UPDATE (17 October 2017): Great news! TECO has made an official announcement that beginning 1 November 2017, Philippine passport holders will be able to travel to Taiwan visa-free for stays of up to fourteen (14) days, provided certain conditions are met. The visa-free program will be on a 9-month trial period from 1 November 2017 until 31 July 2018.
If you’re visiting Taiwan this October 2017 or planning on staying for more than 14 days, then you’ll still need to apply for a tourist visa. This post will tell you everything you need to know about the new visa-free program, getting a visa-free travel certificate, an e-visa, or a stamped tourist visa.
To clear up any confusion, it’s important to note that the visa-free program and the visa-free travel certificate are two different things. Beginning November 1, the visa-free program will allow ALL Philippine passport holders, regardless of previous travel experience, to enter Taiwan without a visa. The visa-free travel certificate, which has been in use for several years now, only allows travelers who meet certain requirements to enter Taiwan without a visa.
Many Filipinos have been waiting for this visa-free program for several months now so we’re ecstatic to finally hear the announcement. I’d like to sincerely thank the Taiwanese government for making it easier for Filipinos to visit their beautiful country. As described above, this visa-free program is on trial period for now, so let’s all be responsible travelers and not abuse this privilege so it becomes a permanent thing. Enjoy Taiwan!
Philippine passport holders are eligible for visa-free entry for stays of up to fourteen (14) days, provided the following conditions are met. The visa-free program is on trial period from 1 November 2017 till 31 July 2018.
- The applicant’s passport is valid for at least six months starting from the date of arrival in Taiwan.
- The applicant has an onward/return air/ferry ticket and a visa for that destination (if required).
- The applicant has no criminal record in Taiwan.
- The applicant can provide proof of accommodation (or host/sponsor’s contact information or arrangements of tour, travel, visit, events and meeting etc.) in Taiwan.
IMPORTANT: Travelers who plan on staying in Taiwan for more than fourteen (14) days will need to apply for a tourist visa. Depending on your eligibility, you have the following three (3) options:
VISA-FREE TRAVEL CERTIFICATE
Philippine passport holders may be eligible for the visa-free travel certificate if the following conditions are met:
- The applicant’s passport is valid for at least six months starting from the date of arrival in Taiwan.
- The applicant has an onward/return air/ferry ticket.
- The applicant has never been employed as a blue-collar worker in Taiwan.
In addition, one of the following conditions must also be met:
- You must possess one of these documents issued by the US, CANADA, the UK, JAPAN, KOREA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, and/or any of the SCHENGEN countries:
- Valid resident or permanent resident card
- Valid entry visa (may be electronic visa)
- Visa or resident card that has expired less than ten (10) years prior to the date of arrival in Taiwan
If you meet these requirements, then you can go to their website and fill up the travel authorization certificate form. When done, just print out the certificate and you’re good to go. Applying for the travel certificate is FREE of charge and the whole process takes about 5-10 minutes.
The travel certificate is valid for ninety (90) days and good for multiple entries within those ninety (90) days. You’ll have thirty (30) days of stay starting from the day after your arrival in Taiwan. Be sure to bring the documents listed above along with your travel certificate when entering Taiwan. They won’t let you through without it. You can check out the TECO website for more information regarding the visa-free travel certificate to Taiwan.
If you’re not eligible for visa-free entry, then you can apply for an e-visa online. You don’t have to physically go to TECO anymore. It costs TWD 1,632 to apply for an e-visa and it takes three (3) working days to process. If approved, e-visas are valid for three (3) months from the date of issue and allow you a stay of up to thirty (30) days. This new e-visa policy will be on trial basis for one (1) year. Follow this link to apply for an e-visa to Taiwan. You can check this link as well for frequently asked questions about the Taiwan e-visa.
If you aren’t eligible for visa-free entry or don’t want to apply for an e-visa, then you can apply for a tourist visa through the TECO office.
Step 1: SUBMIT VISA REQUIREMENTS
Here are the basic documents you’ll need to file your application. Please be advised that all documents submitted should be original and with one (1) photocopy.
- Valid Philippine passport. Must have at least 6 months remaining validity. Any old passports showing previous travels can be submitted as well.
- A completed visa application form. Go to their website to fill out the visa application form and print it out. Once you’ve printed the form and signed the last page, you can submit this together with all other requirements to TECO. More details in STEP 2.
- Two (2) 1.5″ x 2″ passport photos against a white background taken within the last three (3) months. Sign the backs of both photos and paste one of them on the form. Put the other one in clear plastic and attach it to the form.
- PSA-issued birth certificate
- PSA-issued marriage certificate. Obviously, this only applies to married applicants. Single applicants can ignore this.
- Certificate of Employment
- Evidence of enrollment at school/college for minors (under 18) or students
- Financial statements (Bank Book or Bank Statements reflecting at least 6 months of transactions)
Applicants over 60 years old who are visiting Taiwan for tourism need not submit documents 6 and 7 above. Also, please note that the requirements for applicants looking to visit relatives in Taiwan are different. You can follow this link for a list of requirements for visas to visit relatives in Taiwan.
If you’ll be traveling on BUSINESS, then you’ll also need to submit the following:
- Certificate of business name registration and SEC registration（if company owner)
- Certificate of Employment (if employed)
- Invitation letter from Taiwanese company/organization in Chinese letterhead clearly outlining purpose of visit and duration of stay
- Request letters from applicant’s company
Step 2: SUBMIT, PAY, & PRAY
You can now submit your application and documents to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. Filing of applications can be done from Monday-Friday, 8:45-11:45AM. Their office is located on the 41st floor of Tower 1, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati. As of 13 May 2017, visa processing fees are as follows:
After submitting your documents and paying, you’ll be given a receipt which you (or a representative) will need to present after three (3) working days to claim your passport. If you have it expedited, then you can get it in one (1) working day. Releasing times are from Monday-Friday, 1:45-4:45PM.
According to TECO, the visa’s validity, number of entries, and duration of stay will be determined by the applicant’s purpose of visit.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
When will the visa-free program begin?
The visa-free program will begin on 1 November 2017 and will be on a 9-month trial period until 31 July 2018. It will allow you a stay of up to fourteen (14) days.
What if I want to stay for more than fourteen (14) days?
If you plan on staying for over fourteen (14) days, then you’ll need to get a tourist visa. You can get either a visa-free travel certificate, an e-visa, or a stamped tourist visa.
What’s the difference between the visa-free program and the visa-free travel certificate?
The visa-free program allows ALL Philippine passport holders to enter Taiwan visa-free regardless of previous travel experience. This is different from the visa-free travel certificate which has been in existence for several years now. Only travelers who meet certain requirements are eligible for the visa-free travel certificate.
How much do I need to have in my bank account to be granted an e-visa or stamped tourist visa?
There’s no official amount. People have said at least PHP 50,000 but there’s no confirmation on this. People have mentioned that they’ve been approved with less. Some have been rejected with more. Your application is contingent on many factors so there’s no amount that can guarantee approval. As long as your application doesn’t raise any red flags and you have enough money to support yourself for the duration of your stay, then you should have a good chance of getting approved.
Do I need to have confirmed flight and hotel bookings?
No, you don’t. Confirmed flight and hotel bookings are not required. On the application form, you can just put down the contact details of the hotel you intend to stay at. It doesn’t have to be a finalized booking. You can always change after you’ve been granted a visa.
Is there an interview?
Not necessarily. You’ll only be asked in for an interview if they have questions about your application, but most people aren’t.
Do I have to go to Manila to apply?
Not anymore. With the implementation of the e-visa, you can now apply online. People outside of Manila used to course it through travel agencies but you don’t have to do that anymore.
I have a tourist visa to Korea that expired 3 years ago. Am I eligible for the visa-free travel certificate?
Yes, you are. As stated above, you’re eligible for visa-free entry if your tourist visa or resident card to the US, CANADA, the UK, JAPAN, KOREA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, and/or any of the SCHENGEN countries expired less than ten (10) years prior to your arrival in Taiwan.
I have a tourist visa to Japan that expired 5 years ago. Am I eligible for the visa-free travel certificate?
See above. 🙄
I have a tourist visa to Australia that expired 7 yea…
Ok, that’s enough questions for today. 😡
Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in the Philippines
41F, Tower 1, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati
Tel: +632 887-6688
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:45AM-4:45PM
Filing: Mon-Fri, 8:45-11:45AM
Releasing: Mon-Fri, 1:45-4:45PM
I’m not an expert on Taiwan tourist visas. Like you, I’m just a traveler. I’ll try to help as much as I can but please understand that my knowledge is finite and limited to my experience only. Unless otherwise noted, all requirements listed above were valid at the time of my application. Please be sure to check the embassy’s WEBSITE for updates. If you need answers to any pressing issues, then it’s best that you call the embassy directly.
For travel tips to Taipei, check out our First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Taipei, Taiwan.
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