Immigration is usually hassle free. Fingerprints are electronically scanned on entry and exit, and you will often be asked to provide the address of where you will stay when you first arrive. Most officials speak some English.
Up to US$10,000 in foreign currency (and NT$100,000) may be brought into the country, but there is a limit on goods (clothes, furniture and dried goods) brought in from China. Drug trafficking is punishable by death.
Passengers who are 20 years and older can import the following duty free:
- 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 1lb of tobacco
- one bottle of liquor (up to 1L)
- goods valued at up to NT$20,000 (not including personal effects)
Tourists from most European countries, Canada, USA, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan are given visa-free entry for stays of up to 90 days (www.mofa.gov.tw).
Those coming to Taiwan to study, work or visit relatives for an extended period of time should apply at an overseas mission of the Republic of China (ROC) for a visitor visa, which is good for 60 to 90 days.
If you're planning to stay longer than six months, the law requires you to have an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC). See the Bureau of Consular Affairs (www.boca.gov.tw) website for more information.
- Applications to extend visas should be made at the nearest National Immigration Agency Office (www.immigration.gov.tw).
- Only citizens of the UK and Canada are currently permitted to extend landing visas. They may extend their stay by another 90 days; the application must be made 30 days before the current visa expires.