Allowing Foreigners Change Status Without Exiting Taiwan 特允外籍人士於境內轉換簽證/身分

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Taiwanese government requires foreigners to leave the country if you are changing status (commonly known as visa run). For example :

1) Language school -> Bachelor -> Master: Not required.

2) Master -> Master (Different school) : Required.

3) Bachelor -> Language school: Required.

4) Transferring to another school: Required.

Starting from March 19, in response to the continued spread of COVID-19, Taiwanese border is closed to foreigners, following lock-down of most countries around the world. 

Many foreigners' ARC expired, and the unexpected decision of the government prevented them from planning and going on a visa run.

March 31, the government announced a grace program for the foreigners who have overstayed until June 30th to turn themselves in and pay the minimal fine.

However, extension of visa for 30 days were given to those holding tourist visa. Up until today (July 21), 5 extensions have been granted to the people holding short term tourist visa and visa exemption.

Before June 30th, those with expired ARC had to go to Specialized Operation Brigades to turn themselves in and show a plane ticket of leaving Taiwan.

Instead of Taiwanese police officers checking foreigners' ARC on the street, it would be wiser and humane to acknowledge that the pandemic has just started in some other continents. If this Visa Run is so crucial, at least come up with a solution. Most countries are on lock down, and there's very limited to no flight operating. Even though there were flights, why should we risk our lives just to change school or changing status? 

Even if some of us managed to go for a visa run and are allowed to return to Taiwan, there is no guarantee that incoming people wouldn't contract the virus. Visa run at this time is a waste of time and money and puts national health and security at risk.

We are not asking for an amendment of the law, but only pleading for a throughout consideration under this unprecedented world crisis.


1.       語言學校 -> 學士 -> 碩士:無需出境

2.       研究所轉學:需出境

3.       學士 -> 語言學校:需出境

4.       轉學:需出境



3月31日,移民署宣布擴大逾期居留外籍人士自動到案政策,逾期居留之外籍人士於6月30日前自行至各服務站和專勤隊到案且出示出境機票者,僅需處最低罰金新台幣兩千元。於此同時,持短期停留簽證或以免簽方式入境台灣的卻可自動展延簽證效期,至今日 (7/21) 止已展延了五次,共長達150天。然而原有居留原因的外籍人士卻被視為非法逾期居留,更需強制出境。



此連署的目的不是在於要求政府修改法條,而是陳請政府在全球疫情的特殊情況之下,能以特案方式協助外籍人士無需出境即可轉換簽證 (學生簽證、依親簽證等)