student visa
The visa process for international students that want to study in Taiwan. Source: Rovin Ferrer/ Unsplash

In Taiwan, the number of international students has climbed over the years.

According to a report by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education (MOE), 126,997 international students accounted for approximately 10 percent of all college and university students studying in Taiwan for 2018.

The report also found that China was the most popular source of international student arrivals, accounting for 29,960 international students, with the second-highest source being Malaysia with 16,717 international students.

With architectural landmarks and scenic national parks that boast beaches, mountains, valleys and even dormant volcanoes, it’s easy to see why aspiring students would consider Taiwan as their next study abroad destination.

Their study abroad selection may also be swayed by the 2019 Global Peace Index rankings, where Taiwan became the sixth most peaceful country in Asia-Pacific.

With so much to offer, international students may be certain about pursuing Taiwan as their next education hub, but how certain are they about the international student visa process?

student visa

Secure a student visa in Taiwan so you can start touring the night markets in Taipei! Source: Vernon Raineil/ Unsplash

Student visa types

According to the advice given by Asia Exchange (AE), exchange students whose total length of stay in Taiwan exceeds 90 days but not 180 days, must apply for a Visitor Visa at a Taipei Representative Office. AE is a Finland-based independent programme provider of academic study abroad semesters for students at internationally accredited universities in China, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and New Zealand.

International students should note that application documents and payment methods may vary at different countries. The best way would be to inquire at the nearest office location.

But if your length of stay in Taiwan exceeds 180 days, and you’re planning to be a full-time university student, you must apply for a Resident Visa at a Taipei Representative Office.

Within 15 days from the next day of their arrival, Resident Visa holders have to apply for the Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and Re-entry Permit at the National Immigration Agency in Taipei. As long as their ARCs are valid, international students can stay in Taiwan.

Student visa process for full-time international students

As outlined on Taiwan’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website, there are specific requirements to follow if you’re pursuing a full-time Bachelor, Master or PhD course at a university in Taiwan.

For instance, you must use this website to fill out your application form.

Once it is filled out, the Bureau of Consular Affairs expects you to print it out, to ensure that there’s a barcode showing and to sign the application form by hand.

Upon application, your passport must be valid for at least six months, you must check that there are blank pages and you must make a photocopy of your passport bio-page.

It is also advised to attach two colour passport-size photos with a white background on your application form. This photo should have been taken within six months prior to your submission.

You can find the visa application fees here and further information about the application process, including health and photocopy requirements of your higher education diplomas/transcripts here.

And if you feel overwhelmed at any stage, don’t be afraid to contact your international student adviser at your chosen university in Taiwan for extra help.

The student visa process may sometimes be stressful, but the outcome is always worth it; especially if you’re experiencing a new culture in Taiwan!

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