When my friends and I were planning a trip this year to Taiwan, we were pressed for time because back then the visa-free entry to Taiwan for Filipino travelers was only set until the end of July. Therefore, we needed to book a flight before that or some of us will have to apply for a visa, which can be a hassle most of the time. That also meant added cost if the application is made via a travel agency. Although we were talking back then that there is a huge chance that the Taiwanese Embassy might extend it, we didn’t want to risk it so we still booked ahead of time.
Yet, we called it. We believed that as long as there are no major concerns, the Taiwanese Embassy might extend the trial period and they did.
The trial visa-free travel to Taiwan for Philippine passport holders will be extended for another year, until July 31, 2019, according to a report from ABS-CBN. This also includes passport holders from Thailand and Brunei. All three countries will have a visa-free entry for a maximum of 14 days per visit. The announcement was quoted from Chang Ching-sen, a Taiwanese minister without portfolio.
This move is to continue boosting the tourism in Taiwan. The visa-free travel trial period for Philippine passport holders started in November 2017 and it was set for nine months. Since its effectivity in November, 290,000 Filipinos visited Taiwan, which showed a significant increase compared to 172,000 from the previous year.
According to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), a Filipino visa-free visitor must meet the following requirements:
- An ordinary/regular passport with remaining validity of at least six months from the date of entry (diplomatic & official passport holders are not eligible for visa-free treatment);
- A return ticket or a ticket for the traveler’s next destination and a visa for that destination if it is required;
- No criminal record in Taiwan;
- A proof of accommodation (hotel) booking or host/sponsor’s contact information or arrangements of tour, travel, visit, events and meeting, etc.
Since November 2017, I’ve traveled a couple of times to Taiwan and we are really visa-exempt. All I had to do is make sure that I meet the following requirements above and fill-up the landing form. I didn’t fill up any special forms or had to go through a separate process. I just ticked visa-exempt on the visa type.
So, are your ready to head to the land of night markets, pineapple cake, stinky tofu, xiao long bao, and Taipei 101? 🙂