Taiwan Visa Facts - How To Get a Travel or Work Visa for Teaching English, Resident Visas, Student Visas, ARC
** As of 2004, the Foreign Affairs Police no longer handle visa matters for foreigners. This is handled through the National Immigration Agency of Taiwan. For police matters for foreigners in Taiwan please see this link: http://english.tcpd.taipei.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=983023&CtNode=22854&mp=108002
Taiwan allows for a Visa Exempt Entry or a Landing Visa
30 Day Landing Visa requirements are as follows:
- Holders of emergency or temporary passports with validity more than six months for nationals of those countries eligible for visa-exempt entry.
- A confirmed return air/sea ticket or an air/sea ticket and a visa for the next destination, and a confirmed seat reservation for departure.
- An application form with 1 passport sized photo
- A visa fee of NT$ 1,600 (citizens of countries with reciprocal agreements shall be issued visas gratis) plus a handling fee of NT$ 800.
- The 30 day landing visa is not extendable:
- Passengers entering the Republic of China through the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport may apply for a landing visa at the Visa Office of Consular Affairs Bureau at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
- Passengers who enter the Republic of China through the Taipei SongShan Airport, the Taichung Airport and the Kaohsiung International Airport shall apply for "temporary entry permit" at Border Affairs Corps of National Immigration Agency located at the airport.
- USA Passport holders:
- Holders of USA passport with validity less than six months are eligible for a landing visa.
- Passengers shall apply for a visa at ROC Overseas Missions and be charged US$160 (NT$4,800) .
- Passengers who apply for visas upon arrival at the ports of entry in the ROC shall be charged US$160 (NT$4,800) plus an additional fee of US$24（NT$800）
Foreign nationals, who hold ordinary passports or other legal travel documents and who intend to stay in Taiwan for no more than six months for the purposes of transit; tour; visit relatives; undertake visits; undertake inspection tours; attend international conferences; conduct business; pursue short-term study; undertake short-term employment; undertake short-term missionary work.
This Taiwan visa grants you a lot more flexibility than the 30-day visa-free permit. The visitor visa can be extended twice for a maximum of 180 days. Some overseas missions (Taiwanese consulates/ economic trade offices) will even give you a one, three, or five year multiple-entry visitor visa for Taiwan. These are the best ones leaving many options open! In order to obtain a tourist visa, it must be issued at an overseas Taiwan representative office. This type of visa is valid for stays of up to 60 days. Extension of a tourist visa in Taiwan can be done twice for a maximum stay of 180 days.
The requirements are as follows:
The nationals of the following countries are eligible for the visa exemption program, which permits a duration of stay up to 90 days：Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., U.S.A. and Vatican City State.
The nationals of the following countries are eligible for the visa exemption program, which permits a duration of stay up to 30 days：Australia, Malaysia, Singapore.
The nationals of India, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, who also possess a valid visa or permanent resident certificate issued by U.S.A., Canada, Japan, U.K., Schengen Convention 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 have to apply to the “Advance Online Registration System for the Visitors of Nationals from Five Southeast Asian Countries to Taiwan” of the R.O.C. National Immigration Agency (website: https://nas.immigration.gov.tw/nase) for an "Authorization Certificate" before coming to Taiwan. After completion, the printed-out Certificate can be used by the foreign visitor for boarding the airplane and the immigration inspection. During the immigration inspection, foreign visitors who can not show a valid visa or permanent resident certificate issued by one of the aforementioned countries will not be admitted into the R.O.C. (In case a single-entry visa issued by any of the said countries has already been used, it is invalid.)
A passport with validity of at least six months upon entry .
**visa-exempt entry only applies to foreign visitors holding formal passports (i.e. ordinary, official/service and diplomatic passports), not including those holding emergency, temporary, other informal passports or travel documents.
Japanese passport holders with their passports valid for more than 3 months are eligible for visa-exempt entry.
A confirmed return air/sea ticket or an air/sea ticket and a visa for the next destination, and a confirmed seat reservation for departure.
Non-criminal record and not prohibited by the local authorities to enter the R.O.C.
The duration of stay starts from the next day of arrival and is not extendable. Foreign visitors must depart by the end of the said duration.
Overstay penalty: Fines may be given for overstaying a visitor visa. Go to www.immigration.gov.org for more information.
Getting a Resident Visa requires that an individual qualify for one of the following:
- Employed by a Taiwan employer who has requested a working permit for that individual to be employed in Taiwan
- Married to or getting married to a Taiwanese citizen
- A child of a Taiwanese citizen
- In Taiwan for business/investment purposes
- Studying or learning Mandarin Chinese
- On Missionary work
Individuals may receive a resident before arrival in Taiwan. They then have 15 days upon arrival to apply for the Alien Resident Card (ARC) at the foreign affairs office.
Individuals may also transfer a visitor visa (not a landing visa) to a resident visa after the arrival to Taiwan. The employer must apply for the resident visa through the Immigration Office in Taiwan. Upon receiving the resident visa, the individual goes to the Immigration Office to apply for his/her ARC.
You can find the ARC application form at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offices in every major city. The form can also be found here: http://www.immigration.gov.tw/public/Data/09216474271.pdf.
When applying for or extending your ARC, you must make sure you go to the correct office. For residents in Taipei city, you will need to go to the Guangzhou street location. Residents of New Taipei City will need to go to Banchao. The locations and phone numbers for the various offices around the country can be found here: http://www.immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1091881&CtNode=31676&mp=se05
You can also call the Information for Foreigners hotline at: 0800-024-1111
Taipei and Kaohsiung National Immigration
Unfortunately the website for New Taipei City is woefully outdated. We've grabbed the latest numbers, you might want to click here to check out the google map of the new location: google map
|Taipei City Service Center||No.15, Guangzhou St., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City||02-2388-9393|
|Taipei County Service Center||#135 Ming An St., Zhonghe District, New Taipei City||02-8228-2090|
|Kaohsiung City Service Center||1F. & 7F., No.436, Chenggong 1st Rd., Qianjin Dist., Kaohsiung City||07-2821400（Inquiry Hotline）
07-2213478（Foreigner Consulting Hotline）
07-2810030（Immigrant Assistance and Guidance Hotline）
|Kaohsiung County Service Center||No.115, Gangshan Rd., Gangshan Township, Kaohsiung County||07-6212143、07-6236294、07-6218074、07-6218804、07-6211446|
The New Taipei City location in Zhonghe is not easy but hopefully these directions will help:
- Getting to Zhonghe - route 1: Take the Orange Line to JingAn Station (2nd to last) and then get in a taxi heading West on Zhongzhen Rd.(this follows along under the #64 highway) As the road curves North, you'll need to take a left on MingLe Rd. which will turn into MingAn St. The whole trip should take about 15 minutes, or around NT$130 depending on traffic.
- Getting to Zhonghe - route 2: Take the #307 bus from the Taipei Main Station or from the Banchaio station on the blue MRT line. Once you jump on #307, head South toward MingAn Street. Once you reach MingAn Street (You'll see an 85c coffee shop on the corner), head right if you're coming from the Banchaio area.
- The National Immigration Agency is in a large government complex of buildings that include a major police station and field. Head through the gate at about #135 MingAn St., head up the hill, and then follow the road left when it turns as you will see a set of basketball courts on your left which is part of "Jisui Middle School". Go straight once you make that left. The building is up the hill on the right. The trip will take you at least 45 minutes from Taipei Main Station so be prepared to spend the afternoon searching for it. If you click this link you should see where the building/parking lot entrance is: link to google streetview map.
More information about obtaining an ARC can be found here: http://www.immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1091979&ctNode=31674&mp=se05
Many potential teachers arrive on a student or visitor visa with hopes of finding a job and obtaining a resident visa. The process is not difficult as long as your paperwork is in order. The following are the steps/requirements for getting a teaching job in Taiwan:
- Find a job. There are plenty on the www.englishintaiwan.com classifieds website. You can check out the yahoo group Kaohsiung_living if you are going to be in the Southern city of Kaohsiung. Many schools require a proper resume with a photo and references.
- Bring your original college diploma. The Taiwan Ministry of Education requires a BA/BS for all teaching jobs. (MA for college level.) You must have your original copy.
- A valid passport from an English speaking country. 6 months or more validity.
- A health check. This is required and performed at many hospitals in Taiwan. The cost is about $1,500 TWD. The results take 7- 10 days. This report is part of your application package.
- 1 passport sized photo (2" x 2")
- A signed contract with your employer
- Your previous years’ Taiwan tax statement if you are reapplying for an ARC or changing employers.
- Fee: NT$1000/year max 3 years
* Your employer will collect your information and send the application to the central office in Taipei. If everything is in order, the process takes 7-10 days. Upon receiving your resident visa, you must bring the form to your local immigration office and apply for the ARC. The wait is 10 days and costs about 1,000 TWD. After 10 days, you return to pick up your ARC card.
Chinese is now a popular language to study and Taiwan is a great place to learn. Here are the requirements for student visas in Taiwan:
- A certificate of admission issued by the Chinese language center affiliated to one of the universities or institutions accredited by the Ministry of Education. (original & photocopy)
- Students must outline their plans and motives for studying Chinese.
- Students must show proof of financial support. This can include a banking account balance or foreign remittance copy.
- Completed & signed application form.
- 2 passport-size photos in color taken within the last 6 months.
- An application form downloaded at https://visawebapp.boca.gov.tw.
The following For information on the schools, please visit http://english.moe.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=9693&CtNode=417&mp=1
Any further questions and answers can be found at www.boca.gov.tw. This link here is also good if you're looking for answers to general visa and related questions: http://www.boca.gov.tw/lp.asp?ctNode=787&CtUnit=59&BaseDSD=7&mp=2
Getting married in the ROC is fairly simple but foreign nationals must follow a process in order to have their marriage to a Taiwanese citizen made official in Taiwan. Here are a few things you'll need:
- Criminal background check from your hometown city (this document must be legalized by the ROC consulate or representative office from the foreign spouse's home country
- Signed marriage document or wedding certificate from the courthouse in the city in which you live
- 3 Months of record in the Taiwanese citizen's household transcript ("hukominbu" or "hujitzenben") - sometimes called the household registry
- Passport with at least 6 months validity
- Health Check (this is similar to the health check teachers go through to get a work permit in Taiwan)
More information can be found here: http://www.immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1090287&ctNode=30085&mp=2
Renewing your ARC
When you plan to renew your ARC you will need to take your documents to the National Immigration Agency office where you currently reside. This generally cannot be done more than 30 days before your ARC expires, but exceptions are made. If you are going to be traveling during the time you would normally renew, take a printout of your round-trip airline ticket/eticket along with a letter stating the reason for early renewal.
Before you go to the office be prepared to provide basically the same documents as when you first applied for your ARC. Additionally if you're on a work visa and you were employed during the previous calendar year you may be required to provide up-to-date tax filing records. The fees remain the same for renewals - NT$1000/year.
Your drivers licenses expire with your ARC. Once you renew your ARC you will be able to renew your drivers licenses which should then be valid for the entire duration of your new ARC.
Overstaying Your Visa
In order to avoid penalties you should apply for a visa extension 15 to 30 days prior to expiration.
- Foreign nationals who hold ROC visas should keep track of the validity of their visas and ARCs to avoid penalties.
- Travelers who need to stay past the expiration of their visitor visas should apply for extensions 15 days prior to the expiration.
- Foreign nationals who hold ARCs to join their family should apply for extensions 30 days prior to expiration of their ARCs.
- Travelers who hold ARCs for other purposes should apply to the NIA for an extension 15 days before expiration of their ARCs.
Those who overstay for no more than 30 days may, if their original reason for ARC application (such as employment or joining their family) continues to exist, re-apply for an ARC directly with a county/city service center of the NIA, without having to leave the country. Such persons will, however, receive penalties ranging from NT$2000 to NT$4000. Those who stay past the expiration date of their visitor or residence visa, or order to exit the country, can be deported and be prohibited from re-entering the NIA. Please see the Immigration Act for related regulations.