Types of Visas Taiwan
1. Taiwan Visitor Visa
This will allow you to stay in Taiwan for 60 or 90 days. If you decide to work or study in Taiwan, it is possible to change the Visitor Visa into a Resident Visa and not have to leave Taiwan.
2. Taiwan Resident Visa
If you obtain a Resident Visa then you can live in Taiwan for 12 months and can be renewed if you continue to be employed or continue to study.
Once you have the Resident Visa then your employer/place of study can help you apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).
The ARC means you are legally allowed to stay in Taiwan. The ARC can be renewed every year if you continue to be employed or study and you do not need to leave Taiwan.
A Resident Visa enables you to buy a motorcycle, open a bank account, get a library card and get a driver’s license.
3. Taiwan Exempt Entry, Landing Visa and Student Visa
If you plan to stay in Taiwan for no more than 30 days (90 days for UK Nationals) then you do not need a visa.
Simply fill out a landing card, and you are allowed to stay in Taiwan Visa Free for 30 days (90 days for UK Nationals).
If you decide to stay longer, then this cannot be extended, you must leave the country before expiration and return on a new visa.
If you enter Taiwan on a Landing Visa, and you are in the process of obtaining a Resident Visa, and your Resident Visa does not arrive in time then you will need to leave Taiwan and re-enter Taiwan.
These Visas normally last for 30 days. If you are from the UK then an Exempt Entry Visa allows you 90 days.
UPDATE: The European Union is in the process of changing visa requirements for Taiwan Nationals to allow them “No Visa” entry (to match the UK).
After this goes through, it is likely that Taiwan will follow suit and allow 90 days “No Visa” Entry for European Nationals.
Taiwan Visa Runs
A visa run is needed if you are living in Taiwan, do not have an ARC, and you need to leave Taiwan before your visa expires, returning on new visa / visa exempt entry.
This is very common in Taiwan for people that want to travel longer, or have found work or study, but the paperwork has not come through.
Here are our top 4 tips on how to do a Visa Run as cheaply and as quick as possible:
1. Leave Taiwan and re-enter Taiwan on the same day. Sometimes this may be cheaper as you don’t have the extra cost of a hotel or any transfer costs. It is simple: Leave Taiwan-get your passport stamped-then turn around and come back in to Taiwan. You do not need to bring any luggage with you either which speeds up checking in and out dramatically.
2. Take the MRT (Metro/Underground) to and from the airport. For example, in Kaohsiung, the Metro only costs NT$40 one way and only takes 20 minutes to get to Kaohsiung City. As opposed to a taxi which will cost about NT$400 and take at least twice as long.
3. Most common destination is to Hong Kong – if speed is of the essence. A flight from Kaohsiung will cost about NT$6500 – NT$10,000 and the flight is only one and a half hours. If time is not such an issue then Bangkok would be a good option. Simply because flights can be quite cheap and hotels and food are much cheaper than Hong Kong. Other destinations you may consider are Singapore, Macau, or Manila.
4. Flights from Taipei are usually cheaper than Kaohsiung. However, if you are living in Kaohsiung, the time save and convenience usually make Kaohsiung International Airport worth the extra cost.