As an American how do I go from a visa exempt entry to an ARC?

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If you are applying as a student you need to apply for anALIEN RESIDENT CERTIFICATE (ARC) and RE-ENTRY PERMITat the local office of Ministry of Interior National Immigration Agency within 15 days of your arrival.

Requirements of applying for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) and Re-Entry Permit:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Passport valid for at least 6 months (original and one photocopy)
  3. One 4.5 by 3.5 inch head & shoulder photo in color with a white background (taken within the last six months)
  4. Original student ID and one photocopy
  5. Certificate of enrollment
  6. Residence Certificate in Taiwan (Housing contract in Taiwan)
  7. Application fee: NT$1,000 (ARC needs to be extended each year.)
  8. Other supporting documents may also be requested by the office of National Immigration Agency, Ministry of Interior. For example, official proofs/documents for MOFA scholarship holders or ICDF scholarship recipients.


  1. After you get your ARC, please check your name, date of birth, gender, address, and date of issue.
  2. You must to apply for ARC extension at the local Immigration Officewithin 30 days before the expiration date. Failure to do so will be fined NT$2000-10000.
  3. Alien who have changed their residence address shall register the change with related documents at the local Immigration Office within 15 days. Failure to do so will be fined NT$2000-10000.
  4. With unchanged reason of stay from previous application, alien overstaying for less than 30 days can re-apply for resudence after being fined(NT$2000-10000). Extended period of overstaying will result in ban from future entry tio Taiwan.
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Hey all,

I just finished going through this process by myself. Due to the lack of easily found resources, I thought I'd write a quick guide of the steps to go through if you have a work permit and need to get from visa exempt ---> ARC without leaving the country. Many employers will do this for you, but if they don't, here's a guide!

Total time: 30-45 days Total cost: NT9860

1. Arrive in Taiwan.2. Secure a work permit. I'm teaching English. Your school or employer will get this for you. It takes 7-10 work days to arrive.3. Once you have your work permit in hand, fill out a visitor visa application Print out the app and go to the second floor of the Mainland Affairs Council building (MAC: Jinan road Section 1, Zhongzheng District).5. Give the application, your work permit, and two photos (photo booths on floor 1) to someone at desk 30-33. It's in the back of the room. They will keep the copy of your work permit and give you back the original. Pay NT6080, keep your receipt which will have the date to come back (mine was 1 week).6. Once you have your visitor's visa, go to the NIA (Xiaonanmen MRT stop). You will need the following:

  • Copies AND THE ORIGINAL (there is a copy machine at the NIA office that is NT2/photocopy) of your work permit, an employment certificate with your employer's official chop, and your lease.

  • A copy of your passport and visa page. (As well as your original passport, obviously).

  • one photo for the application (application available at the NIA).

  • NT3200.

  • 7. See the immigration officer (hand over your stack of paperwork). They didn't even say anything to me until I paid. You get the originals of everything back, including your passport.8. You will be given a receipt with the date to come back to the NIA and get your ARC (about two weeks).

    Even though your passport won't gain an additional "visa," you are free to legally stay in Taiwan as long as your ARC is valid.

    Good luck!

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