Taiwan is one of the few countries on the planet where history meets hyper-modernity. On this picturesque island, you will see a heavily industrialized megalopolis anchored strongly on its ancient culture. With its row of big cities at the feet of a magnificent mountain range, Taiwan will surely leave you confused for a moment as to whether you are living the colorful past or the glorious future. If you want to be stunned the same way, visit this beautiful island. To do that, you will need a Taiwanese visa.
Who needs a visa?
A Taiwanese visa is required for all foreign nationals wishing to travel to Taiwan except citizens of the following countries:
Australia, Austria (For more information regarding austria, read The Guide to Austria), Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands , New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K. and U.S.A.
If you are a national of any of the above-mentioned countries, all you need to possess when you arrive at any of the designated airports for visa-exempt travelers is a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry. If you’re a Japanese citizen, your passport may have at least three months of validity. A confirmed return airline ticket, a confirmed departure seat reservation and a visa for the next country of destination are also required for all foreign nationals. You must also have no criminal record to avail of this visa-exemption program.
Note that you may only remain in Taiwan for up to 30 days. The duration of stay begins from the next day of arrival. There is no way you can extend your stay. Thus, after 30 days, you will have to leave the country.
Here are the documents you have to submit to obtain a visitor’s visa:
- a passport valid for at least six months with blank visa pages
- a completely filled-out and signed visa application form
- two recent color or black-and-white passport-size photographs
- copy of round-trip ticket or a day-by-day itinerary indicating flight information and dates
- copy of a recent bank statement
- a letter from your employer guaranteeing the stability of your job and finances
- a letter explaining in detail the purpose of your visit and the plans for the stay
- information about your sponsor or host in Taiwan and a photocopy of his or her resident ID
Aside from these, there are additional documents you need to prepare depending on the type of visa you are applying for.
The Taiwanese government offers several different visa options for foreign nationals. The choice of which should depend on the purpose of your visit and the length or your stay.
Landing Visa. If you are a national of Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland or Slovakia, you may be eligible for a landing visa. To avail of a Taiwanese landing visa, here are additional documents you need to prepare. (Please disregard the list above for this type of visa.)
- a passport with a validity period of six months from your date of entry
- a confirmed return airline ticket, a confirmed seat reservation and a visa for your next destination
- a completed application form
- two recent passport-size color photographs
- visa fee of NT$1,200
- handling fee of NT$800
You must also have no criminal record to be issued a landing visa.
Note that a landing visa is valid for up to 30 days. There is no way you can extend your stay; hence, you have to leave the country after the given period.
Visitor’s Visa. If you want to visit Taiwan for sightseeing purposes or to study, what you need is a visitor’s visa. This type of visa is obtained from a Taiwanese embassy or consulate abroad. Typically, a visitor’s visa is valid for five years. It also usually allows multiple entries for stays not exceeding 60 days. If you wish to extend your stay as a visitor or tourist, you may apply for an extension at the Taiwan National Immigration Agency. However, only one 60-day extension is normally granted. Remember that with this visa, you are not allowed to take employment. However, if you really wish to work, you may obtain a work permit and a resident visa.
If you are traveling to Taiwan for studies or research, you also have to submit a letter of admission from a university or any academic institution aside from the required documents listed above.
Note that students applying during summer vacation are likely to be rejected. Thus, you need to present strong proof of no intention to work illegally during your stay.
Business Visa. If you are traveling to Taiwan for a business joint venture or on a business trip, what you should apply for is a business visa. Aside from the above-mentioned documents, you also need to submit a business letter from the company you work for addressed to the Visa Section of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO). It should explain the purpose of your stay and should guarantee financial responsibility.
Resident Visa. A resident visa is usually issued if you are married to a national of Taiwan or if you already have a valid work permit. However, note that a resident visa does not automatically give you permission to work in Taiwan. Even with this visa, you need to apply for a work permit, which you may do by having a Taiwanese employer apply on your behalf.
If you are issued this visa, you are eligible to apply for an ARC (Alien Registration Card). You will have to carry this card with you at all times and present this when you depart and return to Taiwan.
In addition to the documents listed above, you also need to present your marriage certificate or a copy of your valid work permit to obtain this visa.
Diplomatic or Official Visa, If you belong to your country’s diplomatic corps or you are hold a national government position in your country, this is the visa that you should apply for. Contact the nearest Taiwanese embassy or consulate in your area for more information on how to obtain one.
- Travelers arriving at Kaohsiung International Airport, including those coming from (the People’s Republic of) China may obtain a temporary entry permit at the Kaohsiung Station Aviation Police Bureau. Once a permit is secured, they must convert it into a visa at Consular Affairs Bureau or its Kaosiung Office not later than three days after its issuance. Failure to do so may lead to a fine.
- Travelers holding a British passport may obtain a visa upon arrival valid for up to two weeks (14 days) if there were born in Macau or Hong Kong or if they have previously visited Taiwan.
- Travelers arriving at CKS International Airport may obtain a landing visa at the airport’s visa office, at the Consular Affairs Bureau or at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
- Travelers wishing to remain in Taiwan for more than three months will have to take an AIDS test. If it is positive, they will be forced to leave the country immediately.