When Filipinos think of trips abroad, we usually think of Hong Kong, Singapore or Thailand first. We don’t normally think Taiwan for tourism, but let me tell you: it’s worth skipping the mainstream tourist destinations and try Taipei for a change.
Cebu Pacific is offering more Manila-Taipei flights and a Cebu-Taipei route starting this December 2015! No excuse to skip Taipei now, it’s a totally underrated and beautiful country. A foodie will die happy in Taiwan– the country is best known for its gluttony (I’ll get to this on a future blog post).
To get to Taiwan, Philippine Passport Holders need a Taiwan visa. I was able to bypass application for a Taiwan visa because I was eligible for visa exemption!
I. What is a Travel Exemption Certificate?
You can get a visa-free entry to Taiwan by availing of the ROC Travel Authorization certificate, which allows you to bypass the need for a Taiwan visa. The visa exemption allows travelers to stay in Taiwan for up to 30 days.
The certificate has to be printed out and presented by the foreign visitor upon immigration inspection, along with other requirements ready for immigration inspection. Failure to present the valid documents will not be admitted into Taiwan.
If you are not eligible for visa exemption, refer to my post on How to Apply for Taiwan Visa for Philippine Passport Holders.
- Valid Philippine Passport. Nationals of the Philippines, India, Thailand and Vietnam can apply for the visa exemption if they meet all said requirements
- Valid visa or a permanent resident certificate to the following countries: US, UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Schengen countries.
- Online Application form to be filled out here.
III. Waiting Period
What do you mean, waiting period? You immediately get your travel certificate after filling out the online form, in 5 seconds (or, depends on your internet connection)! It is then ready to print out and use for your travels.
IV. Other Important Reminders
- Print out your visa exemption certificate, and in color.
- Expiry of the visa exemption certificate is only valid for one month after application’s approval. Online application and approval is instant, so you can do it a few days before your trip. I applied mine a few months back only to realize during my packing that my exemption certificate has expired. I had to reapply for it a day before my trip–I instantly received it without any problems.
- Make sure to bring your valid US/UK/Schengen visa to present to immigration. I normally only bring my most recent passport, but since my 10-year US tourist visa is in my old green passport, I brought that along as well.
- A single entry visa becomes invalid once it’s already been used. However, it may be deemed acceptable to immigration inspection if: 1., visa holder arrives in Taiwan before the expiration date, and 2., if on the same continuing journey, the visa holder uses it on the issuing country before arriving Taiwan.