I don’t think I’ve ever applied for a visa without there being hiccups, and the Taiwanese visa is no exception, mainly because the Taiwanese visa does not have standard procedures. Rather, each TECO follows general policies, but has their own unique procedures which can include extra paperwork.
Applying for a resident visa with NSLI-Y I had to supply the following:
- A valid passport
- Four recent passport photos
- Taiwan Health Certificate (fun factoid: US citizens do not need a stool examination)
- NSLI-Y acceptance letter
- Letter from iEarn
- Letter from the Taiwan Ministry of Education
- Acceptance letter from Wenzao University
- $160.00 money order or certified check
Surprisingly though, even as a Chinese-born American citizen, no birth certificates were required, no second passports were needed, and not even my parents’ signature was necessary. However, TECO Chicago did have some of its own unique procedures, including calling my mom’s work phone to ask for a personal letter of intent written by myself, a study plan for my year abroad, and an additional $15.00 Health Certificate charge.
I ended up writing all of those things this morning and haphazardly scanning them to my mom so she could send them in the mail to TECO asap. Hopefully we can get the visa processed quickly (four business days theoretically) and get it back without any further hassle, though I guess this morning was good practice in flexibility and the “hurry-up-and-wait-game”.
In other news, with a little bit of sleuthing my NSLI-Y group was able to find out the details for our New York-Tokyo and Tokyo-Kaohsiung flights. We were able to choose seats and meal plans (one choice was literally “bland meal” option), though I didn’t. iEarn didn’t provide us with itineraries unlike the domestic flights, so I’m thinking they might have a seat plan in mind for us, and wouldn’t appreciate us picking seats for ourselves. Still hoping for a window seat though. . .