who have overstayed their stay for 1~10 days are subject to a fine of NT$2,000.
- Foreigners who have overstayed their stay for 11~30 days are subject to a fine fine of NT$4,000.
- Foreigners who have overstayed their stay for 31~60 days are subject to a fine of NT$6,000.
- Foreigners who have overstayed their stay for 61~90 days are subject to a fine of NT$8,000.
- Foreigners who have overstayed their stay for above and over 91 days are subject to a fine of NT$10,000.
- Minors aged below 14 are exempt from the penalty; while those aged between 14 and 18 are subject to a fine cut by half.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU OVERSTAY FOR MORE THAN 91 DAYS.
There is no easy way of saying it, you will be asked to leave the country and that is in addition to paying the stipulated fine. The way it is explained is that you will have to return to your home country. This is not at all true. Yes you do have to leave the country but all you need is a visa to reenter Taiwan (we will get to that in a while).
First you will be asked to visit another office called the immigration brigade. They will ask you to bring in information on your flight out of Taiwan. They are very understanding and give you time to get your affairs in order(for students that is). After you have purchased your ticket you will be interrogated. (and by interrogated I mean asked a few questions). They will prepare the necessary paper work (exit permit) and take it the immigration office. Then you will be allowed to pay the fee.
Remember the part about having to go back to your home country not being true? We will deal with this now. Few persons know about this but you can do what is called a Visa Run. This in essence is a trip to get your visa and return shortly after. I have personally done it and it was rather seamless. I recommend going to Hong Kong. So instead of purchasing a ticket to go home you purchase a ticket to Hong Kong and back. While there you will be applying for a Visa so it will be necessary to carry along a few documents. These include;
- Your printed out resident visa application form. (This formed is to be filled out online and then printed.)
- Two passport sized photos.
- Your transcripts. (Proof that you were at school during your stay in Taiwan )
- Your official student identification card.
- A bank statement to prove that you are able to cover the cost of your studies in Taiwan. (For Taiwan scholarship students your scholarship certificate will suffice.)
- If it is already the end of the school year you will need to bring in a document from the school stating that you are a student and be continuing your studies there.
- The receipt showing that you played the fine for overstaying your ARC.
- The visa fee.
- Make copies of all of your documents.
- Lastly, no medical form is needed. Again no medical form is needed. That should save you some time and money.
NOTES ON HONG KONG
1. Getting through immigration is seamless. This is especially so if you have visa free privileges. All you do is tell the official
s the purpose of your visit and show them the documents to prove it.
2. There is the airport mrt which takes you to Hong Kong. At this stop you can walk to the Lippo Center. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hong Kong is on the 40th floor.
3. Your application takes one day to process an you will get it the following day provided that everything checks out.
4. Hostels for one night in Hong Kong is relatively inexpensive. There are many choices available which are close to the Lippo Center. I recommend Shanghai Hostel. It is one stop away on the Mrt. You get a private room. It is very small just a bed and bathroom but if you value your privacy on a budget this this the place to be.
In closing the immigration agency always does their best to help you deal with your current situation. If you are experiencing any problems pay them a visit as soon as possible. Do not put it on hold. It could mean the difference between spending a few dollars and spending a lot and being sent home.