Taiwan: Securing a visa

Dunhua Street, Taipei, Taiwan
Dunhua Street, Taipei, Taiwan

There has been a recent announcement that, come June 2017, Philippine passport holders can now enter Taiwan visa free. But even if you visit Taiwan before June 2017, securing a Visitor Visa or a Travel Authorization Certificate can really be easy.

Filipinos who intend to travel to Taiwan can choose to apply their respective visas through these four (4) options below. For this blog, however, I will only be sharing information on those which I am familiar with – i.e. options 1, 2 and 3.

  • Option 1: Visa-free certificate/Travel authorization certificate
  • Option 2: E-visa/Online visa
  • Option 3: Appropriate visa stamped in passport
  • Option 4: Project for simplifying visa regulations for high-end group tourists

Note: Click this link for complete information about the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines’ visa services for Philippine passport holders.

Option 1: Visa-Free Certificate/Travel Authorization Certificate

Philippine passport holders who meet the following conditions are eligible for a visa-free entry.

  • The applicant’s passport must have remaining validity of at least six months starting from the date of arrival in Taiwan.
  • The applicant must possess an onward/return air or ferry ticket.
  • The applicant has never been employed as a blue-collar worker in Taiwan.

In addition, the applicant must possess at least one of the following documents issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States.

  • Valid resident or permanent resident card
  • Valid entry visa (may be electronic visa)
  • Resident card or visa that has expired less than 10 years prior to the date of arrival in Taiwan

All you have to do is just print out the Travel Authorization Certificate and present it to the immigration staff together with your existing document as mentioned above.

This was what my friend did. At first though, she was skeptical about her eligibility so we called the TECO to confirm. We even called twice to be sure. Thankfully and successfully, she got in and out of Taiwan without any problems.

Option 3: Appropriate Visa Stamped in Passport

I’m not eligible for a Travel Authorization Certificate so I still had to secure a Visitor Visa prior to my trips.

I traveled to Taiwan twice last quarter. At first, I went for option 3 (which is why I’m explaining option 3 before option 2 in this blog) as I thought that that was the more certain way to go. But that’s just what I thought. The E-Visa was likewise as certain as this option and I’ll get to more to that in a bit.

With this option, I had to go to the actual office to submit my documents and return three (3) days later to claim my passport with the approved visa stamped on it. Here are the requirements.

  1. A visa application form
  2. Two passport size photos 1.5” x 2” with white background (taken within the last 3 months)
  3. Passport valid for at least 6 months and old passport showing previous travels
  4. Birth certificate issued by NSO
  5. Marriage contract issued by NSO (if female applicant is married)
  6. Certificate of employment
  7. Financial statements of the applicant (Bank certificate, bank book or bank statements)

Note: Click this link to view information about TECO PH’s visa fees, processing lead times as well as filing and releasing times.

Option 2: E-Visa (Online Visa)

For those who still need to secure visitor visas, my recommendation is option 2. As I have mentioned, I traveled to Taiwan twice last quarter. I went for option 3 for my first visit and option 2 for my second visit. I know I should have applied for a multiple entry visa the first time around but I didn’t actually know I was going back for work the following month so I had to apply for a single-entry visa twice.

This option is not only faster to release, there are also no additional requirements for it! You will just have to fill out an online form, pay online through credit card, and that’s it! Your visa, if approved, will be emailed to you in less than 3 days. I got mine in less than 2 days in fact. This is very convenient especially for those who are busy and cannot afford to take leaves from work every now and then (a.k.a. me).

The only downside is that it’s a bit more expensive. For a single-entry visitor visa, option 2 costs TWD 1,632 which is around PHP 2,600-2,700 whereas option 3 costs only PHP 2,400. But offset transportation costs and the time spent going to their office and back. What is PHP 200-300 for added convenience, right?

Note: Click this link for TECO PH’s Frequently Asked Questions regarding the E-Visa.

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