Earlier this year, news of visa-free entry to Taiwan broke out and caused quite a stir among globetrotting Filipinos. News of its postponement immediately followed but with the promise of updates being released this month. However, while waiting for news of absolutely visa-free travel to Taiwan, there is still a way for some Filipinos to enter Taiwan without having to pay visa fees – provided some requirements were met, of course. In this post, I will enumerate the steps on how to avail visa-free entry to Taiwan for Philippine passport holders.
Visa-Free Entry to Taiwan for Philippine Passport Holders
As of June 1, 2017, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines has laid out updated guidelines when it comes to visa-free entry to Taiwan for Philippine passport holders (as well as for citizens of India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos). For tourism or short-stay visits, an ROC Travel Authorization Certificate will be issued if the following basic requirements are met:
- The applicant’s passport must have remaining validity of at least six months starting from the date of arrival in Taiwan.
- The applicant must possess an onward/return air or ferry ticket.
- The applicant has never been employed as a blue-collar worker in Taiwan.
as well as one of the following conditions:
- The applicant possesses at least one of the following documents issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States:
- Valid resident or permanent resident card.
- Valid entry visa (may be electronic visa, which should be printed out).
- Resident card or visa that has expired less than 10 years prior to the date of arrival in Taiwan.
- The applicant possesses a visa or resident card issued by R.O.C. (Taiwan) over the last 10 years and has had no evidence of past immigration irregularities or violations in Taiwan. However, holders of the R.O.C. (Taiwan) visas bearing a remark of “FL” (foreign labor) or “X” (others) and resident cards with the purpose of “Foreign Labor” are not eligible for an ROC Travel Authorization Certificate.
In short, you get to avail visa-free entry to Taiwan if you were previously able to secure a visa from OECD countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States) within the past 10 years.
In addition, the following guidelines were issued:
- Application can only be applied individually. No group or family filing will be accepted nor acknowledged.
- An approved ROC Travel Authorization Certificate is valid for 90 days. Multiple entries within these 90 days are allowed. The holder of an ROC Travel Authorization Certificate may stay in Taiwan for 30 days, starting from the day after arrival. If the holder wishes to apply for another ROC Travel Authorization Certificate, he or she must do so seven days prior to the expiry of the current certificate.
- If any mistake is made during the online application process, the applicant may submit a new application.
- Online applications can only be made by persons holding valid regular passports. Persons holding temporary, emergency, or informal passports, or travel documents other than a passport, cannot submit online applications.
- The visas in the aforementioned list of required documents do not include work permits.
- Holders of the aforementioned visas bearing a stamp of VOID, CANCELLED or CANCELLED WITHOUT PREJUDICE are not eligible for an ROC Travel Authorization Certificate.
- Holders of resident card or visa that has expired less than 10 years have to check that the validity date of documents should be less than 10 years prior to the date of arrival in Taiwan. If there is no validity date on documents, please check issue date.
- Applicants who hold permanent resident cards with no expiry date may enter 9999 for year, 12 for month and 31 for day in the Date field.
- Once the application has been approved, the applicant is kindly requested to print out the ROC Travel Authorization Certificate. The applicant must present the certificate and the required documents for inspection when entering Taiwan. Entry will be denied if the required documents are not produced.
To apply for the ROC Travel Authorization Certificate, go to this page, fill out the application form, key in the validation code and print your certificate. Printing your certificate is a very important step since it will not be sent to your email address. Needless to say, you need a hard copy of the Certificate to clear immigration. Here are some screenshots of the steps and information needed:
The ROC Travel Authorization Certificate should look like this:
Note: The ROC Travel Authorization Certificate is required for both arrival and departure immigration inspection in Taiwan. It is valid for multiple entry within the period of 90 days after its application and for a duration of stay of 30 days upon arrival. If it is not used before its expiry date, a new one must be issued.
On the day of our departure for Taiwan, the Cebu Pacific staff checked our Travel Authorization Certificate during check-in. They were able to note that my friend had a typo on her passport details so they asked her to apply for a new Certificate and email them the copy Then they printed it out for her. It was really nice of them to this and we really appreciated this. This resulted to another hassle-free immigration check here in the Philippines and also when we got to Taiwan. Later on, during our departure from Taipei, the immigration officials no longer asked to see the certificates.
Taiwan Visa for a Fee for Philippine Passport Holders
Meanwhile, for those who were not able to meet the requirements mentioned above, other forms of visas are available, but all for a fee. You can check them out here, whose landing page looks like this:
Well, that’s it for now. Hopefully, we’d soon receive further news on visa-free entry to Taiwan for Philippine passport holders.