Getting a visa to Taiwan used to be a tedious and expensive process for Philippine passport holders.
What many don’t know, however, is that Taiwan has simplified its visa requirements for Filipinos so we can easily enjoy the amazing mix of modernity, culture, and well-preserved nature that our closest neighbor in the north has to offer.
There are several ways by which Philippine passport holders may gain entry to Taiwan. It can be through a:
1) Visa-free certificate or travel authorization certificate
While getting a travel authorization certificate is the easiest way to go, Filipino travellers need to meet some criteria before they can be granted a visa exemption.
You will need to have any of the following documents issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, and the United States: 1) a valid resident or permanent resident card; 2) a valid entry visa (electronic visa included); or 3) a resident card or visa that has expired less than 10 years prior to the date of arrival in Taiwan.
Applicants who qualify for visa exemption can apply online here. https://niaspeedy.immigration.gov.tw/nia_southeast/
Filipinos who apply for a Republic of China (Taiwan) Travel Authorization Certificate must also meet the following conditions:
- Should have a passport with remaining validity of at least six months starting from the date of arrival in Taiwan
- Possess an onward/return air or ferry ticket
- Have never been employed as a blue-collar worker in Taiwan
The travel authorization certificate is free and allows multiple entries to Taiwan valid for 3 months with every stay lasting up to 30 days.
2) E-visa (Online visa)
If you don’t quality for an exemption, the next easiest thing will be to apply for an online visa. The application is done online through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines website.
This entails filling up an e-visa application form here and paying the fee of about P2,500 by credit card or other online payment methods like PayMaya.
Since we didn’t quality for a Taiwan travel certificate, my husband and I applied for an e-visa. It was quick, completing the Taiwan e-visa form and paying for it took around 15 minutes, and we were notified of the approval of our e-visa application by email the very next day.
For the e-visa, the form will ask for details like trip schedule, Taiwan address (can be address of your hotel or AirBNB accommodation), and name as well as contact number of your friend in Taiwan.
Implemented starting in October 2016, the simplified visa policy is cheaper and more convenient for those living outside of Manila since they don’t have to physically appear at TECO.
The e-visa applies to Taiwan visitors who want to go there for the following reasons: tourism, business, visiting relatives, attending international conference, participating in sport events.
3) Regular visa stamped in passport
The regular visa applies as well to travellers going to Taiwan for the above mentioned reasons as well as for: white-collar employment/ investment/ internship/business training/ entrepreneurs/cooks; studying Chinese, seafarer; religious work; bachelor’s degree, master’s, and doctorate studies; minors under 20 who are joining their parents; Filipino nationals married to ROC nationals; joining spouse or parents holding a Taiwan alien residence certificate.
The requirements differ for the various travel purposes so make sure you have the correct list for your visitor or resident visa needs.
4) Simplified visa regulations for high-end tourist groups
The visa requirements are simplified as well for tour groups from the Philippines organized by travel agencies accredited by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.
For such groups, proof of occupation and supporting financial documents are waived.
Taiwan said the visa relaxing measures are intended to enhance travel between Taiwan and the Philippines and promote bilateral ties between the two countries.