I’m often thrilled when I don’t go through so much hassle in applying for a visa. As a a Philippine passport holder, it’s always a pain in the butt to apply for a visa to many countries I want to visit.
Except in the case of Taiwan.
The Taiwanese government allows nationals from the Philippines, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam who holds a valid resident/visitor visa from the US, Canada, Japan, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Schengen Agreement countries to obtain a visa or a travel certificate online without going to any consulate. This particular visa can also be single entry granted it hasn’t been used yet to enter the country it was issued for and it hasn’t expired.
If you applied for the Taiwan travel certificate when your single entry visas were unused and then used your visa before you enter Taiwan, you have to apply for a Taiwan visa (not the online one). You have to be able to present your valid visa along with your passport when you enter Taiwan.
Fortunately, I happen to have a valid multiple entry US and Japan tourist visa. Whoohoo!
From the official Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan website:
Online Application for R.O.C. (Taiwan) Travel Authorization Certificate (Applicable to citizens of India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand)
Effective January 1, 2016, the nationals of India, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, who possess a valid resident/visitor visa (including an electronic one) (**) or resident certificate (including a permanent one) issued by the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, the U.K., Schengen Agreement countries, Australia or New Zealand, are eligible for the visa exemption program, which permits a duration of stay up to 30 days. Those who meet the above qualification and have never been employed in Taiwan as blue-collar workers may access to the “Online Application for R.O.C. (Taiwan) Travel Authorization Certificate” of the R.O.C. National Immigration Agency (website: https://niaspeedy.immigration.gov.tw/nia_southeast/) for an “Authorization Certificate” before departure for Taiwan.
Other requirements include:
- Your passport must be valid for 6 months
- You have a return ticket
The visa issued is valid for 90 days so within 90 days you must enter Taiwan or else it will expire. Once you’re in Taiwan, you can stay for 30 stays. It is also multiple entry. You can reapply for your next visa 7 days before it expires.
The process is really simple and unbelievably, takes 5-10 minutes.
First go to the website: https://niaspeedy.immigration.gov.tw/nia_southeast
You’ll see this page. Just click your desired language. I chose English.
This is the next page that’ll pop up. Click Next.
Do the same for the other pages until you’ve reached this page.
Then just fill in all the necessary information.
Under Special Requirements : “Number” means your visa number.
Then just click next and it’ll direct you to a page to confirm your information and print the form. I also print a copy of the receipt, just in case.
Don’t be surprised that your Taiwanese Online Visa/Travel Certificate looks sort “unofficial” and looks like something you’d make in a word doc in high school (governments, meh)
Fortunately, travelers have been using this e-visa often enough in the Philippines that airlines won’t give you a hard time. Especially, Cebu Pacific. Upon checking in in NAIA Terminal 3, I just showed them my US tourist visa and the travel certificate. Then I breezed right through.
When I arrived in Taiwan Passport control, I just showed the Taiwanese officer my US visa and the original Taiwanese travel certificate (yes, the one with the dove) or e-visa. He glanced at them and stamped my passport. I had thought they were going to give me a visa sticker or something but that was it.
Easiest visa application I’ve applied for. And that’s something coming from a Filipino who’s always applying for visas.
For more info on Taiwan e-visa, visit their official website:
If you don’t have a valid visa from the developed countries mentioned and want to apply for a Taiwan visa in the consulate, go to this link. I found this is the most detailed post with step by step instructions and pictures.
Note: Please check the Taiwanese website for any changes on the Taiwan online visa. Visa regulations often change.