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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Immigration Headaches for APRC parents in Taiwan

I have shared this with my students and Facebook posts, so I better also share to a wider audience. The current Taiwanese immigration system is like most, flawed, confusing and in need of reform. Long standing APRC holders who have been a positive influence in Taiwan are being punished along with their family members because nothing has been done to improve current laws.

My friend Toby is a perfect example of an upstanding long term expat whose family is suffering under the current immigration system. Tomorrow he is meeting with Taiwanese immigration to see if they can change his son's visa from 90 days to 180. Watch this video posted September 9th.

My friend's son will be 20 soon and they are trying to figure it out. Basically if I am still here when my daughter Z is 20, she is no longer my dependent and yet cannot apply for an APRC herself. She can't legally work here despite being in the school system since preschool. She would have to do Hong Kong runs to renew her tourist visa, or stay as a student under a student visa. But perhaps if I transfer her visa before she turns 20 I might be able to secure something. Ask a different immigration officer and you get a different answer.

There is a FB group Foreigners for Taiwan Immigration and the private Taiwan DREAM group for parents. On one of the most recent DREAM posts (Sept 10), supposedly there is a new law, that no one including the immigration officers know about, which is confusing. The father whose 20 year old got an ARC dependency status recommended an immigration officer named Eric who was willing to help anyone in this situation. A month before his son turned 20 he turned in the paperwork that his son has been living in Taiwan for 10 years and applied for a Dependency ARC, but apparently this only works if you transfer an existing visa, not if your child has already been enduring visa runs, like my friend Tobie. [NIA Officer Eric Chen. 886-7-623-6334 E-mail: eric817@immigrations.gov.tw.]

There has been a petition in the past, and since this law isnt' legit for every child of an APRC holder, I am thinking of organizing a letter campaign with my students to write to the main immigration office. Taiwanese people need to stand up for long-term foreign friends and call elected officials to rewrite some of the current immigration laws. Here is an excellent article published September 10th to share with your Taiwanese friends.

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