Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tips for applying for your ARC (alien resident certificate, aka resident visa)

  • Wait until right before the Chinese New Year to process your visa application.  This is when everyone else wants to travel and do their banking, so naturally the people at the consulate will be super inclined to help you. 
  • Feel free to fill out any and all application forms in crayon.  Bonus points if you sprinkle them with glitter.
  • In addition to your supporting documents, draw a picture of yourself holding a heart with a caption that says,  "I love Taiwan!" English.
  • The people working at the consulate deal with foreigners all the time, so feel free to fill in any parts of the application in French, German, Dutch, or Arabic.  This will not bother them in the slightest.
  • Don't be afraid to quiz their English.
  • Sign all the documents with your Elvish name.
  • When you get to the counter to pay for your application, hand in all but 10 NTD.  Take your time looking for it.  The longer the line, the longer you take.
  • While you wait for your application to be processed, distribute red envelopes full of fake money to strangers' children in honor of Chinese New Year to show respect for local culture.  The parents will appreciate you going the extra mile, and it's good karma to get your visa processed faster.


  1. This is really funny. So did you do all of that, i.e., sign with your Elvish name, do it in Crayon, etc.? If so, what was the response? And out of curiosity, where does one find out about an Elvish name?

  2. I'm totally going to do all of this when I eventually (I'm not going to let it not happen) get out of the country!