Last Updated: March 20, 2017
In the later months of 2016, news about being able to travel Taiwan visa free (!!!) as long as you fit certain criteria made the rounds in social media. Within a few days, some budget airlines already announced sales going to Taiwan. With no travel plans for 2017 yet, my friends and I decided we are the we-go-where-cheap-plane-tickets-go kind of travelers. So, yes, we booked tickets for Taiwan’s spring season. I mean, really? Cheap tickets + cherry blossoms + NO VISA? Count us in!
Since I just came back from my Taiwan trip a week ago, I decided to create this step-by-step guide on how to be exempted from applying for a tourist visa for Filipinos – but I will also share how to get a visa if you didn’t fit their exemptions criteria below.
If you are a citizen of the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, or Laos, you can be eligible to enter Taiwan VISA-free and instead opt to have a ROC visa exemption travel certificate. I’ll be focusing more on the Philippines travel certificate. But, as far as I know, same conditions would be asked for the other Asian countries.
To be eligible for an ROC travel authorization certificate, the following conditions must be met:
- 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 (E-VISA is considered)
- Resident card or visa that has expired less than 10 years prior to the date of arrival in Taiwan
Yep, even expired VISA counts! Visa all the way from 2011 can grant you a travel certificate. 🙂
Now, if you qualify for from the above conditions, you can go apply for a Taiwan travel authorization certificate. This is really easy, can be done in ten minutes, and requires no other effort other than going online. Make sure you have your passport and VISA (from other countries) right by your side and let’s get started.
1. Go to the online application form.
You’ll be directed to this page. You can choose whatever language you want, but for the sake of this tutorial and being one of only two languages I know out of all of them, I’m clicking English. Lol.
2. Fill out all the required fields in the application form.
The application form is pretty straight forward. And yup, that’s the entire application form.
I used my South Korea tourist visa to fill up the form – lol, as if I own any other visa. I had no idea which one is the visa number but thankfully Patricia linked me to this blog that showed which one is the visa number. If you’re too lazy to visit that page, the Korea tourist visa number is the one in the upper right. Yup, the whole two lines starting from PH.
3. Review the information you have placed in the form then submit it.
Double check everything on the form. Immigration on the Philippines and Taiwan part would go smoothly as long as your travel certificate matches what’s in your passport and visa.
4. Print it out.
I’m not quite sure if there is actually an online check since the travel certificate is approved within seconds. But yup, double check it again and print out your travel certificate.
I have to present my travel certificate at the check-in counter and both immigration in the Philippines and Taiwan. Make sure the info in your travel certificate matches your passport number and visa number – I can’t stress this enough. Along with your travel certificate, you should also have your passport and return ticket with you.
Notes to consider:
- Application can only be applied individually. No group or family filing will be accepted nor acknowledged.
- Holders of the aforementioned visas bearing a stamp of VOID, CANCELLED or CANCELLED WITHOUT PREJUDICE and failed to present a renewed or updated visa, are not eligible for an R.O.C. Travel Authorization Certificate.
- The visas in the aforementioned list of required documents do not include work permits.
- Applicants who hold permanent resident cards with no expiry date may enter 9999 for year, 12 for month and 31 for day in the Date field.
- If any mistake is made during the online application process, the applicant may submit a new application.
- An approved ROC Travel Authorization Certificate is valid for 90 days. Multiple entries within these 90 days are allowed. The holder of an ROC Travel Authorization Certificate may stay in Taiwan for 30 days, starting from the day after arrival. If the holder wishes to apply for another ROC Travel Authorization Certificate, he or she must do so seven days prior to the expiry of the current certificate.
For those wanting to visit Taiwan and is not eligible for a visa free entry, you can apply for a visa the old fashioned way. Taiwan tourist visa are usually good for a single-entry only and you will be allowed a maximum stay of 14 days. The validity of the visa is good for 90 days so you can apply as early as three months from your intended stay. I’m suggesting to apply maybe 1-2 months though.
1. Fill out the online visa application form.
Click the General Visa Application link – you would see the form I screenshotted below. I would suggest reading the Q & A before that.
Make sure you got everything filled up. Write N/A if you need to. AND, never lie to your application form. They can check that based on the documents you’ll be submitting!
2. Complete the following documents.
- A print out of the application form above with the last page signed. Be sure to submit the documents within fifteen (15) days of filling up the application form or else you have to re-do it.
- Two passport size photos 1.5”x2” with white background – photos should be taken w/in the last 3 months.
- Valid Philippine passport – by valid, that means that it should have at least 6 months of validity. You can also bring your old passport to show your travel history.
- Birth Certificate issued by NSO
- Marriage Contract issued by NSO – obviously only applicable if you’re married. It’s only required if you’re female, too.
- Certificate of Employment – I would suggest making sure that your compensation is included in the CoE, along with how long you have stayed in the company and your position.
- Financial statements – bank book or bank statements would do.
You can also submit supporting documents like more bank statements, pay slips, plane tickets, hotel reservations, etc. Applicants over 60 years old who are visiting Taiwan for tourism does not need to submit a certificate of employment and financial statements.
All documents you’ll be submitting should be original with one (1) photocopy.
3. Submit your documents and pay the visa processing fee.
You can submit your application from Monday to Friday, 8:45 AM to 11:45 AM in Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines. It’s located at 41F, Tower 1, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City.
Single entry visa fee is worth PHP2400 while multiple entry visa fee is worth PHP4800. It takes three (3) working days to process the visa but you can pay for a rush handling fee of PHP1200 to have it processed in one day.
4. Pray and hope it’s approved when you claim it.
Like I said, it takes three days to process the visa unless you want it rushed. Claiming is Monday to Friday, from 01:45 PM to 4:45 PM. You will claim it at TECO as well.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of China (Taiwan) has announced that starting from October 7, 2016, Philippine passport holders who wish to travel to Taiwan are now eligible to apply for an E-visa (online visa). This simplified visa policy will facilitate the processing and save applicant’s time, traffic hassles, and economic cost. The applicant doesn’t need to physically appear in the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines. Unfortunately, there’s still a non-refundable fee that you pay using your credit card.
If approved, applicants are required to present the print-out of the e-visa at the immigration. The e-visa will be valid for three (3) months upon approval with duration of stay up to thirty (30) days.
This is still on trial basis for 1 year. So we’re not exactly sure until when we can apply for an e-visa or if it’ll be a permanent option for those planning to visit Taiwan.
To apply for an e-visa, click here: http://www.roc-taiwan.org/ph_en/post/1933.html
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines
41F, Tower 1, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Telephone: +63 2 887-6688
That’s it for the three ways we can get the proper documents to be able to visit Taiwan legally!