Up to 30 (or 90) days of stay: no Taiwan visa is required as you are entitled to the "Visa-Exempted Entry".
A "Visitor Visa" is required for more than 30 (or 90) days. There are different kind of Visitor Visa depending on the reasons of the travel: tourism, business, work, study, marriage, joining family, etc.
The "Resident Visa" is issued for stays longer than 6 months.
More in detail:
Passport holders of the following countries can stay in Taiwan up to 90 days without a Taiwan Visa:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K. , and Vatican City State.
Persons from these countries can stay up to 30 days without visa:
Australia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and U.S.A.
Also citizens of India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia are not required a Taiwan visa if they are permanent resident of countries such as USA, Australia, Canada, European Union. Anyway better to check with your country Taiwan Consulate or on the official website.
Very simple, only:
your passport, valid at least 6 months;
a confirmed return ticket out of Taiwan within 30 (or 90) days.
Arriving in Taiwan the immigration officer will check your passport and will apply the stamp you can see in the picture above. No fee will be required.
Years ago, before I got married, I entered Taiwan several times in this way. No one ever asked me anything.
meet friends and relatives;
attend business meetings, trade fairs, visit suppliers or customers, etc;
attend short learning courses.
All these activities within the 30 (or 90) days limit. Of course, you are not allowed to work!
The 30 days limit is not extendable.
So, if you fall in love for Taiwan at the first sight (or, more likely, for a taiwanese) and you want to stay more, you have to go out of the country first and then come back - and start again one more 30 days period.
In this case you can take the chance to apply for a Taiwan visa in the nearest Taiwan Office, as Hong Kong or Okinawa.
If you are eligible for 90 days of visa-exempted entry, you might be able to extend this limit in Taiwan. Read how in this official document from the Taiwan Bureau of Consular Affairs.
You have to apply for this visa if you want to stay more than 30 days (or, again, 90).
The Visitor Visa is normally valid 60 days and you can extend it in Taiwan two more times - up to 180 days - unless your visa has the fine print "no extension will be granted" - check first and ask the consulate if your intention is to stay more.
The Taiwan Visitor Visa is issued for different reasons as tourism, business, study, work, joining family, etc.
You normally need to provide these documents:
Your passport with not less than 6 months validity
2 passport photos
Documents related to the kind of visa you apply (school enrollement certificate, company letter, etc)
The Taiwan Office could ask for further documents, such as a bank statement, a return ticket or else.
The Visitor Visa can be single or multiple entry - that means you can stay more periods in Taiwan, each time still up to 60 days.
I have heard about people who have been granted this kind of visa with 1 or even 5 years validity.
With this "long term visitor visa" you can stay up to 5 years in Taiwan, provided you leave the country every 60 days - you just have to do a short trip to Hong Kong and come back to Taiwan.
I never had this kind of long term visitor visa - i believe that only the citizens of countries, as USA, that give the same kind of long term visas to Taiwanese can benefit.
Normally Taiwan policy, regarding visa and other foreign relationship matters, is based on "reciprocity" - that is ... tit for tat.
You need to apply for the Resident Visa if you want to stay more than 180 days (normally) or indefinitely. Most of times this visa is given for employment, study or, in my case, marriage.
You can apply for the Resident Visa overseas or in Taiwan. In this case you are required to enter Taiwan with a valid Visitor Visa.
When you are in Taiwan with your Resident Visa you must apply before 15 days for the so called ARC (Alien Resident Certificate).
The ARC is a kind of ID card for foreigners. With the ARC you can enjoy the absolutely superb national health insurance, open a bank account, apply for the driving license and many other things.
For the sake of simplicity, i use the words "embassy" and "consulate" regarding Taiwan missions abroad.
But, if you are going to look in the Yellow Pages for the Taiwan Embassy in your country, you will be out of luck. There will be no Taiwan Embassy.
Since Taiwan is not recognized by most of countries (and by none of the larger countries), Taiwan diplomatic missions are not called "embassies" or "consulates".
In English are often called TECO (Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office). Here you will find the official list of Taiwan diplomatic missions overseas.
You can apply for your Taiwan visa, if needed, in one of them. As i said, better the one in your own country.
I always suggest you to ask them - actually they are the people that have the power to give or not your visa - or to your trusted travel agency.
My informations, even if based on my own personal experience, could be not updated or even wrong. I am not a travel agency and not a visa agency.
A huge source of advice and informations, about visas and other aspects of Taiwan life, is also the expat forum Forumosa.
On regard the visa for China (People's Republic of China) I have found a good resource is China Visa.
If you are living in the U.S. or in other countries such as UK and Canada you can apply to your Taiwanese Visa and passport online via VisaHQ website.
Every day I receive emails from people asking me to help them to get a visa to Taiwan or how or where to get it.
As I pointed out above I am not a visa agent. I try to keep this page as updated as possible but I am not a visa expert either, what I know is based on my personal experience only. So I am not able to help you!
So, please, don't email me about these issues, I am not going to reply to these emails.
Instead you are more than welcome to write me about any incorrect or not updated information found on this page or other pages of this web site.
Thank you :)