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At the time of writing citizens of the following countries could enter Taiwan without a visa and stay for 30 days (this period cannot be extended under any circumstances) : Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.

Those coming to Taiwan to study, work or visit relatives for an extended period of time should apply at an overseas mission of the ROC for a visitor visa good for 60 to 90 days. These can be extended up to six months under certain circumstances at the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA; 0800 085 078; www.boca.gov.tw; Hualien 03-833 1041; 6th fl, 371 Jungshan Rd; Kaohsiung 07-211 0605; 2nd fl, 436 Chenggung-1st Rd; Taichung 04-2251 0799; 1st fl, 503 Liming Rd, sec.2; Taipei 02-2343 2888; 3rd-5th fl, 2-2 Jinan Rd, sec.1).

BOCA requires anyone entering Taiwan to have a passport valid for at least six months, a ticket and/or seat reservation for departure from Taiwan and no criminal record.

Citizens of countries not listed here can find information on various visa requirements via the mission in their country or on the bureau’s website. The website also contains advice on procedures and requirements for changing visa status, for example from student to resident.

If you’re planning to stay longer than three months and work in Taiwan, the law requires you to have an ARC. However, if you’re an Australian or New Zealander aged 18 to 30, you may obtain a working holiday visa, which enables you to undertake short-term, part-time work in Taiwan for one year. This scheme was introduced in 2004 though we have not heard many positive things about it.