Whether you prefer hiking mountains, exploring temples or soaking in hot springs, Taiwan is an island of endless temptations.

Asia’s most vibrant democracy is also relatively relaxed when it comes to immigration rules, in contrast to the more onerous visa policies of China across the strait. Generally speaking, the visa requirements for entering Taiwan will depend on your nationality along with any prevailing restrictions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s our guide to Taiwan’s entry requirements, with all the information you need on visa types and procedures.

COVID-19 and Taiwan visa requirements

Robust, strict and highly organized in the face of the pandemic, Taiwan has remained largely closed to overseas tourists since the outbreak began. In April 2022, the rules were relaxed slightly to permit foreign business travelers, overseas students, relatives of Taiwan nationals, foreigners with Alien Resident Certificates and blue-collar migrant workers from some neighboring countries to apply for a visa. However, leisure travelers are still unable to visit, and as of July 2022 there is no reopening date set. 

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Visa-free entry to Taiwan

Outside of pandemic-control periods, tourists from most European countries, Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea and Japan (along with a scattering of other nations) can enjoy visa-free entry to Taiwan for stays of up to 90 days. Tourists from a number of other nations including Singapore and Malaysia are permitted 30 days of visa-free travel.

Tourists from most other countries will need to apply for a Visitor Visa. Citizens of mainland China are required to apply for a special type of travel permit.

All visa-exempt travelers need a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and two blank pages for the entry and exit stamps. Upon arrival, you will also need to show a confirmed travel ticket with your itinerary for departing Taiwan before the end of your visa-free travel period. 

A cyclist pedals past the ornate gate of Longshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan
In non-COVID times, tourists from many European, North American and other countries can enjoy visa-free entry to Taiwan for stays of up to 90 days © LMspencer / Shutterstock

Extending your visa-free stay

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, visitors from Canada and the UK only were able to extend their visa-free stay in-country by 90 days up (to a maximum of 180 days). Applications to extend visas can be made in Taiwan at the nearest National Immigration Agency Office.

Study, work and visitor visas for Taiwan

If you plan to go to Taiwan to work, study or visit relatives for an extended period of time, you can apply at an overseas mission of the ROC (Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name) in your home country for either a Visitor Visa (for a single entry, and for periods of less than six months) or a Resident Visa for longer stays. Note that there is no dedicated student visa category in Taiwan. 

Visitor Visas cost approximately US$50 (this varies from country to country), while Resident Visas cost approximately US$100.

Opportunities also exist for citizens of many of the same countries covered by visa-free travel to apply for a visa under Taiwan’s Working Holidays Scheme, targeted at those between the ages of 18 and 30. For stints of up to 12 months, the scheme permits the holder to work during their stay – subject to a few restrictions, such as not remaining with a single employer for more than 3 months. 

Visit the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ helpful website for the latest information on entry restrictions and visa requirements © Shawn.ccf / Shutterstock

A useful resource for all you need to know about visas for Taiwan

Your first port of call when considering any kind of travel to Taiwan should be the Consular Affairs section of the MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) website for Taiwan. Here, you can find a list of Taiwan’s embassies and missions abroad, along with a dedicated section on visas showing the very latest requirements and regulations (under “News and Events”). You’ll also find links to the online visa-application forms you will need to fill out and either post to your nearest Taiwan overseas mission or present in person, along with the list necessary supporting documents depending on the visa type.