With stunning modern architecture on one hand and historical artifacts on the other, as well as breathtaking natural scenery, there’s plenty you can do when visiting Taiwan. But, before booking a ticket and hotel, you may have found yourself wondering “Do I need a visa for Taiwan?”, which is a valid question.
Whether you need a visa for Taiwan or not depends on three main factors: your nationality, the duration of your stay, and the purpose of your travel.
As such, nationals of most countries need to have a visa when travelling to Taiwan. However, there’s a category of countries whose nationals can to Taiwan visa free for short-term stays.
Do I Need a Visa for Taiwan?
You need a visa for Taiwan unless you are from a Taiwan visa-exempt country (see below). Even so, Taiwan offers visa-free travel only for short-term stays for tourism, business, visits etc (ie. Taiwan Visitor Visas).
Even if you can go to Taiwan visa free for short stays, you still need to apply for a visa if you want to stay long-term. A long-stay visa for Taiwan is called a Resident Visa, and includes the Taiwan Work Visa, Taiwan Student Visa, and Taiwan Family Reunion Visa, among others.
So, in a nutshell: Some countries are exempt from Taiwan visas for short-term stays (Visitor Visa), but everyone needs a long-term Taiwan visa (National Visa).
Who Can Go to Taiwan Visa-Free?
Nationals of the countries listed below are allowed to travel to Taiwan for specific amounts of time without applying for a Taiwan visa.
Taiwan visa-free travel for up to 90 days
Nationals of the following countries can stay in Taiwan without applying for a visa for up to 90 days:
|Citizens of the member states of the European Union (EU)||Citizens of the member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)||Andorra||Australia (only until December 31, 2019)|
|Marshall Islands||Monaco||New Zealand||Nicaragua|
|North Macedonia (only until March 31, 2020)||Palau||Paraguay||San Marino|
|South Korea||Tuvalu||United States||Vatican City|
Taiwan visa-free travel for up to 30 days
Nationals of the following countries can travel to Taiwan without applying for a visa for stays of up to 30 days:
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Taiwan Visa-free Travel for up to 21 Days
Nationals of Russia are allowed to stay in Taiwan visa-free if their stay does not exceed 21 days. However, the visa-exemptions only applies to holders of normal passports, not diplomatic or official passports. The latter still has to obtain a Taiwan visa before travelling.
Taiwan Visa-free Travel for up to 14 Days
Nationals of the following countries can travel to Taiwan without a visa if their stay does not last longer than 14 days:
Visa exemption only applies to holders of normal passports, not diplomatic or official passports.
Taiwan visa-free travel for Philippines, Brunei, and Thailand is only valid until July 31, 2020.
What Documents Do I Need if I am Visa Exempt?
If you are from a visa-exempt country, when you enter Taiwan you must have the following documents with you:
- Your passport, which is valid for at least six months from the date of entry and has at least two blank pages for the entry and exit stamps.
- A confirmed travel ticket (air or ferry) showing you intend to leave Taiwan by the time your visa-free travel ends.
- If you are from Brunei, Philippines, Russia and Thailand, you also need:
- Proof of accommodation on Taiwan
- Contact information from your contact or host in Taiwan
- Proof of sufficient travel funds
Taiwan Visa-Free Restrictions for Specific Countries
Some countries have some restrictions regarding their visa-free travel to Taiwan.
- If you were born in Afghanistan, Mainland China, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen, even if you have become a citizen of a visa-exempt country, you may still have to apply for a visa. This applies to:
- Saint Lucia
- If you acquired Marshall Islands citizenship by any other means other than birth, you are not eligible to travel to Taiwan visa-free.
Taiwan Visa Requirements for Specific Countries
The countries mentioned in the table below cannot get a Taiwan Visitor Visa unless they fall under one of the following categories:
- They have been invited by a Taiwan government agency on official business
- They will be partaking in an international activity or meeting for religious, athletic, or cultural exchange purposes which is organized by a Taiwanese organization
- They will visit a family member who is a legal resident in Taiwan, such as a spouse, a family member of lineal relationship, or a sibling.
- They will conduct economic or commercial businesses, for which they will need a Letter of Guarantee from their contact in Taiwan
- They are a crew member and will come to Taiwan to report for duty
- They will come to Taiwan for medical treatment
Exceptions: Nationals of Bhutan and Sri Lanka can also apply for a Taiwan tourist visa. Additionally, the Taiwanese government does not request a Letter of Guarantee when nationals of those two countries apply for a business visa.
Can I get a Taiwan Visa On Arrival (Taiwan Landing Visa)?
You are eligible to obtain a Taiwan Visa On Arrival, also known as a Taiwan Landing Visa, if you fulfill one of the following conditions:
- You are a Turkish citizen (VOA is free)
- You have an emergency or temporary passports issued by a visa-exempt country (you have to pay a fee for the VOA)
You can only receive a Taiwan Visa On Arrival at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
Other eligible ports of entry are Taipei Songshan Airport, Kaohsiung International Airport or Taichung Airport. If you arrive at one of these ports, you will receive an entry permit and you have to apply for a visa at one of the following locations:
- Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA)
- A local office of the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- The BOCA office at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
You cannot enter the country through any other point of entry, unless you have a valid Taiwan visa obtained beforehand.
Who is Eligible for a Taiwan eVisa?
Only nationals of the following countries can apply for a Taiwan eVisa:
- Burkina Faso
- Saudi Arabia
- Solomon Islands
- United Arab Emirates.
Additionally, if you are from one of the countries below, you can apply for a Taiwan eVisa if you will travel to Taiwan with a tourist group under “Project for Simplifying Visa Regulations for High-end Group Tourists from Southeast Asian Countries”:
If you are from one of the following countries and you will conduct business in Taiwan with a recommendation by the local offices of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), you may also apply for a Taiwan eVisa:
- Sri Lanka
The Taiwan eVisa is only for short-term stays (tourism, business, visits, etc) and only for up to 90 days. You cannot apply to extend it or convert it into a long-stay visa. You may apply here, and don’t have to appear in person at any Taiwan consulate or embassy.
What Can I Do If I Need to Apply for a Visa to Taiwan?
If you are not from a visa-exempt country, you may apply for a Taiwan visa at a Taiwan diplomatic mission abroad. The application process is as follows:
- Complete the Online Taiwan Visa Application Form and print it
- Collect the required documents for a Taiwan visa
- Submit the application and documents at the Taiwanese diplomatic mission in person. They may also request an interview, if they consider it necessary
- Pay the Taiwan visa fee
- Wait for the visa to be processed
- Once processed, pick up your passport as instructed. You may request for the passport to be sent to you via post, in which case you must include a self-addressed envelope.
Entry Requirements for Citizens of Mainland China (PRC), Hong Kong and Macau
Instead of a visa, nationals of the PRC, Macau and Hong Kong need an Exit and Entry Permit to be allowed to travel in and out of Taiwan. An Entry and Exit Permit can be issued in one of two ways:
- Single-entry Exit and Entry Permit, issued on an A4 paper.
- Multiple-entry Exit and Entry Permit, which is on the form of a passport-size booklet.
Hong Kong and Macau citizens only need an Entry and Exit Permit if they have one of the following:
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport (HKSAR)
- British National (Overseas) passport (BN(O))
- Macao Special Administrative Region passport (MSAR)
If they have another nationality or are living in another country, they no longer have to get an Entry and Exit Permit since they’re not considered as “residents”. Instead, they’re subject to the visa requirements of their second country of nationality, and have to get a visa accordingly.
Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have to get an Entry and Exit Permit but they are also subject to a daily quota of visitors to Taiwan (14,600 persons per day, where half of the quota should go to individual tour applicants). If Chinese citizens have obtained another nationality, they must follow the Taiwan visa requirements of their current nationality. Even so, even former citizens of the PRC still face some restrictions when they travel to Taiwan, such as:
- Even if they are currently residents of a visa-exempt country, they may still have to get a visa because they were born in China
- They need an Exit and Entry Permit to enter Taiwan if they have lived outside China for less than 4 years