Taiwan Visa Application
10 invaluable tips to help you get the infamous multiple-entry, extendable tourist visa
Why write another page about this visa?
(the first page is here)
Since I began this website two years ago, I've received tons of emails asking me the same questions over and over again about Taiwanese visas:
- Where should I get a Taiwanese visa?
- What kind of visa should I get?
- How much does a visa to Taiwan cost?
- Can I work in Taiwan on a visitor visa?
- Where can I get a Taiwan visa application form? (here!)
You can get answers to these Taiwan Visa questions on this page.
I've also had some emails from people who told me they applied for the multiple-entry, extendable visa and got their applications rejected, or they couldn't get more than a single-entry, non-extendable one-month visa. This is a problem if your intention is to look for a job, and/or you don't want to do visa runs to Hong-Kong every 30 days.
I wrote the following tips to help you with your Taiwan visa application experience and I guarantee you'll get what you want if you follow these recommendations.
1- How should you dress?
Dress neatly if you're going to be applying in person at one of the Taiwanese consulates in your country. Cover your tattoos, take off your sunglasses, cap, piercings on your face...
The people who issue those visas are usually in the room right behind the counter where you'll drop the application form. How they feel about you is key to getting your visa - and the way you look will influence their feelings.
Appearance is so crucial in Chinese/Taiwanese society. You should consider yourself already in Taiwan when you get to the Taiwanese consulate.
Sidebar: When I say Taiwanese consulate or Taiwanese embassy on this page, I refer to the Taipei Trade and Cultural Offices that issue Taiwanese visas in foreign countries. Taiwan isn't considered to be a real country by most governments around the world and that's why they can't have proper embassies abroad.
2- How should you act?
Be as polite as possible with everyone and put a big, sincere smile on your face. Yes, even with the stressed clerks who will yell at you for not having filled a line on the visa application form or for not having the right kind of pictures.
3- Time to show off your Chinese!
Know how to say hello and thank you in Chinese. I'm not kidding! The people who work in those Taiwanese embassies are very often Taiwanese people who were sent oversea to do a government job they don't like. The people they meet day in and day out don't usually take the time to show them respect or even say hi. These little things do make a difference. Here's how to say hello and thank you in Mandarin Chinese: hello is ni hao and thank you is xie xie.
4- Don't ask for change!
Have the exact amount of money required for the type of visa you're applying for. Don't ask for change. Maybe they do have some change but the point here is to try to make it as smooth as possible for the lady at the counter.
5- Address and phone number please...
If you know someone in Taiwan, get that person's address and phone number in Taiwan. You'll need to provide these two pieces of information on the application form. Some people have told me they gave addresses and phone numbers of hotels and still got their visas.
6- Give them the right contacts
On the Taiwan visa application form, in the contact section, only give phone numbers of people who will actually answer when the consulate calls them. One time, the director of the Taiwanese consulate in Canada called me and said that one of the contacts I had provided was not reachable. I gave him the number of another friend, they called and asked him if he knew why I was going to Taiwan. My friend said I was going there to travel around and they gave me a one-year, multiple-entry visitor visa right away.
7- Say cheese!
Have the right kind of pictures. In order to get your Taiwanese visa for traveler, you'll need to provide 2 identical, color, passport-size photos (3.5 x 4.5 cm). You can get them in any drugstore or photo studio. No, you cannot print them yourself from home on normal, cheap paper!
8- Visit your bank
Get a bank statement that shows how much money you've got. Some people say that 3000US$ is enough, but I highly suggest you get at least 5000US$ in there, just to be sure.
You don't have the money? No problem! Borrow it, put it in your account, ask for a statement on a nice A4 sheet of paper, withdraw the money, give it back to whoever you borrowed it from. Easy! Last time, that's what I did with my mom and it took only 10 minutes to do the whole thing.
Make sure your name is on the bank statement!
And don't give them a month-old statement. It has to be recent. If you want to make it look even more official, ask the bank clerk (or anyone else at the bank) to sign the paper or to stamp some seals...
9- The letter
Write a letter that explains why you want to have an extendable, multiple-entry visa to Taiwan. Simply say that you've got some friends in Taiwan, you're interested in Chinese culture, you want to travel around Taiwan and you'll probably be traveling to other countries around Asia as well.
10- Fill out the entire form
Complete the entire application form! Don't leave any field empty. They will reject your application right away if you don't write all the information required.
If there's a question you're not sure about, ask the clerk if you're writing it at the Taiwan Trade Office, or contact me and I'll be glad to help!
That's it! This was my Taiwan visa application magic formula! It has helped hundreds of people get their visa for Taiwan and I'm sure you'll get yours if you follow these ideas.
Good luck and have a nice trip to Taiwan!
P.S.: Have you booked your hotel in Taiwan yet?
Maybe you don't need a visa to Taiwan... Check out this visa-free entry permit! Yes, it's free and it's good for up to 30 days.
Understand the basics about the 60-day Taiwan Tourist (visitor) Visa.