How to get a Visa for Taiwan – The complete guide

visa for Taiwan

Do I need a visa to visit Taiwan?

It depends!

If you have a passport from a country belonging to the European Union, or an Icelandic, Israeli, Japanese, New Zealand, Norwegian, Swiss, or American passport, or a passport from Liechtenstein or the Principality of Monaco, then you can enter Taiwan without a visa and stay for a maximum of 90 consecutive days.

If you have an Australian, Canadian, Korean, Malaysian or Singaporean passport you can enter Taiwan without a visa and stay for a maximum of 30 consecutive days.

Even if you don’t need a visa, to enter Taiwan you must still satisfy the following requirements:

  • Own a passport that is valid for at least six months.
  • Own a return-trip air ticket.
  • Have a clean police record in Taiwan.

Those with an Indian, Thai, Filipino, Indonesian, or Vietnamese passport that have a resident’s permit or a valid visa for Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand or Australia can enter Taiwan without a Taiwanese visa and stay for a maximum of 30 consecutive days so long as they meet the criteria listed above and possess an Authorization Certificate, that can be requested online at Taiwanese Immigration Office web site.

How to obtain a visitor’s visa (tourist or business)

If you own a passport for a country that I haven’t already listed or if you would like to stay in Taiwan for a period longer than the exemption (from 30 to 90 days) then you must apply for a visa at a Taiwanese consulate or office of representation (you’ll find the entire list here). These visas are granted to those who come to Taiwan for tourism, business, schooling, work, marriage or family reunification.

A visitor’s visa lasts between 15 to 90 days (depending on your home country). So long as it does not contain the wording “No extension”, it may be able to be renewed another two times in Taiwan, for a maximum length of 180 days.

Here are the necessary documents:

  • Two recent photos (passport format).
  • The passport and a photocopy of it (valid for a period of at least six months).
  • A letter from the company you work for (necessary only for business visas).
  • Any other document they might ask of you.

A visitor visa costs 50 USD (160 if you own an American passport), is issued within one business day and expires if it is not used within 90 days of the date of issue.

It is also possible to apply for a multiple visa with a maximum length of 60 days for every entry. That visa costs 100 USD (160 if you have an American passport).

travel to taiwanTaipei’s skyline

Student visa: Necessary requirements

These are the necessary documents to apply for a student visa in Taiwan:

  • Two recent photos (passport format).
  • Your passport along with a photocopy of it (valid for a period of at least six months).
  • A copy of your airline ticket.
  • An admission certificate issued from a linguistic center affiliated with a university or from an institute accredited by the Taiwanese Ministry of Education. You would then be able to enter Taiwan without a visa and stay for 90 consecutive days.
  • A study plan.
  • A bank statement or another document that proves that you have the economic ability to provide for yourself in Taiwan.

The visa allows you to stay in Taiwan for 60 days (but may be renewed while there), costs 50 USD (160 if you have an American passport), is issued within one business day and expires if not used within 90 days from the date of issue.

If you intend to stay for a maximum of 180 days, you can renew your visa two times (so long as you remain enrolled in the school). If instead you intend to remain more than 180 days, apply for a resident visa (and an Alien Resident Card, ARC). The resident visa and ACR can be requested beginning with your 121st day in Taiwan on your student visa.

Important: while in the past it was possible to obtain a student visa and stay in Taiwan also for long periods without going to school, today it is no longer possible: to get – and renew – a tourist visa, you must enroll in a course of at least 15 hours a week. If you skip 11 or more hours of lessons in a month, the immigration office will refuse to renew your visa.

Here are the necessary documents to renew your student visa:

  • Document of enrollment from the school.
  • Document showing the hours you were in class the month before renewal.
  • Document showing the hours you were in class the month of the renewal (necessary only if you are renewing your visa after the fifteenth of the month).
  • Passport and photocopy of the passport.

How can I get a work permit, a resident Visa and an ARC?

We’ve already seen how one can get a resident visa and an ARC (Alien Resident Card, or the document that allows you to enter and exit Taiwan without needing other visas, to live there, to enter the national health system, etc) as a student. If however you intend to work in Taiwan, the procedure is a bit different.

In particular you must arrive in Taiwan (for example on a visitor or work visa, for which an invitation is necessary), find a job, get a work permit (which you must get from your Taiwanese employer, how it goes in China), get permission to live in Taiwan long-term (or a resident visa, which again would come through your employer) and, lastly, obtain an ARC (which you can apply for at the immigration office once you have your work permit and resident visa). Many foreigners come to Taiwan to teach foreign languages.

Important: The only way to legally work in Taiwan is to have a work permit. As was already mentioned, it is your employer that must request the permit, presenting their business license, your contract, your resume and your passport to the Labor Department. To get the permit requires several weeks, and until you get it, you can’t work.

If you found work before coming to Taiwan (perhaps you found it on the internet) you can ask your employer to request your permit right away so that it will be ready when you get there. In this case you can begin working right away.

One last note: a work permit is valid only for the company that has requested it. In the event that you wish to change jobs, you must first find a new employer that will request another permit on your behalf.

Can I get a visa while I’m already in Taiwan?

Yes, in certain circumstances it is possible to come to Taiwan without a visa, obtain a work permit and apply for a visitor visa. When applying for your ARC you must however change your visa (from a visitor visa to a resident visa).

Joint Family Residence Visa (JFRV)

If you are married to a Taiwanese resident you can apply for a Joint Family Residence Visa (JFRV). If more than simply living in Taiwan, your wife (or your husband) is also a Taiwanese citizen, then the JFRV also gives you permission to work.

Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC)

If you manage to keep your ARC for five continuous years (as an employee, not as a student) or your JFRV, then you may get an Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC). This document will allow you to reside in Taiwan and work at your leisure without requiring an employer to sponsor you.

Frequently asked questions

Do Philippine passport holders need a visa to Taiwan?
No, Filipinos are exempt from having visas when travelling to Taiwan until July 31st, 2019, If a visa will be needed after this date, you’re still capable of applying for a an e-visa and you won’t need to visit an embassy to apply for the visa. It’s both cheaper and faster.
What documents do I need to bring when applying for the evisa?
You need to bring the following documents:

A return ticket
Business people need an invitation letter
Your passport (it needs to be valid during your stay in Taiwan)
A passport size photo in digital version
Bank statements might be asked for, to prove that you can finance your stay
A copy of your passport’s main page
A proof of your accommodation (for example hotel booking confirmation or a written letter from a person who invites you in Taiwan)

Do Mexican citizens need a visa to travel to Taiwan?
Yes, Mexican citizens need visas when visiting Taiwan. If you want to know more in which countries that Mexicans need visas, I recommend you to check this wiki-page.
Does Taiwan have visa on arrival?
Taiwan has visa on arrival for Turkish citizens. The visa on arrival is only available at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
Do UK citizens need a visa to visit Taiwan?
No, not in general. UK citizens can stay up to 90 days in Taiwan without having a visa.
What happens if you overstay your visa in Taiwan?
Taiwan is famously known for having very relaxed policies when it comes to foreigners who overstay visas. The penalties have even been dropped from 10,000 Taiwanese Dollars (325 US dollars) down to 2,000 Taiwanese Dollars. Yet, you might risk getting banned from entering Taiwan for up to 1 year.
Can Chinese visit Taiwan?
Yes, nowadays they can. It’s always been fairly easy for Taiwanese to visit mainland China, but not always easy for mainland Chinese to visit Taiwan. That’s only since recently.

If you’re from mainland China and want to travel to Taiwan ROC, you need to have a so called ‘Entering into Taiwan Permit for Chinese’ or a ‘Free travel permit in Taiwan for Chinese’. The expiration is 15 days.

Photo Credits: Creative Commons License Passport21 by Ken Mayer
Creative Commons License Taipei 101 Skyscraper by Jennifer 真泥佛

45 thoughts on “How to get a Visa for Taiwan – The complete guide”

  1. Hallo, do i need a visa if I’m a South african with a 1 year working permit currently in China and only want to visit Taiwan for 3 days?

  2. Thank you for answering, however later I realized it was not the Visitor Visa I meant. The one I meant was the Visa-Exempt entry (that for example many EU countries have access to).

  3. Hello,

    Thank you for the article. My question is: is it possible to enter Taiwan on a Visitor Visa, get a work permit inside Taiwan, and then change the visa status to a Resident employment visa?


  4. If i get student visa for internship for 6 months at taiwan from india, can i extended my stay for another 6 months or more. what should i do in this case ?

  5. If you’re a foreigner with working in Taiwan with a resident’s visa, can you visit the mainland without needing a tourist visa?

  6. nana yaw otchere

    hi, i am from a holder of a ghana passport and wish to visit taiwan for a week. what are the requirement for a ghanaian passport holder?

  7. Savvy blog post , I Appreciate the information . Does anyone know where my company can access a fillable CA CDE B1-1 example to fill out ?

  8. Nice article Furio Fu.
    I want to ask question to make sure, im indonesian people who studying in Japan i have japan visa as a student. Do i need a visa for travelling to Taiwan ?
    Thank you..

  9. Hey man. Love your website.

    I’m studying a Undergraduate degree via Distance with a University in New Zealand. With this as a New Zealander I receive a weekly allowance roughly NTD $21,204 per month. As I wont be seeking work and only studying, and I will be receiving weekly funds and have significant savings. Do you believe that I could apply for and receive an ARC? This would allow me to have a bank account, sign a rental lease and not have to do VISA runs every 90 days.

    PS I am studying International AgriBusiness and Chinese.

    1. Hi Benjiamin, honestly I have no idea… I think the best you can do is to ask to the human resource department at your school

  10. Hi there – thanks for putting together all this info – it’s really useful.
    Do you know if there are any restrictions which prevent you simply leaving and re-entering Taiwan every 90 days using the visa exemption you described at the beginning of the article? I’m a UK citizen.
    Many thanks!

  11. Hi, i am a malaysian, i understand that i have 30 days visa free to be in Taiwan. But if i wish to stay longer, can i apply for a visa so that i can stay for another 30 days. Tqvm for your help.

  12. I am living in Japan now. I have residence card 6 months valid extendable . Can I travel taiwan with out visa . I am refugee in Japan

  13. Does Taiwan allow our company staff from “India or Bangladesh” to work in Taiwan. We have a factory in Taiwan and Malaysia too but need to transfer our employee there. What type of visa is easiest to apply. Is not expat staff but experience factory employee

  14. Hello, just thought you might be able to pitch in your thoughts on my situation.

    I’m Vietnamese with a Resident Card in Japan, and I’m planning to visit Taiwan for 3 days before heading back to Vietnam. The Taiwanese Immigration website says I do not need to get a visa to visit Taiwan, and that I only need to get the Travel Authorization Certificate, because I possess a Japanese Resident Card. However on their website it also says that ‘working visa not included’ – on my Japanese Resident Card, it says my status as an Instructor.

    Do you think the Taiwanese immigration will consider my Resident Card (it is essentially one, and that’s how the Japanese call it) as a Resident Card, and not a working permit/work visa, because it serves the same purpose to the Japanese immigration/government? I hope you can help me out. Thanks in advance!

  15. Hi I am a South African national living in mainland China. I have a residence permit valid for the next 18 months how would I go about getting the relevant permissions to visit taiwan. Does the residence permit allow me to apply for anow entry and exit permit

    1. Hi Darren, I have the exact same problem! I live and work as an english teacher in China and want to visit Taiwan. I found your question here(see it is dated 2016). May I ask how you managed to get a visa for Taiwan in the end? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

  16. Is there any taiwan consulate or embassy where can apply a tourisr visa? I am a philippine passport holder working in Beijing. I need to know what are the documents do i need to prepare. Your kind help is much appreciated.

    1. Raphael Francisco

      We are in the same boat, my friend. The only difference is that I’m Brazilian and I’m living in Shanghai instead. Taiwan situation is so fucked up that it is actually a hard thing to get a visa and go there. They have really few offices around the world where a visa can be issued, and Mainland China is not one of those places. I have researched a lot lately about the matter and it really seems the only solution is to go to Hong Kong and apply there. However, if I have to go to HK for a visa, I might as well just stay there instead of going to Taiwan. I have been trying to find agencies that could do the paperwork for me so I would not have to go to HK, but up until now I got nothing. I would be very pleased if you could share your present and future findings on this matter here, for it would help me a lot. Cheers!

      1. Hi Raphael. Read your post. Hope from 2016 you managed to make it to taiwan. Not a lot of information available online. About this. Did you succeed? I’m trying to get to taiwan in 2019 and hopefully you could assist me with how you eventually managed to get there?

  17. Esperanza Noynay

    I’ve already served 12 yrs. Workung as a factory worker in taiwan but my boss asked me if there’s still another way to senr me back ti work inspite of 12 yrs limit of an overseas contract worker, thanks!.

  18. How can I get visit visa to Taiwan , I’m in Pakistan no embassy here , can send all the requirements to the Hong Kong office ?
    Please answer

    1. Hello, you shall contact the Taiwanese consular office in Hong Kong (not sure they have one there) or another country in order to get a certain answer

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