Should I get the Student Visa to Study in Taiwan?

A student visa is not always necessary to study in Taiwan as long as your home country is eligible for a 3 months visitor visa. 

If I don’t take the student visa, do I need to buy a ticket proving that I will leave Taiwan? Yes! We know several students who were refused from boarding the plane because they didn’t have a formal proof that they would leave the country within 3 months.

The solution? Buy a cheap ticket to Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan or South Korea to go on holiday during the school vacations. You’ll have 3 months in Taipei to make friends and to convince them to travel with you.

While it’s true that your country being eligible for a 3-month visitor visa simplifies travel to Taiwan, there are certain scenarios where a student visa might be advantageous, despite the additional effort. Here’s why you might not want to choose the visitor visa in all cases:

  1. Longer Stay: If your program exceeds 3 months, a visitor visa won’t suffice. You’ll need a student visa for programs lasting 6 months or more.
  2. Work Opportunities: Visitor visas prohibit part-time work. With a student visa, you can legally work up to 20 hours per week to offset living expenses.
  3. Academic Benefits: Some universities offer additional support or scholarships specifically for students holding student visas. You might have access to on-campus resources like dorms and student health insurance with a student visa.
  4. Future Considerations: A student visa establishes academic residency, potentially making it easier to renew your stay or transition to work visas in the future.

However, consider these drawbacks before opting for a student visa:

  1. Cost and Time: The student visa application is generally more expensive and time-consuming than a visitor visa.
  2. Documentation: It requires gathering additional documents like acceptance letters and financial statements.
  3. Restrictions: Some student visas come with restrictions on changing programs or institutions.

Ultimately, the decision depends on your specific plans and goals:

Choose a visitor visa if:

  • Your program is less than 3 months (or you plan to travel outside of Taiwan within 3 months).
  • You don’t intend to work part-time.
  • You don’t require academic support or resources.

Consider a student visa if:

  • Your program exceeds 3 months (and you don’t plan to travel outside of Taiwan within 3 months).
  • You want to work part-time.
  • You seek academic benefits or future opportunities.

Remember, thoroughly research both options and weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision based on your unique situation.